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New York Rangers continue to produce excellent prospects

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Old
03-24-2011, 08:33 AM
  #76
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Originally Posted by Zil View Post
I don't know about that. I think it's more that Torts doesn't trust his linemates.
I think it's more complicated than that. Tortorella is known to be a guy who will "protect" his young players from being overwhelmed. I think he's trying to keep Stepan and Zucca from being completely gassed by the time the playoffs roll around.

On top of that, they've really been our 3rd best line behind the Pack line, and the Feds-Boyle-Prust line. Between D-Step's line and Gabby's line, the latter is really the one that you need to get going if you hope to do any damage in the post-season. You really need your best players to be at the top of their game. EC/Prospal/Gabby are bound to get more ice-time as we get closer to the playoffs, if only in an effort to get them firing on all cylinders.

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03-24-2011, 08:45 AM
  #77
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Originally Posted by BlueshirtBlitz View Post
And MZA has less goal-scoring ability, is small and isn't a great skater either. He's also older. You also fail to mention the larger rink size.

MZA will be/is a very gifted playmaker. It doesn't take a long time to see that Thomas can be a gifted goal scorer after seeing him play, though.
All I am saying is that if you are expecting Thomas to come in and show more potential then MZA is so far, then you are making a biiiiiig misstake.

And I am very comfortable saying that. Thomas is in -- no way -- dominant in terms of raw skills compared to the relevant cathegory. And in this case, given that 2-3 kids per year from each year group turns becomes "stars" in the NHL, the relevant cathegory is like the top 5-10 forwards in the world born in 1992.

He is clutch. He have a great nose for the net. He is very smart. He knows where to be on the ice. And he have a skill-level that backs up his game. While not being a outstanding dynamic skater like say a MSL/Parise, he can create open space for himself with his skating. He is shifty and hard to get a hold of. And he can maneuvere on the ice at full speed while carrying out all of the above (read: plays well in traffic so to speak).

I don't even know if MZA have less goal-scoring ability then Thomas. Zucc have a very good nose for the net. Thomas is not really more talented then him. And Zucc definitely have the better -- by a very wide margin -- better play-making ability.

Thomas could become a player. And given the environment we have built up in NY and how well we have developed our kids lately, he could even become a very fine player. What do I know, but like 30+30, 35+25, or something like that. Which is awesome. But do not expect much more. Please. Please. Please. There is no reason what-so-ever to expect more. To expect 30+30 from a kid like him is to have very high expectations on him. Very high.


Last edited by Ola: 03-24-2011 at 08:51 AM.
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03-24-2011, 08:47 AM
  #78
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Originally Posted by Chimp View Post
Well, the whole Stepan line hasn't played much recently and you also have to remember that Euro rookies usually run out of gas at the end of the season. Used to playing 53 games + eventual playoffs is alot less than 82 games + eventual playoffs.
It's also worth noting that Zucc has made a much smoother transition to the North American game / rink than many other Euro stars before him. Pacing would put him at a 46 point season over 82 games as a rookie. Obviously not a guarantee, but still excellent when you consider what he's been up against.

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03-24-2011, 09:15 AM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Ola View Post
All I am saying is that if you are expecting Thomas to come in and show more potential then MZA is so far, then you are making a biiiiiig misstake.

I don't even know if MZA have less goal-scoring ability then Thomas. Zucc have a very good nose for the net. Thomas is not really more talented then him. And Zucc definitely have the better -- by a very wide margin -- better play-making ability.
The thing with Zucc is that he's a lot closer to being a finished product physically than Thomas is. Zucc's almost five years older than Thomas. Couple that with the fact that Thomas has a deadly one-timer and an NHL pedigree, and it's not hard to see why people are so excited about him. I'm not saying he's going to be this good, but Gaborik's not exactly a top-level passer either, and that didn't stop him from putting up 86 points last year. A phenomenal shot can really open things up. Nobody's saying Thomas is a sure thing, but it looks like he might, might have the potential to be a first-liner.

