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08-24-2013, 05:56 AM
eco's bones
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Originally Posted by Ola View Post
I am no sure about this, and there are plenty of players that basically -- start -- playing in this league when they are around 25-28.

Sheldon Souray was 28 his -- first -- decent year in the NHL.

Brian Rafalski established himself in the NHL when he was -- 28 y/o. 32 pts his rookie year when he was 27, 52pts when he was 28.

McCabe, 26-27 his first good year.

Boyle was 26 when he established himself as a good player for Tampa, had a very mediocre careeer for Fla upuntil that point.

A guy like Lubomir Vishnovsky is a good compareble. Vishnovsky's career is perfectly compareable to Strålmans career, and LV doesn't take the next step until he is 30 y/o. Then he is more or less a top 10-15 scoring D in this league for the following 6-7 years.

Streit was 28 his rookie year in the NHL. 11 pts in 48 games as a 28 y/o rookie.

If you look at a group of top 60 D's in the NHL, you are going to have a hard time finding D's who don't keep improving past 28. Most probably hit their prime around 31-38. For these D's poise is the key and posie comes with experience.
Which is to say that defensemen often take a bit longer to develop than forwards. It's a tougher position to learn and your post should put to rest the complaints of those who continue to ***** about McIlrath not having played an NHL game yet--when he's had one pro season cut in half by a kneecap displacement problem. Beukeboom (who was a first round pick) is another guy who never really hit his stride until his mid 20's. He's now something of a Rangers legend.

The other side of the equation are those defensemen rushed in before they were ready. IMO Del Zotto suffers a little from this. Fowler may be another. He has no physical game and positionally he needs work. Gudbrandson has those parts okay but almost no offensive game yet. Bogosian has struggled. There's a whole list of top 10-15 defensemen rushed in before they were ready who are still sorting out who, where and what they are. Adam Larsson might be another. Victor Hedman is another who hasn't quite lived up to his draft year hype. Johnson of the Blues, Avalanche. Anyone remember Greg Joly? Just because a guy like that has tons of games before they even hit age 25 does not mean they're an elite player in the making.

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