Top 20 Prospects
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06-27-2006, 10:58 AM
Go Habs Go
Join Date: Mar 2002
Originally Posted by
There is a world of difference between the top prospects you named and Corey Locke do we agree here? Locke is overlooked cause he has some major weakness that hurt his game at the Pro level...
About every AHL top pts performers playing some games with the Habs in the past... You have to considere the Habs had one of the worst bunch of top 6 fowards if not the worst one in the entire NHL at some point.. They were desesperately lacking skills up front.. When Savage is your best winger there is major a problem, when Perreault is centering your second line you are in big trouble ect ect... Same could be said about our prospects depth chart.. there is a world of difference between the quality of the kids we drafted since 2001 and the ones drafted before... In fact the best guy we drafted before 2001 is Markov and has been a late round pick... Beauchemin is the second best kid drafted, Gainey thought he would clear the waiver...Ribeiro still isnt established in the NHL (26 years old), same could be said about Ryder, Hainsey is now playing with the worst NHL team, Hossa never blossomed, Balej slowed down by injuries...
From the 2001 draft, 3 are already playing with the Habs and are just about to blossom, 1 from the 2002 in Higgins, look for Kostitsyn to make the jump next year, Lapierre, Ferland close to be NHL ready, Grabovski coming overseas, Latendresse.. Remember a kid that had close the impact he had at the main camp as a 18 years old?
Plekanec wasnt only Bulldogs best pts producer, he was with Higgins the best player in every areas of the game doing everything great... Locke has been able to put some decent numbers but so far to be close effective Plekanec used to be... There are areas of the game Locke has to improve a big deal in goal to become a serious prospect and Im not sold on his weakness... A serious lack of strength\speed\grit is usualy unfortunately fatal.
No I don't think there is a world of difference between Locke and our top prospects in terms of skills. Locke is easily one of our most skilled offensive prospects, I don't think any prospect in our system has the vision/playmaking abillity of Locke. The difference comes in the physical department and that's where there's a big difference. Locke is small, not very fast and clearly lacks strength which hurts his game. He's really good on the PP though and if he can get stronger it would help his game a lot. I personally don't have a lot of hope for him with the Habs unless Ribeiro is gone and even then it will take a lot of work for him to get there since there's other guys coming in like Grabovsky who is around the same size but doesn't have the lack of speed, skating and his lower body strength seems more solid then Locke's.
That said the skill is there so who knows what will happen. The Dogs will really need a big season from him, much better then the year he just had. I do agree our team in the past had a weak group of forwards that led to AHLers getting ice time in addition to all of those injury problems. But it's still a fact that every leading scorer of our AHL team has seen some NHL time and while it will be harder for Locke to see any time then it was for Ryder/Ward/Darby/Gratton if he works hard he should get consideration for getting some time. The Habs left Beauchemin in the AHL, never game him a look other then his 1 game or so and now they likely regret that. Granted the lockout may have cost us Beauchemin but who knows what would have happened if they gave him a shot. With Locke I'm not saying he should play some games with us or we risk seeing him excell in the playoffs down the road for some other team, but if he works hard then he deserves a look imo.
Once Grabovsky is signed I think it gets that much tougher for Locke to see any time, although Grabo can be moved to the LW whereas Locke I don't think he would be effective if he's not at center.
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