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Old
02-25-2007, 02:39 PM
  #1
the Maniac
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Defense Depth

Have this on the "Hawks board... thought I'd do the same here...

Looking for a listing of Washington's D-man depth in two categories, immediate future (next season or two) AND, oh let's say, 5 years down the line... maybe a little blurb after each one explaining your thoughts as to their potential (Offensive, Defensive, PP QB, Shut Down Rearguard, #1 D, #2 D, etc...)

Curious to see if there is a consensus among Caps fans... keep in mind to base these lists on the current crop of blue-liners (for obvious reasons )

Thanks in advance for your input...

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02-25-2007, 02:45 PM
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CapitalPunishment
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Depth? This team? Sorry. Won't find any here pal.

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02-25-2007, 02:59 PM
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PSUhockey34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapitalPunishment View Post
Depth? This team? Sorry. Won't find any here pal.
either answer the guy's post or move on...there's no need to be an jerk about it


Last edited by PSUhockey34: 02-25-2007 at 04:08 PM.
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Old
02-25-2007, 04:02 PM
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In terms of young defensman, the Caps may have as much depth in the org as any team in the NHL.

Morrisonn - 24 - 19th overall pick from 2001 (Boston) has really showed that he is a good top 4 defensman in the NHL. Should continues to be for many years. Nothing flashy, just a good solid top 4 defensman.

Jurcina - 23 - Recently aquired for a 4th rd pick has done nothing but impress since getting here. Right now I would say he is a good 3rd pairing guy, in a couple years he should develop into a quality #4/#5 guy on the depth chart.

Schultz - 20 - 27th pick in the 2004 draft has done very well this season in his first NHL action. 6'6 defensman who can skate will always find work in the NHL, but he looks like a good talent who should become a good top 4 defensman within the next few years.

Green - 21 - 29th pick in the 2004 draft is prob the favorite young D among Caps fans on these boards (at least it seems that way). A very good skating defensman who likes to jump up in the play. Shows flashes of being a top pair guy, however struggled a bit this year in his 2nd year of NHL action. Little doubt he has a really nice future, most around here think he has top pair potential (including the GM and owner)

Eminger - 23 - 12th overall pick in the 2002 has been a disapointment so far. He has been a scratch the last few games for the Caps for reason's really not to many around here understand. He does have good size and is very mobile. At this point I would say he is a solid #5 defensman in the NHL, but who knows if his future will be with the Caps.

Erskine - 26 - the vet of this young group of talent, has really surprised everyone with how well he has played. Big, physical D who loves to hit and very willing to drop the gloves. Is an excellent guy to have around as a 3rd pairing defensman, but will prob be limited to that role on a quality hockey club (playing top 4 minutes for this Caps team). At the very least should give the Caps a quality #6/Depth guy for a few more years, hopefully more.

Those are the young D currently playing for this Caps team, the org also has first rd picks Joe Finley and Sasha Polulok as well as Sami Lepisto and Patrick McNeill to give the Caps some good looking talent in the farm system.

The problem with this group is lack of vet talent. The team has journey man like Jaime Heward and Brian Muir who had done well (or as well as can be expected) over the last 2 years but will prob see their days with the Caps come to an end this summer. The only "vet" NHL defensman who is currently on the roster who is expected to be on next years roster is Brian Pothier.

Pothier - 29 - sign a 4 year deal worth 2.5 per this offseason. Is a smooth skating defensman who was brought in to help provide some O from the backline. Even though he has failed to bring much in terms of offense, he has surprised some with his solid play and ability to play a lot of minutes (averages 24+ per). IMO he is a #4/#5 defensman in the NHL, however do to the Caps lack of vet players has been asked to play a larger role and to his credit has done well. But a quality team may want to have him on the 3rd pairing.

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02-25-2007, 04:31 PM
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The Viking Fury
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Erskine is only 26? Holy **** I was thinking low 30s. He better stick around then

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02-25-2007, 04:35 PM
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Ridley Simon
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Originally Posted by The Viking Fury View Post
Erskine is only 26? Holy **** I was thinking low 30s. He better stick around then
If we let Erskine go, we are stupid. End of story.

