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02-20-2013, 02:27 AM
  #126
Honour Over Glory
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Originally Posted by Rowdy Roddy Peeper View Post
I didn't forget him, he's just not as highly regarded as the other 6.
I kind of like that and kind of hate that, I've seen quite a few WBS games before the Pens season started up again and man, he's solid in his own end. He's such a different player from last season. Dude is Mr. Consistency on the blue line this year.

I'm still hoping he develops more nastiness in his game and bulks up, maybe keep working on that skating.

Some of these potential top 4 guys we have need their "Orpik" and Samuelsson could be that guy, along with Ruopp. Those are the type of d-men I am a fan of so I guess I hold them in high regard.

I mean don't get me wrong, huge fan of Letang's style, but guys that are more defensive defensemen let guys like that roam.

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02-20-2013, 02:56 AM
  #127
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Anyways, the College kids.

Which ones could be heading to WBS when their College seasons ends soon?

Hanowski? D'Agostino?

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02-20-2013, 04:02 AM
  #128
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Hanowski would be a welcome addition to WBS since they cant score goals to save their lives. Bennet up with the big club, Thompson injured, heck even Dupuis would be nice to have back from injury as well.

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02-20-2013, 05:28 AM
  #129
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Hanowski would be a welcome addition to WBS since they cant score goals to save their lives. Bennet up with the big club, Thompson injured, heck even Dupuis would be nice to have back from injury as well.
I would love to see Hanowski join the Baby Pens the moment his season is over. It'd be nice to see how his skating looks against AHL players. Then he can really start fixing that aspect of his game.

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02-20-2013, 02:53 PM
  #130
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Hanowski would be a welcome addition to WBS since they cant score goals to save their lives. Bennet up with the big club, Thompson injured, heck even Dupuis would be nice to have back from injury as well.
Dupuis is useless.

He was so invisible that it took me 3 or 4 games after he was hurt to even notice he wasn't out there. I guess I was just so used to seeing him contribute nothing

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02-20-2013, 03:32 PM
  #131
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Dupuis is useless.

He was so invisible that it took me 3 or 4 games after he was hurt to even notice he wasn't out there. I guess I was just so used to seeing him contribute nothing
I know hes pretty bad. But imagine how bad the guy replacing him is! Anyway, they need some firepower. especially if Bennett stays in pittsburgh

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02-20-2013, 03:56 PM
  #132
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I know hes pretty bad. But imagine how bad the guy replacing him is! Anyway, they need some firepower. especially if Bennett stays in pittsburgh
Guys like Payerl are playing instead of him, and I think that's alright. Payerl has as many goals as Dupuis in almost half as many games while playing a checking role.

They do need more offense, but I'm happy to let the young guys learn, they'll still win their fair share of games.

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02-20-2013, 05:26 PM
  #133
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Any chance KV gets called up to the Baby Pens?

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02-20-2013, 05:34 PM
  #134
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Any chance KV gets called up to the Baby Pens?
I think theyre going to let him string together 10+ games without getting injured before calling him up

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02-20-2013, 06:27 PM
  #135
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Originally Posted by Rowdy Roddy Peeper View Post
I don't think people are writing him off, we just need to part with prospects/futures to address holes on the current big-league roster, and he's the most long-term and disposable of a very impressive group of defense prospects.

Despres is on the roster and looks great.
Morrow's the PP shot from the point we crave.
Pouliot's a top 10 pick and an elite playmaker.
Dumoulin's a solid all-around d who's almost ready for the show, by most accounts.
Harrington's the best shutdown defenseman in junior.

Maatta...is a jack of all trades and a few years off, even in a best-case scenario.
Bang on. Great summary, and my thinking, too. And HOG's comment about Samuelsson improving his stock is yet another reason why we have the depth to trade a guy like Maatta, should we choose to.


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Fair enough, but Maatta has just as much of a chance to reach his potential than any of the other D prospects. Additionally, it's very far from a sure thing that all, or even any of them reach their potential. That list could look quite different in a year or two.
Well, you're half-right. Prospects can have "off years" (i.e. see Samuelsson last year) and still become great; but if we take an honest assessment right now, Maatta hasn't gotten worse since being drafted, but he also hasn't significantly elevated his stock either. He didn't have a particularly great WJC, and while the whole team crapped the bed, Maatta was part of that group and has to take some responsibility for that. He's a great character kid and great work ethic, so I'm sure he'll be stronger for it in the future, but when you compare what Maatta has done this year versus what Harrington did since being drafted, or guys like Pouliot and Samuelsson taking good steps forward and Dumoulin making a seamless transition, you can't honestly say that Maatta has performed at quite the same level (yet) in elevating his game to the degree that some others have done. That pushes him down the list a bit and makes him more expendable than, say, Scott Harrington -- who basically went from being "just a late 2nd rounder" to a borderline "untouchable" who may anchor our blueline with Letang for the next 10 or 15 years.

