1. We need to really focus on Dmen in the upcoming draft. I'm always a BPA guy, hopefully though it falls where we can get some quality backenders in the system. I mean, I still think guys like Fornier and Paliotta have longterm potential, but we still need to beef up the dmen prospect pool.
I think this is an end result of some good BPA drafting for us over the last few years. Really good forwards have fallen to us at our draft positions (TT, Saad, etc.) BECAUSE other teams focused too much on defensemen and didn't take BPA because they wanted D instead of forwards. Kudos to the Hawks brass for getting good value for our relatively low draft picks.
With Keith and Seabrook (hawk for life, IMO), we don't need to gamble and reach to try to get a top flight D, so I think we are better off doing what we are doing and sticking to 100% BPA. We still seem to be able to draft some quality defensemen outside the first round, and I'd rather trade to fill any D holes anyway.
They really had similar career paths and broke out their 3rd year. Only difference is Shaw went to the AHL after being drafted and Ross stayed in the OHL. He is dominating right now and I don't think it is fair to say last year that Shaw would've for sure been putting up better numbers than Ross is right now.
I think it is fair to say he has 3rd line upside. I won't pretend to be an expert on him though and wish I could say I've seen him play this year. I do remember him from last year watching Saad but I never really watched him that closely. I really will like to see his game at Rockford next year and hopefully we have another late bloomer like Andrew Shaw on our hands. Same EXACT pick by the Hawks for Shaw and Ross...#139 overall. That must be a sign we have another steal on our hands
I saw him alot in Saginaw in Saad's final year (The year Ross was drafted by Chicago). I like him as a player. He's not simply a grinder; he's got some skill and can make plays. I haven't seen any Saginaw games this year.. but I highly doubt his overage production will mean a whole lot going forward. He'll likely get a significant confidence boost going into the AHL next year - but that could just as easily work against him as for him.
Putting him ahead of guys like Beach, Calnan, Smith, Olsen and Stanton at this point, just doesn't make much sense IMO. Lets see if he can, in any way, carry some of that prodcution into the AHL next year. If he can pot 20 next year, then maybe you could make a legitimate argument for having him in the top-12.. but at this point, no chance IMO.