Thread: Zack Kassian
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12-09-2008, 09:52 AM
  #8
Ryan Van Horne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jericho99 View Post
Offensively, yes (it seems at least - like he'll develop into a better offensive player). Physically... hard to say. Lucic is a guy who stepped in at age 19 and was beating up grown men.

I'm not sure if Kassian will be able to do that, and win as handedly as I've seen Lucic beat up on players.

I think Lucic is a stronger player, but Kassian should have the higher offensive output. And his skating is not nearly as bad as Lucic's was at the same time. Though Lucic's skating IMO has improved greatly since coming into the NHL.

As for Kassian, he's a big, strong player, who's fearless and knows how to use his size to his advantage, and is not afraid to drop the mitts at all. He's a well spoken, nice kid and will protect his team mates and himself at all costs. He's been accused (from what I remember reading/hearing) of not picking his battles wisely.. in that he can get pulled into no use fights easily, or retaliate. But in the last game I saw vs. Windsor, Greenop tried to taunt him into a fight but Kassian knew it wasn't a fair trade off.

He has deceptive speed, and has powerful strides. He could work on his first couple steps, but what player that size doesn't need to work on that area? But he moves well for a big guy, and his technique is very good. Better then say.. Greg Nemisz, a big 6'3 player taken 1st round by Calgary last year.

Kassian also has some strong on-ice awareness and good offensive instincts. I believe he had an A last year at certain points of the season (he has one this season) which displays his leadership abilities. He also sees time on the PK if I'm not mistaken.

Overall he has a great package that I wouldn't be surprised to see taken in the top 10. If someone really likes what they see with him then I can see him taken early. If not I'd be shocked to see him last past 15th pick. He has the tools you don't really see in todays NHL. He seems like a players coach. In that, he'll play the type of game that the coach wants him to. He can be an energy guy, a scoring forward, a two-way guy... seems to have everything a team would want. He is a bit raw, but most players his size are.

So in conclusion:

Assets: Solid NHL frame, aggressive and strong on the forecheck, fearless, great on ice vision, and strong offensive instincts. Good leadership skills (from my perspective). Fan favourite.

Flaws: Needs to work on his acceleration and first steps. Also needs to continue to fine tune his overall raw game, which shouldn't be a huge problem.

Potential: Power Forward (in the truest sense)

Definately shaping up to be one of the more intriguing draft day picks IMO. But that's just my perspective, I'm sure some more dedicated OHL junkies can give a better view of him.
Nice read, Jericho. Thanks.

As for Kassian and where he'll go, it's difficult to predict. I mentioned this in another thread about Kassian, but because of his style of play, he could be a draft-day wildcar.

By that I mean he could go higher than many people rank him because a GM could decided he just has to have him and doesn't want to risk not getting him because he's a singular commodity. How many other true power forward types are there in the first round? If the Leafs pick in the 5-10 range, I could see Burke taking Kassian and relishing it.

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