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02-20-2013, 06:31 PM
  #136
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
Bang on. Great summary, and my thinking, too. And HOG's comment about Samuelsson improving his stock is yet another reason why we have the depth to trade a guy like Maatta, should we choose to.




Well, you're half-right. Prospects can have "off years" (i.e. see Samuelsson last year) and still become great; but if we take an honest assessment right now, Maatta hasn't gotten worse since being drafted, but he also hasn't significantly elevated his stock either. He didn't have a particularly great WJC, and while the whole team crapped the bed, Maatta was part of that group and has to take some responsibility for that. He's a great character kid and great work ethic, so I'm sure he'll be stronger for it in the future, but when you compare what Maatta has done this year versus what Harrington did since being drafted, or guys like Pouliot and Samuelsson taking good steps forward and Dumoulin making a seamless transition, you can't honestly say that Maatta has performed at quite the same level (yet) in elevating his game to the degree that some others have done. That pushes him down the list a bit and makes him more expendable than, say, Scott Harrington -- who basically went from being "just a late 2nd rounder" to a borderline "untouchable" who may anchor our blueline with Letang for the next 10 or 15 years.
But didn't Sammuelsson have a couple of really under-performing years after his draft before he went pro? I remember there being a lot of accusations of nepotism and drafting based on pedigree with him around here, though I didn't see any of his collegiate career.

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02-20-2013, 06:37 PM
  #137
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But didn't Sammuelsson have a couple of really under-performing years after his draft before he went pro? I remember there being a lot of accusations of nepotism and drafting based on pedigree with him around here, though I didn't see any of his collegiate career.
Most of what you heard from people that followed his college team was negative. He's turned things around in WBS according to people that follow that team.

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02-20-2013, 06:50 PM
  #138
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Originally Posted by Tender Rip View Post
Not really. Not at all. Preposterous .
You are counting on them being ready and arguing that we should trade the established players in expectation that they will be ready.

Ie. this is your opening night 2014-2015 defense.

Despres Letang
Morrow Bortuzzo
Harrington/Dumoulin Engelland

... or some combination thereof.

Other than Letang and Engelland, the most NHL experienced D-man there would be Simon Despres, who will have just turned 23 by that time and will have - if he plays every game from now on - less than two full NHL seasons behind him. Remember that when we won the cup, Letang was 22 and was our 6th D-man in the playoffs.

It is just not going to go down like that. Despite the salivating worthy dreams we can have about the top6 with that much cap-room freed up, I trust that you can see this to be a mirage also. I could maybe understand it with Martin or Brooks still there. But I'd likely still be uncomfortable.

From an asset management point of view I do understand dealing Martin and Orpik at a high, but if we do we that we absolutely need to bring in other NHL-playoff proven defenders instead.

Well, to be fair, I did say (and absolutely meant it) that the scenario I put forth is what the situation would look like and conditional upon them NOT signing/trading-for/retaining a top-tier UFA Dman to be part of that group (be that a Suter-type, or keeping a Martin/Orpik beyond their current contracts).

That said, I look at what they did with Despres this year (bringing him up over Strait, when Elmer could have benefited from spending more time in WBS) by essentially accelerating his progress. Why would they do this? Well the simple answer is just that the Pens staff (or even just a few of them, like Bylsma) likes him and think he's ready. Another, albeit less obvious interpretation, is that they are accelerating Despres (or you could easily substitute Dumoulin in this example) because they don't want both Despres AND Dumoulin being rookies in the same year. In that sense, the decision to keep Despres is smart.

