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Old
12-22-2012, 02:48 PM
  #301
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It's not like he's been a staple here in Rochester either. He's played mostly on the third line wing.

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12-22-2012, 05:46 PM
  #302
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I'm of the opinion that if a kid is in the AHL you let him go to the WJCs if he's eligible. it's a development league first and foremost.

Only if a player is in the NHL (and playing regularly) would I consider not releasing him for the tournament.

Buffalo is being stupid and if I were Girgensons I'd be less than thrilled about it. You don't want something like that to be a factor later on down the road.

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12-22-2012, 06:13 PM
  #303
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Just glancing at the AHL standings and Rochester is 12th in their conference. No idea why they wouldn't want him to go over there.

He'd be a leader and go-to guy on Latvia's team. It's not like Latvia is expected to make noise but Girgs could regain a lot of his confidence from the WJC and bring it back to Rochester.

I'd imagine Teddy will now take the 1C spot which I see as a positive. Hopefully he stands out because I'm not expecting Latvia to do much.

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12-22-2012, 06:46 PM
  #304
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Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
I'm of the opinion that if a kid is in the AHL you let him go to the WJCs if he's eligible. it's a development league first and foremost.

Only if a player is in the NHL (and playing regularly) would I consider not releasing him for the tournament.

Buffalo is being stupid and if I were Girgensons I'd be less than thrilled about it. You don't want something like that to be a factor later on down the road.
We will probably be revisiting this in 2014 as Pouliot is eligible for the next two WJC due to his very young birthdate of 1/16/14.

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12-22-2012, 06:50 PM
  #305
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No, he's only eligible for 1 more.

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12-22-2012, 11:55 PM
  #306
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Harrington was real solid today. He's really good at the stick check/poke check. He broke up at least a handful of rushes with a quick stick.

Drouin's a skilled player. He showed a lot more, in a lot less ice time, than guys like Huberdeau or Strome did today. MacKinnon's a ball of hustle, too, when pursuing the puck. He's like the old Tyler Kennedy, but with a lot more skill.

I'm also not impressed so far with Morgan Rielly. He really doesn't look comfortable out there. He's been iffy defensively and he hasn't even added anything offensively so far.

Hopefully these are just pre-tournament issues, and the coaches and players can iron things out by Boxing Day.

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12-23-2012, 01:06 AM
  #307
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No, he's only eligible for 1 more.
I looked up the rules. He has to be under 20 when the Tournament begins to be eligible.

He turns 20 on 1/16/14, so by the rules actually listed on the WJC site he is eligible as the Tourney begins at the end of 2013 and ends before he turns 20 in mid-January.

Please feel free to correct me with referenced data if you still think I am wrong Jacob.

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12-23-2012, 01:36 AM
  #308
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I looked up the rules. He has to be under 20 when the Tournament begins to be eligible.

He turns 20 on 1/16/14, so by the rules actually listed on the WJC site he is eligible as the Tourney begins at the end of 2013 and ends before he turns 20 in mid-January.

Please feel free to correct me with referenced data if you still think I am wrong Jacob.
He's eligible for next year's tournament, and that's it. Next year's tournament is the 2014 WJC (the tournament is always named for the year the tournament ends, despite it beginning the previous year).

When the 2015 tournament comes around, he'll be 20 going on 21, which is too old. Thus he's got one more shot at it, not two.

His situation is also different because he has to be sent to junior next year if he doesn't make the NHL club, not the AHL, thus making it a no-brainer that he'll be attending Canada's camp.

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12-23-2012, 01:46 AM
  #309
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Originally Posted by Sidney the Kidney View Post
He's eligible for next year's tournament, and that's it. Next year's tournament is the 2014 WJC (the tournament is always named for the year the tournament ends, despite it beginning the previous year).

When the 2015 tournament comes around, he'll be 20 going on 21, which is too old. Thus he's got one more shot at it, not two.

His situation is also different because he has to be sent to junior next year if he doesn't make the NHL club, not the AHL, thus making it a no-brainer that he'll be attending Canada's camp.
Wow-brain malfunction. Thanx.

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12-23-2012, 02:43 AM
  #310
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Just glancing at the AHL standings and Rochester is 12th in their conference. No idea why they wouldn't want him to go over there.

He'd be a leader and go-to guy on Latvia's team. It's not like Latvia is expected to make noise but Girgs could regain a lot of his confidence from the WJC and bring it back to Rochester.

