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01-15-2014, 10:02 AM
  #202
Prongo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrinkFightFlyers View Post
I don't know that he will be like Rafalski, but that is who he will have to be like to succeed IMO.



That's at the NCAA level though. If he is 170-180 in the NHL (HF has him listed at 161, I've seen other sites say 175), he is going to get abused by the wingers that are 225+ pounds and over six foot. He'll be manhandled in front of the net, destroyed in the corners, and shoved off the puck easily in his own zone. He's going to have to put on some pounds, or be an incredibly strong defensive player to compensate.

His offense may be fine, but his size will be his biggest detriment. That's why I think you put him in the AHL next year to let him show that he can play with some seriously heavy hitters (literally and figuratively). Maybe I am wrong about this though...are NCAA players comparable in size to NHL players? I'm sure there are a bunch that are 6'4", 235lbs, but is he facing guys that big on a regular basis?
He won't be 175 when he makes it to the NHL. He needs some seasoning in the AHL before coming up like you said. Hopefully during this off season and next year he can put on about 15 pounds of muscle/weight and compete with more develop players in the AHL. I didn't say anything about him playing in the NHL next year, just want him to develop properly before he gets here. All smallish defenseman will have problems with big forwards and their forecheck, that's where his positioning, reach, and Hockey IQ need to come in handy. He isn't as small as Kimmo or Gus, but he does need the weight. I actually am not worried, once he gets a professional helping in that regard, he should improve his size.

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