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Mika Zibanejad - How good will he be? Comparisons?

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Old
02-24-2013, 06:02 PM
  #76
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I think Mika has been playing great the last few games after sitting for 1. And adding some offense to his game. He seems to be getting accustomed to the small ice.

My favourite part about his game is his play without the puck, causing takeaways and turnovers. So many times last night, he bumped the smaller, weaker Leaf centre off the puck in open ice using his speed to close the gap and size to cause a turnover. When he gets stronger, this will be a huge part of his game. He's not a Selke winner with his positioning, but it's pretty good for a guy so young.

What people forget is he is one of the younger players in his draft class. He could be playing in the OHL.

With a comparison to Kadri, you have to consider where Kadri was at Zibanejad's age: in junior, with a few AHL years ahead. Zibby at 19 is already in the NHL, playing well, and improving.

The guy is still a lot like a wild stallion, with so many skills. I'm enjoying watching him develop.

He's always been the biggest wild card prospect as far as being very raw, and hard to project how good he can be. I really have no idea. It wouldn't surprise me if he only became a 50 point top defensive centre. Or he could be a 70 point guy with offense. This player is hard to read. At times he looks like both.

His non-elite puck carrying skills will keep his offensive numbers from being elite. He's best playing with a puck carrier, and/or doing the give and go a lot.

The Zubrus comparision is decent, but Zibby plays with more energy, he will be a forechecking beast. I'd say he's a unique player, nobody quite like him. I think he'll end up a 60-65 point 2nd line centre who is excellent defensively, and hard to play against. A bit like Kesler or Couturier. He has a knack for spectacular, Well-timed goals also. Very exciting dynamic player to watch.

This kid is looking far from a bust. Sure, it would be nice to have the future #1 defenseman Hamilton, but at least we got a decent player. I think he could be as good as Couturier in a few years. Sean is far more of a finished product. And Couts doesn't have elite offense either. Couts will be one of the smartest players in the league, but Zib has the advantage in wheels and shot.

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02-24-2013, 06:47 PM
  #77
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Might sound crazy but he reminds of Patrice Bergeron in his rookie year.

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02-24-2013, 06:58 PM
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigun View Post
He has seemingly turned the corner these last couple of games. Needs to show this type of game (net-drive) more consistently however.
Word for word what I said to my friend at the game after his goal. How he played against the leafs is how I hope he plays the next 15 years. Hustle in the neutral zone, cause turnovers, get it to the winger and drive the net.

And I understand why people think he might have a better career at wing, but I think if he can be a third line centre for our team playing on the number 2 PK and 1/2PP he'll be able to put up second line centre points. And he can always move up to a first or second line winger role if injuries occur. I just realllly like how he plays at centre, and he seems much more comfortable there IMO.

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02-24-2013, 07:18 PM
  #79
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Next Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson
I think Ottawa is a much better place for a Swedish player than Edmonton. The only time MPS looked good on a consistent basis was when he played with Omark.
Zibanejad will be fine in Ottawa who seems to understand how to players in a situation to succeed as a way of developing them (see EK). How he ends up is very hard to tell, think it boils down to how Ottawa uses him.

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02-24-2013, 07:24 PM
  #80
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On this team Zibanejad can be a good 3rd line centre next season. But at some point in the future as these young players gain more experience & get better I think Turris has 1st line potential & Zibanejad has 2nd line potential. Both should come as Spezza's skills begin to deteriate.

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02-25-2013, 08:11 AM
  #81
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Originally Posted by jigsaw99 View Post
Next Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson
Talent level discrepancy is notable between these two players.

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02-25-2013, 09:42 AM
  #82
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Originally Posted by Minister of Offence View Post
Talent level discrepancy is notable between these two players.
MoO I havent seen a post from you in a while!

Honestly I dont care about anything from this player other than if he can score in crunch time (like the gold medal goal). When healthy we can get into the playoffs if he's an average player but to me he has the potential to score goals when you need them.

Take a look at the NYR game. The team was distraught and had no confidence along with an inability to score. We get a PP (which we are doing terrible on btw) and Zibby roofs a shot on arguably the best goalie in the league. One shot scorer in crunch time. Next game he scores a game tying goal when the team needed it as well.