I'd imagine Teddy will now take the 1C spot which I see as a positive. Hopefully he stands out because I'm not expecting Latvia to do much.
I agree entirely.

It's nice for us since it gets Teddy a bigger role...but he's now on a significantly worse team.

Buffalo...I don't agree with anything they've done with Girgensons and I fully believe they're going to stunt his growth by doing this. The kid's offensive game needs a ton of work, something he could have done in college or the WHL at a natural pace...instead he's being relegated to bottom six duty in a league he's not mature enough to play in and not even being allowed to go to a tournament that could do wonders for his development. All they're doing by rushing him is lowering his ceiling.

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12-23-2012, 04:24 PM
  #311
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Harrington was real solid today. He's really good at the stick check/poke check. He broke up at least a handful of rushes with a quick stick.

I'm also not impressed so far with Morgan Rielly. He really doesn't look comfortable out there. He's been iffy defensively and he hasn't even added anything offensively so far.

Hopefully these are just pre-tournament issues, and the coaches and players can iron things out by Boxing Day.

Re. Harrington: played his usual game, but what I am happy to see is that it looks like he has gotten a little bit quicker, and perhaps a little bit stronger and/or more physical. This kid is the real deal. Barring injuries, he will be a 15 year player in the NHL. He is the most "sure thing" of any prospect we have, and is on the verge of establishing himself as a legitimate blue-chipper. Even has untapped offensive upside, more than his numbers would suggest.


As for Rielly: this kid is also the real deal. Has the chance to be a Norris candidate someday, in the mold somewhere between Kris Letang, Duncan Keith & Brian Leetch. I agree that he hasn't stood out yet (in the WJC, he has been stellar in the WHL), but that's probably because he's getting his feet wet, getting used to a new team and new pairings. Like Harrington last year, it's pretty impressive overall when a kid, especially a Dman, makes the team and plays a significant role as an 18 year old. His upside is tremendous.


Lindholm also looks amazing, and I was impressed with some of the other Swedes, as well.


Maatta, on the other hand, was his usual self. Like Despres, who I often compare him to, he makes some great plays, and then some really bonehead plays. He usually tends to recover and just seems to get lucky a lot. I won't read into this too much because he's young and hopefully will improve, but I think we may see some similar developmental traits, and this might limit his overall upside if he can't overcome this (i.e. solid 3rd pairing Dman, as opposed to solid #2 Dman). I can say this, though: anyone who thinks that Maatta would have been a better #8 pick over Pouliot needs a reality check. He's good, but he's got holes, and I'm surprised he was rated so high, and not as surprised that he fell to the Pens at #22.

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12-23-2012, 04:40 PM
  #312
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Old
12-23-2012, 05:17 PM
  #313
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
As for Rielly: this kid is also the real deal. Has the chance to be a Norris candidate someday, in the mold somewhere between Kris Letang, Duncan Keith & Brian Leetch. I agree that he hasn't stood out yet (in the WJC, he has been stellar in the WHL), but that's probably because he's getting his feet wet, getting used to a new team and new pairings. Like Harrington last year, it's pretty impressive overall when a kid, especially a Dman, makes the team and plays a significant role as an 18 year old. His upside is tremendous.
Oh, it wasn't a commentary on Rielly overall, or my opinion on him as a player down the road. Simply based on these two exhibition games. Similarly, I think Dougie Hamilton's been underwhelming thus far, and I'm really, really high on him in general.

It's just that as a whole, I don't think the "stars" of Team Canada have been good. Hamilton, Rielly, RNH, Huberdeau, Strome, Scheifele, etc. have all ranged from average to below average thus far.

I just hope that's pre-tournament jitters, because those are the guys who'll either bring Team Canada a gold or result in a disappointing finish.

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12-23-2012, 07:35 PM
  #314
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Been so bored that I started looking over the Pens past drafts and man, they had some subtly terrible drafts from 2006-09. Outside the number 2 pick of Staal in 2006, (and that pick was hard to screw up since whoever picked second was going to choose from one Toews, Backstrom, Kessel & Staal) they're going to be pressed to get anything more than a depth forward in Jeffrey and maybe one guy who can be more than a 3rd pairing d-man (Despres).

