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THN Comments on Habs prospects the year they were drafted

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02-10-2004, 12:16 AM
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PrairieHabber
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THN Comments on Habs prospects the year they were drafted

In looking up some info on Matt Higgins and Terry Ryan I thought I would include a year-by-year summary of comments written by The Hockey News from most of the past 10 draft years. These are comments made about the Habs first round pick each year, as well as other info of note. I couldn't find my 2000 edition of the Draft Preview. I had some earlier years also but this was already turning into a novel. Hopefully some others will find this interesting as well.

1995 - Terry Ryan - Rated 10th by THN and 19th by CSB (mid-season). Habs chose him 8th. "There is one knock on the fiery, multipurpose power left winger who scores, hits, and fights equally well. His skating. That concern ranges from mild to major. 'It would be a miracle if he slips out of the top 10', one scout said,'If you can live with his skating, he could be top 5."

Other notes about the 95 Draft: Shane Doan was rated one below Ryan by THN (I watched the Draft and was really disappointed when the Jets selected him one ahead of the Habs.) It was said that the Habs were ready to select Doan. Chad Kilger was rated 5th overall by THN. One scout said he might become another Ron Francis or Jason Arnott. "Do you really want to pass on a player who could be that good?" Some wondered if has natural offensive player but another scout said "He competes well, skates well, and has character. There's no real weak spot... at the worst he becomes a very safe top 10 pick."

1996 - Matt Higgins - Rated 8th by THN and 6th by CSB. Habs chose him 18th overall. "Moose Jaw center is quite some player. How else to explain his top-10 ranking when you factor two seemingly serious strikes against him? The comments go on to point out the two strikes as poor skating and lacking strength. They add that work ethic and hockey sense make up for the other shortcomings. One scout said, 'He has the best hockey sense of the bunch...You go to war with this kid...If he were faster, he'd be one of the top 3 picks."

Other notes about the '96 Draft: Mathieu Garon was rated #33 by THN and the Habs picked him at #44. He was rated by some as better than the top-ranked goalie that year (Craig Hillier). They said he is a big man who moves well and is very mature. Jan Bulis was rated #38 by THN. They described him as a skilled player who isn't afraid to stick his nose in the play and take a hit. Pierre Dagenais was rated #46 by THN and one scout was quoted was saying he could turn into an Eric Daze if his skating could improve. The big surprise of the first round was Calgary's selection of Derek Morris 13th overall but was only rated #85 by CSB.

1997 - Jason Ward - ranked 12th by THN and 4th by CSB (behind Joe Thornton, Patricl Marleau, and Daniel Tkachuk.) Prototypical power forward whose forte is bumping, grinding, and doing anything to win. Two problems. One, injuries. Two, limited offence. "If he can generate some offense, he's going to be an outstanding No. 2 line player. If not, he's going to be a terrific checking-line player," said one scout.

Marian Hossa was ranked 18th by THN and some scouts thought he was too one-dimensional. He avoids contact as much as possible, according to some scouts.

1998 - Eric Chouinard - Rated 18th by THN and 19th by CSB. Good skater with great hands and a real knack around the net. "Jean Ratelle-type of player," said one scout. "You have to question his grit," said another.

Simon Gagne was ranked lower by THN (21st) but a little higher by CSB (17th). Mike Ribeiro was selected by the Habs in the 2nd round and was ranked 42nd by THN. He reminded some scouts of Gilmour with his moves and offensive ability. "Sometimes he never breaks a sweat,' said another scout,'he just checks out sometimes."

1999 - First round selection traded to NYI for Trevor Linden (they selected Branislav Mezei at #10). The Habs selected Alexander Buturlin in the 2nd round -39th overall (he was ranked 31st by THN). Their comments included that he dives too much, but he is very skilled and is as good a passer as a scorer. His less than 6' size keeps him in the 2nd round. CSB ranked him just behind the Sedins and Martin Havlat in terms if Euro skaters.

The Habs also selected Matt Carkner in the 2nd round (58th). He was ranked 42nd by THN. "If you think he can skate, take him high...if not..." There were serious concerns about his skating. "He may be as tough as there is in the draft', said one scout, 'but he may be as weak a skater as there is in the draft."

2001 - Mike Komisarek - Rated 10th by THN and 4th by CSB. "Komisarek has developed into the big, strong, physical defenseman everyone wants. 'We all want someone like that,' said one scout, 'but sometimes you are looking for a little more skill."

The Habs selected Perezhogin later in the 1st round (he was rated 24th by THN). They describe him as having good puck-handling skills and an above-average skater. "His creativity is average." Duncan Milroy was rated #27 by THN. They suggest he might be best suited as a 3rd liner in the NHL in spite of his impressive offensive totals in junior. "He'll need an extra gear in the NHL...he's not overly physical but isn't afraid to mix it up...He likes the grinding play along the boards and in the corners."

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02-10-2004, 12:35 AM
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Great job! Very interesting!