I was rarely a beleiver in Zibby and have been harping for Cout's all along but right now he is the better player. Zibby is playing big minutes and is sound defensively and is really Ovie-lite-lite. When comparing both players at full potential, right now I'm giving it to Zibby.

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02-25-2013, 10:29 AM
  #83
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Originally Posted by AndrePetersson View Post
Rumor has it, at least from what I remember at the time, was the scouting staff grilled him about his playoffs asking him if there was some underlying issues (injuries, mono symptoms etc.) that affected his play when they flew him in. Apparently they weren't impressed/assured by his answers.

Anyone that followed the Senators' draft rumors at the time did not believe for a second that the Senators were going to draft Couturier.
By rumours, you mean what you read on a bunch of message boards?

Either way, there weren't any big rumours about us taking Zibanejad, just like there weren't rumours about us taking Noesen or Puempel that year, or even Ceci last year. Most of the rumours that year were related to Landeskog and Strome for the most part, both of whom were gone obviously. By bringing in both Zibanejad and Couturier (leading to some conjecture, but hardly a rumour), obviously they were interested enough in both. I have no doubt they debated a choice between those two specifically, and Murray has alluded to such when asked about passing on Couturier (how they liked and considered Couturier, or they wouldn't have brought him to town for a visit). In the end, perhaps all of the Sens scouts agreed on Zbad, although Murray never said that (when he easily could have if true).

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02-25-2013, 11:02 AM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sens(e) View Post
By rumours, you mean what you read on a bunch of message boards?
That would technically qualify as rumours.

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02-25-2013, 11:12 AM
  #85
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I still remember being so disappointed when the NYI took Strome one pick before us. BDP and others hinted largely at Strome being the guy we were after.

Either way no point looking at the draft after it's done. The reality is we have Zibanejad on the Sens now and all we can hope for is that he develops well and reaches his potential because even though he hasn't put up gaudy numbers at any level he does have some very nice tools, and a knack for scoring timely goals.

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02-25-2013, 11:19 AM
  #86
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Originally Posted by SmellOfVictory View Post
That would technically qualify as rumours.
The point being made is there was little substance to these rumours.

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02-25-2013, 11:43 PM
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Sens(e) View Post
By rumours, you mean what you read on a bunch of message boards?

Either way, there weren't any big rumours about us taking Zibanejad, just like there weren't rumours about us taking Noesen or Puempel that year, or even Ceci last year. Most of the rumours that year were related to Landeskog and Strome for the most part, both of whom were gone obviously. By bringing in both Zibanejad and Couturier (leading to some conjecture, but hardly a rumour), obviously they were interested enough in both. I have no doubt they debated a choice between those two specifically, and Murray has alluded to such when asked about passing on Couturier (how they liked and considered Couturier, or they wouldn't have brought him to town for a visit). In the end, perhaps all of the Sens scouts agreed on Zbad, although Murray never said that (when he easily could have if true).
It's up to you on how much you want to believe the stuff that goes around, but it's not possible to refute that there are people on the Sens board that do have sources within the Senators organization that do give us information from time to time.

You may also choose to believe that the organization leaked the information that did come out deliberately to lay a false trail for other organizations that were looking for information on the Sens themselves.

All I'm saying is that we as fans that followed the rumors closely at the time had absolutely zero faith that the Senators were at all interested in picking Couturier. Whether Zib was a last choice consolation prize or a sleeper they were thankful slipped under the radar of the teams picking above them is up for debate.

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02-26-2013, 09:48 AM
  #88
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Originally Posted by AndrePetersson View Post
It's up to you on how much you want to believe the stuff that goes around, but it's not possible to refute that there are people on the Sens board that do have sources within the Senators organization that do give us information from time to time.

You may also choose to believe that the organization leaked the information that did come out deliberately to lay a false trail for other organizations that were looking for information on the Sens themselves.

All I'm saying is that we as fans that followed the rumors closely at the time had absolutely zero faith that the Senators were at all interested in picking Couturier. Whether Zib was a last choice consolation prize or a sleeper they were thankful slipped under the radar of the teams picking above them is up for debate.
Fair enough. But I am privy to those same "sources" and none of them were calling Zib. As I noted, it was all about Strome and Landeskog. And there were no leaks re Zib and Couturier - the team was pretty open about both spending the day with the team (they did a promo video even, as I recall). The rest of the guys invited were already drafted, obviously.

