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11-23-2011, 03:14 PM
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Can he be just as elite as Staal? Yes but I don't think you compare him to Staal because he's a different kind of defenseman. He skates better than Staal and Staal is a more physical presence then McDonagh is.

He skates like Neidermayer but he doesn't carry the puck like he did and the ability for a defenseman to skate with the puck up the ice is a HUGE defining difference. That one element defines a player as one who can control and take over a game as a blueliner. The rest are just guys with big slapshots, good passers, heavy hitters or a combination of the three.

McDonagh has an extremely high hockey IQ, he skates like the wind and he's gifted with very good hands. If he can take the next step to start carrying the puck and not just distributing it in the offensive zone he'll go from a very good to a HOF defenseman. But that's no simple task.

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