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09-14-2012, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by handyj View Post
All in the all though I don't think it's trades that have defined the Jackets as a bottom feeder for so long, it's very poor drafting. I know you can do this for almost any team in any draft, but looking back over the years at all the top picks wasted and what could have been, that's the difference between being the top and bottom of the league. One key theme of good teams is generally that they draft well and uncover good finds after the 1st round. Columbus has been overall quite bad in the 1st round and almost non-existant in the other rounds.
I agree... but only if you're talking about how the MacLean years badly crippled us. Howson's actually done a vastly better job with drafting... but his favorite type of player to pick is "anyone in the NCAA" followed closely by "anyone who'll develop for 3-4+ years", so some of the payoffs are only just now starting to show up. Heck, one of our nicer second-tier blueline prospects (Will Weber - CCHA best defensive defenseman and captain of the RedHawks) just now signed his first pro contract after spending his full five years of NCAA eligibility... and he was the second guy Howson ever drafted. And Atkinson (who we're all very high on) was drafted in the sixth round the year after that; he's been kicking ass and taking names at BC all this time.

A different case could be made for Howson getting too much flak for his drafting simply because the only name anyone ever remembers is Nikita Filatov.

In general, if Howson sticks to his favorite conservative approach, he wins. It's when he reaches a tad higher for "I know I probably shouldn't but there's so much upside there" types (the Carter trade, the Filatov pick) that things go to hell. Which is why I'm convinced when Patrick came in the first thing he told Howson was to just stop trying to do that and trust what abilities he has - thus our current team, which has no 1st-line talent but enough 2nd-liners to stock three lines.

Remember - when you're a hockey fan, it's not "reckless driving", it's "good forechecking".
"Viqsi, you are our sweet humanist..." --mt-svk on the CBJ boards

Thanks, Howson, for cleaning up MacLean's toxic waste. Welcome, Kekalainen; let's get good things built!
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