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12-27-2006, 09:50 AM
  #9
The Maltais Falcon
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Can't speak to Stuart as I've barely seen him play.

Coburn's play in the NHL has generally been pretty encouraging. I haven't seen his AHL games but Wolves fans pretty much unanimously loathed him. They've said he's been hairbrained, soft, and lazy.

In the NHL, though, he's been surprisingly solid. He's come more or less how he was advertised on draft day: a huge defenseman that skates really well and takes care of his own end before worrying about the offensive side of things. That said, he has shown a tendency to make about one hairbrained play per game, usually an ill-advised pass or sloppy bit of puckhandling that sets up a great scoring chance - or goal - for the opposition. His positioning needs work too but I don't think it's been as bad as his decisionmaking with the puck. Overall, though, he's performed well to this point. When you compare him to Dion Phaneuf and Ryan Suter at this stage he's definitely behind the curve but when you step back and compare him to first-round defensemen as a whole, I think he still has lots of promis.

It's tough to gauge how he'll do offensively over the long haul. I think he has all of one NHL point to his credit, but he has shown flashes of having terrific skill. I doubt he'll become a great scoring defenseman but he has the potential to be a ten-goal, forty-point type defenseman that's very good in his own zone.

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