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Old
03-03-2011, 12:48 PM
  #1
Blane Youngblood
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Colton Gilllies

Colton Gillies is a hometown guy, so I'm trying to figure out how he's doing.

Based on the stats sheet alone, he seems to be struggling...any chance you guys cut him loose in the offseason?

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03-03-2011, 12:54 PM
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I don't think he will be cut loose, but I don't think he will escape Houston for at least another season or two...

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03-03-2011, 12:58 PM
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Probably not cut loose. 4th liner energy guy at best. Definite bust. He's got zero offensive skills. Great skater and size though.

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03-03-2011, 02:22 PM
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He's actually shown improvement from last season statistically. He now has a double-digit goals professional hockey season!

The difference between him and our 7th round pick from the same draft(Carson McMillan) is fairly minimal.

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03-03-2011, 04:09 PM
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it's hard to say gillies isn't a bust since we drafted him in the 1st, but i think if he got a chance to play with talented players he could put up decent points.

he strikes me as the type of player who comes up huge in important games, or playoffs


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03-03-2011, 04:39 PM
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I keep hearing "he's learning how to be a forward" from Mike Yeo. That being said, we rushed him to the NHL why?

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03-03-2011, 04:54 PM
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Big, bad Anaheim.

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03-03-2011, 06:39 PM
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Yeah, I know he had offered to try and become a defensive centre (i.e. work on faceoffs etc.) but the team really wanted him to stay on the wing.

I'm actually hoping the Canucks pick him up in the offseason (hometown reclamation project - i.e. Jeff Tambellini).

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03-03-2011, 07:08 PM
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He still needs to work on his battles along the boards. For his size, he should be pretty dominant there, but he gets beat pretty easily.

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03-03-2011, 07:51 PM
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I remember when fans were thinking he could be a 20-30 goal scorer with a 40+ point upside.

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03-03-2011, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thespeckledkiwi View Post
I remember when fans were thinking he could be a 20-30 goal scorer with a 40+ point upside.
Which was completely reasonable when he put up 24 goals and 23 assists for 47 points in 58 games in the WHL the year after he was drafted. On a Saskatoon team in which he had zero offensive help.

To put that in perspective, "power forward of the future" Bulmer has 18 goals and 29 assists for 47 points in 54 games in the WHL the year after he was drafted. On a Kelowna team with a lot more talent to help.

Gillies was a great prospect who was ruined by a year in the pressbox.

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03-04-2011, 09:39 AM
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Bulmer's still fairly raw though. Gillies, he had basically one good year in his career. He's always had great size and skating. He's always had awful hands. I don't think the year in the pressbox caused him to NOT become a 20+ goal guy in the NHL.

When drafted, I thought he'd be the successor to Wes Walz...great defensive center with lots of speed, but he'd add the size factor. I thought maybe 10-15 goals and 30 points, but hopefully he'd develop into a Selke guy. A reach in the 1st round, especially giving up a 2nd to move up and grab him.

And I always wanted Perron in that draft.

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03-04-2011, 01:30 PM
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Gillies had two good years. His draft year and the year after (where he also had 8 points in 11 AHL games). He played center on a pretty bad Saskatoon team without much offensive help.

Gillies was never a "goal scorer". But he had pretty good hands for a guy his size. He projected out as an Andrew Ladd with Chicago powerforward. A guy who could skate, seperate the defender from the puck, and make a nice feed to a linemate, along with hopefully chipping in 15 goals.

You shouldn't downplay the year in the pressbox. The years from 18 to 21 are probably the most critical in determine whether a guy makes it to the NHL. The year is the pressbox was more than wasting 1/3 of this critical time period, it actually makes you weaker than you were the previous year.

That year most effected Gillies three weakest areas (1) confidence (to carry puck, make a move, and take the shot), (2) goal scoring (he took like 4 shots in a year), and (3) board battles (as he was just too lanky to be playing against NHLers with better leverage).