That's no slight against Zucc, but he doesn't appear to have that potentially elite skill. He's a very creative passer (though I wish he would shoot more), but I'm not sure he's going to be an elite one. By no means do I think he's anywhere near fully developed, but I have a hard time seeing him as a first-liner. If he manages to add the strength to stop getting knocked around so much he might be a 60 point guy.

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03-24-2011, 09:18 AM
  #80
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Originally Posted by Zil View Post
The thing with Zucc is that he's a lot closer to being a finished product than Thomas is. Zucc's almost five years older than Thomas. Couple that with the fact that Thomas has a deadly one-timer and an NHL pedigree, and it's not hard to see why people are so excited about him. I'm not saying he's going to be this good, but Gaborik's not exactly a top-level passer either, but that didn't stop him from putting up 86 points last year. A phenomenal shot can really open things up.

That's no slight against Zucc, but he doesn't appear to have that potentially elite skill. He's a very creative passer (though I wish he would shoot more), but I'm not sure he's going to be an elite one. If manages to add the strength to stop getting knocked around so much he might be a 60 point guy.
Agreed... I like Thomas' potential ceiling over MZA's right now....

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03-24-2011, 09:37 AM
  #81
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Originally Posted by rangers1024 View Post
What do you mean, "How can he have more potential than Zucc?" like it's not possible or something.

Thomas is a small guy that plays the game like he thinks he's 6'0 190, he doesn't shy away from contact, he's not easily muscled off the puck, doesn't hesitate to work along the boards, or crash at the net. Thomas has a rediculous shot and uses it whenever possible.

So I don't understand how it's wrong to say that Thomas has more 'potential' than Zucc.
Look, in this aspect we are allowed to dream.

A kid like Zucc, showing the potential he is showing, the poise on the PP, his sniper ability, how he have handled the physical aspects, who of us can say that if he keeps developing he can't pot like 70 pts, if not even more, if he gets to play in a environment that really suits him et c.? He is -- de facto -- on pace to get 48 pts in his rookie season.

I can also see how much he developed this season just from last season, which certainly indicates that he can keep developing despite being 23 y/o. He is still less then one year older then a Carl Hagelin for example.

With a kid like Christian Thomas, it is unreasonable to expect more then say 30+30 from him, and thats still a very high expectation. There is no guarantee that he even will make it even to the NHL. Really. He is very far from being good enough today, meaning that he have to develop, and that is never a sure thing. Players like Phil Kessel don't grow on tree's. There are currently only 5 canadian RW's in the league on pace to get more then 69 pts this season. The fact that you are getting into the top 5 to 10 in scoring in the OHL, is no guarantee that you will score 70 pts in the NHL. From at least 12 generations of Canadian hockey players, its a fact that only 5 currently is on pace to score more then 69 pts when the season ends.

All I am saying is that it is way to early to claim that he have higher potential then Zucc. Is it possible that in 12 month we will be able to say that? Yes. But not no, it is way to early.

I was in the same type of discussion about Grachev a couple of years ago. I could not rule out that Grachev would have stepped into the AHL and pwened everyone and nowadays score 80+ pts in the NHL. How can you rule out that? I still can't prove that Jessiman won't score 80 pts in the NHL. But -- as we do with any kid -- you look at what you have, and make a projection from it. You take that projection and add some and call it roof and take away some and call it celling. Its still only guessing. In this equation youth never equals potential. Because if you go that road you'll just make a ton of misstakes. Its way to early to start talk about CT as say a 40+40 player like Phil Kessel. Its just to early. If he develops really well this summer. Makes the Canadian Junior National Team and is like top 5 in scoring in the WJC's next season, then I think its reasonable to start talking about him like like a scorer in that range. We can always hope, but hope isn't potential.

Martin St. Louis scored 2 pts in 13 games at the same age as Zucc is this year. Brett Hull scoerd 1 goals in 5 games at the same age as Zucc is this season. Ziggy Palffy scored 17 pts in 33 games at the same age as Zucc is this season. By the same yardstick, I can't prove that Zucc won't be better then those three either. But we can't reasonably give every prospect a 10c just because we never no were they will end up.


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Old
03-24-2011, 09:47 AM
  #82
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I just don't agree with you stating that Thomas can't/doesn't have more potential.

