RD Erik Gudbranson (2010, 3rd overall, Florida)
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01-22-2013, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Originally Posted by
Huh? He was 19 last year....... How can you rate a 19 year old defenseman's offensive game. There's lots of other d-men in Florida to take the load off, it's amazing to even get a regular shift in the NHL at that age. They're clearly working him in slowly and building his role up very gradually.
He played in the freaking NHL at 19.
Granted, would have been nice if he was healthy and got AHL time this year but he's still extremely raw and toolsy, give it time.
That's essentially it in a nutshell. Nobody can predict Gudbranson's offensive game as it hasn't been fully developed. The raw skills are there, the passing, shooting and skating. It's clear when you watch the kid play that he has tools that, if properly developed, he can use to dominate.
It's difficult enough for a 19 year old forward to play regularly in the NHL straight out of juniors. It's another level completely to play as a defenceman. That's what makes this kid so special.
By the end of his rookie year he went from a guy that Panther fans were saying had no business in the NHL earlier in the season to a player in the playoffs, playing 20 minutes a game in Game 7 against the Stanley Cup finalist Devils.
How he bounces back from this shoulder injury and how he further develops his offensive game over the next couple of seasons will be crucial in determining how good he can be.
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