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07-14-2008, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TheFly View Post
Why are people comparing him to John Leclair? It makes no sense, Lats' game isn't even remotely similar to Lecair's. Lets not forget that Leclaire played in a completely different style of hockey. Unfortunatly the new nhl is heavily based on speed and agility, something which Lats doesn't possess. Yes he is taking skating lessons, but you don't learn how to skate fast, by using this logic all of us on this forum with the proper training could be olympic runners. Speed isn't something that is taught, it's an in born skill.

Ok so he scored 16 goals at 19 and 20 years old, nobody is taking that away from him, but Lats' is just an average player and I think a lot of people should relax on their expectations of him because they will be very disappointed. Even Dagenais scored 17 goals in 56 games in his rookie year and where is he now.

For those who believe Lats never got powerplay time can you please stop lying to yourselves because he did! He was recieving regular powerplay time at the begining of the season when Ryder was slumping and Sergei Kostitsyn hadn't made the team yet, but wasn't producing while those around him were scoring! It was only after late December where he was used on the powerplay once every five games. In fact Lats' two powerplay assists came in the Carolina game at the begining of the seasons!

If Lats' was such a threat every time he was on the ice, Carbo would have countinue to use him in situations where he would have excelled. If Carbo wasn't afraid of playing Lats in a top 6 role (sometimes top 3 role) when he was playing bad and didn't deserve it, he sure wouldn't have been shy to use him regularily and keep him in those situations regardless of his poor inconsistent player. But it's quite simple as to why he wasn't used regularly as a powerplay winger or a top 6 winger, it's because he wasn't playing good enough to deserve that time and there were players better than him. This is the exact reason why I shake my head when I see people putting Lats on the second line ahead of Higgins and Sergei Kostitsyn for next season. It makes absolutley no sense just because he has "Potential"; Patrick Steffan had "potential" so did Alexandre Daigle, he actually a few good seasons, but the amount of hype and pressure put on this kid is just ridiculous.

Lats is just an average player, who can fill a top 6 role for a short period of time if someone is injured, yes he is still young, but he hasn't shown anything in his game that gives indication to improvement. Lats is a very straight-forward player, with little vision in his game, he has the size that he does not use it and avergae hands. To put him higher on a depth chart than a player who scored 27 goals and 56 points in his 3rd year and player who had the same amount of points in 30 less games while being his rookie seasons is just absolutly nonsense.

If Lats was any other player whether it be russian, canadian, american, swedish or whatever, people would have normal expectations of him and their would have certainly have been less controversy, but because the francophone community is looking so hard for a francophone star they are placing expectations on him that he will not reach, which causes a backlash.

I'm not a Lats basher, I don't think he is as bad as some people make him out to be, but at the same time he's is no where near as good as what people make him out to be.

Lats will be a very streaky goal scorer playing in a 3rd line offensive role, probably reaching 20-25 goals 30-35 points as his ceiling, but the way some people speak about him you'd think he'd scoring 45-50 goals and 80-90 points.
I very much agree with the bolded parts in your post... except on one part. The ceiling... I never put a ceiling on any young player, unless it's really obvious. Lats does have some upside and with a couple years under his belt, he might be a regular top 6 winger. Also, a player's skating can be upgraded with skating lessons, but it cannot do miracles with an average skater.

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