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04-18-2013, 11:11 AM
The Czech Condor
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I will add this and try to make it the last I will say regarding Jones and MacKinnon. I don't like Jones anymore than I liked Hedman before him. I think the IDEA of Jones is more attractive than what appears before the eyes. Scouts that hadn't heard of him, never watched him at 14 or 15, they see him jumping out from being a nondescript "one of the rest", in his draft class as compared to guys like MacKinnon, Monahan, Drouin, Barkov, etc. and when he makes a fairly sizable jump in tangible production, they don't have a history of perspective regarding his developmental track from having scouted him extensively in years prior. Since the draft is 100% about projection, and not current production, MacKinnon's greatness is already known. Subsequently, he is dissected with a more discerning eye. The strong parts of his game are already known so it's no use to scout those. As chatter starts to generate about his weaknesses, it offers a perfect opportunity for a dark horse candidate to steal the ink. I call it overscouting, if such a term even reconciles.

What I feel that scouts are drooling about over Jones is the jump he made from being a relative unknown, to last season being entrenched in the conversation as a top 5 selection prior to his transfer to the WHL, to what we've seen up to this point with a fairly impressive run for Team USA (whereas with Team Canada, he would have been unlikely to play such meaningful minutes as per Team Canada's outlook regarding draft eligible players) and his ascension to a somewhat consensus first overall pick. In projection, you want the player that is running through the finish line in his draft year and really claiming that selection. I simply feel that MacKinnon has run out of steam and fatigue might be a central factor in that having played as much hockey as he has. This is the first year that Jones has played a full schedule.

If we're going to use HF boards vernacular here, I see Seth Jones as something like a 9.0 D while I see MacKinnon as an 8.5 B. I feel like Jones hasn't been as critically scouted as he would have been had he stayed on the radar. Another fantastic example is Adam Larsson. While I understand the point about the SEL being another league all together and access to these players being limited, the same principal applies. I, too, am not saying that Jones is a sure fire bust. I just feel like scouts have obsessed about him to the extent that they've deified him and swept his misgivings under the rug to a degree in favor of keeping the dream alive about his monster potential. How many times do defensemen fall below expectations simply by virtue of the difficulty of the position? How many guys taken in the Top 5 end up being less than we thought they would be? Adam Larsson was the slam dunk next Lidstrom. Jack Johnson was a hybrid of Bobby Orr and Chris Chelios. Victor Hedman was getting the same Chris Pronger talk that Jones has been getting. Erik Johnson was getting it even more frequently. Karl Alzner. Thomas Hickey. In the recent past, how many of the same forwards being hyped have been less than advertised? I would contend that not many have been and most have exceeded expectations.

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