You can speculate they were never interested in Couturier all you want, but if they were playing that game they would have been better served to bring in Scheifele, Hamilton and Murphy as well - other players actually ranked ahead of Zibanejad on a lot of boards. That way, teams wouldn't have had as good an idea the team was zeroing in on Mika.

Also, those sources have never been accurate on past or subsequent drafts, so calling them sources when it comes to the draft really has no more substance than what you are I have to say. You can choose to believe the Sens NEVER considered taking Couturier, but that would be based on gut, and no real facts or sources that demonstrated inside draft knowledge at any point in time.

The Sens organization is a pretty professional one and Dorion and Murray don't play games. They really don't believe they invited Couturier without interest in him. Even if it was just to talk to him about his playoffs (as you speculated), that in itself is an indication they were still interested and there was a chance based on that interview, they would take him. Probably a case of one or two of their scouts liking Couturier more, where as the rest wanted Mika, so with respect to those scouts advocating for Couturier, they brought he and Mika in for an up close one one one comparison in terms of intangibles.

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02-26-2013, 10:20 AM
  #89
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Originally Posted by BrawlFan View Post
MoO I havent seen a post from you in a while!

Honestly I dont care about anything from this player other than if he can score in crunch time (like the gold medal goal). When healthy we can get into the playoffs if he's an average player but to me he has the potential to score goals when you need them.

Take a look at the NYR game. The team was distraught and had no confidence along with an inability to score. We get a PP (which we are doing terrible on btw) and Zibby roofs a shot on arguably the best goalie in the league. One shot scorer in crunch time. Next game he scores a game tying goal when the team needed it as well.

I was rarely a beleiver in Zibby and have been harping for Cout's all along but right now he is the better player. Zibby is playing big minutes and is sound defensively and is really Ovie-lite-lite. When comparing both players at full potential, right now I'm giving it to Zibby.
You haven't been looking hard enough man. I've taken my Karlsson man crush and Ottawa homerism to obscure threads in the Swedish/Finnish/Russian boards in hopes of global Sens fandomination. But seriously, not quite around as much.

Ya know, you might get what you're hoping for. He's explosive off the mark, something most players have to learn and train for and often get marginal, albeit extremely helpful, gains. So it kinda takes his ability to make plays out of nothing all over the place. Whether it's being first to the net to get a rebound, whether it's getting passed a defensemen to tip a puck on net. Or pouncing on a loose puck in the neutral zone. Etc etc etc. We've seen him do these things.

He's also gonna fill out.

I think he's got an abundance of realizable upside. There's things about him that made him very NHL ready (size and speed/quickness), but he's also a player that should gain a lot from coaching and filling out his frame. So in one sense he's NHL-ready but on the other, kinda raw as well. I think people wanted to say he's one or the other, but depending on how you look at it, he's both.

As a player built like a powerforward, he's got higher end skill to be a 30-30 first line power forward that leans on people and is tough to deal with around the net. I say 30 goals because ever since he's gotten to Ottawa, he's shown an ability to score in a variety of ways. Very important.

And then there's the odd flash down the wing, that off wing one footed wrister he puts between the legs of the defender that shows you he was 14-15 once and really wanted to be Alex Ovechkin when he grows up. He doesn't have the extent of raw physical talents that Ovie had, but I bet he'll grow up, fill out and be a more disciplined professional.

And I don't care if I come off as a ***** saying this, I had a hard time understanding how most people doubted this player. He's always been a 1st line talent...and if he's not there yet, and that's reasonable to say, he likely will be over the next 2-3 years.

Above all else, I'm surprised how much more composed he's been with the puck. Not high end in this regard, but for a power forward with his skill set and skating...it's adequate. More adequate than I thought.

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02-26-2013, 10:28 AM
  #90
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sens(e) View Post
By rumours, you mean what you read on a bunch of message boards?

Either way, there weren't any big rumours about us taking Zibanejad, just like there weren't rumours about us taking Noesen or Puempel that year, or even Ceci last year. Most of the rumours that year were related to Landeskog and Strome for the most part, both of whom were gone obviously. By bringing in both Zibanejad and Couturier (leading to some conjecture, but hardly a rumour), obviously they were interested enough in both. I have no doubt they debated a choice between those two specifically, and Murray has alluded to such when asked about passing on Couturier (how they liked and considered Couturier, or they wouldn't have brought him to town for a visit). In the end, perhaps all of the Sens scouts agreed on Zbad, although Murray never said that (when he easily could have if true).
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrePetersson View Post
It's up to you on how much you want to believe the stuff that goes around, but it's not possible to refute that there are people on the Sens board that do have sources within the Senators organization that do give us information from time to time.