Now, if we extend that method of thinking: I see us bringing in Dumoulin next season, in part because we may need to for cap reasons, and in part because he's ready. Let's not forget: Dumoulin is a prospect that was thought to be NHL ready and probably would be playing for a lot of other teams. So keeping him in WBS for one more year to mature is great. That means, I could see the following scenario next year:

2013-2014
Niskanen(or)Orpik(or)Martin-Letang
Despres-Bortuzzo
Dumoulin-Engelland

Then, after that, we will start to see certain guys push. I think Morrow and Samuelsson may need a full 3 years in WBS before they seriously contend. I think Harrington will need one tops. Pouliot and Maatta are two years away from even joining WBS, and I see Maatta needing 2-3 years, and Pouliot needing 1-2 years. So the luxury we have is that we won't have to boot out whatever vets (Engo/Martin/Orpik/Nisky) that we end up keeping until our prospects are just too ready to keep down. So by the time a guy like, say, Morrow steps into the NHL, Despres could be 3 years into the league, Bortuzzo will be 3.5 years into the league, Dumoulin will be one year into the league, etc. Considering those guys will be brought along slowly in a similar system in WBS (and probably some cups of coffee with the big club due to injuries), they will be more ready and stable, and less relied upon, than typical rookies.

Finally, and while I totally agree with your premise almost exclusively, there are exceptions to every rule, right? Scott Harrington is that expection. I fully believe he could not only play next season, but will be more steady and reliable than Despres is this year, as an example. If Harry spends one year in WBS, he'll be even more ready. But my point is: when you eventually see Harrington in Pittsburgh, you will see a young player that plays like a veteran. This is an extremely dedicated, hard working and VERY intelligent player that has gone on some VERY deep playoff/mem. Cup runs, and played huge roles internationally. In fact, he's the most steady junior Dman I have seen at that age in a LONG time, maybe in a decade or more. So although he will be young in age, expect him to be as steady as Paul Martin has been this season, or Z. Michalek when he was at his best as a Pen. So, overall, I truly don't believe our defense would appear to be un-ready or too inexperienced. (and again, that's not even factoring in them keeping/bringing in high-end veteran).

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02-21-2013, 03:54 AM
  #139
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Morrow fell to 20 and by most accounts he's a future star.

Despres fell to 30 and you can see that he (at least) has nearly elite physical skills. His penchant for poor decision-making will subside and he will end up being a solid top 4 D-man
Remember, what number pick guys go in the draft is largely dependent on the talent pool of that particular draft. 2009 (Despres) and 2011 (Morrow) were considered better drafts than 2012. So you can't necessarily compare Maatta with those guys simply because they were drafted in a similar range.

Also, re. Morrow, he's only considered a future "star" by Pens fans who maybe put the hype-cart before the horse with this player. Other scouts around the league don't view Morrow as a "blue chipper". I still believe he has great upside, but he has not yet elevated himself to blue chip status. That doesn't mean he won't, but that's why it's too early to say how good he is or will be. There's a chance he will be the next Duncan Keith, but there's also a chance he'll become the next Grant Clitsome. That's why he was chosen at # 20 instead of top-5. We'll see what the future holds. I'm excited about the potential, but it's a bit premature to say anything yet, which is OK, because Morrow was always viewed as a bit of a project and late-bloomer.


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But didn't Sammuelsson have a couple of really under-performing years after his draft before he went pro? I remember there being a lot of accusations of nepotism and drafting based on pedigree with him around here, though I didn't see any of his collegiate career.
Samuelson never established himself as "great" in college, though he may very well have if he played a 3rd or 4th year. But he did get invited to the WJC camp, which shows they saw some potential. So again, and especially because he left college early and before he was dominant there, he was also somewhat of a project. He was always thought to be a smart player with good hockey sense, and he obvusly has good size, so if he puts in the effort off the ice with conditioning & nutrition, it's not surprising that we would see him take a step forward in the quality of his play. Great to see that he's done that and put himself back on the prospect radar, which again may make a guy like Maatta or someone else expendable.

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02-21-2013, 05:25 AM
  #140
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Well, to be fair, I did say (and absolutely meant it) that the scenario I put forth is what the situation would look like and conditional upon them NOT signing/trading-for/retaining a top-tier UFA Dman to be part of that group (be that a Suter-type, or keeping a Martin/Orpik beyond their current contracts).
I am just saying that there is no way that primary scenario you put forth must ever play out. Unless the objective is no longer winning stuff.


