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Best Of The Late Bloomers

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Old
04-14-2017, 11:25 PM
  #26
The Wizard of Oz
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Originally Posted by steve141 View Post
Rafalski had a remarkable career.
He had an abrupt end as well. Might've had a shot at the Hall if ages 18-25 could have been anything like his next 10. Maybe, maybe not. The top finishes weren't there and he played with great tammates. But his Olympic performance proved he could stand on his own as the guy. Still was producing like a top pairing D at 37.


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Old
04-15-2017, 08:37 AM
  #27
Darth Yoda
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How about Ross Brooks. Debuted in the NHL for the Bruins in the 1970's at age 36. Played 3 seasons, 53 games and only lost 7. That's an impressive win percentage. And yes I realize how good the Bruins were but it's still pretty damn impressive.
Had a look at his stats. Was he a backup in the AHL much of his time before doing the same in the NHL?

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04-15-2017, 10:23 AM
  #28
Big Phil
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Johnny Bower was NOT a late bloomer!

He was an AHL all-star who broke records at that level and did NOT want to play in the NHL. To him hockey was a job and he had a good one in the AHL (eight seasons in Cleveland). Punch Imlach had to THREATEN to ban him from playing in the AHL for him to agree to play with the Leafs. The NHL had only six starting positions and its said he preferred the stability of the AHL over the uncertainly of the NHL, back when the NHL paid squat.
Bower did tell teams they were wasting their time to bring him up. That much is true. He did prefer the stability of the AHL of course because in those days banishment to the minors was expected and he didn't want that if he was in the NHL. So I don't know, if he was ready to be an NHL star at 25 don't you think he'd have been in the NHL permanently?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
He had an abrupt end as well. Might've had a shot at the Hall if ages 18-25 could have been anything like his next 10. Maybe, maybe not. The top finishes weren't there and he played with great tammates. But his Olympic performance proved he could stand on his own as the guy. Still was producing like a top pairing D at 37.
I have long said that Rafalski was more important and more impactful than Niedermayer was on defense during those two Cups and three trips to the final (2000, 2001 and 2003). Honestly, I think it is pretty clear too.

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04-15-2017, 04:34 PM
  #29
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Brian MacLellan was a bit of a late bloomer...

He was over a PPG in his freshman season at Bowling Green (78-79), but never showed any kind of scoring potential again.

As a pro, he scored just 26 points in New Haven as a rookie.
Next season he scores 54 points in LA, and the season after that 85 ('85 season) points . He also proved himself as a formidable fighter if pushed.

Charlie Simmer from the same era Kings teams was a classic late bloomer.
4 seasons as mainly a minor leaguer (11 NHL goals in 83 games over those 4 seasons)..., and then broke out as a member of the Triple Crown Line.

Dave Poulin was an undrafted, unheralded nobody, and suddenly, as a 24 year old rookie, became one of the faces of that era Flyers team.

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04-15-2017, 04:39 PM
  #30
IComeInPeace
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A personal favorite of mine, as he initially belonged to my Canucks, was Dirk Graham..

5 and 1/2 minor league seasons, given up on by the Canucks, and went on to be a heart and soul leader for the North Stars at 26 years of age (and later the Black Hawks).

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04-15-2017, 05:34 PM
  #31
Sadekuuro
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Originally Posted by TheMule93 View Post
Johan Franzen didn't make it to the NHL until he was like 26 years old in 05-06. Didn't break out into a top 6 player until a few years later in March 08 just before the playoffs.

From that point on he maintained a ~30g/60pt pace until he retired due to concussions in 14-15.
His breakout in '08 was spectacular too, even before the playoffs. He scored at or close to a goal per game for several weeks late in the season.

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04-15-2017, 08:09 PM
  #32
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At the start of the 1972-73 season, Lowell MacDonald was a 31 y/o journeyman with 40 career goals over parts of 6 seasons. It had been 4 seasons since he'd scored an NHL goal and he only played 24 games at any level of hockey over that stretch due to a temporary retirement and a serious knee injury.

Over the next 4 seasons, he'd score 134 goals for Pittsburgh and play in two All-Star games.

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04-15-2017, 08:14 PM
  #33
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At the start of the 1972-73 season, Lowell MacDonald....Over the next 4 seasons, he'd score 134 goals for Pittsburgh and play in two All-Star games.
I know Lowell.

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04-16-2017, 12:06 AM
  #34
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I'm thinking of players such as Martin Gelinas,Blaine Stoughton,John LeClaire etc

What's your top ten?
Zack Kassian

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04-16-2017, 01:55 AM
  #35
Cursed Lemon
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As a Wings fan, Rafalski and Datsyuk definitely come to mind.

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04-16-2017, 03:54 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I have long said that Rafalski was more important and more impactful than Niedermayer was on defense during those two Cups and three trips to the final (2000, 2001 and 2003). Honestly, I think it is pretty clear too.
2000 and 2001 for sure. 2003 was Niedermayer taking his first step to a Norris level defenseman though

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04-16-2017, 04:00 AM
  #37
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Mark Giordano comes to mind. Undrafted and went at Russia at 24 because he was struggling to make it with Calgary, comes back the following year and still only gets 16 min a game, solidifies himself as a top 4 the following year then suddenly becomes a Norris candidate a few years later at 30.

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04-16-2017, 12:45 PM
  #38
tjcurrie
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Ed Belfour

Bill Goldsworthy

Was thinking Dirk Graham too, but he was tearing it up in the minors until making NHL debut at age 24, so I think it was more just a case of finally getting his shot. He was good pretty much off the hop once he did make it. Would he qualify though?

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04-16-2017, 02:11 PM
  #39
vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by Regal View Post
2000 and 2001 for sure. 2003 was Niedermayer taking his first step to a Norris level defenseman though
yeah, in no way shape or form was niedermayer not by far the devils' best skater (and imo best overall player) in '03. he was a boss in transition and controlled the game in every way. after all those years of showing flashes, he mentally had figured out when how much to carry the puck (usually two strides past his own blue line), how to advance it (short passes instead of those coffey-esque stretch passes), and defensively he took a huge huge step.

but yeah in 2000 and '01, rafalski was a better at even strength and much better on the PP.

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Old
04-16-2017, 05:47 PM
  #40
ConorMcGregor
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Adam Oates?

78 points at age 26 was like 40 points today.

But he hit 100+ points at age 27. Top 10 in scoring and 3rd in assists

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04-16-2017, 06:33 PM
  #41
silkyjohnson50
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Originally Posted by Sadekuuro View Post
His breakout in '08 was spectacular too, even before the playoffs. He scored at or close to a goal per game for several weeks late in the season.
And if my memory serves me right it all pretty much happened thanks to a Holmstrom injury the last month of the season. Franzen got Holmstrom's role on the PP and his scoring confidence just went through the roof and spilled into his entire game and he suddenly became this power forward who was a scoring force.

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Old
04-18-2017, 11:10 PM
  #42
The Panther
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Originally Posted by ConorMcGregor View Post
Adam Oates?

78 points at age 26 was like 40 points today.
I assume you're exaggerating, but anyway he scored 78 points in 69 games. If he hadn't missed a few games, he'd likely have finished around 15th in NHL scoring, which is pretty good.

But he was sort-of a late bloomer, even in that he didn't become an NHL regular until he was 24.

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