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Was Mike Modano's career better/same/worse than scouts' 1988 projections?

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01-03-2014, 03:05 PM
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Sticks and Pucks
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Was Mike Modano's career better/same/worse than scouts' 1988 projections?

I know your first thought is that this is probably a silly question considering how much Modano accomplished. But what were his expectations at the time of the 1988 draft? Was he expected to be better? I ask this because it seems a lot of recent first overall prospects have been compared to Sakic, Yzerman, Crosby, etc when in reality, most of them will never hit that peak and they would probably be considered successful if they have a career like Modano's or Turgeon's.

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01-03-2014, 04:34 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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interesting question. no, i don't think modano equaled his draft projections. i think he was supposed to be the two-way force he was at his peak, but also more of a year-in, year-out art ross contender. probably a guy who, especially given the weak competition in the late 90s, should have had a string of two or three top five finishes.

now before tjcurrie comes and berates me and starts talking about that one year when modano was going to... but then got hurt, he obviously was tremendous value for a number one, and had a great career. a bona fide franchise center, who was the best forward on a stanley cup winner, hard to ask for more. but i think he was expected to have more of a gilbert perreault career (which, actually, i don't know if i would trade for modano's career, but still, i think scouts misjudged modano's offensive upside.)


but the other question that i find interesting is some number ones who turned out to have good careers don't live up to their lofty draft expectations (lindros, lecavalier), and some guys actually hit it (hawerchuk, mario, ovechkin). but the only number one pick i can think of who actually surpassed expectations is patrick kane. everything he advertised to become and more. any others?

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01-03-2014, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
interesting question. no, i don't think modano equaled his draft projections. i think he was supposed to be the two-way force he was at his peak, but also more of a year-in, year-out art ross contender. probably a guy who, especially given the weak competition in the late 90s, should have had a string of two or three top five finishes.

now before tjcurrie comes and berates me and starts talking about that one year when modano was going to... but then got hurt, he obviously was tremendous value for a number one, and had a great career. a bona fide franchise center, who was the best forward on a stanley cup winner, hard to ask for more. but i think he was expected to have more of a gilbert perreault career (which, actually, i don't know if i would trade for modano's career, but still, i think scouts misjudged modano's offensive upside.)


but the other question that i find interesting is some number ones who turned out to have good careers don't live up to their lofty draft expectations (lindros, lecavalier), and some guys actually hit it (hawerchuk, mario, ovechkin). but the only number one pick i can think of who actually surpassed expectations is patrick kane. everything he advertised to become and more. any others?
I don't know that anyone ever expected Stamkos to be a 60 goal scorer. Obviously too early to really tell with Stamkos, though.

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01-03-2014, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
but the only number one pick i can think of who actually surpassed expectations is patrick kane. everything he advertised to become and more. any others?
Joe Thornton?
Maybe that's just my impression because the 90s #1 look depressing overall full of (very) good non-Hall of Famers and some borderline NHLers.

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01-03-2014, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
interesting question. no, i don't think modano equaled his draft projections. i think he was supposed to be the two-way force he was at his peak, but also more of a year-in, year-out art ross contender. probably a guy who, especially given the weak competition in the late 90s, should have had a string of two or three top five finishes.

now before tjcurrie comes and berates me and starts talking about that one year when modano was going to... but then got hurt, he obviously was tremendous value for a number one, and had a great career. a bona fide franchise center, who was the best forward on a stanley cup winner, hard to ask for more. but i think he was expected to have more of a gilbert perreault career (which, actually, i don't know if i would trade for modano's career, but still, i think scouts misjudged modano's offensive upside.)


but the other question that i find interesting is some number ones who turned out to have good careers don't live up to their lofty draft expectations (lindros, lecavalier), and some guys actually hit it (hawerchuk, mario, ovechkin). but the only number one pick i can think of who actually surpassed expectations is patrick kane. everything he advertised to become and more. any others?


In all honesty, yes I fully believe that 97-98 season would have been his Sakic-like 00-01 season. And that would bolster his rep big time. I think he was close to a Conn Smythe in '99 too. So yeah, very thin line between this and that.

Overall you would have liked him to have actually had a couple 100 point seasons (though he was very close). So in that respect one could say he fell a little short of projections.

From a franchise perspective though, no he didn't fall short. He was a franchise player in every sense of the word and that's what he was drafted for. Redo that draft and I take him 1st overall 10 times outta 10.


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01-03-2014, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
but the other question that i find interesting is some number ones who turned out to have good careers don't live up to their lofty draft expectations (lindros, lecavalier), and some guys actually hit it (hawerchuk, mario, ovechkin). but the only number one pick i can think of who actually surpassed expectations is patrick kane. everything he advertised to become and more. any others?
For a guy who came up through juniors in Tavares' shadows, I think Stamkos has done pretty well for himself. At the 2008 draft, I did not think he would ever win a Rocket Richard trophy, let alone two by age 23. Also agree with you on Patrick Kane.

