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09-16-2013, 04:08 AM
Blue Blooded
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Originally Posted by Ola View Post
Always interesting to go back and check evaluations. I think I oversstaetd OL's speed a bit. But at the same time, at this date we are talking about a junior player and now we are talking about his game in relation to the best of the world. OL can still step around a player at this level, but he is far from a speedster.

Anyway, if anything, OL's development lately definitely further cements my belief in the point I made in the second post quoted. OL has really skyrocketed the last 12 months. Someone objected against one poster holding Fast above OL in the pre-season thread, but if we go back 12 months or 18 months Fast was WAY ahead of OL. Fast was a star in the SEL, playing for the national team etc., while OL was a 4th lineer in the SEL. OL game has really gone straight up the last years.

And I mean, the environment has a tremendous factor here. Like I held out/predicted in that post from 2011. You cannot "prove" it. But OL is maybe the kid I've seen develop the most from the age of 18 to 21 in a really long time, and having seen it so many times before, its certainly no coincidence that he happend to play in maybe the hottest development environment in the world during that time (a small city (70k) that over 3-4 years develop a handful of NHLers/strong NHL prospects, played like 3 finals in the SEL and won 1 gold). The factor is definitely true and one that should always be taken into consideration. Get kids in great environements! Good things will come from it.
OL's development over the past 12 months has been staggering.

But it is a pity that Fast picked up these injuries over the past two seasons that has set him back.

I also wholeheartedly agree on the good teams develop good players point, as I believe this is a key factor as to why the Wings has been able to stay competitive for so long and how the Devils managed the same until recently.

We have finally been able to build such an environment, and can begin to reap the benefits. A good team creates a more comfortable environment for a player to develop his game, in contrast to being thrown to the wolves on a poor team where a slight mistake is an instant GA.

San Jose and Chicago has built such environments where less highly touted prospects just seem to thrive.

Pittsburgh is OTOH an example of the opposite. Their top-heavy team with shaky D & G win a lot of games, but doesn't provide the environment for inexperienced players to succeed. The mistakes become magnified and the player's development suffers.

For example, if Marcus Krüger was drafted by the Oliers he'd be back in Sweden by now. But on Chicago he has developed into a great defensive possession center despite the glaring flaws in his game.

This is why tanking is such a flawed way to reach success. Yes you may be able to get more raw talent into your system, but you hurt the players' development in the process.

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