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06-09-2008, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Oilers Chick View Post
Maybe, maybe not. We'll never know. It certainly couldn't have hurt. I'm not saying nor implying that he would've become the next Jaromir Jagr (skill-wise) or was going to be better than his Dartmouth counterpart Lee Stempniak, who was taken WAY later in the same draft and is doing just fine with the St. Louis Blues thank you very much. But my biggest complaint has been for some time about the Rangers' handling of their collegiate picks is, they pull them out at the wrong time....usually too early.

If you look at teams such as the San Jose Sharks for example, they don't pull kids out until they're ready and the kids aren't necessarily always saying yes right away either. For example, the Sharks originally wanted Matt Carle to leave DU (University of Denver) after his sophomore year. He felt that that just wasn't the right time for him and declined, opting to return to DU for his junior year. So what happened? The Sharks got a better, more prepared defenseman in return and all he did was win the Hobey Baker Award and led the nation in defenseman scoring.

Now I'm not saying that every collegiate player's scenario is going to play out like Carle's, but a number of NHL teams are finding out that there are benefits to allowing a player to stay one more year (provided that he's not a senior) in school.
Problem is that Hugh really wasn't developing at Dartmouth. He pretty much plateau'd at the level and that was before the injury as well.

Personally, I think the Rangers knew they had their work cut out for them and figured that any shot at would come from developing him in their minor league system. The system they've developed has actually done a pretty good job of getting some forwards to the show including Dawes, Callahan, Dubinsky and having guys like Korpikoski, Byers, etc. knocking on the door.

To me, the injury/extra year of college just seems like a cop out. One last attempt at an explanation for something that didn't seem to be going right from the get-go.

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