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Nick Bjugstad vs Brock Nelson vs Anders Lee

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Old
11-09-2012, 01:23 PM
  #176
Konk
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Originally Posted by PWJunior View Post
I agree with Konk, Strome is a natural center and there has never been an indication that the Isles plan on moving him to the wing. I value centers over wingers too and so I don't see him switching positions when he's ready to join the Islanders.

Nelson does have experience on the wing, but you have to love the idea of a big, power center that he projects to be. I could see him moved to the wing down the road in the case that he shows he can't hack it up the middle. I don't think that will be a problem though.
Agreed. I think the Islanders will try both at center first and exhaust that option before ever shifting either to the wing. Nelson is definitely more flexible in that regard at this point with his previous wing experience.

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11-09-2012, 01:59 PM
  #177
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Originally Posted by seafoam View Post
I hope the development of Nelson and Strome does not make a player like Frans Nielsen a trade chip for a defenseman. That's why I suggested moving Nelson to wing.
Why does anyone need to make a decision here? Just let them all play center, and move the failures to wing.

Personally, I think if Strome could easily play wing with JT. Which plays center and which plays wing would matter only for faceoffs. Other than that, they're both smart enough and can communicate well enough to switch center d-responsibilities on the fly. That's the advantage of having two guys with superior hockey sense.

Cheers,

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11-09-2012, 05:18 PM
  #178
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I am guessing one of Nelson or Cizikas will be used as trade bait before the 2013/14 season. Just a guess

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11-10-2012, 09:17 PM
  #179
Chapin Landvogt
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Originally Posted by Konk View Post
I know this is probably your favorite thing to imagine, but where do you honestly get this other than your own desire? Strome has never played wing, he's a natural center and his game is best suited for the center position. I don't understand your fascination with putting him on the wing. It's possible, anything is possible at this point, but remember that he's never played wing. Internationally for team Canada, in the OHL, **** even exhibition games with the Isles during training camp he's always been at center.
You and Degeneration Rex asked me something along these lines a a few weeks ago. My response was in Post 286 of Part IV of the 12-13 Prospect Talk thread at the Islanders board. I'll post it here:
<<<
Gentlemen, we currently have no less than the U25 center options of Tavares, Bailey, Strome, Nelson, Cizikas, Lee and perhaps even Ullstrom and Sundstrom in the system. Several have already played on the wing at college, in the AHL or even in the NHL. There are lots of young bodies there and not all of them are going to be making it to the Islanders as a center. In addition, all of them, with the exception of maybe Cizikas, are as big as or bigger than Strome and Strome's skating doesn't (yet) necessarily separate him from the rest.

Now, if Tavares and Strome are the franchise's two biggest offensive talents (at least in that group, if not overall), it's far from beyond reason that there could be consideration about putting them on the same line at some point. Which, in that scenario, of the two would you expect to be playing on the wing?
>>>

In addition - and I may be wrong - but I seem to recall Strome playing on the wing in at least a few games at the 2012 WJC, namely on a line centered by Huberdeau (with primarily Stone, and sometimes Gallagher on the other side).

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There's no possible way you could infer that's what Snow and co. would want to see if Nelson turns into that type of player. I think it's obvious Snow puts an emphasis on strength down the middle by drafting strong, natural centers with good hockey IQ and all-around ability or has them develop all-around ability to be responsible centers, i.e. Strome. Why you and other fans want to remove that strength down the middle, which is the most important position to have depth besides defense is mind boggling.
It's not necessarily a matter of want, but rather looking at the total situation and the prospects in the pipeline from a logical standpoint. Now what I WANT is for Strome to have the impact on the Island that Eberle has had in Edmonton. That would make me one very happy fan and I tend to think others in the organization want, nay even expect, that level of impact too, or he'd not necessarily have been the pick at 5. If it comes up the middle, wonderful, but with JT already the clear #1 center, how often do we see two 70+ point players on the same team nowadays??? What we have seen is Eberle go from center in juniors to wing at the NHL level, and playing with Edmonton's top young offensive weapons to boot. As such, I can see this being a possibility here too.

If it doesn't go down that way, then it doesn't. Big whoop, as long as he's being made optimal use of.

On whole, I'm not really sure why this train of seemingly logical thought bugs a few of our armchair GMs here at the boards?

