I've been really pleased with Valabik's progress over the last twelve months. Considering how mediocre-at-best some of the guys expected to go where he was picked are looking (Lauri Tukonen, AJ Thelen, etc.) he is looking more and more like a solid pick. There are other guys like Andrej Meszaros and Alex Radulov we could have had, but I can live with Boris as long as he pans out into a solid second-pairing defenseman in the next year or two.
Thanks you guys. These kind of articles can only be written on willing subjects though. I got really lucky that Boris was in a very open mood the day I decided to talk to him. Maybe having put in the time with him for so long helped (a familiar face to him by then), I'm not sure.
I wanted to know if he could make the team in the fall, that's why I started asking questions. For me at least, I think I answered it. Yes he can, if he does all the things the others mentioned. But the numbers of contracts do work against him.