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11-22-2008, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by LAX attack View Post
Another problem appears to be a lack of "blue-chip" forward prospects
You're right that we don't really have any "blue-chip" forwards at this point, but I think you also need to take into account the quality of young talent already on the roster. Kopitar and Moller are both of an age where they could be considered top prospects, but they're both already in the NHL. We also consider Purcell a prospect, but he's the same age as O'Sullivan and Brown, both of whom are already in the NHL. Really, I'm not overly concerned with the future lineup.

Frolov - ??? - Purcell
??? - Stoll - Moller
??? Boyle - Simmonds

If we've got Moller on our third line, we're doing fine for depth at the wings. Really the only glaring hole I see is the second line center, which Stoll could plausibly keep playing, but I would expect we'll fill that hole in a major way. It doesn't have to be all through the draft; that real econd line center could (and I expect will) be a trade or free agent. If this team is to compete for the Cup in 3 years or so, we'd probably be better served anchoring the second line with a good 30ish veteran than a 21 year old kid anyhow.

I would say our future lineup looks more like this:

O'Sullivan - Kopitar - Brown
Moller - [Big name addition] - Purcell/Frolov
[Gritty veteran addition] - Stoll - Simmonds
Westgarth - Boyle - Clune

I don't see both Frolov and Purcell being here in 3 years. If Purcell pans out and Frolov wants a lot of money, I think he's gone. Hopefully in the trade that brings in the big center, rather than just letting him walk as a UFA, but I don't know his intentions. Maybe he's practically already gone; maybe he'll stay at all costs. In any case, I'm pretty sure at least one of Purcell and Frolov won't be on this team in 3 years.

We also need to keep in mind that we likely won't yield a 100% homegrown team. Especially in a playoff run, when we're going to need some veterans. I'm sure we'll see at least one free agent signing in the mould of a Kris Draper, Ethan Moreau, a younger Scott Thornton - a gritty veteran "warrior" sort of checker.

We also have some second tier prospects who may pan out better than expected. I think Holloway, Cliche, and Lewis are all likely NHLers - probably not as scorers [although don't write off Lewis just yet], but speedy defensive players [a Todd Marchant type] are useful and they'll catch on somewhere, if not here. There's also a chance that Loktionov or Azevedo might surprise as top-6 guys.

TL;DR: while I agree with you that we lack blue-chip talent and will need a good second-line center one day, I think our prospect pool is in excellent shape when you factor in our kids already in the NHL.

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