He's the type of D-Man that will end up a Sean Hill type. Very steady and gritty. We got him for zero, and he will anchor our 3rd pairing for as long as we want him too. If we don't resign him, I will be severely disappointed!!!!

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02-25-2007, 04:38 PM
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Chimaera
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there is depth in youth, but the problem is most of it is inexperienced and a few years off.


I'd have to say the chart goes something like this as far as depth for the future and potential development wise. I also put more stock into who is here now, and actually has made the jump. In a year or two when some of these kids are signed or have shown something at the AHL level, it could change a lot.


1. Morrisonn (for better or worse is the Best the Caps have right now, and unfortunately until the players develop he will be in this spot. He won't score much, and he won't muscle a ton of people around, but he is effective in moving the puck and clearing the zone. Long range he will be suited as a 2 or a 3, but maybe his offensive game will develop down the road)
2. Pothier (I don't know if he will be around in 5 years, but right now he is a servicable defenseman who helps on the PK, but doesn't do much else other than move the puck well and chip in a few assists. As his minutes are reduced, I think he will be more effective, but it will be interesting to see when more talent is added)
3. Green (He probably has the most upside of the bunch, but is one of the more raw blueliners in the system. some see him as a potential #1, but I think that's too far off at this point to really gauge. He has the offensive instincts, timely physicality, and enough responsibilty to eventually be a good one. The knocks probably are his judgement and his size, but both should play themselves out over time as he matures more. However, he has a while to go, and will need an experienced defenseman helping him learn the ropes for his development to continue like it should. Down the road, he should run a point for the PP (though his shot could use a tad bit of work) but first or second unit is based on his development. He is another year or two away from being a serious contributor offensively).
4. Jurcina (I slide Jurcina in here. I'm unsure long range how his development will play out, because the kid is very raw still. Similar to Mike Green, a lot of his play is based upon using his physical gifts and tools. However, where Mike Green has pretty good wheels and crisp passing, Jurcina's got a hard shot and good size. Skating's always going to be an issue where he needs to spend some time working, but so far it hasn't limited him. He needs to work on decision making, but he has the tools that will help him stick in the league as at least a 6-7 for some time. If he puts it together, he could be a better player. Whatever it is, Boston got rid of a prospect with a lot of upside for nothing)
5. Schultz (Prior to Schultz's callup, I probably was one of the people who was more up on Schultz than others. His flaws are easy to see. He doesn't skate as well as some, he isn't physical, and he gets caught out of position at times. However, he is steady, calm and collected. Honestly, at his age, he is years beyond some other players who come up and look out of sorts when things go wrong. Offensively, he isn't gifted as far as shooting, but his passing and instincts have shown in Juniors, and I think in a few pinches and dump ins, he shows he has some potential there down the road. Maybe on the 2nd line PP, and maybe as more of an assist guy. Physically, he's never going to be a bruiser, but with some standups and clear outs that he has shown at times, if he could ever be more physical his upside would increase. As it stands now, 5-6 is probably where he falls, maybe higher with time. But he is another year in the AHL and spot duty in the NHL away from being a serious contributor.)
6. Pokulok (Many will probably disagree with this assessment, but I think he still has a lot of upside. The lost year of development hurts... but Pokulok still has gifts offensively, and his size makes him an interesting combintation of potential. The only thing is he is a classic boom bust prospect. If he hits his peak potential, he could be a good one, but whether he does or not is highly debateable. Pokulok is a slick skater, effective passer and has offensive gifts. His defensive positioning and physical play are still up in the air. But he projects well. I don't know if he makes it, but if he does, he could be a good one.)
7. Eminger (3-4 years ago, he'd be on the top of this list. At this point, he's hitting a block in his development. He still is very young, but mentally not all there. He had a few good games prior to his being benched, and I'd have to wonder if the team is not shopping him. He might need a change of scenery. Gone are the ideas that he could be a top PP defenseman, along with a minutes eater. At this stage, most would jump for joy for solid 3-4 with some offense and good decisions. Frustrating is the best way to describe him. He oooohs and aaaahs at times, only to be replaced with the WHY THE BLEEPS.)
8. Erskine (Big phyiscal, tough. Slow. That about describes it. He is a stablizing figure in the back end, and he is intimidating at times. Players don't want to go into the corners as much... and you also see his influence on others who are back there. I don't know if he is here 5 years down the road, but he should be back next season. Development wise, I doubt he improves a ton, but he is a decent guy to have as a 6th, and maybe a 7th in the rotation when you need a tough guy)
9. Hunt (Slick moving skater, pretty good offensive instincts, but still in Hershey. Some people around these parts rave about him, I'm still unsure. I think he could do some decent things in the league, but he has to distinguish himself amongst the group, or he will be trade bait down the road. He is good at what he does, but needs experience. He is a year or two from looking to contribute with the Caps on a regular basis. Even so, offensive defenseman is his tag, and he could run a 2nd line PP)
10. Finley (reports coming out of college hockey have this kid as big, mean, tough. Period. He is gigantic, and for that alone, he will get a cup of coffee in the AHL/NHL down the road. He probably is a guy who could take an Erskine type role, in 4-5 years time. He honestly is going to need to finish out his NCAA career, and then spend a year or two in the AHL. I'll be interested to see how he throws 'em when he hits the AHL. If he can prove to be a comptent fighter, his development might accelerate. The only thing he needs to figure out is how to avoid cheap penalties, improve his skating, and gain experience. He is a Tinner type special waiting in the wings though)
11. Dovgan
12. Seabrook
13. Lepisto (who might or might not be signed)
14. McNeill (see #13)
15. Hedman (see #13)