The only player forward wise (seriously, the only one, all the others have about zero % chance of playing in the NHL) that could develop into something more than Jeffrey is Hanowski. As for the D-man, a lot falls onto how Despres develops. Can't see any of Bortuzzo, Strait, Samuelsson being more than 3rd-pairing guys at the NHL level.

It sucks they came out of those drafts so empty, especially considering 2008 was the only one where they really punted draft picks. I was pretty excited during that time frame, say 2006-2010, on the thought that if any one of those 4 drafts could provide some surprise players the team would be playing with house money since they hit so big the previous 2 years, but that outcome has practically fizzled out, with the 2009 class of Despres and Hanowski being the only guys that can raise up this era of draft picks. I can only imagine where the franchise would be if they didn't luck out in the previous 2 years and get Sid & Geno with top 2 picks. Christ, just think if they ended up with Bobby Ryan and Cam Barker instead.

weird tidbits-
The 2007-8 drafts had 12 picks by the Pens and 11 of them were Canadians, with Alexander Pechurski being the sole non-Canadian.

From 2006-09, they selected only 2 non-NA skaters, 6th-rounder Viktor Ekbom in 2009 and 7th-rounder Timo Seppanen in 2006.

If you want to stretch it to cover the whole Shero era, they have selected 3 purely non-NA prospects, the other being 2012 3rd-rounder Oscar Sundqvist to go along with Ekbom & Seppanen. They have also picked 6 more non-NA skaters that played in NA leagues, with 5 of those guys being in the last 2 drafts, with 4 of of them being this year (Maata, Bluegers, Sundqvist & Zlobin) 1 in 2011 (Uher) and 1 in 2010 (Kuhnhackl).

So pretty much any player with a non-NA background that is in the system has come in the last 2 drafts


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12-23-2012, 08:35 PM
  #315
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I'd be curious to see how other teams faired those years. I mean, Detroit is lauded as one of the best drafting teams in the NHL, but they haven't yielded anyone to really make an impact in the NHL in quite a long time.

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12-23-2012, 09:01 PM
  #316
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I'd be curious to see how other teams faired those years. I mean, Detroit is lauded as one of the best drafting teams in the NHL, but they haven't yielded anyone to really make an impact in the NHL in quite a long time.
I actually looked this up as well. Time still needs to play out to get absolute answers but here are the teams I found to be definitely worse than what the Pens did.

Don't remember every team, but here are most that were definitely worse:

Calgary-just terrible and no surprise to anyone since their prospect pool has been heavily criticized for years

Carolina-Weird thing about them is that 2 of the better players from this era (Sutter & Dumoulin) were traded for Staal.

Dallas-Similar quality to Pens, with Benn being the Staal and Larsen being the Despres

Detroit could be better or worse depending on how Smith, Tartar & Nyqvist turn out. I'm big on Smith & Nyqvist being good NHL guys but I wouldn't put them ahead of Pens unless 2 of those 3 guys develop into good NHL'ers.

Minnesota-Traded their best player from this era in Leddy for crap

New Jersey-Could end up better than the Pens if Henrique improves and guys like Josefson develop into something.

San Jose-Couture and iffy on the rest turning out to anything of use

Toronto is close, no one as good as Staal but enough decent guy that they're probably a bit better

Vancouver was close too, another instance of no one as good as Staal, but had guys like Grabner, Hodgson (though they traded both of those guys)


All in all, Pens are definitely in bottom half from 2006-09 any maybe bottom 10 depending on how things go. There were other teams that were close to the Pens, but like I said, if I made it a cutoff from 2007-09 instead 2006-09, the Pens would be even worse since so much of their 4-year value from those drafts is from the guy they selected #2 overall and the other 3 years may yield a lone above-average guy in Despres.

I just think of it a missed opportunity. The team had the hard work done (getting the superstars in Sid & Geno), they just needed to be average to slightly-above to put the team in the best position in the league. Instead they got a really good player in Staal and maybe one other guy who can make an impact on the team. Those lean years are the big reason why the team still only has 2 top-6 wingers all these years later. It wasn't necessarily at a loss for trying since they invested big-time in forwards in 2007 and are going to end up with a depth forward in Jeffrey to show for it. That year and 2010 where the big forward years and 2010 already looks a lot better than 2007 based on Bennett alone.


