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06-19-2011, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry44 View Post
FF, I'd listen to CharlieGirl if I were you. She lives in Kitchener and follows the Rangers. If she shares everyone else's wait and see approach, she's probably right. I only saw him play a few games this year, but he's as adverstised: really smart with the puck, small and not that fast.

The AHL and Euro leagues are littered with guys who fit his profile in Jr. The difference is that some guys can make the transition, others can't. You can't go by stats, we have to wait and see how he does playing vs. men. Sometimes guys who can dangle in Jr. just get sat on their butts by the bigger, stronger guys in pro hockey.

It's hard to predict whether Akeson will ever make the NHL, but the original question asked and Read is the answer. He's 25, he's fully filled out as he's going to get. If he's ever going to play in the NHL it'll be this year. He showed great skill in the AHL last year.

Akeson's problem will be that he'll be fighting for ice time with a lot of other young players on the Phantoms. Prospects like Harper and Rowe ended up in the ECHL last year because there wasn't room for them in the A.

As always, with Flyer prospects, I hope he makes the team, beats out Briere for a first line spot, wins the Art Ross, Richard and Calder trophies, then the Conn Smythe too.... We'll see if he survives rookie camp first.
My opinion is that Akeson is a good prospect despite going undrafted from Jrs. I don't see his outstanding season as an overager being a knock on him, afterall, his performance in prior years (non-overager) still found him climbing the ranks of the OHL scoring leaders. This past season he only did what a highly skilled overager should do (dominate), and you can't blame him or knock him for that.

In my opinion, Akeson will come to camp much like Giroux did at his age, and see if he can make the team. I'd be inclined to think that, barring an exceptional showing, he'd have a hard time beating out Read and other, bigger players with more pro experience for a roster spot. Like Giroux, Akeson will probably be assigned to the Phantoms to develop his game as a pro. Depending on how he does he could earn the right to be a callup later in the season if there are a rash of injuries (which tends to happen at some point every season) or if the other prospects aren't cutting it. From what I've seen I think the kid earns a shot at some point. I'd say maybe a 5-10% chance he makes the club out of camp, 25-35% chance he gets at least a sniff on the Flyers this season and that number rises significantly next season if he proves he can play against men in the AHL.

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