Thread: Sami Vatanen
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02-23-2012, 08:28 AM
KEEROLE Vatanen's Avatar
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Originally Posted by snarktacular View Post
Yes Schultz is having a great season. Probably the best college defenseman. Not denying that.

As to best defenseman not in the NHL, who said that? Is it someone credible? I have seen a Ducks blog and a person covering college prospects say that, but there's the worry of bias. I'd like to know if there are unbiased sources saying it, because that would change my thinking some.

I already said it, but I have not seen Schultz at all. So yes I could be totally off.

When I say overrated I mean less in overall potential, where I do think Schultz is deservedly rated high. I mean more in terms of NHL readiness, and I'm mostly going off of the quality of the leagues. I also think Vatanen is underrated compared to Schultz. College is just not an easy league to jump directly into the NHL. It really prepares kids physically and defensively, but I think it is a bigger jump than the top European leagues.

Just for comparison, here's the past Hobey finalist defensmen and how long it took them to make the NHL. I started from the lockout.
  1. 2005 Reid Cashman. Never made the NHL.
  2. 2006 Matt Carle. Rookie D scoring leader in first year.
  3. 2006 Andy Greene. 23 NHL games in first year.
  4. 2007 Drew Bagnell. 3 years before his first NHL game, still not in NHL.
  5. 2009 Matt Gilroy. NHL first year.
  6. 2009 Jamie McBain. 14 NHL games first year. Had a pretty good "Calder eligible year" next season.
  7. 2010 Brendan Smith. 3 NHL games his second year. Still 2nd year, back in the AHL.
You have to put the list in context. Some of them have specific deficiencies as to why they have not translated to the NHL, Be it size, talent level or being older than everyone at the time. Your point is well taken but it's not like its just us duck fans hyping him....almost everyone who posts on HF that has watched him play thinks he's really good and "pundits" do to

Schultz has been dominating since he was a sophmore, he won his conference defensive player of the year last season, in his 2nd year. Matt Carle many people thought was going to be a big time player, but he's settled into being a solid top 4 guy.

McBain and Smith are both highly thought of, and come from the same program
Schultz has all the tools, he has good size, great skating and offensive abilities but also has the IQ necessary to succeed. Everyone raves about Gardiner, well Schultz outperformed him last year with less college experience

As for defensive defensemen, I don't like using high picks on them, more often than not alot of guys taken after them end up being better. 2008 is a great example, Schenn and Tuebert for instance went ahead of MUCH better players taken later because they were "safe" or were seen as more easily projectable. Schenn has had his moments but hasn't been good this year, and many think Tuebert at best is a 3rd pair guy. We will find some stay at home guys eventually, I would much rather take chances on guys with clearly more talent and it could pay off. Schultz/Vatanen are great prospects, Sbisa and Fowler will be tremendous foundations and Welinski is a very interesting player going forward, he's had a monster year and taken a big step forward, I hope to see some of him soon

Last edited by KEEROLE Vatanen: 02-23-2012 at 08:35 AM.
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