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12-08-2012, 02:55 PM
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PocketNines's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Crested Butte, CO
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The whole thing with Schwartz is his extremely advanced hockey IQ. It's better than the other two by a fair margin. Not saying the other two don't have it; it's just Schwartz' defining characteristic. It's what separates him from the pack, and it's what separates good from great NHLers. Not saying Schwartz will be a great NHLer. In fact, he might not succeed at all. But if he succeeds, it's because of this aspect. His adjustment is all in the physicality and ability to handle defensive responsibilities. If he becomes at least adequate in these areas, he'll be a productive NHLer, possibly even a great player.

Rattie has good hockey IQ and an insane shot. He's also 6' and will eventually fill out. I could see him being a streaky winger at the NHL level. Put him on the right line and he'll produce. But he probably won't be his line's linchpin at the next level. I do think he's ultra competitive and like his chances to make it. Have a great feel about his attitude. Almost Perron-like.

Jaskin is more curious to me. It's obvious that he can dominate smaller and (mostly) younger players in the Q. When he played with men he didn't do this, but he's still in the middle of developing and kids aren't supposed to dominate men so it's no shame. Still, despite being larger than the average player, he won't ever have that pure physical edge in the NHL against so many towering defensemen (defensive corps are getting bigger and bigger by the year). Confidence is the key. If he can taste success level by level, he'll stick. If he stalls out when he hits a higher league with bigger players I could see him not making an NHL impact at all.

All in all, three very different players who rely on entirely different strengths. Schwartz that special hockey IQ, Rattie that special snap-laser-accurate shot, and Jaskin through a physical edge that allows him puck possession time to make something happen. Each of these strengths is clearly elite among their age group peers, but each has potential issues that could prevent those skills from translating at the next level. If one of these guys turns out to be as good as we hope, it'll be a boon to the Blues. If it's two guys, given the core and a player like Pietrangelo being a career anchor that'll always get the team into the playoffs, the Blues will be perennial threats. If they all three develop (definite longshot), we are looking at a possible multi-Cup cycle of Blues hockey. I don't even mean if they all develop and stay with the Blues – we might not have that much room on the wings but I trust Armstrong to shuffle his organizational assets to turn one or more of these guys into something impactful in trade.

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