: Prospect Info:
Derrick Pouliot | Defenseman | Portland (WHL) | 1st Round, 8th overall
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11-13-2012, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
In the end I think with kids this age it's all about how they react to pressure. How do they react when you ask them to skate a little faster, make decisions quicker, against players who are bigger... when you ask them to change some element of their game?
Do they get intimidated or conservative, or do they jump at it? The intimidated guys usually get frustrated and wash out after a while, the conservative guys stay where they're at longer until they are comfortable being more assertive against the level of competition they're at / during call-ups to the next level (not applicable to junior guys but is to ECHL and AHL guys), and the ones who jump at it spend less time at the junior level after being drafted, ultimately. Doesn't mean their game is honed enough, just that it's the assertiveness that probably gives the coaches the feeling they can move the guy up and see what he does. I think that's what happened with Morrow last year. Clearly not ready now by accounts from WBS but he was very assertive and confident last year and he impressed coaches with his shot and so, he got that look in the pre-season. Went back to CHL, was playing above his level / confident, they moved him up to AHL (once he was age eligible I believe).
If they go to the AHL they're tested again and the same pattern evolves. If they get conservative or intimidated they may stay in the AHL for a few years... if they don't let their mistakes frustrate them and they keep asserting themselves / developing in their role, those guys could come up pretty quickly once a call-up is needed.
What I know of them Despres, Morrow and Pouliot all seem like the kind of players that will get about the same amount of time at each level after being drafted. A year more in the CHL (or until they're age-eligible), then an undetermined amount of time in AHL based on physical progression and system needs, then up. IOW, not guys who stay in the CHL a couple extra years to "season". And given that many of our prospects are very talented skaters and whatnot, I think it's the assertiveness that makes the difference there.
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