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Why Do the Habs Suck at Drafting in the 1st Round?

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Old
06-11-2010, 07:08 PM
  #51
habtastic
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I'm pretty happy with our picks of recent because I realize just how good hindsight looks. Also, I think we might be selling ourselves short on who we've drafted. What if Max Pac becomes the real deal? What if Leblanc become the cerebral hometown player that gels our offense together? What if Price (or Halak) end up in a trade that lands us a big time player? What if AK turns his **** around like Pleks? Many likely scenarios see us having been very good in the draft considering where we are. Last I checked, the teams winning the Cup/dominating the reg season have been tank teams (aside from the Red Wings). Also we did pretty well in 07-08 despite having a team that now I don't think anyone would want back (except perhaps the AK of old).

The Carter thing is the only one that makes me think twice because it was perhaps obvious at the time. Still, it's only cuz we got unlucky with predicting AK (oddly enough, it's his work ethic and concentration, not his illness that seems to have caused his "bust" status, or whatever you want to call it...I still think he'll come out of it).

I was pretty high on Chipchura. He just did not develop well/fast enough. Drafting is farrr more complex than people seem to think it is. So many variables. Even the BPA could turn out to suck and the ones that never show any promise somehow end up dominating the NHL (think of the number of late picks who ended up being disgustingly good in the NHL).

Quite frankly, the team we had at the end of the season is one that I like very much. If AK and Pouliot had played to their potentials, I think more people would agree. We didn't have Markov and the rest of the D played very well. We have Gorges, didn't draft him, but somehow he's a product of our drafting process (through trade). He's a great pick IMO. We need to replace Hammer with another solid D, Spacek, who knows.

I'm not even sure that we 100% need this "impact player" if everyone plays as well as they can.
Pouliot and AK were high picks. How their futures unfold is the key to our organization's near future.

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06-11-2010, 08:06 PM
  #52
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Reason why they suck drafting good players : Trevor Timmins.

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06-11-2010, 08:10 PM
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean-Guy Drouin View Post
Reason why they suck drafting good players : Trevor Timmins.
Timmins took the job in 2003..OP is talking about 30 years

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06-11-2010, 08:18 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Jean-Guy Drouin View Post
Reason why they suck drafting good players : Trevor Timmins.
post fail. i'd vote your ass off the island.

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Old
06-11-2010, 09:46 PM
  #55
Whitesnake
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While I will probably not agree with.....myself, I'll that in general, they sucked at drafting in the 1st round 'cause they went for.....needs.

You have a feeling that in the 90's, they wanted some big beef to play tough and nasty. Seems to me that THIS was the need they had, they went for the best guy that filled that need.....

I'll also believe that going the US route for other reasons than just greatness of a prospect wasn't the way to go.

Also, development has to be a real aspect why. But it doesn't explain everything. I just love how people are dismissing the head scouts and scouts work just to believe that it was development. How the heck would we know that anyway? It has to be a little bit of both. When teams have a player as ND on their list (not a non-favorite of them, a total ND...), you know that despite what agencies had on him, he was NOT a good pick. People needs to start making the difference between agencies picks and teams picks.

So there's a lot of incompetence.....but a lot of luck going one way or the other. And also some understandable mistakes. It has to be a mix of A LOT of things.

Where I say that I will disagree with myself, is that my well-known obsession (I mean one of them) is with size. Strangely, our best 1st rounder is the smallest guy out there. But while I say that, CLEARLY, I never meant for us to get bigger but at the same detrimental to the quality of the hockey player.

You have a feeling that the Habs just wanted to get bigger....but couldn't analyze other traits of the guys chosen. Something strange is totally the unability we had and still have in choosing the right power forward. Since Corson and Richer, if you want to put him in that category, we have not been able to draft nor development 1 single power forward.

A guy I was SURE was going to do the job is Terry Ryan. While it doesn't seem he had the greatest of attitude, I believe we lost that guy in development. It had to work with him.

But I knew, and a lot of people knew that Bilodeau would not achieve anything. That Brown had the slowest feet ever on the surface of the planet. That Ward would be nothing else than a 3rd or 4th liner. That while Chouinard should have done a better NHL career than that, that he was soft and afraid of paying the price. Yet, we made that mistake because the "obsession" (my obsession) of going after a big centerman, was stronger than a "smallish" winger. Yet again, my definition of big centerman isn't Chouinard, nor Urquhart.....if you are big but play like a 5'5'' (and even Gerge plays harder than them...), you are NOT big.

