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11-12-2003, 06:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Originally Posted by
nuckfan in TO
well... none really...
all our picks/prospects have question marks... and I would be hugely concerned if not for the other positives in our organization... our prospects overall have to be near the bottom of the league comparitively.
However, right now we not only have a top team - we have a very young team... our 2nd line is made up of 2 players in the 99 draft, and 1 in the 2001 draft... no one on the defense is over 30... and beyond those guys we have Cooke, Morrison, Bertuzzi, and Cloutier who are all still relatively young (24-28)... and while being young doesn't mean much - being a young team that is successful makes me feel comfortable with our overall player development.
that's our saving grace... if we were rebuilding, and were out of the playoffs for consecutive years, and I was looking at our current prospects group, I'd be hugely disappointed.
there is no one that I would compare to Phaneuf in our system.
however, having said that, there are a few players that are wildcards that could have very successful NHL careers (much like I view Betts, Lombardi, and the others mentioned).... this list includes:
King (2001) - very impressive so far - but still early.
Kesler (2003) - would be on our team if we were in the same situation as the Flames... was very solid in camp, and looks to be NHL ready, but can't crack the roster of a contender.
Umberger (2001) - not signed yet, but apparently very close.. intriguing player, IMO will be a boom or bust type.
Reid (2000) - liked what I saw last year... needs to play bigger and develop a more all around game.
Koltsov (2002) - has the talent to be a top 3 dman... probably consided the #1 prospect in our system.
these are the ones that I think have a solid chance of making it... but are still all risks... I don't consider any of them a bluechipper (like Phaneuf)...
all I can say is thank God we don't have to rebuild via our prospects!! we're a solid situation if we can have 1 or 2 players graduate every 1 or 2 years - which from this list is very possible.... we've had King and Allen graduate in the past couple years... and this followed the Sedins, Sopel, Cooke, Chubarov and some other depth players.... overall IMO that's very decent.
also, just to add... Burke did do a major haul over with the development system in the organization which has been a part of our success so far... IMO drafting is only 1 part of the process... developing players, and creating a system where you can develop them well is just as important (something that Jersey for example does probably better than anyone)... especially as a small market team, this is one area where such a team can't afford to be too cheap in.
ok fair enough...as long as you are acknowledging your prospects are in the same boat. as for Kesler, not sure that's a true statement. I would think the Flames would have kept him in college like they have with Nystrom (I hear these players compared frequently) so I'm not sure its a slam dunk he'd be playing for the Flames.
4 points for Lombardi tonight at least
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