Thread: AAA 2012 Draft
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11-28-2012, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Regina selects spare C Steve Rucchin.

Believe it or not, Rucchin was #2 on my list for 3rd/4th line centers heading into this thing, after Bill Clement. You guys picked off at least the next dozen, but somehow Rucchin made it through. Rucchin checks off all the boxes: He's big (6'2", 210), he's strong, he is good on faceoffs (about 53.5% average), he's excellent defensively (was 7th and 14th in Selke voting in 1999 and 2000 with 7 & 8 votes), he's a leader (captain in the 2004 season) & hard worker, exellent in the corners and in front of the net, he's very clean for the role he usually played (just 164 career PIM) and he's got pretty decent offensive upside. Although his numbers from the Selanne/Kariya days don't tell the true story about his offensive skill (6 seasons with 0.69+ PPG), he did play a valuable role on that line, and proved to be a 0.5 PPG player at a broken down age 32-35 without an elite linemate. In the 2003 Cup Finals run for the Ducks, Rucchin's 7 goals (including a series clinching OT goal) led the team. Only Kariya had 6, and no one had 5.

The downside to Rucchin was that you could rarely count on him for a full season. From 1995-2007 he only played 79% of scheduled games.
Offensive upside is tough to judge for him. If you just look at the numbers, he's better than many 1st liners. His top 6 seasons add up to 343 percent, which would make him a 1st liner without his intangibles. Unfortunately, we all know he played with 2 ATD 1st liners, so a large chunk of his offensive production wasn't created by him.

Rucchin is a good bottom-6 center, but he could also be a bargain top-6 guy for two wingers who lack intangibles. His offensive numbers are certainly unflated by Kariya and Selanne, but he definately provided that line with a lot of things those two guys lacked.

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