: Prospect Info:
Jori Lehtera (Update: Re-signed with Sibir for 2 years)
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02-09-2013, 06:03 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Originally Posted by
But THAT is a team chosen for The International sized ice surface. Can Lehterä defend against large and speedy NHLers in Hitch's system (e.g. primary defensive responsibilities of the centre)? Can he get enough separation on the small ice to be effective on offence? All this is not a given. The much more speedy, Andy McDonald, is a bit of a liability on defence at centre in our system. How is the slower-skating, not much bigger, not much stronger, and much less experienced Lehterä going to be better on defence, and/or more valuable on offence? I really have my doubts that Hitchcock will end up putting Lehterä in his Top 9. I hope I am wrong, and Lehterä clicks well with Tarasenko, and is very effective on offence on The NHL level. But, until I see it happen, I am skeptical.
Lehterä is 6'2" and 210, McDonald is 5'10" and 183. Lehterä is also one of the faster skaters in the KHL, although there are some questions over skating adjustments to the NHL.
Size and speed certainly aren't issues, the questions are about his willingness to use his size effectively in the NHL and if his defensive game will be good enough. Let's remember though, he is going against the top lines in the KHL and is +26 in his 2 years on an, at best, average Sibir team. It is easier to be more critical of a players defensive game on larger ice.
He is far from a sure thing, but he has shown more than enough to have a legitimate chance of making it in the NHL.
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