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12-17-2013, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by StoneHands View Post
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.
I get that they all have things to work on and improve and that the odds are against them becoming elite. My point it is foolish to label the future impact of a defenseman when drafting and developing a defenseman is a complete crapshoot. Gostisbehere has done nothing to show he couldn't be another Duncan Keith but he also could be another Gustafsson. You won't really know until he turns pro and plays some in the AHL. Even then it is a big jump from AHL to NHL. The top of the draft is littered with guys who had all the tools in the world and couldn't hack the NHL or simply became Coburn. Then there are guys taken after the 1st or even as free agents who had big questions and tons of people doubting their abilities and become Norris contenders and winners. I've seen a few fan posts saying to trade up for Ekblad as if he would be a guaranteed #1 defenseman. And he would ranked by all these prospect experts and services as being a future Pronger or what not but he could bust once he has to make decisions at the speed of the NHL. You don't know about any of these guys until they hit the NHL and have to make decisions at that speed. Gostibehere, Hagg, and morin are progressing as they should. There is no need to say definitely they won't be #1 ones which the author does just as there is no need to say they will.

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