In resume, I have the feeling that when the Habs are overanalysing their picks like they seem to be doing in the 1st round, they are really bad. Then, when they start going with their gut feeling, they are much better. Yet, again, you can't use only gut to make everything work. The best scouts know when to use their gut and when not to. And even them, they make mistakes.

Still, the drafting in the 90's, is the reason why this team hasn't won anything significant in the past years and has been abysmal all those years. The drafting in the 2000, is the reason, in my opinion, while we became better, we are still not amongst the top 10 teams. It's not a 1st place in the conference with 10 points ahead of the 8th position, and it's not a run like we had this year that will convince me that we're there. For multiple reasons but even so with the new cap era we are in. Can anybody right now tell me we're going to repeat next year? This team has too many question marks yet again.

And the fact that we are not able to replace Pleks because our drafting wasn't able to do the job, is a whole lot the reason why. When you think that Desharnais is the closest Pleks replacement we have....

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06-12-2010, 10:25 PM
  #56
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Scounting is a gamble period. Look at some players who weren't drafted: Belfour, St. Louis, etc. It isn't Timmins fault or any other scout. For people who say Fischer is a bust, maybe, but he had ranked in the top 30 for a reason and he probably had a good draft year and was playing well before. You can never really know how a player will develop. Many people are crying about who we should have drafted, but the fact of the matter is that if every single player drafted developped as hoped, then we would probably have great 1st rounders. Since that will never happen, we cannot know how a player will develop. A great example is a player like Halak, Zetterberg, etc. Drafted in 7th round because they had poor draft years and developped into top notch players. (Another reaso why people who whine about us not drafting Quebequers late in the draft to please the "fans".) So stop bashing our scouts. My uncle was an scout for the Rocket of Montreal way back and later on, when he talked to me about it, he said that drafting was almost like "closing your eyes and feeling for an apple, hoping it isn't rotten. You can touch the apple to see it's texture, but you don't know what it will look like."

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Old
06-13-2010, 09:24 AM
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
...

A guy I was SURE was going to do the job is Terry Ryan. While it doesn't seem he had the greatest of attitude, I believe we lost that guy in development. It had to work with him.

...
Funny, I went to see a game between the baby-Habs and Baby-Leafs, not long after Ryan was drafted. It was pretty clear that he was too slow, and frankly he was simply looking for fights. He had one, got beaten pretty good by Jeff Ware who seemed to be a serious prospect for the Leafs (I think he didn't made it also). Other teams also gave a chance to Ryan without success. So in that case, I would say that it was bad scouting, not bad development. A recent example of the same situation would be Kyle Wanvig ...

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06-13-2010, 11:49 AM
  #58
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Drafting has a lot to do with statistics too. Look at players stats and see how much ice-time they are getting and how much PP, PK and all those kinds of things. Look at guys like weber and subban. You have to hope or know they have determination and drive to get better. We forget that players are human. Hell maybe a player gets a depression and it ruins his career. Or his development turns sour.

Look at a guy like Trunev. The guy has got skills but was the youngest guy drafted I think. He is also small. But whats to say he won't bulk up and become a dominant force? Look at a guy like tarasenko, the guy is 5'11 and 202 pounds. I'm sure even subban was much lighter when he got drafted then what he is now.

I think timmins should get off his ass a demand these guy to take the juice. If you want to make it to the big leagues you have to do it.

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06-13-2010, 02:25 PM
  #59
toshiro
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Many of the busts were slow on their skates (Bilideau, Pederson, Brown, Ryan, Chip)
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Originally Posted by kent_carlson View Post
Funny, I went to see a game between the baby-Habs and Baby-Leafs, not long after Ryan was drafted. It was pretty clear that he was too slow, and frankly he was simply looking for fights. He had one, got beaten pretty good by Jeff Ware who seemed to be a serious prospect for the Leafs (I think he didn't made it also). Other teams also gave a chance to Ryan without success. So in that case, I would say that it was bad scouting, not bad development. A recent example of the same situation would be Kyle Wanvig ...

