RD Erik Gudbranson (2010, 3rd overall, Florida)
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01-22-2013, 02:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Originally Posted by
I don't know if any of you have actually seen him play, but really, so far in the NHL, he has played an extremely defensive game. I think the comparisons to Weber or Pronger are basically completely unfounded. 40 points in a good year. And the way he plays, it's going to take a while for him to become really effective. But never underrate a 6'4'' defenseman who has balls and plays a committed defensive game while having puck moving skills.
Even Johnson in those days, for all the hype about him being forced to play a defensive style, got a lot more puck time and quality offensive time than I see Gudbranson getting so far.
I've watched him play quite a bit and I don't see how you can say that at the best case scenario, if he reaches his full potential, he can't be like a Weber or Pronger.
Florida coaches could have put Gudbranson in a far more offensive role than they did. They didn't and I think it was smart of them. Let him learn the defensive side of the game first and then let him loose offensively. Remember we are talking about a defenceman who just turned 21 years old two weeks ago.
You also have to remember who his d partner was last year. Ask Panther fans how effective Jovonovski was last season. In the games I watched, Gudbranson had to cover Jovo's mistakes in the defensive zone time and time again. I suppose that's another reason they wanted him to focus almost exclusively on defence.
Honestly I believe it is up to Gudbranson to realize how good he can become. If he wants it bad enough, he can be truly dominant.
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