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11-14-2012, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by dnicks17 View Post
Core and lower body strength will play a big part in LaLeggia's future, imo.

That's more often than not the difference between a Sam Gagner/Mike Ribeiro and a Mike Richards/Sidney Crosby.
This is absolutely true. People often put too much stock into the numbers and less into what those numbers might represent. Mass is helpful, and even more so in collisions but it is not the whole story. If a shorter player has significant core strength and knows how to use his body he can still handle most of the physical duties required in the NHL.

Funny thing is you actually see shorter guys succeed quite frequently in football. Troy Polamalu is 5'10" and about 205lbs. By hockey standards his weight would be fine but when your job requires you to initiate high speed collisions with players significantly bigger than typical hockey players he is undersized. But ask anyone who has ever played for or against him if this has ever hindered his ability to dominate a football game.

Right now I am not sure if Laleggia has the strength to allow him to translate his game to the NHL. But he has done the job in the NCAA and the good news there is that the guys he plays against are not that much smaller than he would typically see on an NHL roster. Certainly, they are far more physically mature than the typical CHL player.

If Lalegia could become another Visnovsky that would be a huge plus for the Oilers. It's a log shot for sure, but the kid is really impressive.

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