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Rank these prospects in a draft: Lemieux, Gretzky, Orr, Lindros, Crosby

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Old
02-15-2014, 04:21 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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Rank these prospects in a draft: Lemieux, Gretzky, Orr, Lindros, Crosby

4 of the most hyped players I have ever seen and Gretzky was someone with mixed reactions by some. Many thought he was too slow and too skinny. Some were smart enough to think differently (Sam Pollock making that trade even before he retired to snag Gretzky in the 1980 draft, if he entered).

So based solely on their junior careers, if you had them all at 18 years old and they were all available for the draft, where would you slot them?

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Old
02-15-2014, 05:07 PM
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Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
So based solely on their junior careers, if you had them all at 18 years old and they were all available for the draft, where would you slot them?
Fun question.... with Gretzky youve only got one year of Junior, 77/78 with the SS Greyhounds, notching 70G's & 112A's BUT.... undersized, the antithesis to what a ready for prime-time player's supposed to be, and do you want it on your conscience that he goes out there & gets killed Phil? Nothin left of the clearly bulimic child but a yellow, green & brown stain on the ice, smeared against the boards?... Id for sure pick Bobby Orr number one based on that criteria and he too in need of some home cooking. Number two; Mario Lemieux. Number three slot, thats where Id take Gretzky. Sidney Crosby played 2yrs in the QMJHL and racked up some excellent numbers but Id "chance it" and go with #99.... and no, Im not really a big fan of Sidney Crosby's anyway so no brainer.

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02-15-2014, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Fun question.... with Gretzky youve only got one year of Junior, 77/78 with the SS Greyhounds, notching 70G's & 112A's BUT.... undersized, the antithesis to what a ready for prime-time player's supposed to be, and do you want it on your conscience that he goes out there & gets killed Phil? Nothin left of the clearly bulimic child but a yellow, green & brown stain on the ice, smeared against the boards?... Id for sure pick Bobby Orr number one based on that criteria and he too in need of some home cooking. Number two; Mario Lemieux. Number three slot, thats where Id take Gretzky. Sidney Crosby played 2yrs in the QMJHL and racked up some excellent numbers but Id "chance it" and go with #99.... and no, Im not really a big fan of Sidney Crosby's anyway so no brainer.
Pretty much agree with your post K. However, how much weight did 99 actually put on from his year of junior to his first year in the NHL? Or, was it during this period that he learned to elude the hard checks? I'd think he would have had a rough time in the his only year in the OHL if he hadn't already mastered that skill no matter what his weight was. I wonder who Sam picks between the big 3? Obviously he saw something in 99 that many others didn't but had he had the conundrum of comparing him to 66 who had the size and skill, how does he not go with 66?

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02-15-2014, 06:14 PM
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It's a simple matter of taking the BPA. Lemieux.

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02-15-2014, 07:03 PM
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Interesting question,

Wayne
Wayne was coming off his first year in the WHA and was 3rd in goals with 46 (tied with Peter Sullivan), 5th in assists and 3rd in points along with a pretty good playoff line of 13-10-10-20 and pretty much put to rest how he would handle professional hockey in many minds at least


Orr
Orr was Orr and was 5th in goals, 2nd in assists and 3rd in points in his last year of junior at 17 or his draft year. Hard to say if scouts would be more impresed with Wayne or Orr really, very hard to say.

Mario
Mario was dominant in the Q in his draft year and his 6'4" big body frame certainly didn't hurt matters either. It's strange though Mario puts up 282 points in his draft year and has the big body but LaFontine wasn't tiny tiny and put up 234 points the year before in his draft year and goes 3rd overall the year before?

we will never know but what if Mario is 5'10" 180lbs like Pat but kept the same stats would his scouting profile been as high as it was?

Come to speak of it Phil you forgot Lindros who as a prospect was every bit as exciting and dominant as the 4 guys mentioned here. Let's get back to that after Sid though.

Sid
Sid really dimnated the Q very much in Mario type of fashion but of course was more Lafontaine sized so his ranking probalby wouldn't have been as high in this hypotheitcal one time draft.