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02-21-2013, 11:44 AM
  #141
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
Well, you're half-right. Prospects can have "off years" (i.e. see Samuelsson last year) and still become great; but if we take an honest assessment right now, Maatta hasn't gotten worse since being drafted, but he also hasn't significantly elevated his stock either. He didn't have a particularly great WJC, and while the whole team crapped the bed, Maatta was part of that group and has to take some responsibility for that. He's a great character kid and great work ethic, so I'm sure he'll be stronger for it in the future, but when you compare what Maatta has done this year versus what Harrington did since being drafted, or guys like Pouliot and Samuelsson taking good steps forward and Dumoulin making a seamless transition, you can't honestly say that Maatta has performed at quite the same level (yet) in elevating his game to the degree that some others have done. That pushes him down the list a bit and makes him more expendable than, say, Scott Harrington -- who basically went from being "just a late 2nd rounder" to a borderline "untouchable" who may anchor our blueline with Letang for the next 10 or 15 years.
Maatta is also significantly younger than all of the players you are comparing him to (even Pouliout). That carries over to his play as a listed 18 year old vs. the age of our other prospects during their year 18. Additionally, you are comparing the accomplishments that those players made at a significantly older age. Finally, you are inferring a linear development curve with all of the prospects, and that has been shown to be misleading more often that not. Maatta's breakout year could be next or the year after that? His stretch between the middle of last season up until the WJC (pretty much calendar year 2012) was very very good.

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02-21-2013, 11:47 AM
  #142
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
Remember, what number pick guys go in the draft is largely dependent on the talent pool of that particular draft. 2009 (Despres) and 2011 (Morrow) were considered better drafts than 2012. So you can't necessarily compare Maatta with those guys simply because they were drafted in a similar range.

Also, re. Morrow, he's only considered a future "star" by Pens fans who maybe put the hype-cart before the horse with this player. Other scouts around the league don't view Morrow as a "blue chipper". I still believe he has great upside, but he has not yet elevated himself to blue chip status. That doesn't mean he won't, but that's why it's too early to say how good he is or will be. There's a chance he will be the next Duncan Keith, but there's also a chance he'll become the next Grant Clitsome. That's why he was chosen at # 20 instead of top-5. We'll see what the future holds. I'm excited about the potential, but it's a bit premature to say anything yet, which is OK, because Morrow was always viewed as a bit of a project and late-bloomer.
The comment of mine that you quoted was more regarding the concept of players that were perceived to have "fallen in the draft", rather than comparing drafts. Your points are noted.

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02-21-2013, 04:36 PM
  #143
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Originally Posted by Tender Rip View Post
I am just saying that there is no way that primary scenario you put forth must ever play out. Unless the objective is no longer winning stuff.

And I'm just saying that I don't see it unfolding that way. The pre-condition to that scenario I put forth is that the young players entering into the line-up would all be very consistent, ready to play and not rushed. For example, I don't consider Bortuzzo rushed or un-ready at all, and think he would be extremely consistent this year if paired with a fixed D-partner and playing every game (as opposed to sitting in the press box half the time).

I do, however, consider Despres to be somewhat rushed, mistake prone and inconsistent. But I totally get why he was brought up this year and put in a bit early for three major practical reasons:

1) we needed to assess Despres' NHL performance and determine where he fits in to our longer-term plans, because we know we're going to need to insert certain young players next year for cap-compliance purposes, and we also know that we're very likely to trade one of our young prospects. It's important to evaluate each of them, and you don't want to end up trading the wrong player and keeping the lesser one (we want to do like MTL did with keeping Price and trading Halak). So either from a potential trade/evaluation perspective or from a line-up insertion/making the jump perspective, evaluating Despres at the NHL level this year is a really important process.

2) Paul Martin: coming into this year, we didn't know if we were going to see the crappy Paul Martin of last year and buyout/trade candidate, or if we'd see the top-4 awesome Paul Martin of this season. In the event of the former, we may have needed Despres to step in. Now, they're both playing very well for their respective stages of their careers, and we're in a good situation of having e type of depth we can trade from. We needed to evaluate both of these players. (And why Despres as the guy to evaluate? Simple: because he's more NHL ready than Morrow/Pouliot/Maatta or other of our young Dmen).

