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03-16-2013, 03:14 PM
Moving much too slow
JackStraw's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by Norm MacDonald View Post
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.

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.
I understand your point, and don't really disagree as far as it goes. But just because some good defensemen were drafted after the first round doesn't mean that it makes sense to pass on a highly rated prospect that's available to you in the first round. Look at the defensemen who were taken in the first round in 2008:

Del Zotto

Half of top 20 were D, and all but Teubert and I suppose you could say Gardiner (who looks like one), are solid NHL'ers. Three could legitimately be called franchise defensemen. One or two others may get to that point eventually.

If you need D, and you're drafting in a position to take one who meets your needs (i.e., the Flyers don't really need another shut-down type guy) then why would you not do it? It's not as if first round D men never (or even rarely) pan out.

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