I'd also say Thomas fits in there somewhere as well, but that's once again another player thats a bit of a crapshoot. As far as the 11-15, I'd say Lepisto has a lot of upside as a PP qb down the road, and could come over. Seabrook has a good pedigree, but will take time. Dovgan has talent, but he needs a lot of polish before he amounts to much. Hedman and McNeill I'm uncertain if they're signed because of the logjam of youth. Timo Helbeing (spelling I'm sure) is also a guy the team likes a bit, but I'm not sure if he has much future. Same with Nycolat.

Either way, this list is highly subject to change. I'd expect another player or two to be drafted this draft, and then some of the ok prospects to be packaged for talent needed elsewhere. They have a logjam in Hershey and even in SC, so clearing out some players who won't fit or have a spot is going to be a pressing issue. If they draft a defenseman, expect it to be the NCAA variety, so they can stash him for 4 years of free development. I'd also hope the team adds a player or two of the veteran caliber down the road (but I'm unsure if it happens)

The defensive prospect pool is deep, but the problem is beyond Green, most of the players in there fall in the 3-5 range, and aren't set to be top pairing players. The team must address that problem down the road either by trade or free agency this summer. They could use a blue chipper on defense in the draft, but BPA is probably the best idea.

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Old
02-25-2007, 04:47 PM
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The Viking Fury
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridley Simon View Post
If we let Erskine go, we are stupid. End of story.

He's the type of D-Man that will end up a Sean Hill type. Very steady and gritty. We got him for zero, and he will anchor our 3rd pairing for as long as we want him too. If we don't resign him, I will be severely disappointed!!!!
I concur. At 26 theres no reason to believe that proper training and stability with this organization will help him adjust better to the Nu NHL.

I can;t really add anything new to this discussion, but I'll try and put my own little twist on the situation:

Mo - Jurcina
Pothier - Eminger
Green/Schultz - Erskine
Muir
Nyco (Maybe)

or

Mo - FA
Jurcina - Pothier
Green/Schultz - Erskine

Trade Eminger in offseason etc

then:

Pokulok - 3 years away
Dovgan - 3/4 years away
Finley - 4 years away
Seabrook - 4 years
Thomas - 2/3 years (if signed, seems like a fast defensive defenseman from what little I've read, although he does get PP time I think)
Hunt - 2 years away
Lepisto - 1/2 years away
McNeill - 3 years away (I'd like to see him signed, could be a good PPQB from what little I've read)
Hedman - 3/4 years away, if at all. Might be an Oduya, although if thats the case I'd lik3 to see GMGM trade his rights for anything than lose him for nothing.


These are my little informed opinions of these guys. I'm not too good at talent evalutation, afterall, I though Klepis would be a good second line center...

But I also don;t get to see a lot of these guys due to college in PA. Theres the odd Bears @ wbs game though

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