Not so for the guy missed by the OP in Lindros (Come to think of it Potvin and his draft year should be included as well IMO).

Lindros
Lindros while not as offensively gifted as Mario brought that big mean streak every GM wanted at that time (and still do) while being able to dominate offensively as well.

In his draft year he literally towered over the competition and their was zero doubt on his impact as a pro with his size and physical presence (sort of a Bo Jackson on ice..and equally disappointing in his career due to injuries as well).

Lindros dominated the OHL both in the regular season and playoffs and in the WJHC with a 7-6-11-17 line in his draft year when most Canadian players were 19 or 20.

Mario is probably the #1 guy with Lindros and Orr as 1b and 1c, basically none of the 3 teams teams in this hypothetical draft would say that any other team got the best prospect and all 3 teams would be right.

The team drafting Wayne would be calling him the sleeper of the draft and that his size issues were exaggerated and probably the same thing with Sid.

now for the forgotten guy in Potvin who was 3rd in his team scoring in 71 and only a little under the PPG pace of Blake Dunlop who was an offensive whiz in junior.

Potvin
Potvin wasn't as dominant offensively in his "age 18 draft year"(part of that is that forward scoring really exploded in the early 70's in the OHA, but was already a real physical presence and a force out there.

by the time Potvin reached his draft year in 73, there was no question that he would be the 1st pick overall that year.


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Old
02-15-2014, 07:21 PM
  #6
Richard F Schiller
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IMO:

1. Lemieux
2. Lindros


3. Crosby




4. Gretzky

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Old
02-15-2014, 07:24 PM
  #7
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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
However, how much weight did 99 actually put on from his year of junior to his first year in the NHL? Or, was it during this period that he learned to elude the hard checks?
You like going deep huh LBD? Right back into out subjects childhoods.... Gretzkys parents when he was 14 realizing they had quite the phenom on their hands, wanting him to get the best possible competition & to get him out of the pressure cooker of small town Brantford & SW Ontario decided he'd be better off playing for the Toronto Nationals Midget MTHL or Junior B Team which played out of Vaughan just north of the city.

The Toronto Nationals or "Young Nats" as they were called had a full amateur system from Atom on up to Midget & Juvenile, a tier II Junior A team that played in the Southern Ontario Jr.A League & the Jr.B team which played in the Metro Toronto Jr.B League. The latter an actually excellent brand of hockey, the differences between the Jr.B & Tier II Jr.A Nats Team & others in that league not terribly pronounced. A good league and tough. No way would he have survived if he hadnt already developed that 360 degree fighter pilot ability to anticipate incoming, hits. A lot of players from that league going on to Major Jr.A & the NHL.

Gretzky had to challenge CAHA rules in order to play for a team at 14 outside of his zone, where his family lived & of course they won. First season with the Nats (who changed their name in the 2nd year to the Seneca Nationals) he won the Rookie of the Year Award (75/76) and the following year lead the team to the League Championships which they won. In 1977 at 16 he was eligible for the OMJHL Midget Draft, and despite the Rookie of the Year Award, a League Championship & in his first year 60 points in 28 games & 72 in 32 the next, he didnt get picked until 3rd spot. Size the issue.

The SSM Greyhounds did however pick him and not for the last time told by the parents of a player that "he's not reporting to the Soo". Gretzkys folks did not like the idea of Wayne playing so far from home when there were other options closer at the Major Junior Level. Why cant they choose, and why did they not trade him or just not pick him at all and let the Marlboro's, Hamilton, Kitchener or wherever select him?

Anyway, he does eventually go & play for the Greyhounds after the family had been reassured & so on, again, racks up the numbers big time but that was it for his Junior Career. Two years in the Metro B. League, one in Major Junior, then the WHA. So ya, he'd learned early, absolutely innate born with skill in being able to dodge & weave around, over & under bigger & stronger opponents, as hard & illusive a thing to hit as a puff of smoke. By the time he was in Indianapolis of the WHA he'd grown to 6'0, however, he probably only weighed 150-160, filling out thereafter to a healthy 185. He certainly wasnt from that age on of 15/16/17 small in terms of stature, just lithe, bit underweight but so deceptive it didnt much matter. Like a Ghost. And seemingly very frail. It was for that reason combined with his total lack of physicality that he was perceived by many as being a no hoper. Great amateur, but just wait until he hits Junior or the Pro's.