If the Isles deem Strome to be a center, center and only a center, then so be it. It would seem that at least for Bailey, they moved along those trains of thought for a while and are now changing that up. If they keep Strome in the middle, then other players will play on the wing or be traded to get wingers or will simply see other players brought in for that, likely from the outside or in upcoming drafts. As Dan-O says, it'll work itself out through the competition.

Ultimately, the Isles are approaching a point where they have to make concrete decisions about what to do with all the bodies, who they want to keep and where they all fit best, if at all. Working with these players every day, I'm sure they'll make very informed decisions, always keeping an eye on the market and on the ongoings of the other 29 teams.

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Right, turn a natural center who would give us strength at the most important forward position and convert him over to a less important wing position because you have an affinity to the idea that he's the Isles Jordan Eberle.
My personal playing experience and years of observing the game tells me that, for offensively-oriented players, the move to the wing for a center is the easiest a player could make without sacrificing his offensive acumen/effectiveness. It's naturally much more difficult going from wing to center, because the responsibilities all over the ice are enormously different.

Please don't forget that I'm saying all this with the background that particularly Nelson, much less any of the other U25 centers I mentioned above (and I also have a good feeling about Sundstrom over the long run) would have to prove able to be effective as a number 2 center and first with that inference, then this team is practically damned to see if it can't get the most out of its two most offensively gifted players on the same line.

I don't think Strome's grooming to date is going to prevent management and the coaching staff from wanting to find that out if others within the organization or even others brought in from the outside can efficiently assume the roles of centers 2-4 so as to more easily find out if Tavares and Strome should be creating magic together.

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Look how long it took the Isles to end the Josh Bailey at center experiment when it's been painfully obvious he's better on the wing for a few years now. It's quite clear they want strength down the middle and would like to develop that, not take away from it.
I sure hope Bailey is kept at the wing for a while, because I believe he can best 'unpack' his offensive skills there, as he showed in his last 19 games last season. But he was a center in juniors and has primarily been used as a center here. Like you've been arguing for Strome, the team seemed hellbent on seeing that he makes it at that natural position from day one. They've moved him for a stretch to the wing on two moderately long occasions in his time here and he produced better there on both occasions.

Now, I'm not sure why you would bring him up though, because he's actually an example of moving a 'natural born and bred' center to the wing. You spent this post telling me you don't know how I could possibly infer that the same 'could' happen to Strome.

I see it not as a matter of emotion on my behalf, but rather as purely logical thinking in light of the prospect situation the Isles currently have.

Taking all of this into account, if he's best as a center at the NHL level, then great. May he succeed and be part of the winner we all want to see here. At these boards, we're just chatting and tossing out different scenarios.

Now, staying on the thread topic, if the organization is able to add Lee as hoped, then I'll be very curious to see whether they see him as a wing or center. At this point, I'm tipping on him being a winger. With Nelson, despite the wingtime at ND, it seems to me that the franchise does currently see him as a player who is making his way to the NHL as a center. He's there now in BPort and he was also the center on the line with Lee when they both attended the prospect camp two summers ago, not that that is any indication as to how the cookies will ultimately crumble.


Last edited by Chapin Landvogt: 11-10-2012 at 09:27 PM.
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11-11-2012, 09:04 AM
  #180
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Originally Posted by boredmale View Post
I am guessing one of Nelson or Cizikas will be used as trade bait before the 2013/14 season. Just a guess
i don't see that happening, i also hope it doesn't happen and i would rather have nielsen traded because of how high i am on cizikas and nelson

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11-11-2012, 11:47 AM
  #181
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
You and Degeneration Rex asked me something along these lines a a few weeks ago. My response was in Post 286 of Part IV of the 12-13 Prospect Talk thread at the Islanders board. I'll post it here:
<<<
Gentlemen, we currently have no less than the U25 center options of Tavares, Bailey, Strome, Nelson, Cizikas, Lee and perhaps even Ullstrom and Sundstrom in the system. Several have already played on the wing at college, in the AHL or even in the NHL. There are lots of young bodies there and not all of them are going to be making it to the Islanders as a center. In addition, all of them, with the exception of maybe Cizikas, are as big as or bigger than Strome and Strome's skating doesn't (yet) necessarily separate him from the rest.

