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05-19-2004, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by montreal
O'Byrne has the ground work, just needs to build from the ground up. You can't teach size, and he has it, plus he'll only get bigger. When I talked to him on the phone, we talked about playing in the Ivy league, and playing less games then all other NCAA teams, and he replied that it gives him extra time to work out in the gym. Plus Cornell is a very good program for defensemen, which I also took into consideration when ranking him. While his offensive game hasn't shown up yet, and his play in his own end will need to get much better, quicker thinking/reacting, but his physical game is what I am impressed by the most. I hope he has a great year next season.
I saw the same things in him. Usually when you get to see mamoth sized Dmen like that you end up very disapointed by their lack of speed and mobility but I was extremely impressed how good his skating is already. One image about him that got stuck into my head is when a bad pass was made to him on the point and he couldn't keep it in (I think it was against Harvard), and an opposing forward rushed the other way on a breakaway and caughed O'Byrne flat footed but he only had to make 4-5 powerful strides to recover and catch him to completely neutralize the scoring chance.

And I don't think I've seen a Dman prospect of ours ever hit as hard as him. I mean Komisarek has crushing power, but that guy has the mean streak to go with it. He just loves pulverizing players into a bloody pulp along the boards. He already looks like a man among boys out there so I can only imagine what it'll become if he bulks up even more.

I think if O'Byrne ever makes it though, it'll be as a stay-at-home. I don't think he has the smarts, creativity, puck controling skills or vision to develop an offensive game at the NHL level. He also looks lost in his own zone which is pretty normal since this is the first time he had real competition against him, so the pace might have been a bit too fast for him. But if he works on his positioning and understanding of the game, especially in his own end, he could end up like a vital part of our defense 5-6 years down the road.

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