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12-23-2012, 10:23 PM
  #317
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Maatta, on the other hand, was his usual self. Like Despres, who I often compare him to, he makes some great plays, and then some really bonehead plays. He usually tends to recover and just seems to get lucky a lot. I won't read into this too much because he's young and hopefully will improve, but I think we may see some similar developmental traits, and this might limit his overall upside if he can't overcome this (i.e. solid 3rd pairing Dman, as opposed to solid #2 Dman). I can say this, though: anyone who thinks that Maatta would have been a better #8 pick over Pouliot needs a reality check. He's good, but he's got holes, and I'm surprised he was rated so high, and not as surprised that he fell to the Pens at #22.
I wouldn't compare him to Despres (unless you mean both can be boneheads). Despres is bigger, a much better skater and more powerful.

Maatta worries me less than he did when the Pens took him in June, but ya, I have no clue how people think Maatta should of gone ahead of DP. No. Way. In. Hell.

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12-23-2012, 10:30 PM
  #318
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I wouldn't compare him to Despres (unless you mean both can be boneheads). Despres is bigger, a much better skater and more powerful.

Maatta worries me less than he did when the Pens took him in June, but ya, I have no clue how people think Maatta should of gone ahead of DP. No. Way. In. Hell.
Yes, that is essentially what I mean. They do have some similarities (both big bodies, both lefties can play, both have some offensive potential, neither true PP-QBs but both good options for the 2nd unit), but yeah: they are both boneheads at times, and it makes me wonder about their overall upside potential as a result.


If neither guy can really take a step up towards consistency, I do wonder if there is overlap and if there's really room for both within this organization, as they may fill similar roles.

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12-23-2012, 10:41 PM
  #319
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Yes, that is essentially what I mean. They do have some similarities (both big bodies, both lefties can play, both have some offensive potential, neither true PP-QBs but both good options for the 2nd unit), but yeah: they are both boneheads at times, and it makes me wonder about their overall upside potential as a result.

If neither guy can really take a step up towards consistency, I do wonder if there is overlap and if there's really room for both within this organization, as they may fill similar roles.
I think Despres can be a stud if he smartens up, a legit, shutdown #3.

Maatta, I keep seeing Janne Laukkanen, with maybe a little more offensive prowess.. 30-35. I mean that in a positive way.

Currently, I see Maatta as the biggest piece of trade bait if a blueline prospect was moved.

I'd say only Morrow and Harrington are untouchable, though (haven't seen Dumoulin enough to judge him).

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12-23-2012, 10:50 PM
  #320
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Maatta seems a tad clumsy to me. And his physicality... he's not soft, he leans on guys and battles and stuff, but if I were the Pens I'd really be on him to be a lot nastier. At this point he seems similar to Dumoulin and Despres. And I'd rather keep them because they're closer to being NHLers.

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12-24-2012, 07:21 AM
  #321
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I really like Maatta, he's probably my favorite prospect right now, and playing on a Knights team that is run extremely well by a should-be NHL coach helps a lot. Harrington is in a close 2nd.

I kinda want to see what Pouliot could do on a bad team, ala trade Pouliot for Rielly (not in the NHL, Toronto would laugh at us with that proposal. I mean Pouliot goes to Moose Jaw and Rielly goes to Portland). I'd want to do that to see how Pouliot does compared to how Rielly did.

I can't think of any other significant prospects to talk about that aren't on WBS, other than like Bleuger, Sundquist and Ruopp.

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12-24-2012, 07:57 AM
  #322
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As a fellow countryman, I would be overwhelmed by grief if Maatta would be traded at some point if he would be our trade bait at some point. I was so happy when Shero announced his name at draft.

Season 14/15:(maybe too early)
(age/height this time of year)

Harrington(21/6-1) - Letang(27/6-0)
Maatta(20/6-2) - Morrow(22/6-1)
Orpik(34/6-2) - ?????(if re-signed)
Pouliot(20/5-11)(long shot but probably whole year in AHL)

These guys would help cap wise if Letang gets ~$6.5-7M. There would be at least 3 guys on EL contract. One minus is that now there isn't single guy over 6-3 though, but I left a spot open for Despres, Dumoulin, Engelland(6-2) or maybe Bortuzzo.

Trade baits/traded:

Martin(33/6-1) (too expensive if he doesn't start to shine)
Niskanen(28/6-0) (too expensive)
Despres(23/6-4) (good trade bait)
Dumoulin(23/6-4) (good trade bait)
Engelland(32/6-2)Bortuzzo(25/6-3)Strait(26/6-1)) (really don't know what could happen)

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12-24-2012, 08:29 AM
  #323
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Originally Posted by Muscles4Malkin View Post
As a fellow countryman, I would be overwhelmed by grief if Maatta would be traded at some point if he would be our trade bait at some point. I was so happy when Shero announced his name at draft.

