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12-05-2012, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Country: United States
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Originally Posted by Beacon View Post
Depends on how you define the word "raw". Obviously all of them are raw compared to NHLers. But if you compare them to each other, some are "mature" for an 18 year old and some are "raw" for an 18 year old. As of his draft day, Skjei fell into the raw category. So did Kreider and Kovalev. And so did Jessiman.

On the other hand, Malhotra, Jeff Brown, Sundstrom all were considered very mature for an 18 year old, and nothing particularly great happened with them, especially with Brown who became a low-level minor leaguer.

Being raw is not a monstrous flaw, but it is something that a player needs to overcome.
Kreider was already bigger, stronger, faster then most players older than him when he was a freshman.He had a willingness to take on any role that was asked of him. And he developed. The hockey IQ fallacy was continually disproved. He lead USA in goals in each of his WJC tournaments. Winning tournament MVPs throughout his NCAA career. He works on his weaknesses but he's never going to be a defensive forward. You'd be hard pressed to find a player that works harder to get better. That's maturity.

Skjei is more polished then most 18 year olds. By a lot. He may never put up big offensive numbers. He carries the puck well, makes simple plays with the puck, and has a heavy shot. But it may never translate on the stat sheet. What makes him standout is that he's very intelligent. He's nearly always in proper position. He's uses his body to defend the puck and give his teammates more time to make a play. He skates at an elite level so any mistake he may make he can cover. He catches opponents easily.

He's 18, the youngest player on what was #1 ranked Minnesota until last week, and has at times been given top four responsibility. And he may yet play a big role for USA at the WJC.

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