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03-17-2005, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by KINGLEWOOD
I've been following Ned a bit through out the year along with most of our prospects. While I too was blown away at prospect camp by Crosby, Johnson, and Grebs, Lukacevic caught my eye as a probable sleeper.

His skating seemed effortless and he used his speed to be able to carry the puck into the offensive zone, and protected the puck well along the boards. I didn't get to see much of his touch around the net but his speed, vision and quickness make him a nice addition to our deep pool of prospects. In time he may develop much like Noah Clarke did, the one thing I think Ned could use for now is a trade to a better WHL team.
Maybe this post is a little past due, but I'll try to make light of it. As I'm sure you all know, I make the posts on Ned. I live in Spokane, though originally I'm from Columbus, this is my 3rd year of Chiefs hockey, and Ned has been here the entire time.

The Chiefs' GM Tim Speltz made an interesting move bringing back head coach Al Conroy for 2 more seasons after the team went on an 11 game skid last season, falling from first place to 4th place and suffering an embarrasing first round sweep to the expansion Everett Silvertips. The move bringing Al back was so bad that 4 players refused to even play here any longer - Defensive standouts Andy Schenn and Liam Couture, import Jakub Langhammer, and 20 year old Joel Rupprecht got traded by request and dropped out of the league all-together to avoid him.

With that kind of a coach and all those lost players, the team has more than struggled with 11 rookies in the lineup, and the loss of star 20 year old Scott Lynch, who was 2nd in the league in defensive scoring when he went down. How does Ned factor into all of this? At the beginning of the year, he was on the top line with leading scorer Chad Klassen and rookie center Derek Ryan. Here in Spokane we have this belief that Al Conroy doesn't like players that are willing to mix it up - see Klassen and Ryan's PIM totals and compare them to Ned. Ned mixes it up, and he gets booted off the top line, the amazingly talented prospects we have, Mike Reich and Matt McCue are out of the lineup, and the team goes from having a surprising start to now being 1 loss away from out of the playoffs.

I think Ned has been a trooper this year, you can't argue his point totals, and I sit directly behind the bench, and I've seen this guy take 10 stitches and not miss a single shift. He's a great NHL prospect as a 3rd line role player with a ton of scoring potential. Maybe next year with a new coach and another chance, Ned can show you all what you have in your system. Definate 20 - 25 goal NHL talent.

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