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09-01-2010, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MN_Gopher View Post
OK i have to give this another try. With regards to D1, high school and USHL or Ann Arbor.

You have your top tier. Players who excel to get to D1 early. Kessel and Toews. As underages what they did was huge.

Your 2nd level. Players who leave early to play a full year in the USHL. Or several years. Erik Johnson, Seth Ambroz, David Backes..

Your third. Players who stay through their senior year and go D1 the next year. Oshie, Niskanen...

The 4th level. Guys who play through their senior year then go to the USHL for a full year.

The majority of yur NHLers fit in 1-3. You can still make it out of group 4. Wheeler was drafed and then played a full year of USHL and looks to be a solid NHLer.

With Lee. I am trying to say. At this point in his career. I would have liked to see him take routes 1-2 if we are to get a very accurate assesment of where he is. I do not balme for staying to play football. I think it was a great idea. I have stated many times that teens need to have a clear head. No could ofs. Lee elminated that and did what he wanted when he could. The i would like to have seen him play D1 last year. By falling to the 4th level. It puts him behind the norm IMO. I do how ever feel that Lee needed that year in the USHL. He is a power player. He needed to know what it was like dominate. In D1 last he would not have had success playing his style. He could have gotten detered or tried to change.

Looking at high school numbers. Lets take the career or Pat White. Led Grand Rapids to back to back second place finishes. Beat Cloquet both years just to get in. Then upset the #1 overal seed both years. Was huge and clutch. Opposing coaches gave specifics on how to play White. He was that Grand Rapids team. I think exept for Stejskal(sp) no one else went major D1 from those years. Could be wrong. Goes to the USHL and nets 8 goals in 12 games. Over a season thats 39 goals. Lee had 35 in that same 59 games.

High school and USHL stats mean little. They help. Rather a guy dominate high school and the USHL then have him falter.

I would love to Lee have great success. I love mn hockey and everything related to it. Whether it be a born Minnesotian, a WCHAer or a Wild. If Lee goes on to be an NHL all star. That means that the high school league is worthy of its rep. But i also understand that there are several factors in talent. Honestly. I do not see Lee has having that big of an impact.
Before you get too far off track from the original thread topic. It appears you have the formula down for how players develop today and typically arrive at the NHL level.

Could you explain then, going back to the original thread topic of the three mentioned players, how Lee's choice has had a detrimental effect on his development? Correct me if I am wrong, but neither Bjugstad or Nelson left home early for Ann Arbor, Bjugstad did accelererate a yr. of HS. but both stayed and played for their respective HS teams.

Do you really think every player who leaves home early for Ann Arbor or Jrs. is now at an advantage in their development? I can site endless examples of players who left early and simply stopped developing because they were not ready, either physcially or mentally. Do you really think Nelson and Bjugstad are ready to step in this season and have a big impact for their D-1 programs coming directly from HS? Do you really believe they will develop more by playing a 40-game college season with a full class work load. Being in an environment where they are over-matched both physically and mentally? How much ice time will they actually log on specialty teams or key situations in this abbreviated season, compared to a year of Jr.s playing 80 games and being a valuable player.

They are both making the jump because, their "handlers" are riding their current stock value. How could they play possible play Jrs if you are a first round pick? What would happen to their stock if they played jrs and did not do so well. It is much easier to hide behind your HS success and go straight to D-1 provided you have been anointed as a "special" player then it is to prove yourself in the USHL. It's the early "Prognosticators and Evaluators" who have forced the hand of D-1 coaches into taking these early round selections whether they believe their ready or not because they feel they don't have a choice.

What ever happened to actually dominating your current level of play before taking the next step. What ever happened to learning how to win, or be a leader on your team? It is my belief that these qualities when developed and experienced, are the ones that separate the talent pool from the ones that go on to the next level to ones who never quite figure it out.

The majority of these kids are accelerating their path only to spend a very extended period in the minor leagues until they figure it out, grow-up, toughen up or decide this is what they really want to do. Sadly, many of them don't. In the end its not how quickly you get to the NHL, its how long you stay there.

So If a player like Lee is truly "behind the development curve" and is as raw as you say, just imagine what he might be able to do when he develops his game by concentrating on hockey. Based on your predictions his path will be much slower, but perhaps much more successful in the long run.

Since you have tried to discount all of Lee's results from HS to USHL, I ask when does your highly valued "potential" take a back seat to actual "results" Because right now Lee has the results despite his very raw, primal skills. Which in the end may just be another definition for "potential"

This is an open forum, with all us able to express their opinions, but in your case you have always tried to discount Lee as a over-rated player. Only posting if someone has a positive impression of his skills, its very transparent, whether its this forum, MNhock, gopherpuck live, or the USCHO. Please also don't pretend to be some MN hockey rube supporting your local players, because your agenda reads pretty clear.

I suggest you relax and enjoy the game. Its a good one.

Last edited by ndgolden: 09-01-2010 at 12:11 PM.
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