LW John Gaudreau - Boston College, HE (2011, 104th overall, Calgary)
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11-12-2012, 11:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
I fail to see a discernible pattern that favours smaller players. Are 16-20 year olds, on average, smaller than NHLers? Yeah. The average height for CHLers is more than 3 inches shorter than NHLers. You've listed a number of 5'10" and even 5'11" players. I certainly would not call them undersized in an amateur league.
And again, you have to look deeper than just stats.
Example, in 07/08, 5'6" Joe Whitney played with the highest scoring player in the NCAA, Gerbe (who has become a servicable NHLer). After Gerbe moved on to the AHL, Whitney's point total dropped from 51 to 15. Gaudreau is not riding the coattails of other players.
And again, many of them were overagers. But this is not to say all of them fit my argument. Justin Azevedo led the OHL in scoring in his last year of amateur hockey (not an overager). So indeed, there are few players who are not overagers that just couldn't find a fit in pro hockey. Obviously the majority of these listed players never amounted to anything, but a number of them, such as Ennis, who have performed well and put up good numbers at every stage in their career, have shown that they have the skill required to compensate for their lack of size.
So yes, the argument that smaller players are at a disadvantage is correct. Though this was never in question.
My proposal is that the small players who have performed at every level, who were not overagers when they led their leagues in scoring, have a fair chance of becoming everyday NHLers.
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