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02-10-2004, 12:37 AM
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Good post, thanks for the info from the past. I usually by the Hockey News Draft preview and remember some of those evaluations. Makes you go back and take a deeper look.

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02-10-2004, 08:01 AM
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Thanks, Prairie Habber, it's very interesting to review those comments. it just goes to prove that the draft is a crapshoot, you just try to get the odds in your favor, and hope you're right more often than you're wrong.

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02-10-2004, 08:08 AM
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One thing you can deduce by reading those comments is that skating is one of the most important factors in guessing if a player will make it or not.

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02-10-2004, 09:18 AM
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The one thing you should take from reading these things is 'A prospect is nothing until he proves himself at the NHL level'. They all sound like they are goingto be superstars but for many they become nothing but minor leaguer. Don't overrate prospects on what you read.'

Cool post PrairieHabber, one of these days I'll have to post the Hockey News scouting reports from some of the draft issues I have from the '80's. I love reading how Daniel Dore was going to be a superstar!!!!

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02-10-2004, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darz
The one thing you should take from reading these things is 'A prospect is nothing until he proves himself at the NHL level'. They all sound like they are goingto be superstars but for many they become nothing but minor leaguer. Don't overrate prospects on what you read.'

Cool post PrairieHabber, one of these days I'll have to post the Hockey News scouting reports from some of the draft issues I have from the '80's. I love reading how Daniel Dore was going to be a superstar!!!!
That would be great Darz. I'm still hanging onto my Dore rookie card just in case. My Draft Previews only go back to the early 90's. I guess I wasn't a packrat in my youth.

Of the player evaluations above I think the one on Jason Ward was amazingly accurate. Others were pretty close as well but the description of Ward back then as compared to today is remarkable.

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02-10-2004, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darz
The one thing you should take from reading these things is 'A prospect is nothing until he proves himself at the NHL level'. They all sound like they are goingto be superstars but for many they become nothing but minor leaguer.
For many draft picks, their progression goes like this:

Prospect....Project....Suspect....Reject.

Not to belittle those that don't make it; even getting drafted by the NHL is quite an accomplishment. But draft day success doesn't guarantee a regular shift in the NHL, as we've all seen.

BTW, which of those 4 words describes Marcel Hossa's status? One of the middle two I would say.

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02-10-2004, 09:56 AM
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Darz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Malone
For many draft picks, their progression goes like this:

Prospect....Project....Suspect....Reject.
I like that. Very good way of looking at it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Malone
BTW, which of those 4 words describes Marcel Hossa's status? One of the middle two I would say.
Ya, right now he is definately starting to boarder on SUSPECT!!!!

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02-10-2004, 10:49 AM
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Marc the Habs Fan
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The comments about Kilger are pure gold.

Ron Francis?

The comment about the concern over his natural offensive ability was bang on.

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02-10-2004, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darz
I like that. Very good way of looking at it.





Ya, right now he is definately starting to boarder on SUSPECT!!!!
Where can I get some pre-draft info about Andrei Markov?

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02-10-2004, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 417 TO MTL
Where can I get some pre-draft info about Andrei Markov?
Good question. I'll see if I can find some at home, but most publications only had reports for the top 50 or so.

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02-10-2004, 11:43 AM
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PrairieHabber
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 417 TO MTL
Where can I get some pre-draft info about Andrei Markov?
All I can find is that he was rated 46th among Euro skaters but had fallen 24 spots from their mid-season rankings. The Habs selected him in the 6th round, 162nd overall.

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02-10-2004, 04:29 PM
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About Markov

Even if you get something about Markov, he was listed as a forward in Russia, it's Montreal that converted him in defence.

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02-10-2004, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darz
I like that. Very good way of looking at it.





Ya, right now he is definately starting to boarder on SUSPECT!!!!
Nah. Project Hossa is still in the works. He's young enough that we don't have to freak out just yet. Big guys take take to get it together, remember. We know the tools are there, and that's what counts right now.

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02-10-2004, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Caballero
Nah. Project Hossa is still in the works. He's young enough that we don't have to freak out just yet. Big guys take take to get it together, remember. We know the tools are there, and that's what counts right now.
the big guys thing couldnt be more true
ie.
todd bertuzzi.. poor mike milbury couldve had that guy .. and he traded em away for trevor linden lol
man im glad we dont have milbury for a gm lol

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02-10-2004, 04:55 PM
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Marcel Hossa is such an key prospect for us right now it's not even funny, our biggest need either with or without the Habs is a lack of a Power Forward, Hossa has all the skills, the size, the skating ability, the shooting ability, the passing ability, but he lacks the drive and the tenacity, fortunately, thoses things can be acquired, but it's all up to him...alot of things hinge on whether or not Hossa will reach his full potential, if not, i'm sure a team would be willing to take a chance on him, but if he does reach that potential eventually, and he's no longer with the Habs, we'll regret that for a loooong time

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