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10-21-2012, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Don Cherry View Post
Kassian looked very good tonight. I didnt watch him in the AHL last year, so I cant really make a comparison with his play last year.

On the topic of Foligno, im a big fan, he looked great in the NHL last year and seems to have gotten off to a great start this year in the AHL.
His progression has been crazy and I guess the Sabres evaluation of him was correct when they deemed Kassian expendable to fill another need (offensive center).
After an adjustment period last year he really took off for Rochester, but he has just been great since getting called up for the first time.
He's on another level that I don't think anyone could have foreseen.
I think any Sabres fan would have bet a large amount against him ever leading any league in scoring after a decent period of time (five games played is a lot different than having a big first game or something).

Honestly, until his final year of junior, I really didn't see anything more in him than a fourth liner that had the benefit of being drafted by an organization he had major ties to.
His skating was fairly poor and he seemingly had little offensive talent, but the work ethic and willingness to compete was always there.
I don't know what clicked, but he's been a late bloomer since his 2010-11 season where, regardless of his somewhat average statline, he was very good as he played his way onto the Canadian WJC team and broke out offensively (I believe he led the OHL in shorthanded points).
Even after that progression though, I still pegged him as a third liner with a bit of offensive skill.

His skating has improved dramatically though and he's really shown an ability to score, whether it's through hustle or skill.
He's underrated offensively, I think, even after scoring at an unsustainable PPG pace in the NHL.
His wrister has a lot of velocity on it and the release is pretty quick and his puck skills, while not exceptional, have developed from below average to something much better seemingly overnight.
I really think he can be a scoring line player in a secondary role now (as in the least skilled player on a skilled line, he's had success with Ennis and Stafford in the NHL and now Hodgson in the AHL).

Originally Posted by Vankiller Whale View Post
Yeah, apparently he was really excited to be on the Canucks, and had a very good offseason in terms of training and getting in shape. I believe he also took up martial arts. His work ethic with us so far has been admirable.
They said he dropped 15 pounds, which I think he needed to do.
Shift-to-shift he varied wildly sometimes and I blamed it on conditioning, so it's nice to see him really address his weaknesses.

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