“We might have a poor-man’s Brett Hull on our hands because he has a hell of a shot.” — Red Wings scout Hakan Andersson (January 2012) … “He’s a pure goal-scorer, with a Brett Hull type of shot; loves to shoot the puck, has a great release. Europeans aren’t known as shooters, but he has a Brett Hull type of mentality. Finds open spots, lets it rip.” — Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill (MLive.com, May 2012).
Notice it is about playing style and poor mans, but that is Andersson one of the highest respected scouts in the business. With Nill following it up with a similar assessment. Wings fans are actually harder on Pulkkinen than management has been, they were pretty nice about how his last season and a half is going a lot of the fan-base is pretty down on him.
Tvrdon is a big 6'2" 219 lbs Slovakian winger that scores in bunches (although out for the season again) and I have never heard Hossa with him. He doesn't play the rounded game and they dog him for intensity. Some are very high on him as close as he has got to Hossa comparison is this.
“He jumped right out at me with his size, his skating and his skill. He’s a really good skater. He’s a similar player to (second-round pick and fellow Slovak) Tomas Jurco, to be honest. He’s really skilled and he’s a very good skater for his size.” — Red Wings scout Jeff Finley (June 2011)
This is where you can make the leap to Hossa because that is generally Jurco that gets hit with that. Guess what it is Wings management again.
"You don’t like to make comparisons, but he has Hossa-type skills," Nill said.
I don't think many people think either guy is as good as Hossa, but the Slovakian background and their strong skating with a big frame and great hands gets it there. Both their D work would have to make incredible strides to round into a Hossa.
Just another one from redwingscentral while we are at it about jarnkrok.
“He has great hockey sense, very tenacious, a lot of (Henrik) Zetterberg-type qualities. He’s strong on the puck, never gives up on the puck.” — Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill
So you cannot have it both ways. The birthplace of a lot of these notions are Red Wings brass with that 20 years of success you don't have making comparisons when asked. They are talking more about model of players and playing types. But unfortunately for you those opinions are pretty high and weren't pulled out of thin air without respected hockey people saying them.
It is unreasonable to expect them all to hit those ceilings. But the point is this isn't some fantasy cooked up in Captain Bob's basement or Newfy's free time not loving on our latest prospect that can fight. They come from the minds of some of the most celebrated hockey people on the planet, some of them destined to be enshrined in Toronto.
This is as deep and talented as the talent pool has been in Detroit since the early 90's. It is a good group of guys and it isn't just Wings fans that see the potential either. That guys in the Wings front office and coaching staff have such high praise for this group and are worried about moving a lot of them should speak volumes. You can ignore it which is fine.
One last one on Riley Sheahan which seems to be what really caused all this:
“I don’t like to make comparisons with young players. It’s not really fair to them. But he does remind me of Johan Franzen. He’s got a big, thick body. He’s been a big scorer. That’s what we project him to be.” — Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill (June 2010, MLive.com)
I would say the only thing about Nill is for a guy that doesn't like to make comparisons he does do it an awful lot when pressured.