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07-30-2005, 01:17 PM
Potted Plant
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Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
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Well, you have to realize that prospects usually don't <i>gain</i> scoring touch, nor do they <i>gain</i> toughness as they progress through the leagues. A guy who doesn't score in juniors or doesn't hit in juniors won't do it in the AHL, and won't do it at the NHL. The only question is how much of that will the player <i>lose</i>. That's where we have really lost out on Lundmark, for example. He was seen as a tough, hitting scorer in juniors. His scoring declined, and his toughness declined a lot as he moved up the ranks. It never goes the other way.

Staal may be able to get more scoring and more toughness in juniors, but it probably won't translate to the NHL. That's OK, because that's not why we drafted him. We drafted him to play smart, stay-at-home hockey and to make a good transition pass. At this point, I like the pick, but let's not go overboard on our expectations.

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