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03-24-2011, 10:26 AM
  #83
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Originally Posted by Zil View Post
It pains me to see Stepan's ice time getting cut. If Christensen's little hot streak is over, then Torts might want to consider putting Stepan in his spot.
a major reason for Stepan's ice time getting cut is that Torts doesnt like to start his line with defensive zone face offs. Stepan is brutal on the faceoff (not unusual for rookies) - and his wingers aren't exactly defensive studs.

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03-24-2011, 12:27 PM
  #84
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Our prospect group is so good it almost brought tears to my eyes. Any team that has Roman Horak and Jesper Fasth as your 14th and 15th best prospects have a lot to get excited about. Almost too much.

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03-24-2011, 12:49 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by ColonialsHockey10 View Post
Our prospect group is so good it almost brought tears to my eyes. Any team that has Roman Horak and Jesper Fasth as your 14th and 15th best prospects have a lot to get excited about. Almost too much.
well thats one way of looking at it.

then again, when you factor in weve got grachev at 4- too high given his lack of production in the ahl, mcilrath at 6- see grachev but worse since hes not even the best dman on his mj team, ryan bourque at 8- nice prospect but at best a 4th liner and somewhat redundant with hagelin lurking and prusty establishing himself, chad johnson at 10h- jury still out so 10 is too high given who is below him on list and dale wiese at 13- another 4th liner with little offensive upside and no future with this organization.

take them out and put them where they belong, and all of a sudden guys like fasth and horak are near the top 10 where they belong.

either way, we've got some very nice looking prospects getting close.

im especially stoked about forwards ck, horak, fasth, werek and hagelin. all of these guys can play nhl hockey in the near future. 4 of the 5 skate really well, in fact, the collective skating of this group is very exciting. even werek skates better than hes given credit for.

and both ktek and vtank look to be solid prospects with some grit and physicality to their games. god knows our defense is lacking a stay at home punisher like vtank.

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03-24-2011, 01:09 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by offdacrossbar View Post
well thats one way of looking at it.

then again, when you factor in weve got grachev at 4- too high given his lack of production in the ahl, mcilrath at 6- see grachev but worse since hes not even the best dman on his mj team, ryan bourque at 8- nice prospect but at best a 4th liner and somewhat redundant with hagelin lurking and prusty establishing himself, chad johnson at 10h- jury still out so 10 is too high given who is below him on list and dale wiese at 13- another 4th liner with little offensive upside and no future with this organization.

take them out and put them where they belong, and all of a sudden guys like fasth and horak are near the top 10 where they belong.

either way, we've got some very nice looking prospects getting close.

im especially stoked about forwards ck, horak, fasth, werek and hagelin. all of these guys can play nhl hockey in the near future. 4 of the 5 skate really well, in fact, the collective skating of this group is very exciting. even werek skates better than hes given credit for.

and both ktek and vtank look to be solid prospects with some grit and physicality to their games. god knows our defense is lacking a stay at home punisher like vtank.
Who's Moose Jaw's #1 defenseman then? HF boards even has McIlrath as the 10th best WHL defenseman that's been drafted, stating that he anchors Moose Jaws defense.

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03-24-2011, 01:12 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by MorrisWanchuk View Post
a major reason for Stepan's ice time getting cut is that Torts doesnt like to start his line with defensive zone face offs. Stepan is brutal on the faceoff (not unusual for rookies) - and his wingers aren't exactly defensive studs.
Not only that but Anisimov has stepped it up big time. Taking away a lot of Stepan's ice time.

I'm not really upset by it at all as the other 3 lines have flat out been better than Stepans. Not a knock on their line, but we need to play our best down the stretch.

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03-24-2011, 01:33 PM
  #88
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Originally Posted by wolfgaze View Post
Agreed... I like Thomas' potential ceiling over MZA's right now....
Idk about that. I think we will know for sure after next year. MZA is adjusting to a smaller ice surface, something Thomas never had to do. Hes adjusting to a different style of game, again something Thomas has not had to do yet.

So while I am extremely excited for Thomas' ceiling I am not sold that it will be that much higher than MZA's yet considering MZA has had a quite a few nice accomplishments in the SEL as Thomas has in the OHL.

