Kulemin and Phaneuf would be in my lowest 3, McClement and Bozak in the top group.
Kulemin is an effective player, but that's more work ethic than IQ. He's a puck watcher who is at his best chasing. He'll often get himself in to trouble when he's forced to read the play and anticipate.
Only had 2 for each that stuck out in my mind. Didn't want to scramble to list a 3rd
Kulemin and Phaneuf stick out more than Kostka, Holzer, Orr, McLaren.....jeeezzzz......
So our best defenceman, who is top 15 in the league is our dumbest player? What makes him so good then...
Talent for the most part. He's improved leaps and bounds since coming from Calgary, but he's still more prone to mental mistakes than a lot of others. Misjudgibg contact vs. Attack situations, misuse of gap, etc..
The more limited he is in his decision making the more effective he is as a player.
Just because you're effective doesn't mean you're a smart hockey player. Some of the best thinkers will be your bottom 6 players who rely on hockey IQ to make a career for themselves.
Big guy, lacks legitimate talent, but is still intelligent.
A lot of guys are incredibly skilled and/or bring great physical characteristics, that mask the fact that they have low hockey IQ.
Whereas for other guys, they have very sub-par skills, and it's pretty mcuh just their positioning/decision making keeping them in the league.
Parros' Harvard degree may have been useful at the negotiating table during the NHL's last labour dispute, not on the ice.
Hockey IQ refers to attributes like the ones you mentioned in your last line (bolded), among others.
Names of players lacking hockey IQ on the Maple Leafs include Dion Phaneuf, David Clarkson and the recently departed Mikhail Grabovski. Guys who show exceptional hockey IQ are Carl Gunnarsson, Jay McClement, and Jake Gardiner, among others.
McClement has a high "hockey IQ" if you want to call it that. He doesn't do much on defense because that's not his role on the team. But his positional awareness when the other team has the puck is probably better than anybody else on the team including the defensemen.
I'm going to say the highest hockey IQs are Kessel (obvious pick), McClement, and a tie for third between Kadri and Gunnarsson. Kadri still has holes in his game but offensive awareness isn't one of them. Gunnarsson is IMO our best positional defenseman that is the most efficient at recovering the contested puck and moving it to the open man.
Honourable mention goes to Gardiner, who has awful defensive awareness but probably only because he's thinking offense all the time.
Worst would be Phaneuf, then (insert AHL defenseman) and (insert AHL defenseman).
How do you define hocky I.Q.? I'd bet every single poster here has different definition, and a different set of criteria of what is hockey I.Q is. My criteria is a combination of positioning, decision-making, offensive awareness, defensive awarness, and creativity. Based on that criteria, my top 3 would probably be Kessel, McClement, Gunnarsson with an HM to Kadri. Bottom 3 would be McLaren, Orr, and Clarkson.
Lol @ everyone with Phaneuf as lowest. You do realize his IQ was one of the things scouts praised before he was drafted. Everyone has their own opinion on him, but I've heard everything from he's a bad skater to he has a bad shot to he has a low iq. Well then how did he get top 11 in Norris voting this year? Finalist in his third season? Just physicality doesn't get you there. Ill the unbiased collective opinion of multiple scouts over hf posters.
Hockey smarts is one of the most important. Over the years I have seen so many players with natural, physical talents but did not make it as players. On the other end I have seen players who really were not naturally, physically talented but had an incredibly high "hockey" IQ.
For examples (I don't want to go neg), but here, IMO, are a couple of players who were not physically particularly gifted but still became superb players:
Steve Larmer: Not the greatest skater and his speed was average, not very big, shot was average at best. So what did he do? Consistently put up points, among the top scorers in the league and killed it when he played for Canada.
Luc Robitaille: There was a reason he was drafted so low. He was not that big or physical and not particularly fast and his shot was meh. What he did not have in his legs and arms he had between his ears and became one of the best LW ever. And again killed it when he played for Canada
Last edited by kilgore111: 07-08-2013 at 08:19 PM.