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06-27-2012, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by WantEggRoll View Post
Prospects are prospects until they prove something, so therefore this season Jakob Silfverberg deserves to be the number one prospect because he proved the most this season. I love Zibanejad's game and I hope he'll be a great player, but besides winning the WJC and getting concussed he has done nothing to prove he is the best prospect in Ottawa's system. Regardless of their differences in age right now Silfverberg is the best bet to make the Ottawa roster.

Potential is great and all, but when I'm rating these players I'm going to base it on performance.
He made the NHL team and played like a man as a boy against NHL'ers. As one of the people who wanted him to be sent back to the SEL, his only real deficiency was being unable to create offense in the best league in the world at 18yo. He easily could have played on our 3rd line for much of the season, but it was best for him/us for him to develop his offensive game in a lesser league. That didn't quite work out as well as hoped, but he still outproduced Silfverberg at the same age quite handily:

Zibanejad = 26-5-8-13
Silfverberg = 48-8-8-16

... and Zibanejad was actually 6 months younger.

Originally Posted by WantEggRoll View Post
O'Brien had an excellent year in the AHL, and proved he could serve as a bottom six player at the end of the season, so yeah I'd rank him highly amongst the young players. I'd still rank younger players who did very well in junior leagues higher if I felt they had more potential to be top line players though. Performance counts regardless of the level of play, but I'm not going to rate Zibanejad as the best prospect just because he was selected in the highest position.
Zibanejad played what? A dozen games that were televised between pre-season and regular season?
He showed that he has outstanding tools, an excellent work ethic, very tough and though it's extremely premature; he looks like he might be a pretty smart player.

He showed all of that in the NHL... as an 18 year old.
IMO, Zibanejad looks like he'll fall somewhere amongst the Fisher/D.Brown/Backes group of extremely valuable all round players.

Silfverberg had a great SEL season as a 21yo. Alfredsson didn't that and Zibanejad may never have that season if we left him there that long. It is irrelevant to his NHL career prospects. It's exciting, don't get me wrong... but it won't definitively prove that he's a better potential player. Alexei Kaigorodov was 21yo when he finished 2nd in KHL scoring during the lockout year when he was competing against many NHL'ers and his NHL career will stand with a 6-0-1-1 line.

Silfverberg looked physically overmatched in the playoffs, but that series was quite physical. He didn't create a lot of offense, but he only got 2 games against the #1 team in the EC. He doesn't look like he'll hurt us over extended play, but he certainly didn't seem to have any dominant characteristics either. We'll get a better idea of his potential next season when he gets a regular rotation of teams, but just going but what I've seen... the easily visible qualities (tools, work ethic, toughness) are so overwhelmingly in Zibanejad's favour, that I can't imagine anybody picturing Silfverberg being better in the NHL.

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