2012-2013 CHL/NCAA/Euro Prospects thread 3.0
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02-12-2013, 07:25 PM
A soupçon of nutmeg
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Le Creuset
Originally Posted by
If you can grab a guy (even though if it's in the 2nd) who has a 80% chance to make it as a 3rd liner/weak 2nd liner with added size and toughness, you take him.
If it doesn't work out, it's 1 of 3 2nd rounders. Plus, we've attempted to take skill over size before it didn't workout. It goes both way.
Well, I think you can talk about upside and toughness in the same way you talk about other skills and upside. You just have to see toughness and what goes with it as a skill. Some evaluators don't seem to see it that way. Others sometimes put too much of a premium on it, which leads to unfair draft selections -- unfair in the sense of maybe putting too much of an expectation on the drafted player. Like Gillies, Wilson, Moroz, McIlrath and perhaps Biggs, to name a few recent examples off the top of my head.
Anyway, I'm not at all against the idea of taking a player with high upside in the toughness department, especially in a year where the Habs have 3 2nd round picks (for now, at least) in a supposedly deep draft. You just have to hope that your scouts can identify a player with the rare combination of great toughness upside and strong fundamentals in other parts of their game.
My sense is that the challenge has a few different sources. One of them seems to be projecting hockey IQ. There are guys who will never be among the most skilled players at any level, but they have a hockey brain that allows them to keep playing the game soundly as they steadily move up level by level. Another is the guessing game resulting from the fact that there will always be a few teams in any draft that place a high value on the toughness quotient. There is a risk that a desired Top Tough Prospect just won't last until the next time you pick.
Last thought: I find there is irony in the Leafs whipping the Habs last game. That was a performance by the Leafs that one would associate with the truculence and so on that Burke would bombast on about. One can wonder how much Burke compromised himself by sticking with Wilson rather than going with a Carlyle-type-of-coach during his tenure.
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