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Who has the best chance of reaching their potential

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Old
07-21-2012, 12:10 AM
  #1
dkollidas
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Who has the best chance of reaching their potential

Looking at the Sabres roster, we can see it's going through a rebuild of sorts. The key area of development seems to be at center, but overall there is a good group of young players in the entire system, that being said, of these guys, which do you think is most likely to reach their potential...

Player Potential
Cody Hodgson- 1st line, 2-way center with 65-70pt upside

Tyler Ennis- 2nd line offensive center/1st line winger with 70-point upside

Mikhail Grigorenko- 1st line center, Thorton-esque, 20-25goal, 80-90 point player

Zemgus Girgensons- 2nd line center, Kesler-lite, 25-goal 60-points

Joel Armia- 1st line 30-35 goal scoring winger


-Personally, I think it's Ennis. I know he's undersized, and it was a small sample size, but the guy always seems like he's going 100mph and has a lot of drive and does a good work of getting the best out of his linemates. I feel he's going to likely be a very very good 2nd line center, a position I feel he is better suited for due to his ability to make plays with the puck, and although he might not be likely to be a penalty killer or very good defensively, his offensive ability, keeping the puck in the offensive zone, is a form of defense in itself.

-I think 2nd would be Grigorenko. I realize Ruff has had issues with some Russians in the past, but he's also made massive systemic changes (from the Hasek teams, to the Briere/Drury clubs, and now into a hybrid of that, mobile defensemen, but a reliance on the goaltending of Miller). I believe Ruff will do everything to make him into a complete player, and having been under a strong personality like Roy in Quebec, I'm guessing that will help Grigorenko in the direction-taking department, and learning how to be the best player he can be. I expect this to be the biggest challenge of Ruff's career, but believe he'll succeed. People give him flak because we haven't won a cup in the 15 years he's been here, but he's adapted as a coach, and I believe he will in order to help turn Grigorenko into an elite player.

-3rd would be a toss-up between Armia and Girgensons IMO. Armia I think has elite ability, and will be a better version of Vanek. Girgensons I think has a little less likliehood of this simply because I don't know if his offensive game will ever reach that kind of level, but defensively I believe he'll be a very good player, and good leader.

-I'd probably put Armia and Girgensons above Grigorenko, but I just have a gut feeling, and belief in Grigorenko's overall skill, that he'll reach elite level.

-Hodgson seems the lowest to me. He has very good vision and hockey IQ, but he's not very fast, and while solid at a lot of things, doesn't have a "wow" factor in any particular area of his game IMO.


-Therefore, I think long-term, the team has a center lineup of Grigorenko-Ennis-Girgensons, and that Hodgson gets dealt for help on the wing or other area that may need it down the road.

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07-21-2012, 12:20 AM
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I think they will all reach their ceilings and turn Buffalo into an absolute powerhouse winning us multiple cups as a result the Pegula Prophecy will be fulfilled.

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07-21-2012, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Kishire View Post
I think they will all reach their ceilings and turn Buffalo into an absolute powerhouse winning us multiple cups as a result the Pegula Prophecy will be fulfilled.
Can't tell if that was sarcastic or not, because I know that's what I kind of described in my post, and that's why I asked, because I feel like I'm just drinking the cool-aid and getting overexcited. The one guy I really really do believe all that for though is Ennis, just a gut feeling. Grigorenko could totally bust, Armia could get soft and be a 20goal type guy, Hodgson might never develop past the numbers he put up this past season, and Girgensons could be nothing more than a glorified Gaustad with better speed.

But for me, Ennis is the one guy I really have faith in reaching his potential and becoming our new Briere.

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07-21-2012, 12:36 AM
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Taro Tsujimoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kishire View Post
I think they will all reach their ceilings and turn Buffalo into an absolute powerhouse winning us multiple cups as a result the Pegula Prophecy will be fulfilled.
I like the way Snrub thinks!

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07-21-2012, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkollidas View Post
Can't tell if that was sarcastic or not, because I know that's what I kind of described in my post, and that's why I asked, because I feel like I'm just drinking the cool-aid and getting overexcited. The one guy I really really do believe all that for though is Ennis, just a gut feeling. Grigorenko could totally bust, Armia could get soft and be a 20goal type guy, Hodgson might never develop past the numbers he put up this past season, and Girgensons could be nothing more than a glorified Gaustad with better speed.

