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08-22-2011, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by macavoy View Post
Lets take a look at history. Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterburg, Tomas Plekanec didnt play regularly in the NHL till they were 23, it didn't ruin their development.

Now lets also think about the talented players who took the shortcut to the NHL, Guillaime Latendresse, Sergei Kostitsyn, Max Pacioretty. They all had problems, maturity and being rushed to the NHL.
We're talking about the AHL, not the NHL, so I fail to see your point here.
MaxPac is the perfect example, he couldn't produce against tougher competition, it wasonly after he was sent down to play against weaker talent and with an amazing player (DD) centering him that he
was able to develop. He himself said playing in the
AHL (a weaker league) was better for him.
True. But the difference between the NHL and the AHL and between the AHL and the CHL isn't the same. The CHL isn't a pro league, and Leblanc won't learn how to be a pro in the CHL, while the AHL is really a copy of the NHL, but with worst players.
David Dashernais played in the CHL as an overager, it didn't ruin him. In fact I think it probably helped develop his hockey IQ. Playing against comparable / slightly less talent gives you the opportunity to grow mentally, you can learn to read plays before they unfold. Whereas playing in the AHL would develop his instincts compared to his hockey IQ. It would involve him learning to react to the faster competition.
Desharnais was never drafted, he played as an overager because nobody had offered him a pro contract, not because "it was better for his development". And nobody is saying that staying in the CHL would "ruin Leblanc", just that at this point of his development, he's ready to play as a pro and shouldn't wait for this opportunity.

And staying in the CHL wouldn't be "the slow route", it would be "the very slow route". Again, it's quite rare to see drafted player stay as overagers, for the simple reason that it's generally better for them to play pro in the AHL when they are ready. Overagers are typically good but flawed junior players, yes, like Desharnais.

I completely understand the "dominate the league first" strategy, and subscribe to it in the context of ECHL->AHL->NHL. Junior hockey is different. I wouldn't let one of our draft pick play as an overager in the CHL unless he had real physical deficiencies stopping him from playing with men. This isn't the case with Leblanc.

And anyway, as someone else said, we'll know very quickly what Gauthier has in mind for Leblanc. Lets not call for his head if he makes the very expected move of bringing him in the AHL.

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