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Taylor or Tyler - The 2010 Draft Thread
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01-07-2010, 02:45 PM
The Czech Condor
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Carolina
I think we're at that time of year where scouts start second guessing their concensus first overall pick and it opens the door for debate with the other guys. Fowler and Seguin are both going to be really strong players at the next level. Seguin vs. Hall reminds me a bit of Duchene vs. Tavares. One is a player that has been watched for quite a while as the next big elite prospect and the other is a player that emerged from relative obscurity. Tavares, much like Hall, is the pure goal scorer with a questionable all around game and Seguin is the total offensive package the way Duchene was advertised. Obviously there are differences. I compare Hall to a more selfish with the puck version of Paul Kariya. Some have said Pavel Bure, but I will never compare a player to Pavel Bure. Hall has elite speed and elite instincts. On the powerplay, he plays like he's watching from the TV angle with the way he moves and avoids checkers. He still has to learn to distribute the puck as he can be very single minded with the puck on his tape. He'll have to diversify and be more well rounded in the NHL but all the skills are there. Especially while watching him with the man advantage, you can see how easily he would translate to an NHL offense even right now. He rarely takes the obvious play that would result in a pressured point for a defenseman or a pin against the boards for a forward down low. He just seems to instinctively know when he shouldn't go certain places. That trait immensely impressed me.
I think he'll end up going 1st overall regardless of who picks there. I think it will be just like Tavares. No matter how much pomp and circumstance will arise from now until the pick is taken, it's going to be Taylor Hall regardless. The real drama starts at 2nd overall. The Hedman-Duchene scenario from last year may play out again. I fully feel that Duchene was the better player, but the Lightning needed defense first and foremost. Depending on who ends up in 2nd, it could very well work out that way again. I feel that there is only one player that would make sense to go 1st overall. I feel there are two players that could make sense going 2nd overall. Cam Fowler did a lot to improve his stock and exposure at the WJC, but Seguin will not be penalized for not making the club.
Fowler reminds me a bit of Brian Rafalski. He's listed at 6-1 and 190 in a lot of places, but he looks more like 6-0 and 180 to me. With that said he has a lot of stick skills and heart. He's not an overly physical defender but he's nearly unbeatable with his stick and his body positioning is quite sound already. I watched him extensively on the kill in the tournament and his stick activity was a really attractive aspect of his defensive game. He was always shutting down lanes and not going into panic mode and chasing the puck around. If the goaltender had a clear sight line, he would just let the shot get through for a stoppage. That was impressive to me from a poise standpoint. A lot of young defenders inadvertently screen their own goalie by virtue of trying to block harmless shots and thereby make the chance twice as dangerous. He didn't have that problem. Even when things would inevitably go wrong, he was there to scoop up the puck, calmly move it up the boards and out of the zone quickly and efficiently. I can't remember a single clear he made in the tournament that didn't get out. I can't remember but one mistake where he didn't get the puck deep enough and that was in the Sweden game where he gave up a breakaway but got back and took a penalty to prevent a goal. Offensively, he seems more content to use his wrist shot from the point than taking a big slapper. That leads me to think that it's not likely he'll ever be a big goal scoring threat but his calm under pressure and the precision with which he passes should make him invaluable on the powerplay. I really see a kid that can play both ends of the ice in Fowler. His panic threshold is tremendous and he doesn't get the yips when the pressure goes up in big games.
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