But for me, Ennis is the one guy I really have faith in reaching his potential and becoming our new Briere.
Well maybe that is too much, but I have a good feeling about this upcoming group, I'll just leave it at that. Especially Armia.

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07-21-2012, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kishire View Post
I think they will all reach their ceilings and turn Buffalo into an absolute powerhouse winning us multiple cups as a result the Pegula Prophecy will be fulfilled.
Sabres are on their way to becoming a dynasty, obviously.


Seriously, though, if we get "hits" on 2 of Grigorenko/Ennis/Hodgson/Girgensons, we're much better up the middle than we have been in a while.

ETA: Also, agree with OP's faith in Ennis. I think he's gonna be a dynamite player for us.

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07-21-2012, 01:29 AM
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Armia seems
most likely to reach the upsides you posted to me but ennis is a personal favorite and I personally believe he has, dare I say, PPG potential

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07-21-2012, 01:55 AM
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Armia looks most likely to me but Hodgson's off ice work ethic seams the best of the bunch. Looking at what Gary Roberts grads have accomplished the last 4 seasons leaves me most intrigued by Hodgsons future. His cerebral game seams like a great thing to incorporate into one of the PP lines. Hes also the only one close to Pomminvilles understanding of the on ice game. The substance scorer that will be a good balance for Vanek.*

*Hodgson will consistently put up .7-.8 PPG while vanek goes on 2ppg steaks then cools off.

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07-21-2012, 05:49 AM
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I think Armia is the real deal. He's already played pretty well against men and I'm waiting eagerly for what he's able to bring at the NHL level. I'm also not convinced that Ennis will become the PPG player most of us see in him. Sure, he had some injury problems, but he was a disappointment in too many games last season. If he's able to play consistently, I think he could become a PPG player, but for now, I'm not seeing him making that next step.

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07-21-2012, 08:24 AM
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It's interesting that you put Ennis's ceiling as a 2nd line center when he is currently penciled in as our no. 1 center. Personally, I believe he's going to hit or exceed the numbers you set for his ceiling this season, so it's clearly him. He's the only one of the bunch who has proven that he can do it at the NHL level thus far. As I've said before, this is a case where the light went on for a player and isn't going to go out. It wasn't just a hot streak. He realized his skills translate, and we're about to see it for an entire season.

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07-21-2012, 08:51 AM
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I feel Hodgson and Girgensons are pretty safe bets, with Grigorenko and Armia being less likely.

Ennis however, is going to be our no. 1 PPG center. I have little doubt about that.

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07-21-2012, 09:03 AM
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everybody but Hodgson who will be a 50 point 2nd line winger until he gets traded for Kassian.

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07-21-2012, 11:51 AM
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dkollidas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stokes84 View Post
It's interesting that you put Ennis's ceiling as a 2nd line center when he is currently penciled in as our no. 1 center. Personally, I believe he's going to hit or exceed the numbers you set for his ceiling this season, so it's clearly him. He's the only one of the bunch who has proven that he can do it at the NHL level thus far. As I've said before, this is a case where the light went on for a player and isn't going to go out. It wasn't just a hot streak. He realized his skills translate, and we're about to see it for an entire season.
I just don't see him becoming a "true" #1 center the way people think of guys like Toews, Kopitar, and Datsyuk in that they're good offensively but also defensively. I believe Ennis will be one of our top-2/3 offensive players, but that he'll be a "#2" center in terms of not getting the matchbox that most #1's face. Especially in a system like Ruff's where his #1 center seems to often be the guy he wants playing the toughest minutes, whereas I feel Ennis will get some easier minutes. But I still feel that he'll be an elite offensive forward.

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07-21-2012, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkollidas View Post
I just don't see him becoming a "true" #1 center the way people think of guys like Toews, Kopitar, and Datsyuk in that they're good offensively but also defensively. I believe Ennis will be one of our top-2/3 offensive players, but that he'll be a "#2" center in terms of not getting the matchbox that most #1's face. Especially in a system like Ruff's where his #1 center seems to often be the guy he wants playing the toughest minutes, whereas I feel Ennis will get some easier minutes. But I still feel that he'll be an elite offensive forward.
I don't see Ennis becoming a great defensive forward either, but I will argue that it's not entirely up to Ruff who gets the tough match ups. If coaches want to use their top shut down units against FES, there isn't much Ruff can do about that. If they come out flying again this year, you can bet coaches will adjust by giving them the harder match ups.

