After seeing Sheppard play the other night through the webcast, I have to go with him. He's a player the wild don't have right now. He commands space in the offensive zone with his size, he has every skill needed to score, and he kinda looks just too good to be playing in the QMJHL. He reminds me of a Bill Guerin with his size and one-timer in the slot, but he also has the wrister more like a power forward such as Shanahan. We'll see how it plays out.
Shappard is a horse and very good at making open net setups down low.He is getting bigger and bigger all the time.The guy has a size 16 skate.When he is down low and wants to go to the net,he carrys guys there with him on his back.This kid is going to be special and I mean special.He is a sure fire top 2 centre of the future for any NHL team.He has tore the Quebec League apart the last 4 weeks steady.Game winner again last night , the night before 4 points and in the last 22 games he has 63 points and his team has moved to 9th overall in the Rankings by the Canadian Hockey League.They are going to be tough to stop.(30,ws 11 Ls 3OT
I look at sheppard like another mikko koivu...he is going to be rock solid year after year.
I look at Pouliot like Gaborik...has more of a dynamic upside than sheppard, but has all the tools in the world to be all-world.
When it boils down to it, each would make an impact in a different way.
I completely agree with this statement. I think Koivu and Sheppard will be our two very strong two-way centers. From what I have read about Sheppard, and seen from Koivu, these two will also be our future leaders. Add in Bouchard, Gabby, and Parrish, and hopefully Pouliot and Voloshenko, and our future offense looks pretty good. But again, hopefully Voloshenko and Pouliot have the work ethic to reach their potential.
I am not too worried about our future for forwards; we have the above mentioned, with Cal Clutterbuck and Danny Irmen who appear to be great 3rd line grinders/pk/leaders. And then there is Harding in net.
I am worried about our defense. I am glad we got Foster in UFA from Atlanta (I believe that's correct). I think Burns will be good. He is going to be raw and is going to make many mistakes but in a few years, he will be rock solid and provide offense from the point. Belle appears raw as well and appears to possibly lack the mental side of the game. But who knows, people can be late bloomers in life, let alone NHL defenseman. I haven't heard much about Stoner since his average AHL rookie season last year. Thelen, at this point in time, is very questionable if he will even have a great AHL career.
I guess I rambled beyond what the thread was asking, so I will end by saying that Sheppard is my choice because he is a strong two-way player, has size, and is a safer pick than Pouliot who has the higher ceiling for offensive power.
You are all drawing comparisons to players but he is more along the lines of Joe Thorton, Ryan Smyth, and a John Leclaire. I see him play live all the time and each game he gets better and better and for an 18 year old to be a captain of his team is a testament to his leadership. Couple of more games coming up on webcast so stay tuned. This guy is the real deal and will be one of the top forwards down low who cycles the puck down low and shrugs of D men like flies.