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05-20-2004, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien
Wow, it's interesting to see the support that Urquhart is getting. I don't know how fair it is to put the kind of offensive expectations many are expressing on him... he has basically plateaued in junior at 78 and 79 points in his last two years... not many offensive guys come out of the Q with those kinds of low scoring totals. (Even in the modern lower-scoring league style).

I mean, Christian Larrivee had 100 pts when he was 19, and he's got similar size to Urquhart, but I don't think anybody is expecting Larrivee to even contend for an NHL career, let alone be mentioned in our top-10 prospects. (I know, I know, different skill sets, and CL had Bouchard and Parenteau and so on his team, tho' not much his line, but still... the general point is just that a *lot* of guys come out of the Q with notably better scoring stats than Urquhart, but have no real potential).

It would be different if you could point to Urquhart and say, wow, he is a physical monster, or he is a superb defensive player, or he plays with extreme passion and energy or whatever. But I don't really see any of that either. He plays a different game, but his overall approach reminds me of Eric Chouinard, he kind of looks like he's in cruise control much of the time. Good skills make a lot of what he does *seem* effortless, of course, but again: a guy like Chouinard had a couple of 50 goal/100 pt seasons, and he's not an NHL player either.

Maybe I'm missing the boat on what Urquhart does, but I still see guys like Lapierre, O'Byrne, and Korneev as having significantly better NHL potential. They may not be big-time players for us, but at least they look to me of having a better chance of finding some depth roles in the show than Urquhart?
It all depends if you want to look at upside, chances to make it, or a combinaison of the two, and then in what proportions.

Urquhart has great instincts, hands and great size, but the Chouinard comparison is accurate. He's soft and often uninspired on the ice. I was one to think we selected him way too early as he might have still been there in the 3rd round, but a player like Urquhart posesses offensive qualities and know-how's that cannot be taught.

The hope from management I would think resides in the fact he could learn to raise his implication and physicality as the competition level rises. If he doesn't he'll be a career AHLer. There's lots of room to grow for him which is why he's fairly highly rated, while a player like Lapierre is a safer pick, but projects to round out into a 3rd - 4th liner, albeit a pretty good one.

O'Byrne is a combo of upside and safety, as he has NHL size and skating already, along with the poise and meanness you want in every defender, but he's still extremely raw. Still, you can envision a safer overall progression for him than "boom or bust" Urquhart.

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