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NHL Draft - Prospects Discuss hockey prospects from all over the world and the NHL Draft.

Erik Haula -- Why the plunge?

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Old
07-23-2009, 10:54 PM
  #1
thestonedkoala
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Erik Haula -- Why the plunge?

Top 60 prospect, drops to almost the end of the draft. Smaller size but at camp apparently he played pretty good for someone his size. Does need to grow a little. But he did come over from Europe to play in Minnesota and learn.

What's not to like about this kid?

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07-23-2009, 11:18 PM
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Qubax
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I would also like to know.

Because often times with Euro's it's about coming over to this side of the pond. Considering he's going to be playing his 2nd year at Shattucks I'm not sure why he fell so far.

I know he's pretty light, and needs to beef up, but you can say that for virtually any 17 or 18 year old prospect....

and yah I've heard he's looked pretty good at Prospect camp....they were saying better things about him then they were about Leddy....mind you Leddy had higher expectations....

still this guy didn't get taken until the FINAL round, I still don't get that one...

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07-23-2009, 11:30 PM
  #3
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When the devils passed on him to pick an enforcer who wasn't even on central scouting and seeing that we picked an enforcer last year, I was so pissed.

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07-24-2009, 04:30 AM
  #4
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You wonder, and this is merely a vague suspicion, that NHL scouts have grown savvy to the awful development record of Europeans who go to NA before being drafted, to the extent that it is now affecting their draft decisions?

As late as 2006, prior to the IIHF study which documented that, it would seem that NA-based euorpean prospects tended to get drafted at least as high as they were projected. Grabner at 14th, Vishnevsky (27), Nodl (39) and Fiala (40) all went as high or higher than expected.

Since 2007, it seems to be a reverse trend. Voracek was widely believed to be in contention for a top 3 selection, he went 7th. Repik and Moller (40 and 52) were thought to have some late 1st potential, but got selected lower than that. Bashkirov (60) was 43rd in the THN draft preview, for whatever that's worth. Sbisa was perhaps a little lower than expected at 19th, Kulikov was definitely at the low end of expectations at 14th. The only exception seems to be Mikkel Bødker, who were selected ahead of at least one player of comparable stature (Hodgson).

Not that these are big drops. But maybe one can suspect that it reflects this: In drafting decisions, you have to make an assessment of each individual, regardless of broader trends. But when you have several choices of roughly equal quality, teams start paying attention to that kind of thing. And in that situation, it makes sense to draft a North American player rather than a European player playing in North America, given the fact that the latter hisorically have been much, much more prone to bust. It would also make sense to choose a European player playing in Europe over a North American player of similar quality, since the European systems have a considerably better record in developing high-impact players than the North American, but there other concerns come into play too (such as availability). One wonders.

Anyway, if so that might to some extent have affected Haula too, although there is not too much experience to go on regarding Europeans in the NCAA.

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07-24-2009, 05:20 AM
  #5
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Originally Posted by Qubax View Post
I would also like to know.

Because often times with Euro's it's about coming over to this side of the pond..
I really, really don't understand where that fear is coming from. 1990-2004, roughly 100 European players were drafted in the first round out of European leagues. Only four of them never came to North America, and in all those cases the players in question simply hadn't developed into players with real NHL potential.

Of course, these days there's the KHL factor, but firstly this perception predates that problem and secondly there's no reason why it should affect non-Russian prospects. Then there's the lack of a transfer agreement, but that is also a recent phenomenon, and does not seem to me to have caused any real obstacles. Also, NHL clubs get to retain the rights of players they can't sign because of it.

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07-24-2009, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qvist View Post
You wonder, and this is merely a vague suspicion, that NHL scouts have grown savvy to the awful development record of Europeans who go to NA before being drafted, to the extent that it is now affecting their draft decisions?
If NHL teams actually believe in the developement records, one can only wonder why most teams still recommend CHL for their Euro prospects...

... or rather have them in the AHL than their own European leagues... why ruin good prospects intentionally?

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07-24-2009, 06:45 AM
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A different question, but a very good one.

One obvious possibility is that they have not savvied up or done their homework, and that my speculation above is not correct.

Another is that scouts are more aware of the record than other management.