If Thomas tears up the AHL, then I would be a ALOT more comfortable saying that. But until then I see them to have similar ceilings... Thats my 2c

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03-24-2011, 01:40 PM
  #89
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MZA is having a 46 point rookie season, while adjusting to the North American game. Not sure how anyone can not love what he's doing so far.

Thomas has potential, but MZA is in the NHL right now showing what he can do.

He can easily be a 60-point player in the NHL.

Not only that, but for a small guy, he plays tough as hell. He finishes all his hits, and doesn't back down from anyone.

No one knows what Thomas will turn into, but I would definitely take MZA over Thomas right now. He's at least proving what he has.

Thomas may have a higher ceiling but there's still a lot of unknowns in his game. A lot of undersized high-scoring prospects don't do squat in the NHL. It's just too soon to judge.

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03-24-2011, 01:44 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by Thordic View Post
MZA is having a 46 point rookie season, while adjusting to the North American game. Not sure how anyone can not love what he's doing so far.

Thomas has potential, but MZA is in the NHL right now showing what he can do.

He can easily be a 60-point player in the NHL.

Not only that, but for a small guy, he plays tough as hell. He finishes all his hits, and doesn't back down from anyone.

No one knows what Thomas will turn into, but I would definitely take MZA over Thomas right now. He's at least proving what he has.

Thomas may have a higher ceiling but there's still a lot of unknowns in his game. A lot of undersized high-scoring prospects don't do squat in the NHL. It's just too soon to judge.
Bolded for truth. I am excited about Thomas as a prospect, but anyone that would take him over MZA at this point is insane. Thomas might have higher upside than MZA (and I'm not even sure that I buy that), but he is far from proving anything at the NHL level.

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03-24-2011, 01:45 PM
  #91
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Originally Posted by ColonialsHockey10 View Post
Who's Moose Jaw's #1 defenseman then? HF boards even has McIlrath as the 10th best WHL defenseman that's been drafted, stating that he anchors Moose Jaws defense.
collin bowman has been by far the best dman on mj. hes had a nice season.

and super rookie morgan reilly has dynamic offensive abilities.

mcilrath has been ok. his point totals this year were almost identical to last year 23 points v. 24 last year. but he was plus 20 last year and this year hes right at 0.

i think the ''anchor'' comment is based upon his footwork

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03-24-2011, 02:12 PM
  #92
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Bolded for truth. I am excited about Thomas as a prospect, but anyone that would take him over MZA at this point is insane. Thomas might have higher upside than MZA (and I'm not even sure that I buy that), but he is far from proving anything at the NHL level.
They are 4 years apart in age, I think the statements above pretty much go without saying....

Thomas ceiling is higher IMHO but there's obviously no guarantee he reaches it....

MZA has been marginalized in some of these games, especially against the more physical teams... Torts talked about this in the press game conference when a Norwegian reporter questioned him about MZA's playing time.... Thomas is small in size as well but has the one-timer and shot to potentially be a goal scoring threat in different areas of the ice, as well as the ability to set people up and make plays.... That's something MZA lacks right now (goal scoring threat)... If he doesn't have the space to make plays, it takes away his effectiveness. He has a good shot but right now he's not much of a scoring threat on the ice....


Last edited by wolfgaze: 03-24-2011 at 02:21 PM.
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Old
03-24-2011, 02:30 PM
  #93
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MZA isn't a sniper - he's a decent goalscorer, but his playmaking is his forte. He sees the game extremely well, and is good at dishing off the puck.

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03-24-2011, 02:41 PM
  #94
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MZA isn't a sniper - he's a decent goalscorer, but his playmaking is his forte. He sees the game extremely well, and is good at dishing off the puck.
I agree, that's why I think Thomas has a higher ceiling... He's a gifted goal scorer right now at the Junior level with a lethal shot, but also has the ability to make plays and set up his linemates... Players that are a threat to score goals and set up plays are harder to contain and play against. Again, I'm not saying Thomas is guaranteed to do anything at the NHL level at this point, but if both players were to reach their highest potential, Thomas is the more valuable player IMHO.

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