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03-04-2011, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by nickschultzfan View Post
G

Gillies was never a "goal scorer". But he had pretty good hands for a guy his size. He projected out as an Andrew Ladd with Chicago powerforward. A guy who could skate, seperate the defender from the puck, and make a nice feed to a linemate, along with hopefully chipping in 15 goals.
No, Gillies was projected like Jarick said more like Wes Walz. He had a VERY limited offensive ceiling. Most people projecting him to a Ladd/Stafford whatever type I think were looking at his draft position. He had upside as an elite checking forward but not as an offensive machine.

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03-04-2011, 03:28 PM
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Nobody is saying Gillies was projected as a 65 point guy.

We are arguing between 45 points (15 goals) and 30 points (10 goals).

Gillies was projected as an extremely safe bet to be a good 3rd liner, with 2nd line upside.

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03-04-2011, 04:10 PM
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From late 2006:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=324314

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Gillies is big and a very good skater. He can also throw big hits too. However 5 goals and 10 assists in 28 games for a supposed top 10 pick is pretty bad. He only had a 9 goal year his year before the WHL so maybe the offence will never come around. I would still take him in the bottom half of the 1st round.

-----

I can't see any team taking a risk on a kid who while he may have some tools hasn't been able to put it all together. He wouldn't be a bad 2nd or 3rd round gamble for a team, but they hype this kid got last year was unwaranted. I can't believe people considered this guy a Top 5 pick this time last year. I think he'll turn into a solid 3rd liner in the NHL but people expecting big things from him will probably be disappointed. He reminds me a bit of Taylor Pyatt in terms of size and style but I hope people don't expect Gillies to be a 1st liner like they did with Pyatt.

-----

I just spent the last two hours going over McKeen's top 250 for December with a pro scout whose opinion i value more than any other when it comes to evaluating talent. His track record is outstanding.

Anyway; we (McKeen's) have the players ranked by leagues in North America, and when he saw Gillies ranked ahead of Tyrell, Doyle, Repik and Hamill, he simply stated "You rank those guys ahead of Gillies."

I asked him if he even considers Gillies to be a first rounder, he says, "Not on my list he's not. I think you're taking a big chance in the first round. He's really going to have to get gritty just to play on your third line, a fourth-line NHLer at best if he doesn't. You see him in warmup, and you think, 'This is a top five pick', then you see him play.....no understanding of the game, no hockey sense, skates around doing nothing, shots the puck with his head down, and it flies anywhere but at the net. "

I guess Gillies is going to be one of those "love him or hate him" type of prospect with the fans, but the feedback I've gotten from several scouts now is that this guy is not top 20 material right now. If this trend continues Gillies won't be in the top 30 of our January list.

-----

I'm curious to see if there will actually be an over-reaction to his lack of offensive development, as he has absolutely been overhyped in the past couple years.

Offensively, yeah, it is a stretch to project him as a top-6 guy. Turnbuckle's comments above are pretty spot-on in that regard - doesn't seem to understand the game well, doesn't really know how to use his linemates as well as he should, doesn't have a natural goalscorer's instincts although he does have a very nice wristshot with a quick release.

However, there's still a lot to work with there. His skating is elite for a player of his size, and his intangibles seem very strong - works hard, finishes his checks, and he does seem to understand the game pretty well defensively. Unlike most 'project' players, he is fairly polished overall. And he isn't devoid of talent the way some people here claim. If he could develop into a 15-15-30 guy whom you could build your 3rd line around with his size and skating ability, then he's well worth a #1 pick in the 18-25 range. No-one would consider Ethan Moreau (just as an example) a bad pick where he went.

He will play in the NHL in some fashion, you can pretty much take it to the bank. I would be hugely surprised if he slides far into the 2nd round.

-----

I don't think teams necessarily pick Gillies as a 1st rounder based on what he has done this year... but... rather they will take him as a 1st rounder nevertheless, based on all of those tantalizing traits others have already mentioned, and hope that he gets it all together. They will do this knowing all that has gone before with the Kilgers and Pyatts or whatever other comparables might be drawn. But they'll still do it with the same hopes that teams have always had when they see a big guy with the skill and skating package that Gillies brings. Unless he turns his season around, they'll then be calling him a "project", and really, it's not tremendously different than the way teams quite frequently pick with defensemen, only this time it will be a forward.