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07-21-2012, 01:32 PM
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everybody but Hodgson who will be a 50 point 2nd line winger until he gets traded for Kassian.
Hmmm, literally none of this post makes any sense.

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07-22-2012, 08:10 PM
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Grigorenko will be a beast. Steal of the decade.

Armia I think has elite ability, and will be a better version of Vanek

What the hell?
That dude was sent to minors in Finnish Elite League which means he's billion miles away from being 10 goal man in NHL. How about WJC?
He was lite-Leino with no grit, no dare. I've asked this before and I got to repeat it; have you any idea what's the state of FEL these days?

15-20 years ago it used to be good. Nowadays, maybe 6th-7th best league in the Europe, which is pretty much nothing.

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07-22-2012, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Niinimaa View Post
Grigorenko will be a beast. Steal of the decade.

Armia I think has elite ability, and will be a better version of Vanek

What the hell?
That dude was sent to minors in Finnish Elite League which means he's billion miles away from being 10 goal man in NHL. How about WJC?
He was lite-Leino with no grit, no dare. I've asked this before and I got to repeat it; have you any idea what's the state of FEL these days?

15-20 years ago it used to be good. Nowadays, maybe 6th-7th best league in the Europe, which is pretty much nothing.
When was he sent to the minors in the Finnish Elite League? I have not heard of this and am quite sure you're wrong. He's been playing in the FEL proper for the past two seasons. And his playing style is absolutely nothing like Leino's.

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07-22-2012, 08:51 PM
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This thread sounds familiar.

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Old
07-22-2012, 10:20 PM
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When was he sent to the minors in the Finnish Elite League? I have not heard of this and am quite sure you're wrong. He's been playing in the FEL proper for the past two seasons. And his playing style is absolutely nothing like Leino's.
I'm sorry, he was actually just dropped from the squad. 18 goals in FEL, that's nothing. And he had league MVP Zaborsky on the other wing. Subpar production in a top-3 regular season team doesn't impress me, neither suggests that he might produce 30+ goals in NHL.

What's common between Armia and Leino is the intermittent laziness, lack of guts that turns into stupid decisions when they try to make offensive plays from no-offensive zone, because they're too scared to skate there.

Let's just hope the kid's not similar stuck-up "wizard" like your 2011 UFA-bust.

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07-22-2012, 10:26 PM
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if 3 of the 5 reach the listed potential, the sabres will be in great shape.

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07-22-2012, 10:27 PM
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everybody but Hodgson who will be a 50 point 2nd line winger until he gets traded for Kassian.
you are going to wear this around your neck

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07-22-2012, 10:42 PM
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I see Ennis' ceiling being higher than that...we started to see flashes of the player he's capable of being in the NHL one day soon. I'm thinking a very Danny Briere-like mid 90's season isn't out of the question from him in the next 4 years.

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07-22-2012, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by King Niinimaa View Post
I'm sorry, he was actually just dropped from the squad. 18 goals in FEL, that's nothing. And he had league MVP Zaborsky on the other wing. Subpar production in a top-3 regular season team doesn't impress me, neither suggests that he might produce 30+ goals in NHL.

What's common between Armia and Leino is the intermittent laziness, lack of guts that turns into stupid decisions when they try to make offensive plays from no-offensive zone, because they're too scared to skate there.

Let's just hope the kid's not similar stuck-up "wizard" like your 2011 UFA-bust.
When was he "dropped"?
Do you mean he was scratched for a game last season?
That's not getting sent to the minors.

Oh right, I forgot that the majority of Finnish posters here live to troll each other and can't be taken seriously.

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07-22-2012, 11:16 PM
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everybody but Hodgson who will be a 50 point 2nd line winger until he gets traded for Kassian.
you know your crush was a healthy scratch in the playoffs?

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07-22-2012, 11:24 PM
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if 3 of the 5 reach the listed potential, the sabres will be in great shape.
This.

Pick any three to reach their potential, and the team is dramatically different from the current team. The team gets two top 6 centers and a top six winger, or three centers to roll three lines. Great position to be in, either way.

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