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09-25-2003, 07:16 AM
NWT Habs Fan
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Location: Edmonton, AB
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Originally Posted by Le depisteur
Finally good news concerning our prospects... I am disappointed a little bit about Higgins and Perezhogin, but I know that it is only one question of time and adaptation... And with the 3pts yestersday performance of Urquhart, the future seems good...
I would say that both Higgins and Perezhogin are developing just fine. It is a rare breed indeed (like a Heatley or Kovalchuk) who can blend into a current NHL at such a young age and not look partially out of place.

As for Higgins, he had a really solid rookie camp and tournament, and was the best player there in many people's eyes (I only saw one game but he was heads and shoulders above them all). He is getting little ice time compared to the veteran players in the pre-season, but that is to be expected. This kid only played about 35 games last season, so ease him in to the long schedule in the AHL/NHL and let him get used to the much bigger and faster game than the NCAA that he is used to. Let him get some good conditioning at Hamilton, and he is likely to see quite a few games with the big club if all goes well (not on the top two lines yet, that will come down the road).

As for Perezhogin, he is adjusting to a lot of changes: new city, new teammates, new country, new culture, new language, smaller rinks, bigger and more physical style of hockey, etc. This young man has lots of speed and skill and he will need some time adjusting to the NA way of life and the NA style of hockey. A year in Hamilton with lots of ice time would be perfect for him IMO, then see what he can do next season when all the grey beards contracts run out.

As for other good news stories on our prospects:

Ryder - surprising most as to how he looks NHL ready (not top line ready, but at least ready to make the next jump if there is a spot on the 3rd or 4th line).

Archer - a pleasant surprise at rookie camp/tourney. He has really filled out compared to those that saw him last year. A no nonsense defensive defenceman with decent lateral movement for a big guy. Should be good in Hamilton.

Ferland - a very energetic, big forward with really good scoring touch. His speed seems to have improved from last year. Still sticking around in the big camp longer than most would have thought.

Pleks - fast and gifted, showing folks in the big camp his real skill. Still needs some size to make the leap to the bigs, but really gifted.

Anyway, that is just a sample of all the comments that have been made about our prospects. All in all, pretty promising, but patience is critical as it takes time to eventually crack the NHL (just as Ward and Garon).

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