3) Because we have a lot of young guys pushing for jobs over the next year or two, we HAVE to stagger the insertion of those guys into our line-up. Now while I almost ALWAYS agree that you can't have a winning team with too many young guys and not enough veterans, I think my scenario is not too unreasonable in this case. I see Letang and Engelland as guys in veteran roles with this club going forward. I see only one of Orpik/Martin being retained past the end of their contracts, which gives us 3 veteran D-men (and that's not even including Niskanen, who could either be in the veteran category in the next couple of years or trade bait). Then we have Bortuzzo, who is an over-ripe player who has essentially played 3.5 years of pro hockey and most importantly has made a seamless (and impressive and steady) transition into the big league. So when I project this player 1,2 or 3 years from now, I don't see him as a "young" player, even though he is in age. So that's 4 or 5 spots on our D covered over the next 1 to 2 years....

So having one young guy like Despres coming in now, and then a guy like Harrington or Dumoulin (both of whom are ready to make the jump into the NHL, IMO, spending an extra year maturing in their respective leagues), and I see a situation that I am very comfortable with, especially when you consider that Dumoulin is a pretty steady, defence-first player -- unlike say Morrow or Pouliot -- and Harrington whose game is like that of a 10 year veteran NHL Dman to begin with. And, as I said, these guys won't be handed jobs until they push the guys ahead of them out of the line-up. So I think the way this is set up going forward like I have proposed is not only realistic & practical, I truly believe that is a scenario we can actually win and compete strongly with. Seriously.

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02-21-2013, 05:06 PM
  #144
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From what I have seen of Ulfie's son is that he has really made great progress. Could he be an NHL'er?. Hmmm.....I think it is possible. Probably not here though, imo. If Brian Strait could not crack our team, I don't see Phillip making the Pen's. At his current stage of development that is. He could continue to improve and carve out a niche for himself. Which I think his only chance would be as physical stay at home defensmen. He is the ultimate meat and potatoes dmen. No offensive upside whatsoever, and he really isn't all that physical right now. Imo he is a marginal prospect at the moment.


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02-21-2013, 05:47 PM
  #145
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Sounds like Samuelsson might make it as a good bottom pairing dmen someday (his name will certainly help) but I'd want someone with more upside with a 2nd round pick personally.

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02-22-2013, 10:58 PM
  #146
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Agostino with a very strong game tonight. Scored once and hit the post on a beautiful deke. Hoping he foregoes his senior year and joins WBS this season, but it seems like he values his education.

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02-23-2013, 04:40 AM
  #147
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I've seen quite a bit of Maatta and Harrington in London this season. I noticed the discussion about Penguins prospects and thought I'd chip in.

Maatta has played with such a relentless work ethic, it's been great to see. I've met the kid, he's a great kid who wants to play in the NHL. He competes tremendously and although he's put up good points at the OHL level, he may be more of a defensive guy who wins battles and shows up every night putting together an honest effort. He's kinda funny offensively. Even with the time and space he has in the OHL, his passes are constantly in the feet of the recieving skater and not onto the stick. I'd say his passing accuracy is about 30% of the time to be totally honest. He seems to have the vision and see the play, it's just executing it. And there are times where he'll spend half the power play throwing inaccurate passes then all of a sudden in one shot, he makes a great pass to set up a goal. What has been deceptive about Maatta is you see that great pass on the video, but you don't see the 4 or 5 before that which were not so pretty. But as I said he works hard, he never gives up on a play and he seems to win more and more battles as the season goes on. Something has to give on the offensive front, either he becomes more accurate with his passing, or the Penguins wind up making him more of a defensive first guy, especially with guys like Pouliot and Morrow coming up at the same time.

Scott Harrington has been nothing short of fantastic for London. He is a true top 4 shutdown defenseman in the NHL and may not need much AHL time assuming the Penguins wind up having an opening because he's matured so much in the last few years. He's learned through trial and error and at this point rarely ever makes a mistake. You won't get much offense from him but he'll make the smart simple pass. Nothing fancy, but efficient. He's not overly physical but he knows when he needs to use his size. He's extremely difficult for forwards to battle in the slot and defending the front of his own net is definitely one of his greatest attributes. He's been a great leader for London and I think somewhere down the line he ends up with an "A" on his jersey with the Penguins. I'm very excited to see how he does at the pro level.

