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09-10-2012, 12:43 PM
Sidney the Kidney
Chasing #3
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Country: Canada
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I think to judge or to speculate on a player after his rookie season, especially a 19-year old defenseman who everyone knew was still raw, is a difficult task. Especially regarding his offensive potential, since Florida didn't play him in offensive situations. His rookie season was all about learning the defensive game.

I think the positive is the fact that he started the year getting around 12 minutes or less per game, but ended up getting around 17 or so by season's end and in the playoffs. That suggests he improved enough over the course of the year that his coaches' confidence in him grew, enabling the coaches to go from giving him sheltered minutes to giving him tougher minutes against better opposition as the year went on.

Hopefully the shoulder surgery doesn't set back his development. It's a bit of a concern given the type of game Gudbranson plays. How will a shoulder injury affect his physical game? Will he be able to play a robust, bang 'em, crash 'em style? Or will he have to be a bit more conservative with his physical play?

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