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02-11-2014, 10:25 AM
  #178
Trxjw
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Join Date: May 2007
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There's a lot to like about Duclair. He has that Kessel-like slipperiness about him. He can change gears quickly, cut inside or power outside, and he can snap off a very quick and accurate shot. His velocity isn't on par with what Kessel had at the same age, but it's still NHL caliber.

The only real reservation I have with Duclair is whether or not he'll be able to create enough separation around the net in order to bang in the sort of goals he's been racking up. He can certainly score from the dots. It's great to see a player going to the dirty areas to score, but just because he is willing to go there it doesn't mean that he'll be able to get there regularly at the NHL level. He's deceptively strong, but he's going to have to take a different approach around the cage in the pro's. He's going to have to quick step bigger defenders, instead of trying to outmuscle other kids like he is now.

I know people are gun shy about pegging him as an A-level prospect, but I don't think you're going too far out on a limb if you say he is. Guys like Grachev and MSC were, and are, extremely skilled players. I see a lot of people saying Grachev lacked speed or other skills, and that just isn't true. What he lacked was between his ears. He couldn't process the game at a AHL level, let alone an NHL level. By the time he figured out what to do with the puck, he was out of time and space. The same can be said about MSC. He's incredibly skilled, is a solid skater, but simply thinks too slowly at this point to be an effective AHL player.

Duclair's skills are plus, but I think his ability to read the game at speed is what sets him apart and is the primary reason for his success this year. His head finally caught up to his feet and hands. If he can adapt this well to the NHL, I think we could be looking at a similar caliber player to David Perron.

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