Thread: Prospect Info: Mikael Granlund IV
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02-01-2013, 01:13 AM
  #659
Nsjohnson
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Quote:
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 might not be an NHL player for long. He's no 3rd-line checker.

Straight knee-jerk rxn to 7 games of play by a rookie?

He was hailed as the highest IQ player out of that draft. He sees the play before it happens. Well, play happens a lot faster in the NHL because of the size of the rink and size/speed of the players. We will find out just how cerebral MiG is. Those players adapt and find success. One thing your right about is speed is not something that can just be changed in an offseason. Speed relies on pure motor function which are learned habits, and it also relies on strength. The latter is much easier changed. Granlund isn't far off from being able to skate at NHL standard speed. Not fast, not slow, just regular. Give him that time to train and it will be fine. The biggest thing he needs is to strengthen his core and legs. With strength in that area hockey players can fend off defensemen and play in the corners much better. Those are all things that can be changed, and changed in a relatively short amount of time. He needs time in the NHL to let his mind adapt to the incoming sensory modalities, process them, and make the best decision. That's another positive- brains' adapt very well with training. So, next year, a stronger, faster, and cerebrally more adapted Granlund will play with this team again. I daresay he will be much, much better.

Again, he is 7 games into the NHL. THE NHL. He lacks attributes that CAN be changed. Skating technique is the hardest of all to change and many players never do. But speed based on improved strength and motor endplate recruitment patters is not hard to change. And mentally, all that takes is time, experience, and dedication.

Granlund may never be a the best player on a top line player, but he is top 6 material. It just needs to be molded the fit the NHL cast.

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