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05-31-2012, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by hawksfan50 View Post
The conensus view of our prospect pool is that whille it is deep there is no potential "elite" GOALIE or CENTRE in the bunch ....Despite what the hype dept. says about MCNEILL,DANUALT,K.HAYES or PIRRI --none of them look like the solution long term for the 2nd line centre spot ---The first 3 may look like candidates for the 3rd line centre and PIRRI may be the only one of the 3 with enough offensive talent to merit a look at 2nd line centre BUT his flaw is the size/strenghth aspect required -while you can add more weight/muscle you can;t grow height at his age...SO he will always be an average to small perceived centre... MCNEILL and K. Hayes have the size/strength but lots of skeptics on the offensive RESULTS they cn provide at the NHL level...With Danaulkt again average size and doubts on GOAL SCORING level...
SO you have 3/4 who fit better as 3rd line candidates at centre and look like nothing "special" to make teams cower in a 1-2 TOEWS+ ? centre duo for the top 2 lines... PIRRI might have good enough offense but will get owerpowered when it comes to playoff run crunch time and the playoffs as things get more physical ..

SO IF there is a better 2nd line centre long-term solution (Not ready now but 2-3 years from now by drafting such at #18) then YES we ought to consider grabbing the opprtunity to get it...

THE only 2 candidates at #18 if still on the board who might have that combination of size and elite scoring skill to likely be "special" in making the #2 centre spot more than just filled with guys whose biggest flaw prevents that specialness are:

TOMAS HERTL 6'2 198 who has both the size,2-way game,and scoring talent to "solve" the problem long-term (Once he is NHL ready) OR

MARK JANKOWSKI 6'2.5 175 (the Stanstead College,Quebec, prep school sstar who will fill out his frame ,has elite offensie talent,but is a wildcard risk given his low level of competition --scouts like Craig Button who have seen him think he has elite talent with the best of any forward in this draft-BUT despite him being a big riser in tyhe 2nd half nobody has dared put him into the top ten because it is always a big risk projecting on high school level competion) ..Yet it may be an opportunity you do not get very often.

I who have never seen Jankowski play cannot tell STANBO to take that oppourtunity if he still is on the board (not that I trust our vaunted scouts to guess correctly but rather that it will take cojones to RISK on a kid from such low level of competition s high as #18)...but if our scouts think his talent level is elite and that it soars past any projection for McNeill,Danault,K. Kayes or Pirri --then I willnot quibble if we opt to take that risk on Jankowski...

ON the other hand I did see HERTL play and shine at the World Jr. U-20 Championships ...I liked what i saw...I liked him better than MCNEILL,DANAULT and
K. HAYES and PIRRI ....I like the size, the effort and 2-way game, pretty decent at face-offs (52.86% at the WJHC U-20) I like his shot, willingness to go to the corners to get pucksand come away with it and attack the net-and most of al his
anticipation hockey sense -I think he gets it whreas with some of our centre candidates like McNeill or K. Hayes i just don't see much hockey sense-they do some things wellbut lack greatly in others. PLUS HERTL played against MEN,not just Jrs.--in the CZECH EXTRALIGA and for a not too good teamthat got relegated he scored 12 goals and 13 assists in 38GP in that league -the top men's league in the CZECH REP.

So i) he is more advanced and not too far away from being NHL ready than other centres we might draft this year or even those in our own system.... and ii) this pro experience served him wellat the World Jrs U-20 where he really looked more advanced and outshone RADEK FAKSA the other big CZECH draft-eligible centre prospect who plays for Kitchener (OHL) and is expected to go anywhere from top ten through to mid-teens ...IT may even be that FAKSA is still there for us too at the #18 spot ..AND I DO like FAKSA in this draft too! IT is just that despite FAKSA shining so well for Kitchener this year,HERTL to me is more advanced now and it showed at the WOrld Jrs U-20 as he outshone Faksa there by a wide margin.

I have stated that HERTL to me looks like the Rodney Dangerfield of this draft -with most rankings putting him 20-26 range BUT in reality to me he should be at least equal value OR MORE than as good a cente prospect as FAKSA looks to be...

I think again we should NOT bypass a chance to draft this guy UNLESS our scouts advise STAN to gamble on JANKOWSKI's potential for "greatness" -if they think the upside is that great.

