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09-17-2006, 01:53 AM
The Amity Affliction
Chasing Ghosts
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Originally Posted by Edge View Post
I think Erik plays the better all-around game right now, but I also think he's closer to the finished product than Jack. People don't realize how raw Jack still is and how there are certain elements to his game that are still coming together. This kid is very similar to Dion Phaneuf in the sense that he's got the potential to be a Scott Stevens clone.

There's certain elements in Jack's game such as offense and physical play that are still maturing. I think Erik is steaider, more polished and more poised but it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see Jack putting up better offensive numbers and overshadowing Erik with his physical elements.

The debate I find myself in with JJ is the one I found myself in with Dion.

You defense with lots of tools but very raw, a work in progress. Guys steadier and more developed at the same age (say 19) but give him a few years and the conversations will seem almost silly.

I remember back in 04 people fought me tooth and nail about my thoughts that not only was Phaneuf the best defenseman in that draft but that he had a ton of emerging offensive talent. Suddenly in the last two years, EVERYONE is a Phaneuf fan. But if it wasn't for those people I wouldn't have the reputation I do because it's frankly built on people looking back again and again and saying "Yup, Edge was right". If it sounds like an ego trip, that's fine by me. I have faith in my ability to judge players, and contrary to what some might say, not all opinions are equal no matter how much someone claims they know just as much. (This isn't directed at you, just me making a statement so I repeat this is NOT a shot at you).

I'll say flat out, right now, JJ has THAT kind of potential and he's already heading in the right direction. Now that he's not the shiny new car on the lot, everyone wants to kick the tires and try to get him at a discount (such is the way with prospects) but make no bones, this kid is a bluechip defensive prospect.
No offense taken.

Phaneuf was 03 draft though.

I agree with you on JJ, he is a bluechip prospect, but what I've been trying to say is, at this point, he is no Malkin, that kind of return for a raw and unproven commodity is riduclous. I'm not going to comparing Johnson and Montoya here, that's like apples and oranges, but if Johnson's going to fetch that, what do you think Montoya should fetch? Both are not clearly the #1 prospects in their positions as there is some stiff competition out there, but both have VERY high ceilings. The big difference is like you said, JJ is still raw. The reason why I bring up Montoya is because it's intriguing to come across this scenario from a different point of view, looking on the outside in, I'd like to relate that insight to Montoya, on the inside. I think Johnson is a better prospect if you ask me, as his ceiling is probably a tad bit higher, but Montoya's position is one of the utmost value. A franchise goaltender is VERY hard to come by, and Al certainly has the makings of one.

I don't mean to go off on a tangent here, something else I've thought about... how Staal's steady and more polished play makes him the less attractive prospect. Meaning people are comparing JJ to Stevens, while Staal draws comparisons - the most notable from Perry Pearn, who coached both - to Wade Redden. Meaning at this point, Staal's development has come along better. Staal also wasn't too far behind JJ at the 05 draft. At that point, Carolina had to decide between the younger Staal and JJ, and picked JJ. That is also always going to give Johnson the edge in any argument or comparison. Wouldn't it be pretty fair to say that straight up, a swap would be even? The same could be said for Montoya and Barker if you ask me. Both have had injury troubles, both were top 10 draft picks in 04, and both are bluechip prospects at their respective positions. People like to overrate their prospects and demand lucrative returns for them, when in reality, there's only one prospect that can command that kind of return, and that's Evgeni Malkin. Malkin has not only cemented himself as the best player in the world outside of the NHL, but he's one of the best prospects we've seen in a while. JJ simply is just not of that caliber. Bring out of all of the Stevens comparisons you want, he is not overwhelmingly good to a point where he DOMINATED PROFESSIONALS IN INTERNATIONAL PLAY. As much as I would love to have Jack Johnson, I would not severely overpay for him. If Tyutin's development were to have come along a little better, Tyutin could have been a centerpiece in a Ranger offer. Tyutin, and a 1st you said could have likely been the deal. Or... Tyutin, Immonen, and a 1st, since I don't think Carolina would take Montoya as he is not needed. Malkin could net half of some team's farm system, Johnson should not be able to do that. That's not a knock at him by any means.

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