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08-26-2013, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by stalockrox View Post
Vlasic is a top pairing d-man and Braun seems to be a legit top 4 d-man, neither of them should be considered 3rd pairing (which is what you said your expectations of Mueller are).

I have very little doubt it will take Mueller longer to develop and reach the NHL then Vlasic but that shouldn't be looked at as a negative. What Vlasic did was rare and is something I consider an anomaly, especially within the Sharks org, and not the 'norm'.

If Mueller becomes long term a two way (25pts) top 4 NHL d-man that pick should be considered a "hit". Anything more and it should be considered a home run.
Assuredly middle pairing is a hit for a pick at that point in the draft. Top pairing is a homerun. One more year, and I put Braun in middle pairing. Vlasic doesn't qualify on my benchmarks (TOI and/or points) for top pairing. He pulls down a ranking as a #3. I do think that Vlasic can raise his ranking to a #2. My comparison to Vlasic/Braun was more as to type than ultimate ceiling.

Just for explanation on top pairing versus #3 ranking for me, here it is. Top pairing is 24min TOI for at least 3 years. I'll fudge for a guy who gets no PP time down to 22-23min. I am not fond of the defensive #2 spot because it is the least important of the top 5 skaters in terms of team success, but I allow for it. Here are some guys who get defensive #2 spots, Phillips, Brewer, Foote, Hannan, Rathje, Mitchell and Regehr (not all are current in the ranking but they held it for 3 years). Scuderi pulls a #3 spot. I also have some guys who are two-way who get the #2 spot. Timonen, JayBo, Hamhuis and Seidenberg.

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