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Old
02-17-2014, 01:48 AM
  #8
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Lemieux and Gretzky go first and second...probably depending on who's doing the drafting. I think Orr goes last.

Not because he should, but because the smooth skating puck rusher-types are more likely to slide than franchise centers.

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02-17-2014, 02:17 AM
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As a prospect, wasn't Lindros as highly touted as they come. Probably cause he had the size to go along with the skills.

I think Orr would be the #1. I remember looking at his junior career and I just went wow! His OHA numbers are really impressive and I remember I read somewhere that he was quite feisty player in his teens. Wasn't afraid of the physical play and even got dirty at times. Probably the ultimate prospect, even if it didn't come in the #1 Center form.

Lemieux is the obvious #2 for me. He was really highly touted and the combination of size and skill was unique. Would be hard to pass on him.

Lindros #3. Gretzky had too much issues with size. I think Lindros would have gone 3rd, given his physical maturity. I bet we would see some offensive talent disparity between Gretzky and Lindros even at young age, but we often give some leeway to prospects on that. "Sure he is a bit weaker offensively, but he will get better. Just look at his size!" Which is weird, since you can bulk up but can't really learn world class offensive instincts. But, the most highly touted prospect ever would be 3rd in my version of this draft.

Gretzky #4. I assume we are having this draft today. There would be more footage of Gretzky as a junior. No matter how skinny he would be, the offensive talent would be too much to ignore. I could see Gretzky being called as the "most talented player" from this draft, but he is the only one who would have a legitimate question-mark after his scouting report. I could see GM's picking Orr, Lemieux and Lindros ahead of Gretzky due to them being "safer pick". You don't wan't to draft a guy who can't stay healthy. (Ironically, this would be true with every player in this draft, besides Gretzky)

#5 Crosby. Not quite sure how to rank Crosby and Lindros between them. But I remember Lindros being the more anticipated prospect. Considering the junior offensive talent would be close, I believe Lindros would pull ahead due to physical advantage. Gretzky slot's in between these two, but I really could see Gretzky swapping places with Crosby. I just physically can't rank Crosby ahead of Gretzky in any listing.


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Old
02-17-2014, 02:32 AM
  #10
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Pretty much agree with your post K. However, how much weight did 99 actually put on from his year of junior to his first year in the NHL? Or, was it during this period that he learned to elude the hard checks? I'd think he would have had a rough time in the his only year in the OHL if he hadn't already mastered that skill no matter what his weight was. I wonder who Sam picks between the big 3? Obviously he saw something in 99 that many others didn't but had he had the conundrum of comparing him to 66 who had the size and skill, how does he not go with 66?
As far as eluding hits, Gretzky played box lacrosse, where he said he developed a lot of his ability to avoid/roll with hits because the sport was so violent for someone with his size and frame.

I know in Ultimate Gretzky, during his interview he also talks about how he made a team at age 6 that was for 11-12 yr olds. He said he actually made the team at age 5, but when they found out his age they wouldn't let him play and told him to try out again the next season. By the time he was 11, he was playing against 14-16 yr olds. By the time he was 14, he was playing against 18 yr olds. By the time he was 17, he was pro, playing in the WHA. I think a lot of his ability to avoid damage was also developed due to him always playing against people bigger/stronger/much older than him. Clearly it was a skill he had gained LONG before he started his professional career.

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02-17-2014, 02:44 AM
  #11
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As for the rankings:
1. Lemieux. I hate to say it, because I honestly feel like Gretzky was the better player, but I'm sure he would have been drafted #1. He was big, strong, and his talent was extremely obvious to anyone who watched him play. Almost impossible to pass him bye.

2. Lindros. Although he was the worst player in this group, people over-rate physical size and strength constantly. Lindros kind of had it all, and I think people would have taken him over any of the others besides Lemieux. Scouts will nearly always take a bigger player over a smaller one if skill levels are even remotely close.