Now, if Tavares and Strome are the franchise's two biggest offensive talents (at least in that group, if not overall), it's far from beyond reason that there could be consideration about putting them on the same line at some point. Which, in that scenario, of the two would you expect to be playing on the wing?
>>>
I don't know if I mentioned it before or not, but only two of the aforementioned players have been strictly centers during their careers -- Tavares and Strome. Bailey, Nelson, Cizikas, and Lee have all spent time on the wing at some point. There's a number of scenarios and options, but unless you ignore that fact, they don't include Strome on the wing.
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
In addition - and I may be wrong - but I seem to recall Strome playing on the wing in at least a few games at the 2012 WJC, namely on a line centered by Huberdeau (with primarily Stone, and sometimes Gallagher on the other side).
You're wrong. Huberdeau played left wing with Strome centering the line. There may have been a shift or even a game or two with Strome on the wing, but I don't recall it. Either way -- plenty of natural centers have to shift due to the sheer number of centers on that roster. Strome didn't, he was predominantly used at center. Normally I wouldn't use this to reinforce my argument because of that reason, hell Crosby played wing at the WJCs. However, it goes to show every coach Strome has played under that gets paid to match these kids up has recognized Strome is most effective at center. Why you refuse to see it, I don't know.

That said, it's more important what the Isles' coaching staff has done with Strome as that's the argument and during his only training camp he spent the entire time as a center.
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
It's not necessarily a matter of want, but rather looking at the total situation and the prospects in the pipeline from a logical standpoint. Now what I WANT is for Strome to have the impact on the Island that Eberle has had in Edmonton. That would make me one very happy fan and I tend to think others in the organization want, nay even expect, that level of impact too, or he'd not necessarily have been the pick at 5. If it comes up the middle, wonderful, but with JT already the clear #1 center, how often do we see two 70+ point players on the same team nowadays??? What we have seen is Eberle go from center in juniors to wing at the NHL level, and playing with Edmonton's top young offensive weapons to boot. As such, I can see this being a possibility here too.
Eberle had prior experience as a winger as I recall. Nevertheless, if you look at the total situation you'll recognize Nelson has played left wing at North Dakota, Sundstrom was a right winger nearly his entire time in the SEL, Bailey is currently a winger, Cizikas is versatile so he can play anywhere, but is better suited as a center. So that leaves Strome as the only consistent center. If you look at all of that and think, which one is most likely to be shifted to wing in the pros. Most people would probably say one or two of the players that have prior experience there. Not you. You immediately go for the one guy that has remained at center everywhere he plays, he should be shifted to the wing. Again, you won't openly admit it, but it's obvious from your history of posts it's simply to satisfy your Jordan Eberle comparison/fantasy.
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
If the Isles deem Strome to be a center, center and only a center, then so be it. It would seem that at least for Bailey, they moved along those trains of thought for a while and are now changing that up. If they keep Strome in the middle, then other players will play on the wing or be traded to get wingers or will simply see other players brought in for that, likely from the outside or in upcoming drafts. As Dan-O says, it'll work itself out through the competition.
Exactly, but to expect them to bring him in as a winger immediately when he's always been a center everywhere he goes is foolish. He'll be tried at center first and foremost -- that's my point. If he fails like Bailey, then I could see him being tried on Tavares' wing. Ultimately I don't think he'll fail.
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
My personal playing experience and years of observing the game tells me that, for offensively-oriented players, the move to the wing for a center is the easiest a player could make without sacrificing his offensive acumen/effectiveness. It's naturally much more difficult going from wing to center, because the responsibilities all over the ice are enormously different.
Riiight. I guess your years of experience forgot to tell you that you want your best players at center handling the most responsibility.
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
Please don't forget that I'm saying all this with the background that particularly Nelson, much less any of the other U25 centers I mentioned above (and I also have a good feeling about Sundstrom over the long run) would have to prove able to be effective as a number 2 center and first with that inference, then this team is practically damned to see if it can't get the most out of its two most offensively gifted players on the same line.
You build a team from the net out. You build your forward lines from the center out. Why not build depth down the center? Nelson projects more as an all-around player than he does an offensive dynamo, so what's wrong with Tavares-Strome-Nelson down the middle if that's what happens? Either way works for me, but the point is, the team dynamics work themselves out on the ice, not by planning them years in advance. Why would the team be damned to see if it can get the most out of Tavares/Strome on the same line? Did your years of experience tell you that or is this the armchair GM talking?
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
I don't think Strome's grooming to date is going to prevent management and the coaching staff from wanting to find that out if others within the organization or even others brought in from the outside can efficiently assume the roles of centers 2-4 so as to more easily find out if Tavares and Strome should be creating magic together.
It's possible, but with the almost impossible task of convincing anyone to be an Islander, that's almost a moot point at this stage of the game. It's more likely they will continue to build from within and see how it plays out on the ice.
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
I sure hope Bailey is kept at the wing for a while, because I believe he can best 'unpack' his offensive skills there, as he showed in his last 19 games last season. But he was a center in juniors and has primarily been used as a center here. Like you've been arguing for Strome, the team seemed hellbent on seeing that he makes it at that natural position from day one. They've moved him for a stretch to the wing on two moderately long occasions in his time here and he produced better there on both occasions.
Only after Bailey failed time and time again did they move him from his natural center position. Which only proves my point that they will exhaust Strome at center first, as they did Bailey.
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
Now, I'm not sure why you would bring him up though, because he's actually an example of moving a 'natural born and bred' center to the wing. You spent this post telling me you don't know how I could possibly infer that the same 'could' happen to Strome.
Really? You would actually think this argument works better for you?