I was really surprised with Gillies' skating; this summer in my head I thought he was a big lumbering bruiser, but when I saw him, I had to revise that mental image a bit. He has more filling out to do than I expected, didn't seem all that mean, although quite capable physically, and skated an awful lot better than I had imagined, and that supposedly while still somewhat hampered by injury? Some teams will like that. I'm sure there will be other teams that will bump him down a lot too. I think in ranking him you have to take that all into consideration and still put him handily in the 1st round, because even if there are teams that will drop him, it only takes 1 team who likes him at #15 for him to get snatched. And I think there will be more than 1 team who likes him in the 1st round, for sure.

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He's going to have to fix those stone hands of his......

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I still go with him top 15. That skating, size, and effort package is the BEST in the 2007 class. I disagree that he doesn't have hockey sense- he has excellent defensive sense and he's a regular physical factor along the boards. No, he doesn't have that sniper's sense for sure- he doesn't find those open spots well and he does tend to shoot blindly and could use a quicker release but then again he's not surrounded by flashy playmakers either. Sometimes I think he's a bit too unselfish too.

-----

Watched Gillies here in Bdn last night and he showed good hustle and no scoring ability. He's very tall and skinny, but not a physical force yet. Seems to have a hard time skating when handling the puck. Can't see him being a 1st rounder unless he gets a lot better in the 2nd half of the season....

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I've watched him 3 times and everytime I am suprised by his size, defensive play, work-ethic and his skill. But it's like nothing bounces right for him like the other game when he had the puck on his stick on a wrap-around the puck just bounced away from him on what should have been a goal. If he can't find the net in junior, he's going to have even more trouble in the NHL.

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Count me among the skeptics.

When it comes to size and the things you can teach, it's all there. Any scout will be drawn to a player that big with that kind of speed. It's the things you can't teach - the hockey sense, the instincts - that are lacking. I have doubts about how the kid thinks the game. And if given the choice between a kid who can think the game and one who struggles to think the game, I'll take the kid who can think the game every time.

The question becomes will he become a Nikita Alexeev type - and keep in mind how long it's taken Alexeev to get a regular shift in the NHL - or worse, a Jay Legault type. Or is he going to be that player, like a Benoit Poulliot or a Dustin Penner, with the size and the tools, who figures it out at a later stage in his career. That's the question that scouts need to ask before picking him.

I wouldn't pick him in the top 15 or 20 picks. If I'm at 25-30 and I'm in need of a big player who could be a really good third liner - and might even develop into a top six forward - then I'd take him. He's the type who could really build a scout's reputation, or he's a guy that a team picks and winds up kicking themselves in the future.

-----

But the thing is, it's only his hockey sense in the offensive end of the ice that is lacking. His work ethic, physical game, and defensive game are all very sound, and project well to the NHL, especially with his physical gifts.

But because of those physical gifts and lack of offensive results, people immediately want to compare him to guys like Legault, Alexeev, etc. - players who were lazy, flaky, and clueless in their own zone. Classic all tools/no toolbox players, and I don't thing that's fair at all. To me, he's a big, fast, high-end 3rd line prospect. A bigger Ryan Kesler or something along those lines.

I don't view him as a project at all - to me, he's the exact opposite. Looks like a project because of a couple high-end skills, but underneath it actually a really safe pick. Big, hard-working, fast as hell, willing to mix it up. No way he doesn't play in the NHL and he'll be a key 3rd line player for someone, but he's never going to clear 50 points.

Past the 15-20 range, I'd have no problem taking him at all.
Basically, he's got the same problems he had five years ago...no offensive skill. And if you can't handle a puck at all, you're not making the NHL unless you can fight or play goal.

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03-04-2011, 04:15 PM
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Ladd was a top-5 pick, Gillies was a top-20 pick. Ladd being in a bad draft doesn't make up the difference. Ladd was clearly the better prospect. Had more of an edge and a better overall offensive game.

