The Official Jaromir Jagr Discussion Thread
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11-06-2012, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Korea
Originally Posted by
If it was just 8 AHL games, I'd say it probably was a bit too soon to say R. Smith is NHL ready. However, Dallas giving him a shot in the NHL already makes me think he's probably on the fast track. When I consider his transition to the AHL game along with the team already giving him a shot in the NHL, I came to the conclusion that IMO he belongs in the group of players likely to make the jump to the NHL next season.
I still think, even though the team to my knowledge hasn't admitted anything, that piqued could be right the only reason R. Smith played any NHL games last year was a demand from Smith and his representation in order to get him signed to a contract and skip his senior year. That's a plausible theory that I don't think you can just brush off. If it's accurate, that means the team probably didn't view him has NHL ready last year like they said.
Regarding Ritchie, he's a guy I want to see take major steps in development like we've seen from Alex Chiasson. Big-bodied, skilled forwards are obviously the preferred player in the NHL nowadays. Chiasson, IMO, took major strides since his draft year, and he became the go-to-guy for Boston University.
Despite a fantastic weekend, I still wonder if Ritchie has made that type of transition. With Chiasson, I was actually able to watch quite a few of his games over 3 years. I could see he was often the best player on the ice. I've only seen Ritchie a handful of times. The majority of my viewings have been highlights so it's not exactly a fair impression of the player. My hangup and the reason I'm a bit reserved still are his teammates. His linemate Strome has been a top prospect and dominate force in the OHL for several years. How much of Ritchie's offensive output is a result of him skating with an elite talent?
Hopefully, the NHL lockout will end soon, and Strome will be headed to the Island ... err Brooklyn ... wherever. Regardless, at the very least he is proving he can compliment an elite talent ... like say Benn and Eriksson. Hopefully though he'll get an opportunity to show what he can do as the top threat on a team.
Unless he can immediately make a Top 6 impact in the NHL next season, I'm OK with him starting in the AHL. I think you can look at Vincour and say that yeah he was ready to be a solid defensive forward in the NHL, but did that hold him back offensively making the jump so soon? This lockout could be the best thing for Vincour if he can gain some confidence in the offensive zone. A year in the AHL could do the same for Ritchie.
I'm convinced the only reason R. Smith saw NHL action last season was because he would only sign if it meant starting the clock on his NHL contract. I really like the player but I put zero thought into the fact that he suited up for NHL games last year. In any case, I actually agree that he will probably be in the NHL next season. I just thought your reasoning seemed a little odd because it's not like he's had a revved up start to the AHL season.
I'm wary of Ritchie's uptick in scoring as well and I'm not advocating him skipping a necessary step. This is where scouts make their money. Looking at scores and stat sheets will tell you little about whether a player is sponging off another or whether they have developed chemistry with another good player. Dallas scouts should be able to get a good read on that even if he plays all season with Strome. i predict he'll get a long look and be one of the last cuts at training camp next year no matter what happens this season. He brings too many complimentary things to the table to not give him a look. He could do worse apprenticing in the NHL alongside Benn and Eriksson.
*Edit: Mods feel free to move these posts to a more relevant thread. Apologies.
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