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06-13-2010, 03:22 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by kent_carlson View Post
Funny, I went to see a game between the baby-Habs and Baby-Leafs, not long after Ryan was drafted. It was pretty clear that he was too slow, and frankly he was simply looking for fights. He had one, got beaten pretty good by Jeff Ware who seemed to be a serious prospect for the Leafs (I think he didn't made it also). Other teams also gave a chance to Ryan without success. So in that case, I would say that it was bad scouting, not bad development. A recent example of the same situation would be Kyle Wanvig ...
If you would have followed his junior career, that's what Ryan was all about anyway. But I clearly remember Ryan improving his skating from his junior career to his AHL pro career. Statswise if you look at his career from the day he graduated in the AHL with our farm team, he also improved. Where we lost it on development is our ability to work his weakness like the skating. And also, while you DON'T change the player's strength, which is be tough and fight, you also give him pointers for the other traits of the game. Yet, I believe that like we've been doing with some players till to this day.....the organization was happy to see a guy coming and fight.....showing with he got often more than 150PIM in junior....but never demonstrating why he got some 100 points though....

Could be drafting as well. Tough to know like I mentioned when it's clearly draft or development. But I believed in this guy. I believed in the development he had and I believe in his potential. Doesn't mean I was right though.

P.S. He didn't lost all his fights....


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06-13-2010, 03:24 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by toshiro View Post
Many of the busts were slow on their skates (Bilideau, Pederson, Brown, Ryan, Chip)
True. But I believe that the main problem in their cases, while skating is one, it's hockey sense that matters most.

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06-13-2010, 03:47 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
If you would have followed his junior career, that's what Ryan was all about anyway. But I clearly remember Ryan improving his skating from his junior career to his AHL pro career. Statswise if you look at his career from the day he graduated in the AHL with our farm team, he also improved. Where we lost it on development is our ability to work his weakness like the skating. And also, while you DON'T change the player's strength, which is be tough and fight, you also give him pointers for the other traits of the game. Yet, I believe that like we've been doing with some players till to this day.....the organization was happy to see a guy coming and fight.....showing with he got often more than 150PIM in junior....but never demonstrating why he got some 100 points though....

Could be drafting as well. Tough to know like I mentioned when it's clearly draft or development. But I believed in this guy. I believed in the development he had and I believe in his potential. Doesn't mean I was right though.

P.S. He didn't lost all his fights....

That's not fair, Leach was a punching bag! Against Ware, it was a real massacre, it was like a TKO but Ryan was still on his skates with no defense at all. I had the feeling back then that he played with light concussion without knowing it sometimes.

Back to the topic, you can improve skating but for some players, it won't be enough. I think that Ryan, Wanvig, but also Ramzi Abid are that kind of players.

If we take Montreal question on another side, do you think that we really wasted one of our first rounder with poor development? We were pretty close with Latendresse (a 2nd) but who else?

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06-13-2010, 04:24 PM
  #63
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Timmins just can't pick elite talent. He is a mediocre scout which isn't bad but it doesn't justify the massive hype he has gotten. Similar to gainey they are both trained at their jobs but neither excelled at it with us. It's like looking at a 3rd line player who is good but will never carry a team or be elite.

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06-13-2010, 04:26 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by OneSharpMarble View Post
Timmins just can't pick elite talent. He is a mediocre scout which isn't bad but it doesn't justify the massive hype he has gotten. Similar to gainey they are both trained at their jobs but neither excelled at it with us. It's like looking at a 3rd line player who is good but will never carry a team or be elite.
He's talking about the last 30 years. Read the first post before you go on a Gainey bash.

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06-13-2010, 04:32 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by Koseegin View Post
He's talking about the last 30 years. Read the first post before you go on a Gainey bash.
And I am talking about the last 10 where drafting has become a much more serious issue. I don't believe drafting recieved nearly as much attention and importance than it has in the last 10 years and yet our scouting staff is still incredibly inept.

We weren't going anywhere with gainey and we wont draft well with timmins. If the truth hurts seek help.

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06-13-2010, 04:45 PM
  #66
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My only thought is what's the point in discussing the last 30 years ?

Are you expecting to find a common tread ? Are you expecting a pattern ?

30 years is too small a sample to attribute it to one thing anyway. It's most likely a combination of failures.

The first 10 of those picks might be the failure to recognize talent in Europe, the next 10 are on Houle's regime, and the last 10 on Gainey's.

I don't subscribe to the theory that the pressure in Montreal makes players bust. If we had had awesome teams filled with good players and there had been no reasons for players to bust other than the pressure then I could buy it, but all of our failures are easy to explain. And none of them have anything to do with pressure, or the medias.