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02-23-2013, 05:11 AM
  #148
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Originally Posted by td_ice View Post
From what I have seen of Ulfie's son is that he has really made great progress. Could he be an NHL'er?. Hmmm.....I think it is possible. Probably not here though, imo. If Brian Strait could not crack our team, I don't see Phillip making the Pen's. At his current stage of development that is. He could continue to improve and carve out a niche for himself. Which I think his only chance would be as physical stay at home defensmen. He is the ultimate meat and potatoes dmen. No offensive upside whatsoever, and he really isn't all that physical right now. Imo he is a marginal prospect at the moment.
Brian Strait didn't make the team because Shero had too many guys up and he needed to send someone down, Bylsma fought for Despres.

Orpik
Martin
Letang
Niskanen
Engelland
Despres
Strait
Lovejoy

Shero wanted to send someone down, Bylsma wanted to keep Despres up and I guess he fought for Lovejoy too because it makes ZERO sense to keep Lovejoy over Strait, so Shero did what his coach wanted because in the end, he has to coach them, not Ray.

Strait then went out and said what he said, Tangradi echoed it, no one cares, etc etc.


Strait was decent in his time up, I don't know how much of his issue was him or Bylsma, but when 2 players say it, I don't know what to think. If we lose another young guy...and he says the same, that's 3. I wonder if Lovejoy was ever interviewed.

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02-23-2013, 05:24 AM
  #149
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Originally Posted by wej20 View Post
Sounds like Samuelsson might make it as a good bottom pairing dmen someday (his name will certainly help) but I'd want someone with more upside with a 2nd round pick personally.
He's still just 21yrs old in his 2nd full season in the AHL.

I say give the kid some time, not everyone makes it to the NHL as fast as Letang (3rd rounder) or even Despres (1st rounder).

The fact that after a 41 game season in the AHL last year, he's made big changes to being a consistent guy and one of the leaders on the blueline, it's pretty promising.

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02-23-2013, 05:40 AM
  #150
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I've seen quite a bit of Maatta and Harrington in London this season. I noticed the discussion about Penguins prospects and thought I'd chip in.

Maatta has played with such a relentless work ethic, it's been great to see. I've met the kid, he's a great kid who wants to play in the NHL. He competes tremendously and although he's put up good points at the OHL level, he may be more of a defensive guy who wins battles and shows up every night putting together an honest effort. He's kinda funny offensively. Even with the time and space he has in the OHL, his passes are constantly in the feet of the recieving skater and not onto the stick. I'd say his passing accuracy is about 30% of the time to be totally honest. He seems to have the vision and see the play, it's just executing it. And there are times where he'll spend half the power play throwing inaccurate passes then all of a sudden in one shot, he makes a great pass to set up a goal. What has been deceptive about Maatta is you see that great pass on the video, but you don't see the 4 or 5 before that which were not so pretty. But as I said he works hard, he never gives up on a play and he seems to win more and more battles as the season goes on. Something has to give on the offensive front, either he becomes more accurate with his passing, or the Penguins wind up making him more of a defensive first guy, especially with guys like Pouliot and Morrow coming up at the same time.

Scott Harrington has been nothing short of fantastic for London. He is a true top 4 shutdown defenseman in the NHL and may not need much AHL time assuming the Penguins wind up having an opening because he's matured so much in the last few years. He's learned through trial and error and at this point rarely ever makes a mistake. You won't get much offense from him but he'll make the smart simple pass. Nothing fancy, but efficient. He's not overly physical but he knows when he needs to use his size. He's extremely difficult for forwards to battle in the slot and defending the front of his own net is definitely one of his greatest attributes. He's been a great leader for London and I think somewhere down the line he ends up with an "A" on his jersey with the Penguins. I'm very excited to see how he does at the pro level.
Thanks a lot for the write-up! Really appreciate it.

I think Harrington are as sure thing as they come in terms of making the NHL. We all hope he can be a top-4 guy, but the worst i see him end up as is a 3rd pairing guy. I dont see how hes not making the NHL tbh.

Its nice to see Maatta playing good defensive hockey, some guys are a bit concerned that his production has went down. But i see Maatta more on a crossroad now. Either he picks up the offenseive game and becomes more of an offensive/2-way guy. If the offense just aint there for him, i still see him as a guy who can put time into his defensive game and becoe more of a solid D with above average ability to move the puck.
So its nice to hear thats hes battling hard and looking good even if he aint racking up crazy points.
And even if some are dissapointed from a production perspective, he still has 10 games to play and only need 1 point to match last years production. So even in a "bad year offensively i think hell manage to get more points than last year.

I guess the expectations of him being more of an offensive guy have to do with his playoff last year 23 points in 19 games.

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