You may also choose to believe that the organization leaked the information that did come out deliberately to lay a false trail for other organizations that were looking for information on the Sens themselves.

All I'm saying is that we as fans that followed the rumors closely at the time had absolutely zero faith that the Senators were at all interested in picking Couturier. Whether Zib was a last choice consolation prize or a sleeper they were thankful slipped under the radar of the teams picking above them is up for debate.
I heard from someone that knows Tim Murray that Couturier was someone they were less than enthused about. And that Tim was making frequent trips to see Niagara leading up the draft. The word was, we loved Strome, Couturier not-so-much.

Couturier's turned out great and I don't the Sens would try and discount that. But Ottawa has been building a team for quick transition and overall speed around the rink...and leading up the draft you could see Zibanejad was a player that skated around endlessly with speed and explosiveness. And what were seeing now is that he's a great compliment to what's happening in Ottawa.

Maybe the Sens take Brodin or Hamilton in retrospect...but I'm not convinced they are at all worried they took Zibanejad over Couturier...even if you could get them to admit Couturier's a little better.

Little mistakes like that aren't how scouts lose sleep. Especially when this team has like 16 homegrown players on the roster and cupboard full beyond the big team. And there's still a realistic chance that this isn't a mistake at all as we go forward and actually find out.

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02-26-2013, 10:28 AM
  #91
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Reminds me of Iginla in his younger days and a bit of Kesler

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02-26-2013, 10:36 AM
  #92
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Got to laugh at the people who are disappointed with a 19 year old player who is adjusting to smaller ice and was coming off some health issues the past year. He isnt really a hossa type guy where he will dominate the opposing team with his puck possession in their end. Nor do I understand the michalek comparison, michalek is a talented grinder who has a knack for scoring when he is near the goal crease. The only resemblance zibanejad has to those guys are his size and speed.

Personally I see zibanejad in his prime being the most dynamic player outside of karlsson/spezza on the sens. He will probably be the best defensive forward and goal scorer when he fills out and gains more experience, we have already seen flashes of him being able to read the play and steal pucks or cause turnovers in the opposing team's. His hockey IQ was the only doubt I had and no longer have. He has a great shot, and has shown signs of his physicality hence the OV comparisons. No where near the goal scorer or dominance OV had in his prime, so this is strictly a stylistic comparison (as I know there are retards on this board who need statements like the above to be specifically detailed).

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02-26-2013, 10:41 AM
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Got to laugh at the people who are disappointed with a 19 year old player who is adjusting to smaller ice and was coming off some health issues the past year. He isnt really a hossa type guy where he will dominate the opposing team with his puck possession in their end. Nor do I understand the michalek comparison, michalek is a talented grinder who has a knack for scoring when he is near the goal crease. The only resemblance zibanejad has to those guys are his size and speed.

Personally I see zibanejad in his prime being the most dynamic player outside of karlsson/spezza on the sens. He will probably be the best defensive forward and goal scorer when he fills out and gains more experience, we have already seen flashes of him being able to read the play and steal pucks or cause turnovers in the opposing team's. His hockey IQ was the only doubt I had and no longer have. He has a great shot, and has shown signs of his physicality hence the OV comparisons. No where near the goal scorer or dominance OV had in his prime, so this is strictly a stylistic comparison (as I know there are retards on this board who need statements like the above to be specifically detailed).
Hahahaha.

This is a clear cut assessment, filled with qualifiers to ensure it's clearly understood.

I've always said Michalek with more tools. His frame and stride isn't very different. But Mika's got more scoring tools, Michalek's pretty gotta burst in alone with the goalie to score...which he can do pretty well. It's also why he's streaky. Even in his young days, Michalek would just constantly break underneath and get alone with the goalie.

Mika can do that, and more. Whereas Michalek may hit 30 goals sparsely through his career, I think Mika will do it more.

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02-26-2013, 10:50 AM
  #94
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Kesler...