In reality, they are two different players altogether. Bailey was obviously a player they had drafted to be an offensive center and exhausted him at that position as he failed and failed again. He obviously doesn't have the ability to take on the responsibilities of that position, yet they forced him there even after stints on the wing showed he was better suited to play there. If Strome comes up, you think because of Bailey's failures, they'll shift him to the wing from day one and ignore the possibility of having strong center depth, again, the most important forward position, because of Bailey. Not to mention you always want your best forwards to be your centers. They obviously wouldn't want to try Strome there for an extended period of time. Or are you insinuating that because Bailey failed at center, so will Strome? Because if they bring Strome up and he's slotted at center and succeeds, why in the hell would they move him? Tavares can play with anyone -- the point is to spread the wealth and create depth, not to put all your eggs in one basket/line.
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
I see it not as a matter of emotion on my behalf, but rather as purely logical thinking in light of the prospect situation the Isles currently have.
If you were thinking logically, you'd realize Strome has never played wing and the move to wing would be a totally different direction than what the organization has done with him to date. You completely ignored the fact that in training camp he's always played center.

Bottom line: I acknowledge anything can happen and Strome could fail at center, then he could end up a winger afterall. However, that would mean he has to be tried there first, which I think is the first logical move considering his entire history has been at center. If Nelson and company develop into suitable options for the 2nd line center position and Strome is more effective on the wing, strong center depth could make it happen, but it's more likely for those other players to be shifted if Strome proves to be a more than effective center option as he has everywhere else in his career. Ultimately I think he will be used at center first, as Bailey was, until he fails. If he doesn't, then who can be upset with Tavares/Strome as their #1 and #2 centers?

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11-12-2012, 05:46 AM
  #182
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Riiight. I guess your years of experience forgot to tell you that you want your best players at center handling the most responsibility.
With a number of options down the middle, did Malkin never ever play on Crosby's wing?

Just askin'...

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Bottom line: I acknowledge anything can happen and Strome could fail at center, then he could end up a winger afterall.
And more need not be said, especially in this thread.

Time will tell. I just hope Strome succeeds and plays a good role in helping establish a winner on the Island.

Whether it's at center or the wing is of no importance to me.

That I strongly feel it COULD be on the wing really isn't worth talking about, especially since I've given plenty of sound reasons as to why that might happen.

Before this team is playing in Brooklyn, the Isles will have to make decisions - some easier than others - relating to no less than the center options of Tavares, Nielsen, Reasoner, Bailey, Cizikas, Nelson, Ullstrom, Sundstrom, Lee and even Theoret, much less anyone they might bring in from the outside or draft in the next three summers.

If they should choose to transition Strome to the wing at some point and you feel this is the wrong thing to do, then you can feel free to shoot off a mail expressing your dismay to info@newyorkislanders.com.


