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12-11-2003, 08:12 AM
  #34
Ohio Jones
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Join Date: Feb 2002
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Gotta say I'm gratified seeing Pitkanen pan out as well as he seems to be doing. Early days, of course, but he's shown that he has a head on his shoulders.

His production seems to have slipped of late: just 1 assist and a -1 in the last 5 games... maybe he's just having to get used to the heavier game schedule? He's managed 8 shots on goal over that period, so he's still involved offensively, and his defensive game still appears to be strong. To have a guy his size with the mobility, positioning and awareness he has, at his age? That's gold, baby.

I'm one of those calling for him as a future Norris candidate - in fact, in the 2002 HFNHL Entry Draft (held a week prior to the NHL Entry Draft), I selected Pitkanen second overall - behind Bouwmeester, ahead of Nash and Lehtonen. Why? At the end of the day, I figured there are more good scorers and goalies out there than there are true stud #1 defencemen, and there's no doubt that's what we're looking at in Pitkanen.

Enjoy him, Flyers fans!

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