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02-26-2013, 11:36 AM
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Hahahaha.

This is a clear cut assessment, filled with qualifiers to ensure it's clearly understood.

I've always said Michalek with more tools. His frame and stride isn't very different. But Mika's got more scoring tools, Michalek's pretty gotta burst in alone with the goalie to score...which he can do pretty well. It's also why he's streaky. Even in his young days, Michalek would just constantly break underneath and get alone with the goalie.

Mika can do that, and more. Whereas Michalek may hit 30 goals sparsely through his career, I think Mika will do it more.
Which is probably because of the difference in the quality of how they read the game. Michalek is an awesome player but has always been lacking in the thinking the game department, still an awesome player though

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02-26-2013, 11:40 AM
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Looking very similar to his Finnish compatriot Lauri Korpikoski

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02-26-2013, 11:51 AM
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Looking very similar to his Finnish compatriot Lauri Korpikoski
Ummm...?

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02-26-2013, 08:46 PM
  #98
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Fair enough. But I am privy to those same "sources" and none of them were calling Zib. As I noted, it was all about Strome and Landeskog. And there were no leaks re Zib and Couturier - the team was pretty open about both spending the day with the team (they did a promo video even, as I recall). The rest of the guys invited were already drafted, obviously.

You can speculate they were never interested in Couturier all you want, but if they were playing that game they would have been better served to bring in Scheifele, Hamilton and Murphy as well - other players actually ranked ahead of Zibanejad on a lot of boards. That way, teams wouldn't have had as good an idea the team was zeroing in on Mika.

Also, those sources have never been accurate on past or subsequent drafts, so calling them sources when it comes to the draft really has no more substance than what you are I have to say. You can choose to believe the Sens NEVER considered taking Couturier, but that would be based on gut, and no real facts or sources that demonstrated inside draft knowledge at any point in time.

The Sens organization is a pretty professional one and Dorion and Murray don't play games. They really don't believe they invited Couturier without interest in him. Even if it was just to talk to him about his playoffs (as you speculated), that in itself is an indication they were still interested and there was a chance based on that interview, they would take him. Probably a case of one or two of their scouts liking Couturier more, where as the rest wanted Mika, so with respect to those scouts advocating for Couturier, they brought he and Mika in for an up close one one one comparison in terms of intangibles.
The scuttlebutt was that they were less than enthused by Couturier's playoff performance and that was the main reason they were turned off from picking him. (They even ended up picking the center that went up head-to-head with him and shut him down in Pageau)

Now assuming that's true, I can certainly see why they would still fly him in for the interviews/workouts just to make sure that Couturier wasn't hampered by an injury or a re-occurrence of the mono he had earlier in the year. It's not hard to imagine that if the guy was playing with a broken foot (random example) that he didn't disclose during the playoffs, that the Senators' scouting staff would have a different opinion of the guy. But because there was nothing wrong with him, they didn't want to pick him.

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02-27-2013, 08:20 AM
  #99
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The scuttlebutt was that they were less than enthused by Couturier's playoff performance and that was the main reason they were turned off from picking him. (They even ended up picking the center that went up head-to-head with him and shut him down in Pageau)

Now assuming that's true, I can certainly see why they would still fly him in for the interviews/workouts just to make sure that Couturier wasn't hampered by an injury or a re-occurrence of the mono he had earlier in the year. It's not hard to imagine that if the guy was playing with a broken foot (random example) that he didn't disclose during the playoffs, that the Senators' scouting staff would have a different opinion of the guy. But because there was nothing wrong with him, they didn't want to pick him.
Interesting perspective. I was at those games at the Bob and Couturier actually looked quite good to me. And Pageau was certainly not tasked with shutting down Couturier (that was a poor match-up physically), although Pageau did look good offensively. Gatineau were all over Couturier and he stood up to the physical play rather well. But Drummondville couldn't get the puck out of their own zone at times, which certainly had little to do with Couturuer. I saw Dorion and Murray there too, and I highly doubt they ignored their Quebec scout and went purely off those two games when trying to evaluate how to use a lottery pick. At least I sure as hell hope they based their decision on a larger sample size. Sometimes more info comes out further out, so maybe we'll know more in 5+ years.

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03-15-2013, 06:45 PM
  #100
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Posts: 175
vCash: 500
what do you guys think now after 20+ games that he has played?

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