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09-16-2012, 12:07 PM
Faidh ar Rud Eigin
Join Date: May 2010
Originally Posted by
Beaulieu is bigger, a better skater (which isn't not a slight to Russell at all), and much stronger than Russell is. Personally, I'd compare Beaulieu to Jack Johnson. Both are big defenseman who can move the puck extremely well, have a hard slapshots, and are great passers, but get lost in their own zone, are prone to trying to force plays, and try to do too much by themselves.
There has absolutely been progression in Beaulieu's game. He's much better defensively, he still can be absolutely terrible in his own zone, but when it's a run and gun style game, he thrives. Beaulieu uses his stick to plays up much better, strips players of the puck, and his gap control has improved substantially. When the play is in his own zone for a large amount of time, that's when he starts looking bad. That's why I'm not a fan of his, but say he hasn't made any progression, is really selling him short. Either that, or you've seen him play like 5 games and formed an opinion off of that.
It was his final year in junior, if he isn't something special defensively, you kind of expect him to do something good offensively. I just don't see it with. Clearly you're very enthralled with Oleksiak, so there's absolutely no way that you're going to change your mind.
Of course he has potential to develop and defensive game, so does every defenseman. That includes Beaulieu. I consider a blue-chipper a top 10-15 prospect in the game. The Yakupovs, Markstroms, and Hamiltons of the game. There is no way he's a blue chipper at this point in time.
Also about the Tinordi vs. Oleksiak mini-debate, Tinordi's better. He's much defensively than Oleksiak. At he tries to be physical from time to time. He blocks more shots, is meaner (not mean enough though), much better and more consistent in his own zone. Tinordi out played Oleksiak at the World Juniors, and during the playoffs. You're greatly overrating Oleksiak's skating here. Is he a great skater for his size? Yes. Is he a great skater? No.
Give me Harrington over both. Love that guy.
Beaulieu doesn't use his size particularly well anyway. Doesn't assert himself as a 6'2 200 lbs player. He's more of a finesse guy, always ways, probably always well be. Anyways, size is irrelevant to me in this discussion. Russell didn't fail because of his size, he failed because while his offensive talent was enough to dominate juniors (And dominate more then Beaulieu did), his offensive instincts weren't good enough to translate his game to the NHL level (And let's be honest, Russell was probably as good if not better than Beaulieu defensively at 19).
Saying he's absolutely progressed because his defensive game (Which will never be great) has slightly improved since he was 17 doesn't mean he's progressed. When you're looking for progression, you're looking for him to evolve as a player.
Beaulieu hasn't done that. His offensive game is identical to the game he played at 17 (The year before his draft year) and while his defense has improved, that's not progression. He's the exact same player he was 2 years ago, with the same critical issues in his game (Bad decision making, inconsistency in utliizing his size, medicore defensive game).
When you look at comparable players from his draft class (Let's use Ryan Murphy as an example), you can see the progression. In his draft year, Murphy was prone to playing like a winger instead of a defender, he was prone to going for a big hipcheck instead of staying on his man. He would pinch when he should not have pinched. He would pick bad tiems to shoot the puck. His offensive decision making was questionable. However, he made incredible progression from age 17 to age 18. He played more like a defender, made better decisions in his own zone. Knew when to pinch, when to shoot, and when to pass. His defensive game has went from bad for the OHL to actually pretty good for the OHL, and while his numbers didn't improve, his offensive game evolved to one much better suited for the NHL. You look for the same evolution in Beaulieu's game, him adapting, and it's not there
On Oleksiak, I'm not sure what you're getting at. Oleksiak is very good defensively, and his mobility allows him to utilize his defensive skills much better than someone who isn't as good a skater. Unlike Tinordi (A comparable player), Oleksiak has an offensive game. Not 40-50 points, but 25-30 point potential., which is you're great defensively (Which Oleksiak has the potential to be at the NHL level), that's more than enough.
I'm not sure why it's so black and white on these boards. If you post in support of a player, you"re "enthralled" with them, if you post against a player, you "hate" them. I'm posting about Oleksiak because he absolutely belongs in the group I posted, and he's incredibly underrated because for some reason people got in their minds he wasn't very good despite that opinion not being shared by the people who've seen him the most.
There's different degree's of how good an defensive game you can develop. How good depends on hockey sense. A "dumb" player can be solid defensively but can never be exceptional. A "smart" player can be. Going back to Beaulieu, one of his biggest knocks is his hockey sense.
I'm not sure why you decided to split the Oleksiak posts into different parts of your posts. You keep telling me I'm overrating Oleksiak, you're selling him incredibly short. You're dead wrong about Tinordi being better. Tinordi has one thing on him, one thing, and that's defense and Tinordi is by no means better by more than a hair. Oleksiak is a much smarter player, and Oleksiak's superior skating allows Oleksiak to use his defensive talent better than Tinordi.
I really think you're basing your opinions on Oleksiak on nothing (The world juniors mean's absolutely nothing in the long run). Oleksiak is an exceptional skater for his size, one of the best, on par with Tyler Myers (Who set the benchmark for huge guys being great skaters). If Oleksiak was 6'0 tall, he still would be a great skater. Skating isn't all about speed, big men will never have elite speed, it's everything else that goes into skating. Two can play this game, you're grossly overrating Tinordi, and gorssly underrating Oleksiak.
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