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01-23-2013, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Originally Posted by
Nino and Ryan fed off of each other in Portland. There's no other way to put it - Ryan is a smooth set-up guy, physical, with good hands. Nino is an up-and down player with a wicked shot ... also physical. I do see the concerns with his skating, but it isn't bad enough that it will cost you goals. His hockey IQ isn't off the charts, but it isn't bad either. I was a little bit surprised to see him go 5th overall - I thought he was a 'tweener top-10 pick personally, though I also had Ryan Johansen listed somewhere around 8. What was interesting was that, as his draft season wore on, while Ryan and Brad Ross seemed to ramp up and get better, Nino seemed to taper off and become less effective. The following year he was - good - not nearly great. Last year is a year he will have to forget if he's going to put a decent career together.
I mentioned on the other thread that I think he's worth an Erixon or Savard straight up - OR one of the late first round picks that we'll have in this upcoming draft. As for a future comparison, I think his upside would be around Ruslan Fedotenko. I don't think he's a top line player, but he could still develop into a middle-6 two-way sort of banging forward that chips in scoring occasionally.
I'm not a fan of getting guys just because they played with someone else in another league or in junior. While it does work out sometimes, I think people weigh too much into it. Great players will be great whether they're with their old pals or not. The two definitely had chemistry in Portland, but I don't see the point in over-paying for the guy just to re-unite them. Then you have to ask yourself if you try to get Brad Ross, you know, because it "makes sense".
I think we saw some chemistry between Johansen and Atkinson Saturday night. Not just the quick shuffle pass that broke Cam in for the first goal, but other plays, like the quick return back hand pass in the 3rd, at center ice that almost caught Detroit off guard springing Atikinson in on goal a second time. Johansen passes to space, anticipating his linemates break to the goal. Thats great if you have a guy with speed and puck hunger. Atkinson could be that guy, he's quicker than I remember from last season and the puck hunger and scoring instinct are obviously there.
I hope we see those together tonight. Maybe with Prospal.
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