3. Crosby. Again, strong on the puck. Plays center.

4. Orr. Better than any of the players above, but I really feel he'd go 4th, maybe 3rd.

5. Gretzky. As others have mentioned, his size would be a problem for most scouts. Heck, even several years into his career when he was breaking records people STILL didn't believe in him. As Tannala mentioned above, it's ironic that everyone here had injury troubles except Gretzky (other than the 91 CC injury, but by then he'd played more games than some of these people did in their entire careers, and then he'd go on to add hundreds more games to that).

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02-17-2014, 10:56 AM
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I don't know why anybody would assume Gretzky couldn't hack it in the NHL, knowing that he just scored 110 points at 17 in the WHA. I'd pick him first.

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02-17-2014, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
I don't know why anybody would assume Gretzky couldn't hack it in the NHL, knowing that he just scored 110 points at 17 in the WHA. I'd pick him first.
Ya, thing is, the premise of this thread, you have to forget that he played in the WHA & base it on another year in Junior with the Soo Greyhounds. Likely his numbers wouldve been off the charts but as others have noted (myself included) because he was the antithesis to the prototypical player while being light & appearing frail, the numbers alone in comparison to Orr, Mario & Crosby would not in some Scouts eyes have been enough to have selected him #1 or #2, maybe not even #3 in some cases.

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02-17-2014, 07:02 PM
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Ya, thing is, the premise of this thread, you have to forget that he played in the WHA & base it on another year in Junior with the Soo Greyhounds. Likely his numbers wouldve been off the charts but as others have noted (myself included) because he was the antithesis to the prototypical player while being light & appearing frail, the numbers alone in comparison to Orr, Mario & Crosby would not in some Scouts eyes have been enough to have selected him #1 or #2, maybe not even #3 in some cases.
Either way, 182 points in 64 games at age 16 is mind-blowing. If he plays another year, he'd be up there at 250+ pts, including 100+ goals.

On a sidenote, I once read that Gretzky was 5'8" and 155 lbs while playing for the Greyhounds.

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02-17-2014, 07:18 PM
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having seen them all play I'll go with:

Orr
Lemieux
Gretzky
Crosby
Lindros

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02-17-2014, 07:36 PM
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If they were all available in the same draft, knowing what we knew of them during their draft years and nothing of their subsequent careers:

Mario Lemieux, flat out historically dominant season in the QMJHL with the body of a giant that would dwarf NHLers even today.

Eric Lindros, less skilled but meaner offensive center in the same mold as Lemieux, impossible to pass up.

Bobby Orr, I guess he would simply project to be a Bobby Orr type defenseman, though you probably wouldn't have assumed the level of record breaking numbers.

Wayne Gretzky, knowing what we know now, of course it would be ridiculous to draft him this low, but if you compared him to other smallish offensive centers with ridiculous offensive junior numbers like Denis Savard (3rd in 1980) and Pat Lafontaine and Steve Yzerman (3rd and 4th in 1983), 4th overall isn't that outrageous, considering you're probably only expecting a "run of the mill" offensive center for your first line.

Sidney Crosby, really just a toss up between he and Gretzky as an offensive dynamo.

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02-17-2014, 07:41 PM
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Killion
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Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
Either way, 182 points in 64 games at age 16 is mind-blowing. If he plays another year, he'd be up there at 250+ pts, including 100+ goals.

On a sidenote, I once read that Gretzky was 5'8" and 155 lbs while playing for the Greyhounds.
Thanks for digging that up, wasnt sure when his growth spurt really kicked in so mustve been while he was with Indianapolis, the WHA years.... and ya, mindblowing alright.

However, imagine your a Scout, its late 70's, and lets say he cruises to another near on 200 point season but he's still only 5'8", and 150lbs. No physicality to his game, a point scoring Freakazoid. And their have been similar in size & stature before, many who came after who didnt, couldnt cut it. Do you take him 1st? Or do you go with Orr? If your picking second, do you go with the already man sized & super-talented Lemieux or do you "take a chance" on the scrawny kid out of Brantford who looks like if you blew hard enough he'd float? Your picking 3rd; Crosby, more protoypical, has a bit of a mean edge to him, great playmaker, skater, great vision, hands. Already well on to his way to filling out.