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11-12-2012, 08:45 AM
  #183
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IMO, no one should be transitioned to wing. I expect Strome to get his shot as our 2nd line center, and I don't see Nielsen going anywhere. Nelson seems like he'd be wasted in a 4th line role, where Cizikas would probably be a much better fit anyway.

I'd look to package him to Phoenix for Yandle. Seems like it would be a good fit. Either way, as much as I like Nelson, we still have Moulson, Nino, Bailey, Okposo and possibly Grabner to hold down our top-6 wing positions. I would rather take advantage of Nelson's extremely high trade value and bring in a huge need rather than slide him to the wing and risk not getting max production out of him. Especially when, in theory, we are pretty strong at the wing position and could desperately use another proven commodity on defense. Even if one of those 5 aforementioned players fail, we still have backup options like Kabanov, Persson, Joensuu, Petrov, etc. Chances are one of those guys will warrant a look. If all else fails, we can explore the UFA market for a solution. With Brooklyn locked up, even if we still can't lure in the top guys, we should at least be able to bring in someone serviceable.

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11-12-2012, 12:49 PM
  #184
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
With a number of options down the middle, did Malkin never ever play on Crosby's wing?

Just askin'...
Shifts vs. full time is quite different, because that's more or less the way I see it playing out. They may share PP time similar to Crosby and Malkin, but regularly centering their own lines.

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And more need not be said, especially in this thread.
Quite easy to ignore all of the points I refuted, I suppose, when you've already convinced yourself that Strome = the Islanders' Eberle.

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If they should choose to transition Strome to the wing at some point and you feel this is the wrong thing to do, then you can feel free to shoot off a mail expressing your dismay to info@newyorkislanders.com.

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11-12-2012, 03:00 PM
  #185
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Besides physical traits which are obviously in his favor...Nelson is better on the draw, he's a better back checker and you're not losing anything offensively.

Right now, there's little doubt in my mind that they would be moving Strome to wing before Nelson.

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11-12-2012, 11:25 PM
  #186
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it would be pretty cool if it ends up being tavares - nelson - cizikas and lee down the middle in 3 or 4 years

1 offensive super star and 3 physical 2 way centers would be absolutely awesome, wow the isles bottom 3 lines are going to be big if all goes right and Strome moves to JT's wing

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11-13-2012, 12:17 AM
  #187
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Watched Nelson and Cizikas live on Sunday VS the Whale. Isles prospect wise, have NEVER been this stacked at center. I dont want to overrate Nelson but he is not a secret anymore. The kid can play, period. Its amazing how quickly he adapted to the AHL. Great sneaky shot and has above average hockey sense. His skating has improved as well. Not as choppy, pretty slick to tell you the truth. He is currently at a point per game pace. I thought Lee was the better one in this group of three but Nelson has taken over. Get excited Isle fans, Nelson will be on the Isles soon.

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11-13-2012, 10:53 AM
  #188
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it would be pretty cool if it ends up being tavares - nelson - cizikas and lee down the middle in 3 or 4 years

1 offensive super star and 3 physical 2 way centers would be absolutely awesome, wow the isles bottom 3 lines are going to be big if all goes right and Strome moves to JT's wing
Why would you trade Nielsen if Strome is moved to the wing? So Anders Lee can have a roster spot?

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11-13-2012, 12:21 PM
  #189
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First this thread isn't about Islanders prospects. Second does anybody really think Lee is going to sign with the Islanders?

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11-13-2012, 12:33 PM
  #190
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First this thread isn't about Islanders prospects. Second does anybody really think Lee is going to sign with the Islanders?
First, two of the three players the thread is about are Islanders prospects, so yea, I think their prospects will be brought up. Second, why would you assume he wouldn't sign with them, other than the fact that you're just guessing?

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11-13-2012, 01:12 PM
  #191
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anyone care to talk about bjugstad here or just potential islanders lines?...very curious about how bjugstad has been for the gophers

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11-13-2012, 01:12 PM
  #192
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IMO if Lee ever does make it to ro hockey, his debut (AHL or NHL) will not be with the Islanders franchise.

his team is stacked with young foward talent and Lee can pick his destination as a FA. My Guess the Wild orginization.