A third is that other factors than pure development is guiding these decisions. From a team point of view, there are a number of advantages in getting a player over to North America - you can watch him more closely, if he's in the AHL he can be used for call-up purposes, you remove the risk of him ultimately not coming over before his rights expire (although that seems mostly a fear with scant basis in reality). Possibly, playing in the CHL increases the likelihood of earning at least one pro contract, I haven't looked into that yet.

A fourth is that there may still be a widespread belief in the beneficiality for young players of "adjusting to the north American game", despite the total absence of any proof to suggest that this is a valid assumption.

A fifth, that cannot be ignored, is that many NHL teams simply make bad decisions. After all, they do in all other areas to some extent, so this should be no exception.

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07-24-2009, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panopticon View Post
If NHL teams actually believe in the developement records, one can only wonder why most teams still recommend CHL for their Euro prospects...

... or rather have them in the AHL than their own European leagues... why ruin good prospects intentionally?
The point seems to be that players who come to NA prior to their draft fall, not the ones drafted who then come over at the behest of their drafting team.

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07-24-2009, 06:58 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qubax View Post
I would also like to know.

Because often times with Euro's it's about coming over to this side of the pond. Considering he's going to be playing his 2nd year at Shattucks I'm not sure why he fell so far.
He's playing for Omaha next season.

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07-24-2009, 07:56 AM
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Haula came over to North America for one reason. He wants to play U.S. college hockey. It's been his wish since he was a kid. He chose the path that he thought would set him up best for that -- U.S. prep school -- and he picked Shattuck St. Mary's because of all the alumni who have gone through there on their way to NHL careers.

This wasn't a case of him coming over to improve his chances in the draft or to adjust to the North American style of play.

I was surprised that he fell so far and I'm at a loss to explain why he did.

Good value pick for Minny in seventh round.

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07-24-2009, 10:06 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qvist View Post
A third is that other factors than pure development is guiding these decisions. From a team point of view, there are a number of advantages in getting a player over to North America - you can watch him more closely, if he's in the AHL he can be used for call-up purposes, you remove the risk of him ultimately not coming over before his rights expire (although that seems mostly a fear with scant basis in reality). Possibly, playing in the CHL increases the likelihood of earning at least one pro contract, I haven't looked into that yet.

A fourth is that there may still be a widespread belief in the beneficiality for young players of "adjusting to the north American game", despite the total absence of any proof to suggest that this is a valid assumption.
These reasons seem most likely, and I'd say in most cases it's the combination of these two. But still, I don't believe teams really care about the developement records of certain leagues and rather just view players individually, and try to decide or help them decide what's best for said player.

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Originally Posted by Chainshot View Post
The point seems to be that players who come to NA prior to their draft fall, not the ones drafted who then come over at the behest of their drafting team.
Yes, I know what the point was. But I think you missed mine.

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07-24-2009, 11:24 AM
  #12
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I think people are reading too much into things here. He's not a high end prospect and teams just weren't as interested as some rankings may have indicated. It's something that happens to a very wide variety of prospects at the draft.

Just for the record, Swede Alexander Fallstrom played on the same team as Haula and he went in the 4th round. The guy never received the attention Haula did but he still ended up going higher while following the same development route.

I'd be shocked if any NHL team avoided a European player because he came over here to play.

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07-24-2009, 11:31 AM
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Was strange, Detroit picked a small enforcer with their 6th round selection when the highly fancied Erik Haula was there who seemingly fits Detroit's drafting philosophy.

Can't understand it. Gleason Fournier? Gosh.

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07-24-2009, 03:32 PM
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I'd be shocked if any NHL team avoided a European player because he came over here to play.
I don't think they do either. The point was more whether they view it as a positive or negative when comparing a given prospect against other options of roughly the same quality.

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07-24-2009, 07:11 PM
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NHL teams like their European prospects developing in North America because they can have more influence over the player's development that way. Obviously if the player is within their minor league system or with a 'friendly' junior coach, the NHL team can coach the player indirectly and advise about what roles they want to see the player in or what skills they want him to develop. It's a control thing. They have far less influence over a player who is in Europe.

There is also the belief that players who come to N. America will get used to the culture (hockey culture and otherwise) quicker and want to stay longer- meaning he's less likely to bolt back to Europe in the future. But that is just, as I said, a belief.

