Thread: Prospect Info: Mikael Granlund IV
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01-31-2013, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by State of Hockey View Post
Look what happens when a prospect can't hide anymore under the veil of a lesser league and thousands of miles of distance. Lots of excuses.

I always considered Granlund a safe pick. I never handed him an astronomical ceiling like best prospect in the NHL, but I was pretty certain he'd be a top-6 player. That's changed for me. For the first time he's showing the real potential to be a bust. Granlund wasn't a long-term project. He was a great player on draft day. His weaknesses were in skating and size/strength, and as he's advanced in leagues, those weaknesses became more and more of a problem. In the AHL his lack of size/strength was showing through. Now in the NHL, his so-so skating is added to that. And unfortunately, those are things are not easily learned. If they were, we'd have seen improvement since June 2010. But we haven't. And let's be honest, how many 5-10 centers in this league are brawlers that are great players because they are stronger down low than the opponent? There's none that I can think of. The great little guys beat you with speed and quickness. Do you honestly expect Granlund to join the speed crowd?

Don't blame his linemates. Centers are the key to a line, and Granlund has been the weakest link on the 2nd line. It's all starts in your own zone. MiG has been a mess: bad turnovers, losing puck battles, playing half the time without a stick. The puck isn't moving in the right direction. You can't score when you're in your own zone.Then you get the neutral/offensive zone. Granlund has shown to be too slow to carry the puck away from defenders and too weak to win battles along the boards with defenders. His wingers have had to skate the puck up ice and win the scrums along the boards. If they don't, the line fails. Granny's flat-out been a liability except for certain situations when he has time and space to make plays with his excellent vision and passing. That doesn't happen often in this league. Unless Granlund shows the ability to create those situations for himself and his team, he won't make it long-term in this league.
That's a pretty negative take on the subject, but I agree with you on the fundamentals.

As quite a few members, among them myself, have stated previously, Granlund's game relies heavily on his ability to slow the play down. That's likely due to his lack of pure speed or mobility despite his size, and it was also the reason why he was able to adapt to FEL so quickly. However, he can't do that in NHL, and he couldn't do it in AHL, either. His primary weapon has been stolen from him, and while he still has his elite offensive vision and passing, he first needs to get in position to actually use them.

I'm not worried though, he's still green and still young. Who knows, maybe he'll spark up against the Ducks and show why the organization and the fans are so high on him. He has potential to be a truly special player. However, that road may be bumpier than most of us anticipated.

I think it's safe to say that we are both hoping he pulls it off.


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