Gillies year in the pressbox/4th line of the Wild hurt his confidence, which in turn hindered his development. This was a guy who basically was the Saskatoon Blades in 07-08, who then went to a guy barely playing the year after. A 30+ goal final season in junior with another gold medal at the WJC would have been huge for his confidence, rather than watching from the pressbox and playing with Derek Boogaard.

Gillies did project as a 15-ish goal 3rd liner, but there was that odd chance that he'd develop more offensively if he hit a stride and found great chemistry.

Gillies was extremely raw when he was drafted, scouting services didn't really even have an idea of what he'd become. ISS had him #12 in the whole draft(3 European skaters ahead, so #9 NA skater), CSS had him 30th among NA skaters. That's quite a discrepancy.

The pick of Gillies wasn't a problem for me, other than the trade-up. A 2nd round pick to move from 19 to 16 is too much. Tangradi was that pick, followed by Subban. IMO our guy would have been Dana Tyrell, who's a key depth player on Tampa.

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03-04-2011, 04:43 PM
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Who's comparing Ladd's draft position to Gillies' or even their potential? I was just describing some of Gillies' projections as to an NHL play like Ladd during his time with Chicago. - A 15 goal, 40-45 point 3rd liner with 2nd line upside.

Jarick you kind of made my point for me. Gillies was on a good path until he was thrown into the NHL. He had an ok draft year. Was drafted on a reach because of his size and skating. And then had a pretty solid post-draft year.

Instead of returning to the WHL to lead his team in all parts of the game, he got 4 minutes a night and the pressbox on a team that had zero need for him.

Edit - And so he has regressed/hasn't improved to the point where he's playing no better than his draft year.


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03-04-2011, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
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The pick of Gillies wasn't a problem for me, other than the trade-up. A 2nd round pick to move from 19 to 16 is too much. Tangradi was that pick, followed by Subban. IMO our guy would have been Dana Tyrell, who's a key depth player on Tampa.
I hate to bring this up again, but it's really the biggest headscratching move that DR made in the draft.

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03-04-2011, 05:55 PM
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03-04-2011, 06:28 PM
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I hate to bring this up again, but it's really the biggest headscratching move that DR made in the draft.
Uh, Darryl Sutter had a history of drafting/signing players based on bloodlines. Flames were picking 18th and we were picking 19th. Thompson obviously liked Gillies too much to not risk losing him.

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03-04-2011, 08:03 PM
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I hate to bring this up again, but it's really the biggest headscratching move that DR made in the draft.
Naaa...It's just a stepping stone

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03-04-2011, 10:36 PM
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gillies needs to go back to the basics, and do what he can do... hit. Hes got speed and size, so start using it on the wing, start finishing every check, and play with some emotion.

with hard work, comes success.

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03-04-2011, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saywut View Post
Uh, Darryl Sutter had a history of drafting/signing players based on bloodlines. Flames were picking 18th and we were picking 19th. Thompson obviously liked Gillies too much to not risk losing him.
It's the liking him that much to give up the pick and move up despite his skillset which boggles my mind, not their rationale.

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03-05-2011, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickschultzfan View Post
Which was completely reasonable when he put up 24 goals and 23 assists for 47 points in 58 games in the WHL the year after he was drafted. On a Saskatoon team in which he had zero offensive help.

To put that in perspective, "power forward of the future" Bulmer has 18 goals and 29 assists for 47 points in 54 games in the WHL the year after he was drafted. On a Kelowna team with a lot more talent to help.

Gillies was a great prospect who was ruined by a year in the pressbox.
Your reasoning brings up a question. Does it benefit a prospect to play with other talented players because of skill or does it benefit them more to play with little talent because then they get more opportunity?

The 14 players drafted behind Colton Gillies in the first round have played a total of 462 games in the NHL. That averages out to 33 games apiece. If you take out Pacioretty and Perron, the remaining 12 picks have only played 102 NHL contests. I'm not using this to let DR off the hook for drafting Gillies, but there wasn't a ton of talent in the 07 draft.

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