I also think Ovechkin may have surpassed initial expectations because I remember back in 2004, Crosby was already on people's radar and Ovechkin + European factor was not looked at as a future two-time Hart Trophy + Rocket Richard winner if you know what I mean. All the hype was already on Crosby. Also, Ovechkin's draft year was the year Kovalchuk really broke out in the NHL so I think a lot of the young Russian hype and attention was being focused on Kovalchuk. I think many people were surprised when Ovechkin outscored Crosby in their rookie season and that's really when the Ovechkin hype really began.

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01-03-2014, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tjcurrie View Post

From a franchise perspective though, no he didn't fall short. He was a franchise player in every sense of the word and that's what he was drafted for.
Modano and Dallas match. The team was semi-great, but fell just short of being a truly great one, just like Modano's career. So yeah, he was a franchise player, for Dallas that is.

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01-03-2014, 05:25 PM
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Was late 90's really weak on forward depth. Early 00's definitely was. But the latest years of 90's still had pretty decent competition. Right?

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01-03-2014, 05:33 PM
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Modano and Dallas match. The team was semi-great, but fell just short of being a truly great one, just like Modano's career. So yeah, he was a franchise player, for Dallas that is.
If your point is that he was only a franchise player because he was the best player on a not-great team then I disagree. He was a franchise player, period. Not the best player on any and every team obviously, but he was elite for a good stretch. Someone any team could have hitched their wagons to just the same. In his prime he could matchup head to head vs any other center in the league.

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01-03-2014, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tjcurrie View Post
If your point is that he was only a franchise player because he was the best player on a not-great team then I disagree. He was a franchise player, period. Not the best player on any and every team obviously, but he was elite for a good stretch. Someone any team could have hitched their wagons to just the same. In his prime he could matchup head to head vs any other center in the league.
Yeah if Mike Modano is not a franchise player, there have been very few of them.

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01-03-2014, 05:59 PM
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Yeah if Mike Modano is not a franchise player, there have been very few of them.
Does this mean that Jiri Hudler is one as well, or maybe Mark Giordano or Mike Cammalleri? I guess one of them are, but they are not on the upper two thirds of them obviously.


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01-03-2014, 06:16 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by TAnnala View Post
Was late 90's really weak on forward depth. Early 00's definitely was. But the latest years of 90's still had pretty decent competition. Right?
sakic, forsberg, lindros, kariya, bure, and others all had years where they missed enough games to take themselves out of the art ross race. mario too, obviously.


but yeah, obviously modano was a franchise player, and a very good one at that.


and hmm, yeah maybe stamkos exceeded expectations. argument could be made for thornton too, though i think he exceeded some (raw offensive output, playmaking) and fell short of others (take charge ability/ability to carry a team all by himself, goal scoring, power game and/or willingness to use it). net impact, i think thornton is about where he should be.

ovechkin... he was slated to be a generational talent. hard for him to outperform that without a rocket richard-esque playoff record.

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01-03-2014, 07:16 PM
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Modano delivered in spades.

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01-03-2014, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
ovechkin... he was slated to be a generational talent. hard for him to outperform that without a rocket richard-esque playoff record.
Yeah, I remember he was slated as a generational talent - I recall a scout saying he was the best prospect in 20 years. However, I seem to recall that people thought he was better than Kovalchuk because he was a more complete player since he had better intangibles than Kovalchuk, but people thought Kovalchuk was the better pure scorer. I don't know if Kovalchuk's monster 03-04 season where he won a Rocket Richard, second in Art Ross all without Heatley had any effect on that notion but at the time I think many people thought that Kovalchuk would outscore Ovechkin in their primes. Thus, the fact that Ovechkin has won Art Rosses and Rocket Richards has already made him exceed my personal expectations of him.

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01-03-2014, 07:27 PM
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If your point is that he was only a franchise player because he was the best player on a not-great team then I disagree. He was a franchise player, period. Not the best player on any and every team obviously, but he was elite for a good stretch. Someone any team could have hitched their wagons to just the same. In his prime he could matchup head to head vs any other center in the league.
For me, the one thing that stands out against Modano is the fact that he wasn't exactly captain material. I don't think he wore the "C" until he was 33 and it was stripped a couple years later in favour of Morrow. To me, a true franchise player should have the skills, leadership and ability to win. I'm sure Modano was a good leader but the fact that he was never really a captain is what separates him from guys like Sakic and Yzerman.

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