See? Its just not that easy. Wayne Gretzky was so far "out there" that the hockey establishment in most cases really expected him to hit a ceiling. That once he was playing with fully grown pro's, he'd have no chance. Possibly only valuable as a high scoring gate attraction in the Minors. In the 77 OMJHL Midget Draft he's picked 3rd behind household names Tom McCarthy (eventually played 8yrs with Minnesota, good solid player) & Steve Peters (eventually played 2 games with the Colorado Rockies). Thats the only Draft we have to go on with Gretzky & its telling if you werent around at the time or werent paying attention. Might actually be interesting to look at his Draft Eligibility Year, see who went in what order, try & figure out where he'd have been selected. Im not assuming he'd be #1 overall.

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02-17-2014, 07:58 PM
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1. Lemieux
2. Orr
3. Lindros
4. Crosby
5. Gretzky

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02-17-2014, 10:00 PM
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What were their records in the world junior championships? I believe Gretzky led all scorers in his.

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02-17-2014, 11:30 PM
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Gretzky
Orr
Lemieux
Crosby
Lindros

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02-18-2014, 12:17 AM
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Ya, thing is, the premise of this thread, you have to forget that he played in the WHA & base it on another year in Junior with the Soo Greyhounds. Likely his numbers wouldve been off the charts but as others have noted (myself included) because he was the antithesis to the prototypical player while being light & appearing frail, the numbers alone in comparison to Orr, Mario & Crosby would not in some Scouts eyes have been enough to have selected him #1 or #2, maybe not even #3 in some cases.
I missed the based solely on their junior playing days part and that would make it very interesting and although he obviously would have stood out more than Sid did in his draft year, size concerns might drop him to 5th instead of 1st were I had him orginally.

but really he scored 63-70-112-182 with a 13-6-20-26 playoff run and a 6-8-9-17 WJC the year before.

He most likely shatters the OHL with well over 200 points (which would have been just mind boggling since it was a much better league than the Q at the time) and scores well over 20 Points at the WJC, nevermind having a Mark Napier type of playoffs, pretty sure some team would have taken a chance on him after or heck even before Mario even with his size ect...

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02-18-2014, 04:01 AM
  #22
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Quote:
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If they were all available in the same draft, knowing what we knew of them during their draft years and nothing of their subsequent careers:

Mario Lemieux, flat out historically dominant season in the QMJHL with the body of a giant that would dwarf NHLers even today.

Eric Lindros, less skilled but meaner offensive center in the same mold as Lemieux, impossible to pass up.

Bobby Orr, I guess he would simply project to be a Bobby Orr type defenseman, though you probably wouldn't have assumed the level of record breaking numbers.

Wayne Gretzky, knowing what we know now, of course it would be ridiculous to draft him this low, but if you compared him to other smallish offensive centers with ridiculous offensive junior numbers like Denis Savard (3rd in 1980) and Pat Lafontaine and Steve Yzerman (3rd and 4th in 1983), 4th overall isn't that outrageous, considering you're probably only expecting a "run of the mill" offensive center for your first line.

Sidney Crosby, really just a toss up between he and Gretzky as an offensive dynamo.
This would probably be how I would order them as well.

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02-18-2014, 07:30 AM
  #23
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Bobby Orr would defo go first and no doubt about it.

Mario would go second with his size and skill.

Gretzky goes third for looking like having the same skill as Mario but smaller.

Lindros 4th overall. That size would be the edge over Crosby who goes 5th.

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02-18-2014, 07:45 AM
  #24
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If they were 18 year old in the upcoming draft and based on their performance to that date:

Mario
Lindros
Orr
Gretzky
Crosby

Why? GMs love the talent these guys have, so size in combo with that talent would be a huge factor.

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02-18-2014, 11:37 AM
  #25
Killion
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^^^ Ya, considering the era being late 70's, I think your probably right there though I do think Orr would still go first & likely Lindros second over Mario. He was more a physical "force" which wouldve seriously attracted attention say around 77 or so.

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