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12-17-2013, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Psuhockey View Post
This might be the most irritating comment I read about defensive prospects. Did Duncan Keith project to be a number #1 defenseman? Did Dan Boyle? What about Chara? Erik Karlsson who was the 7th defenseman chosen his draft year? How about Ryan McDonagh who had the talent to be drafted in the 1st but was given up on and traded for Scott freaking Gomez. He projected to be an #1 until he didn't and somehow did again. Nobody, not even NHL scouts who are paid to know, knows who will be a #1 defenseman until they start making decisions at the NHL level. I feel like the #1 defenseman has become some mythical beast of size, skating and every other possible skill set that only exists in fans minds. The reality is all you need is a guy who is mobile, reads the play, and makes smart decisions the vast majority of the time to be an elite #1 defenseman. Hagg, morin, or Gostibehere could be a number 1 or could be Carle, Luke Schenn, and Gustafsson.

Ok I am off my soapbox. Back on topic.
Not to say that I disagree with what you're saying about Morin, Hagg, and Ghost, but for every Erik Karlsson that is drafted in the middle of the first round or later that turns into a #1 there are 10 Colten Teuberts and Tyler Cumas who look good draft day but dont pan out. My point is, "experts" need to project players based on what they have shown already, not what they could be if they improve on their deficiencies. You can't just label every first round pick as projecting to be a #1. Yes, some of them improve skills holding them back and develop into that player but you can't just assume they will.

Morin will not be a #1 unless he improves his offensive ability. Right now he's putting up offensive numbers that while they are improved, are similar to what guys like Luke Schenn put up his draft year or what Coburn put up his post draft season. Even if he is a lock down defender, if he can't put up at least 30 points in the NHL, he won't be considered a legit #1.

Hagg doesn't project to be a #1. Could he potentially? Sure, just like a 5th rounder could but it's unlikely. He's playing pro hockey as an 18 year old which is great to see but from all accounts he's a depth defenseman playing about 15 minutes a game and hasn't shown the offensive potential (yet) that people hoped for. His biggest knock so far is his consistency. To be a #1 defenseman you need to bring it every night. Again this is eomthign that can be fixed but you can't just assume it will be.

Ghost again doesnt project to be a #1. If you're going to be a undersized defenseman you better have some elite offensive skill or somehow be a great defender. Before yuo name a great NHL defenseman that is undersized, jsut remember there are hundreds of other that dont pan out because of their size. I think Ghost has some great offensive talent and is going to be a good PP QB who can give up some much needed pop from the back end but he would have to improve his all around game to be a #1 in the NHL which is much different than the NCAA.

Anyway, the article says none of them project to be an "elite #1 defenseman" which is not just a Boyle or McDonagh. To me an elite #1 puts you in the top 5-10 defenseman in the NHL. One or more of them COULD be but come on, lets admit, none are expected to be. I love those three and if even one of them turns into a #1, I'll be beyond happy. If they all turn into good #3's or borderline 2's I'll still be very happy.

Last edited by StoneHands: 12-17-2013 at 10:40 AM.
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