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06-13-2010, 06:20 PM
  #67
Whitesnake
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Originally Posted by kent_carlson View Post
If we take Montreal question on another side, do you think that we really wasted one of our first rounder with poor development? We were pretty close with Latendresse (a 2nd) but who else?
You know my take on Latendresse....we were not pretty close, we were totally right on a poor development.

As far as who else I "might" think we missed on development, the only guy I think I could put his name beside this would be Ron Hainsey. Now, again, let's understand that as much as we want to put a definite reason why that a player did or didn't succeed, chances are it will be numerous factors. Chances are, in Hainsey's case, seems that he had his own problems to take care of. Still, something happened in the fact that we weren't able to see the best of him.

Some will say that, and sometimes it's definately right, a player will start playing better when he's traded for the first time. Kinda of a wake up call that if it doesn't work now, it will never work.

But I have to say that by François Beauchemin's comments, he was told in the minors, during the same time that Hainsey was around, that they didn't need d-men to take chances offensively....that they had forwards to do it. We had a team, an organization, who continuously attached their d-men to their own net....probably giving them a fine everytime they crossed the red line (obviously exagerrating but you get the point...). But offensive d-man weren't like too much in our team.

And needless to say that EVERYBODY knows that it takes much longer for a d-man to develop properly....we seemed to believe that it didn't. That we had to get rid of those guys if they didn't show enough progression just like the forwards.

I'm not too sure about David Wilkie 'cause I didn't see him much at that time of our draft. So I can't if it's the same for him. But strange that the guy who was clearly penciled as an offensive d-man in juniors....had an incredible first year in the AHL just went totally MIA.

Thing with our team past 95 is that we were going in the worst direction of them all and had not a whole lot of picks to get us out of that mess. I guess it's more difficult to evaluate players when everybody sucks.

As far as future development we "might" have screwed, well while it's TOTALLY open for success.....I totally hated the way Price was brought along. Can't believe we did that mistake especially knowing how that Montreal crowd was awaiting for the 2nd coming of.....Can't believe we put that pressure on a kid.....

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06-13-2010, 06:49 PM
  #68
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
You know my take on Latendresse....we were not pretty close, we were totally right on a poor development.
...

As far as future development we "might" have screwed, well while it's TOTALLY open for success.....I totally hated the way Price was brought along. Can't believe we did that mistake especially knowing how that Montreal crowd was awaiting for the 2nd coming of.....Can't believe we put that pressure on a kid.....
Without surprise, a very good answer from you.

We might add the name of Perezhogin, and that's one more aspect to Montreal's question; When your team is in the middle of the pack, there's some serious pressure on the coach to make the playoffs and often they don't give a real chance to rookies. I know Perezhogin was a bit lazy, taking too much holding penalties, but the guy had/has some real offensive potential.

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06-13-2010, 06:50 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by jason allison'fans View Post
Timmins took the job in 2003..OP is talking about 30 years
Oh yes, 2003, the year of all years...the draft that could sink or swim any teams. It says so much about what the Habs became.

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06-14-2010, 10:13 AM
  #70
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Chip has great hockey sense. How about skating being a necessary but not sufficient condition.
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
True. But I believe that the main problem in their cases, while skating is one, it's hockey sense that matters most.

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06-14-2010, 10:19 AM
  #71
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The Leafs and Rangers have struggled with first round picks too. Being a Leafs fan, the only really high quality player we've taken in the first round in the last 10-15 years is Tuuka Rask (Brad Boyes is meh, Luke Schenn is terrible).

I think looking at those three, having multiple sets of management and still coming up short, it has to be the pressure of the cities. That's what I think made the Leafs best draft pick of the last 20 years Tomas Kaberle. He came up quietly, was a late round pick, and just sorta arrived on the scene and slowly turned into the four time all-star he is today. No hype. Then I look at certain other prospects. Luke Schenn reminds me so much of Joba Chamberlain. Loads of hype because of the team he plays for, became a star before he could handle it, and is fizzling out as we speak.

That's why drafting Louis Leblanc was a mistake imo. French kid going to Montreal in the first round, and there are INSTANTLY questions of whether he deserved it and whether he was only drafted that highly because he's French, and now whatever he does will be a big deal. I think markets like Toronto and Montreal need to move slower with their prospects than both teams do. Give them a year or two in the AHL and ease them into the lineup. Especially with neither team being a contender, younger players are counted on so much, and that has to be a killer.

