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03-16-2013, 03:07 PM
Norm MacDonald
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Originally Posted by JackStraw View Post
It's not really unimpressive either though. So every year since 2008, except for 2011, the Cup winner has had a defenseman who was drafted in the 1st round? Seems worth thinking about to me. But the point isn't really where the guy was drafted. Every one of those teams, except I think Pitt, has had a Norris winner or finalist on the team (even if it wasn't the same year). And Pitt had Gonchar who was twice 4th in the Norris voting, and of course a young Letang.
By comparison, the Flyers have three first round defenders on the roster. The last place Panthers also have three. In Pittsburgh's case, Letang wasn't a first rounder and Gonchar was selected by the Capitals years ago.
The point is that these guys are franchise defensemen regardless of where they were drafted. Does anyone really believe that the Flyers can draft a Nick Lidstrom in the the 3rd round? I'm sorry but I don't see a remote chance of that happening, given their track record (or lack thereof) drafting defensemen.
My point is that the developmental curve of defense prospects is a lot more volatile than forwards, which is why guys like Lidstrom can be drafted in the third round. It's tough to tell whether 18-year-old kids are going to have a successful NHL career, and even harder for defensemen. Of course drafting great D is important, but the answer is in quality amateur scouting, proper player development, and a LOT of luck.

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