Season 14/15:(maybe too early)
(age/height this time of year)

Harrington(21/6-1) - Letang(27/6-0)
Maatta(20/6-2) - Morrow(22/6-1)
Orpik(34/6-2) - ?????(if re-signed)
Pouliot(20/5-11)(long shot but probably whole year in AHL)

These guys would help cap wise if Letang gets ~$6.5-7M. There would be at least 3 guys on EL contract. One minus is that now there isn't single guy over 6-3 though, but I left a spot open for Despres, Dumoulin, Engelland(6-2) or maybe Bortuzzo.

Trade baits/traded:

Martin(33/6-1) (too expensive if he doesn't start to shine)
Niskanen(28/6-0) (too expensive)
Despres(23/6-4) (good trade bait)
Dumoulin(23/6-4) (good trade bait)
Engelland(32/6-2)Bortuzzo(25/6-3)Strait(26/6-1)) (really don't know what could happen)
I just have a suspicion guys like Despres and Dumoulin will make Maatta expendable. They are both big guys who can really move and with Letang and Morrow to run the PP, it makes Maatta somewhat redundant.

All of the top tier blueline prospects for this team have legit talent in some form or another, so nothing would shock me. Also, once again, we need to give Bort and Strait their dues. They are the kind of guys you need to win in the playoffs. I think too many people see them as throw away prospects, but they are legit and I won't count them out.

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12-24-2012, 08:32 AM
  #324
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Originally Posted by Muscles4Malkin View Post
As a fellow countryman, I would be overwhelmed by grief if Maatta would be traded at some point if he would be our trade bait at some point. I was so happy when Shero announced his name at draft.

Season 14/15:(maybe too early)
(age/height this time of year)

Harrington(21/6-1) - Letang(27/6-0)
Maatta(20/6-2) - Morrow(22/6-1)
Orpik(34/6-2) - ?????(if re-signed)
Pouliot(20/5-11)(long shot but probably whole year in AHL)

These guys would help cap wise if Letang gets ~$6.5-7M. There would be at least 3 guys on EL contract. One minus is that now there isn't single guy over 6-3 though, but I left a spot open for Despres, Dumoulin, Engelland(6-2) or maybe Bortuzzo.

Trade baits/traded:

Martin(33/6-1) (too expensive if he doesn't start to shine)
Niskanen(28/6-0) (too expensive)
Despres(23/6-4) (good trade bait)
Dumoulin(23/6-4) (good trade bait)
Engelland(32/6-2)Bortuzzo(25/6-3)Strait(26/6-1)) (really don't know what could happen)
If I could make the pairs for 14-15, I'd make them:

Despres-Letang
Orpik-Morrow
Dumoulin-Niskanen/Bortuzzo

And in WBS, I'd make the pairs:

Harrington-Maatta
Pouliot-Samuelsson
D'Agostino-Ruopp

Even though Harrington and Maatta may be ready by then, I'd much rather give both a year in the AHL. This will be Maatta's 1st pro season, and Harrington's 2nd. For Despres, it will be his 4th, and it will be the 3rd for Morrow and Dumoulin. No need to rush them.

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12-24-2012, 08:40 AM
  #325
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I just have a suspicion guys like Despres and Dumoulin will make Maatta expendable. They are both big guys who can really move and with Letang and Morrow to run the PP, it makes Maatta somewhat redundant.

All of the top tier blueline prospects for this team have legit talent in some form or another, so nothing would shock me. Also, once again, we need to give Bort and Strait their dues. They are the kind of guys you need to win in the playoffs. I think too many people see them as throw away prospects, but they are legit and I won't count them out.
I think the organization will want to hold onto Maata as long as possible with how well rounded his game is. His ceiling could be a legit #1 D-man. He's not dynamic offensively like Pouliot or Morrow and he's not as polished defensively as Harrington, but he can play in all situations. Once he adds some size and improves his skating, he could be a gem.

Despres and Dumoulin are our NHL ready trade pieces. And I think the latter brings more of what we need. He seems very comfortable with our system which will make his transition to the NHL a hell of alot easier.

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