Assuming the cba does not change the rules

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11-13-2012, 01:26 PM
  #193
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Some one says that Nelson had the best potential of the three guys here. Could someone give me a quick forecast on nelson potential? At his size, will he be the next lucic or is he more the holmstrom kind of guy? i'm asking since i never seen him play

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11-13-2012, 02:13 PM
  #194
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Some one says that Nelson had the best potential of the three guys here. Could someone give me a quick forecast on nelson potential? At his size, will he be the next lucic or is he more the holmstrom kind of guy? i'm asking since i never seen him play
Both of those players are wingers, Nelson is a center. To give you an idea on what type of player projects to be, I think Brock will be a top six power forward who will most likely end up at a centerman. He is a a big, smooth skating player who is good in all three zones, has a wicked shot, and can dish the puck. He is also winning tons of draws in the AHL. There are seemingly no holes in his game. He is not a goon or a grinder, he is a offense-first foward who uses his body to get into position near the net. I'm blanking on a NHL comparable probably because I just woke up from a snooze.

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11-13-2012, 02:17 PM
  #195
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Originally Posted by StrongIslanders90 View Post
IMO if Lee ever does make it to ro hockey, his debut (AHL or NHL) will not be with the Islanders franchise.

his team is stacked with young foward talent and Lee can pick his destination as a FA. My Guess the Wild orginization.

Assuming the cba does not change the rules
I don't doubt that Lee would want to come home to play for the Wild but they're just as stacked with young forward talent, if not more so.

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11-13-2012, 02:19 PM
  #196
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Originally Posted by redbeard7737 View Post
anyone care to talk about bjugstad here or just potential islanders lines?...very curious about how bjugstad has been for the gophers
Bjugstad has been good but not great, and great was the expectation for him this year. There are times when he just takes over and physically dominates but I'd like to see him do it more consistently.

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11-13-2012, 02:23 PM
  #197
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Originally Posted by sb24 View Post
First this thread isn't about Islanders prospects. Second does anybody really think Lee is going to sign with the Islanders?
Lee has the loyalty to stay at ND, attempt to play for a national championship with his teammates, and earn his degree What is the difference with the team who drafted him giving him a shot at professional hockey?

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11-13-2012, 02:51 PM
  #198
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I just got the impression that he was telling the islanders to get lost last spring. Time will tell.

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11-13-2012, 11:40 PM
  #199
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sb24, I got the same vibe on Lee. Hopefully he signs with us. The Isles have such an exciting group of prospects.

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11-14-2012, 05:26 AM
  #200
Chapin Landvogt
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Originally Posted by seafoam View Post
Lee has the loyalty to stay at ND, attempt to play for a national championship with his teammates, and earn his degree What is the difference with the team who drafted him giving him a shot at professional hockey?
The problem is that as of this upcoming spring, Lee can, if he wishes to leave ND, initiate a clause in at least the last CBA in which the Islanders must sign him within one month of his declaration of leaving college. If they cannot, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

The Isles can't do anything about it and receive no form of compensation from the league.

Lee would then be a normal UFA.

The Islanders have already seen this route taken by Jason Gregoire and Blake Kessel.

Blake Wheeler did it to the Coyotes back in the day and of course, Justin Schultz did it to the Ducks last spring.

This option is a normal stipulation with respect to NCAA players. In general, it exists because both sides agreed that a franchise shall have no more than four years of an NCAA player's rights before that player can seek free agency, if he so chooses. This is still better than, for example, the two years a team has the rights of a Canadian junior, or I guess any non-NCAA player. Now, as a further example, say you draft a kid right out of high school. He chooses to spend a season at a prep school, then another season in the USHL, then goes to an NCAA program and decides to turn pro after his sophomore year. He could then initiate this clause and his drafter would have exactly one month as of initiation to sign him or he walks.

Many fans and even many members of the media call this a 'loophole', but in general its a regular stipulation that has now been made use of on several occasions and which can be particularly bitter for teams who have patiently watched a kid develop peu--peu at school, only to choose to go to the higher bidder.

With respect to Lee, many Islander fans fear that he will be inclined to take this route, especially considering he was a sixth rounder, but will likely seek the ELC of a guy taken top 60, if not that of a 1st rounder. Also, the Islanders reportedly tried to sign him last summer (probably also to prevent this option from even coming into question) and his desire to return to ND further fueled the fear that he'll be looking for a different employer than the NYI this summer.

There's naturally no direct information or statement as to whether Lee is leaning towards this option or not.

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