TO be saer--HERTL is the logical bet... IF FAKSA is still there too then STAN has a trio of tantalizing long-sought solutions (though not for next year) for the 2nd line centre spot who can structure better with Toews as the 1-2 pich down the middle to make us a "special " team (as few NHL teams have 2 "top" level centres toanchor the top 2 lines) ..

THE ALTERNATIVE NEED is ELITE GOALTENDING ....I do not think MALCOLM SUBBAN will last to #18 ....Craig Button has him going as high as#8 overall -I don't think he gets past #10 ....but if I'm wrong and he last to #18--again STAN can't ignore the opportunity cost to grab a potential elite goalie ....THE oter possibility is the much bigger ANDREI VASILEVSKI who after thWorld Jrs U-20 looked to be one of those special elite goalies that do not come around often ..but he was less impressive later in the spring at theWorld U-18's ---overall save% was good again but he did have 2 relatively poor ames too (4 goals allowed in each of these) AND unlike the World Jrs U-20 he was not even bombarded with shots as much..THUS what looked lich certain "greatness" potential now looks perhaps more doubtful...PLUS you also have:

i) the Russian/KHL factor risk and ii) the Blackhawks not being a Russkie shop risk
such that STANBO probably would hesitate to risk on Vasilevski... STILL if our scouts still think he is going to be a special franchise goalie--maybe STANBO decides to take that gamble..

IN reality STANBO probably does none of the things I expect or want and instead takes another D-man ( MAATTA,FINN,LINDHOLM,KOEKKOEK?) --I do not think ny of these will be "special" but they could allbe NHL'ers in a few years ..

My "hunch" says TAKE HERTL ...but if stan swing for the fences with JANKOWSKI even if it later proves a flop ,I willnot criticize for attempting to hit a home run...
IF SUBBAN is still there (again doubtful) I think STAN will not bypass him as he would look foolish if Subban becomes a #1 goalie for another team drafting later and becomes an elite goalie with that team....
THE best prospect I saw all year was MALCOLM SUBBAN in the first half --where he was just a WALL and stole games for Belleville... In the 2nd half he got a groin injury--missed January and most of February and after he got back in the lineup did not perform as well --his save 5 dipped from .938 when he got injured into the .920's as he just was no longer as sharp--perhaps prtecting the groin and its lingering effects
--whether real or just imagined--whatever he was not his "normal" ----he did play better again in the playoffs but never back to full WALL level play...NHL teams willnot make a Brandon saad mistake this time-they will credit the groing injury as affecting his play after getting back in the lineup --that he was never 100% healthy
again..but he should be back to full "normal " after rest and physio/workig out this summer.. THUS i doubt he will last to #18--so I don't think Stan faces any dilemma in taking him or taking some other player..

FINALLY -we NEED the #18--whether for goalie or 2nd line C solution (for the future) BECAUSE we have no 2nd and no 3rd rounder next year for the 2013 draft which is MUCH DEEPER than this year's crop... I do not think our scouts willbe happy missing out on TALENT from that much deeper crop..
THUS if thereare any gems from a lessr crop this year we must GRAB that gem if we canand it willonly be because we draft as high as #18 we get a chance to do it..

THOUGH 2013 is a lot deeper in quality --IF we draft late 20's (rom Q-fail back to Q-success again) even though deeper we may not get as good a prospect there than we could get this year at #18. PLUS witjout 2nd and 3rd we won't get lucky likely either in covering our risk from a deeper pool (the "gap between a late 20's next year to a late 2nd may not be so wide -meaning if your late first boms maybe the late 2nd succeeds--but alas we cannot get that opportunity to cover our bet from the deeper talent pool because we have no 2nd r 3rd rounder for 2013 --at least for now -we might trade to get 2nd and 3rd rounders back) So we SHOULD not give up our 18th overall slot this year despite the IMMEDIATE help it MIGHT bring as a stop-gap -given our likely dearth of picks in 2013-we cannot waste a good slot at #18 k by giving it away this year...espcially if there will still likely be top projectible centres we could take with te pick ..
Nice post. Worth complete read.

My preference for 18th pick

Faksa is highly unlikely to be there at 18th

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