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06-14-2010, 10:19 AM
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimota View Post
Oh yes, 2003, the year of all years...the draft that could sink or swim any teams. It says so much about what the Habs became.
No doubt, 2003 ( when you look back) was a ''cant miss'' draft..specially with the number 10 overall

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06-14-2010, 10:21 AM
  #73
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No doubt, 2003 ( when you look back) was a ''cant miss'' draft..specially with the number 10 overall
The Leafs missed it.

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06-14-2010, 10:24 AM
  #74
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Originally Posted by E = CH² View Post
My only thought is what's the point in discussing the last 30 years.
I was really really bored at work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
You know my take on Latendresse....we were not pretty close, we were totally right on a poor development.

But I have to say that by François Beauchemin's comments, he was told in the minors, during the same time that Hainsey was around, that they didn't need d-men to take chances offensively....that they had forwards to do it. We had a team, an organization, who continuously attached their d-men to their own net....probably giving them a fine everytime they crossed the red line (obviously exagerrating but you get the point...). But offensive d-man weren't like too much in our team.

As far as future development we "might" have screwed, well while it's TOTALLY open for success.....I totally hated the way Price was brought along. Can't believe we did that mistake especially knowing how that Montreal crowd was awaiting for the 2nd coming of.....Can't believe we put that pressure on a kid.....
I don't know how true it is but I had heard that Lats agent told Gainey if he wasn't in the NHL that they wouldn't sign by June 1st and he would go back into the draft. Always hard to tell if rumors or true or not and even if it was, perhaps it should have been handled differently, they could have sent him down after he signed or used him differently. Plus Lats has his fair share of blame as well.

I know with Beauchemin when they sent him to the ECHL, they were concerned about him being out of position too much. I'm not a big fan of his, but when he was in Hamilton he was great for us.

I was surprised with the way they brought Price up so quickly.

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06-14-2010, 12:27 PM
  #75
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Originally Posted by montreal View Post
In the modern era, over 30 years of drafting (1980 to 2009), the Habs have drafted 35 players in the first round in 28 drafts ('99 and '08 they traded their 1st rounder)

Out of the 35 players they drafted in the 1st round, only 8 have been impact players with more then 2 seasons with the Habs. (Svoboda, Corson, Stevenson, Koivu, Komisarek, Higgins, Kostitsyn, Price) Half of those 8 were drafted this decade, so from 1980 to 2000 the only real success we had in the 1st round was a great player in Koivu, a solid 4th liner in Stevenson and 2 quaility players in Svoboda and Corson.

I know that Timmins work has been beaten to death around here and the jury is still out on Kostitsyn/Price/Pacioretty while it's too early with Leblanc but I like what I see from him at least. (and to be fair it's not Timmins fault Price/Pac were rushed to the NHL) But with Chipchura and Fischer being a bust for us already and McDonagh being traded you can see why fans are concerned with our 1st round picks.

Since the draft is 2 weeks away, I thought I would post this as a team that has so many current NHLers (as well as coaches) I find it strange that in 30 years we have struggled so badly in the 1st round. Granted I tend to think that where a player is drafted is overrated, but for most fans they will be more familiar with the 1st round.
Can't speak too much to the past, other than to say that Serge Savard was terrible and that very often the search for the missing "gritty" player or "big centre" or "poward forward" led them down the road of drafting Lindsay Vallis, Jose Charbonneau, Mark Pederson, Turner Stevenson, Eric Chouinard, Jason Ward, Matt Higgins, etc.

However, over the last roughly ten years, things have improved significantly. How do I know? Well, as I've pointed out many many many times before, Detroit's supposedly wondrous drafting, esp for Euro talent is entirely mythic and actually sucks in comparison to ours over the last ten years. Check here for Detroit's draft history. Zetterburg was a 1999 draft and Datsyuk a 1998. What have they done since? 2002 was not a bad draft for them, but of the players drafted since 1999, which one besides Franzen do you want? Why don't you all count how many years from which the magical Detroit scouting staff produced ZERO (0), NHL players? From 1995 to 2005, I count 5 years when the Red Wings supposedly infallible scouts produced no really viable NHL players for them or only produced guys who played coffee calls. There would be another, if you counted the year they only drew Howard and Quincey, since Howard is forever being replaced and Quincey plays elsewhere.

Sorry, but it's time people realized that the NHL evaluation methods are the most unpredictable, imprecise and fallible of all sports. It's time the "feel" garbage is replaced by better evaluative measures.

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