Although these are the reasons NHL teams like to bring their Euro prospects over, as Qvist points out, it does not always mean better development and in fact may mean regression.

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07-25-2009, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filppula View Post
Was strange, Detroit picked a small enforcer with their 6th round selection when the highly fancied Erik Haula was there who seemingly fits Detroit's drafting philosophy.

Can't understand it. Gleason Fournier? Gosh.
He was only "highly fancied" by armchair GMs.

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07-25-2009, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagney View Post
I think people are reading too much into things here. He's not a high end prospect and teams just weren't as interested as some rankings may have indicated. It's something that happens to a very wide variety of prospects at the draft.
Exactly. Kruise Reddick was projected as a first round pick last year and went undrafted. Sometimes the projections are just flat out completely wrong. I doubt Haula will ever be an NHL player, regardless of if he was a "top 60 prospect" pre-draft.

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07-25-2009, 07:40 AM
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I doubt Haula will ever be an NHL player, regardless of if he was a "top 60 prospect" pre-draft.
He definitely showed some stuff at camp. Now he still has his work cut out for him, but he definitely showed that he could become a legit NHLer in the future.

Quote:
I think people are reading too much into things here. He's not a high end prospect and teams just weren't as interested as some rankings may have indicated. It's something that happens to a very wide variety of prospects at the draft.
http://www.thehockeynews.com/article...-in-Minny.html

This is from a year ago almost...notice:

Quote:
Scouts like Haula, too. A likely first-rounder this year, the young Finn prides himself on his two-way game as well as his skating and vision. Getting used to the smaller North American ice has been an adjustment, but Haula knows he has time to hone his game – especially the parts he wants to improve upon.
He was thought of as a high end prospect not too long ago.

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07-25-2009, 08:38 AM
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He was thought of as a high end prospect not too long ago.
Can't find any of the really early rankings, but I seem to remember he was ranked higher than Rajala at some point and I had no idea who he was back then...

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07-25-2009, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by thespeckledkiwi View Post
He was thought of as a high end prospect not too long ago.
'Not too long ago' is last summer/fall. A lot happens during the draft year, and someone ranked early in the fall drops very far or doesn't even get picked at all. Bubnick was also ranked in the fist round almost a year ago.

Eric Doyle? Kruise Reddick? How about Tristan Llewellyn?

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07-25-2009, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by VikingAv View Post
'Not too long ago' is last summer/fall. A lot happens during the draft year, and someone ranked early in the fall drops very far or doesn't even get picked at all. Bubnick was also ranked in the fist round almost a year ago.

Eric Doyle? Kruise Reddick? How about Tristan Llewellyn?
How about Jordan Schroeder? How about Toni Rajala? Or Oliver Roy?

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07-26-2009, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thespeckledkiwi View Post
How about Jordan Schroeder? How about Toni Rajala? Or Oliver Roy?
Roy and Rajala were thought of as 3rd round picks going into the draft, so neither fell that far. Schroeder must've scared some teams off in interviews but he didn't really fall that far. Still a first round pick although I personally wouldn't have taken Kassian, Holland, LeBlanc, Kreider or Josefsson above him.

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07-26-2009, 09:41 AM
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Roy and Rajala were thought of as 3rd round picks going into the draft, so neither fell that far. Schroeder must've scared some teams off in interviews but he didn't really fall that far. Still a first round pick although I personally wouldn't have taken Kassian, Holland, LeBlanc, Kreider or Josefsson above him.
So they weren't steals nor are they top prospects.

Schroeder fell far from a top 5-10 prospect down to almost the end of the 1st round.

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07-26-2009, 09:48 AM
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It will probably stay a mystery, these NHL scouts really know what they're doing, they see little nuances that we the fans don't.

It was weird because I was talking to my friend right before the Minnesota pick and I was like "Wait a minute... why has no one picked Erik Haula?" and then sure enough...

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07-26-2009, 08:05 PM
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When the Wild took Fallstrom in the 4th I was upset cuz I thought we took the wrong shattuck kid, but then Haula kept falling and it couldn't have worked out more perfectly for him coming to this team. He's on a cool path; playing in high school here, then going to the gophers soon and hopefully making it to the Wild with his fellow Finn Mikko Koivu.

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