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02-27-2005, 05:52 PM
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Location: Yale University
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Vaananen has a lot of NHL experience for a young defenseman. In his first two years in the league, he received rave reviews while he hasn't continued that progress last year. His advantage is his consistency and experience. His downside is that he doesn't have the potential to be a true #1 defenseman.

I see him as a poor-man's Mattias Ohlund, who plays solid defense and is a smart checker. However, Vaananen doesn't have the offensive upside as Ohlund (who is underrated offensively) but he may one day be as good as, if not better than Ohlund, defensively.

As of right now, he is better than Pitkanen but Pitkanen has much more potential. Is Vaananen better than Jackman? It is questionable but like I said, Vaananen had a terrible year last year while Jackman has been a monster nearly every game he's played.

I don't quite see the Adam Foote comparisons in Vaananen as he isn't mean enough. Regehr and Jackman, however, are perfect Foote clones. Vaananen is more like Ohlund. Imo, I'd take Morris, Jackman, Pitkanen and Regehr over Vaananen.

I don't think Vaananen is in the same class as Jackman and Pitkanen because of the fact that Vaananen has struggled this year and that he was traded recently. The traded argumen is a questionable argument but star youngsters almost never get traded. Will Pitkanen and Jackman likely be traded? Not likely even if some GM offered me Morris.

I think Vaananen is in the same class as guys like Klesla, Van Ryn, Tanabe, Kalinin and Boynton. What is his trade value? He'd probably garner a 1st rounder like a young Bryan McCabe who Vancouver traded, along with a 1st rounder, for the 4th overall pick. What would Vancouver offer for Vaananen? Brent Sopel, 2nd rounder and a 4th rounder.

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