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Leblanc's struggles in Hamilton
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02-02-2013, 12:08 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Originally Posted by
I think people like to use Chipchura's injury as an excuse for why the pick didn't pan out. Was he really a vastly different player before and after? He was projected to be a third liner, and what is he now...a fourth liner? I know people had visions of Carbonneau but isn't it possible that Chipchura wasn't ever going to hit that ceiling, injury or not?
i think he did project more to a solid top-6 center prior to the injury... it was all projection, but in his season post draft he was near the top of the WHL in scoring prior to suffering that devestating injury. He had been the solid/character/defensively aware C going into the draft, but with flashes of offensive talent (which is what pushed him to a first round pick... i don' tthink he was much of a reach).
he followed up that draft with a great summer of training and a fantastic start to the year... then the injury.
a year later, he was Canada's #1 C on a WJC gold medal team, but he clearly lacked that extra gear to be considered a clear-cut top-6 offensive player. Did the achilles injury create that gap or was he never going to be a good enough skater to translate solid hockey sense & impeccalbe work ethic to top-6 NHL role??? who knows.
i think his Junior and AHL success point to a player that has the hockey sense to be a solid top-6 player, where he seems to fall short at the NHL level is in the physical department, and with his work ethic/attitude, + his pre-injury level of play, you'd think he be able to make up for that gap by now...
the injury as a limiting factor makes sense in that context, and it is very clear in other sports that a major achilles injury can be devastating to an individuals lower body explosive ability (in NFL & track & field, achilles injuries pretty much always either end careers, or dramatically reduce the ability level of the athlete).
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