Nick Bjugstad vs Brock Nelson vs Anders Lee
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11-10-2012, 09:17 PM
Hockey's Future Staff
Join Date: Jul 2002
Originally Posted by
I know this is probably your favorite thing to imagine, but where do you honestly get this other than your own desire? Strome has never played wing, he's a natural center and his game is best suited for the center position. I don't understand your fascination with putting him on the wing. It's possible, anything is possible at this point, but remember that he's never played wing. Internationally for team Canada, in the OHL, **** even exhibition games with the Isles during training camp he's always been at center.
You and Degeneration Rex asked me something along these lines a a few weeks ago. My response was in Post 286 of Part IV of the 12-13 Prospect Talk thread at the Islanders board. I'll post it here:
Gentlemen, we currently have no less than the U25 center options of Tavares, Bailey, Strome, Nelson, Cizikas, Lee and perhaps even Ullstrom and Sundstrom in the system. Several have already played on the wing at college, in the AHL or even in the NHL. There are lots of young bodies there and not all of them are going to be making it to the Islanders as a center. In addition, all of them, with the exception of maybe Cizikas, are as big as or bigger than Strome and Strome's skating doesn't (yet) necessarily separate him from the rest.
Now, if Tavares and Strome are the franchise's two biggest offensive talents (at least in that group, if not overall), it's far from beyond reason that there could be consideration about putting them on the same line at some point. Which, in that scenario, of the two would you expect to be playing on the wing?
In addition - and I may be wrong - but I seem to recall Strome playing on the wing in at least a few games at the 2012 WJC, namely on a line centered by Huberdeau (with primarily Stone, and sometimes Gallagher on the other side).
There's no possible way you could infer that's what Snow and co. would want to see if Nelson turns into that type of player. I think it's obvious Snow puts an emphasis on strength down the middle by drafting strong, natural centers with good hockey IQ and all-around ability or has them develop all-around ability to be responsible centers, i.e. Strome. Why you and other fans want to remove that strength down the middle, which is the most important position to have depth besides defense is mind boggling.
It's not necessarily a matter of want, but rather looking at the total situation and the prospects in the pipeline from a logical standpoint. Now what I WANT is for Strome to have the impact on the Island that Eberle has had in Edmonton. That would make me one very happy fan and I tend to think others in the organization want, nay even expect, that level of impact too, or he'd not necessarily have been the pick at 5. If it comes up the middle, wonderful, but with JT already the clear #1 center, how often do we see two 70+ point players on the same team nowadays??? What we have seen is Eberle go from center in juniors to wing at the NHL level, and playing with Edmonton's top young offensive weapons to boot. As such, I can see this being a possibility here too.
If it doesn't go down that way, then it doesn't. Big whoop, as long as he's being made optimal use of.
On whole, I'm not really sure why this train of seemingly logical thought bugs a few of our armchair GMs here at the boards?
If the Isles deem Strome to be a center, center and only a center, then so be it. It would seem that at least for Bailey, they moved along those trains of thought for a while and are now changing that up. If they keep Strome in the middle, then other players will play on the wing or be traded to get wingers or will simply see other players brought in for that, likely from the outside or in upcoming drafts. As Dan-O says, it'll work itself out through the competition.
Ultimately, the Isles are approaching a point where they have to make concrete decisions about what to do with all the bodies, who they want to keep and where they all fit best, if at all. Working with these players every day, I'm sure they'll make very informed decisions, always keeping an eye on the market and on the ongoings of the other 29 teams.
Right, turn a natural center who would give us strength at the most important forward position and convert him over to a less important wing position because you have an affinity to the idea that he's the Isles Jordan Eberle.
My personal playing experience and years of observing the game tells me that, for offensively-oriented players, the move to the wing for a center is the easiest a player could make without sacrificing his offensive acumen/effectiveness. It's naturally much more difficult going from wing to center, because the responsibilities all over the ice are enormously different.
Please don't forget that I'm saying all this with the background that particularly Nelson, much less any of the other U25 centers I mentioned above (and I also have a good feeling about Sundstrom over the long run) would have to prove able to be effective as a number 2 center and first with that inference, then this team is practically damned to see if it can't get the most out of its two most offensively gifted players on the same line.
I don't think Strome's grooming to date is going to prevent management and the coaching staff from wanting to find that out if others within the organization or even others brought in from the outside can efficiently assume the roles of centers 2-4 so as to more easily find out if Tavares and Strome should be creating magic together.
Look how long it took the Isles to end the Josh Bailey at center experiment when it's been painfully obvious he's better on the wing for a few years now. It's quite clear they want strength down the middle and would like to develop that, not take away from it.
I sure hope Bailey is kept at the wing for a while, because I believe he can best 'unpack' his offensive skills there, as he showed in his last 19 games last season. But he was a center in juniors and has primarily been used as a center here. Like you've been arguing for Strome, the team seemed hellbent on seeing that he makes it at that natural position from day one. They've moved him for a stretch to the wing on two moderately long occasions in his time here and he produced better there on both occasions.
Now, I'm not sure why you would bring him up though, because he's actually an example of moving a 'natural born and bred' center to the wing. You spent this post telling me you don't know how I could possibly infer that the same 'could' happen to Strome.
I see it not as a matter of emotion on my behalf, but rather as purely logical thinking in light of the prospect situation the Isles currently have.
Taking all of this into account, if he's best as a center at the NHL level, then great. May he succeed and be part of the winner we all want to see here. At these boards, we're just chatting and tossing out different scenarios.
Now, staying on the thread topic, if the organization is able to add Lee as hoped, then I'll be very curious to see whether they see him as a wing or center. At this point, I'm tipping on him being a winger. With Nelson, despite the wingtime at ND, it seems to me that the franchise does currently see him as a player who is making his way to the NHL as a center. He's there now in BPort and he was also the center on the line with Lee when they both attended the prospect camp two summers ago, not that that is any indication as to how the cookies will ultimately crumble.
Last edited by Chapin Landvogt: 11-10-2012 at
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