Am I really off-base if I still expect Staal to have a huge break-out season still? I just don't know if he's getting enough of an opportunity in Pittsburgh.
On Pittsburgh, he's shown that he doesn't adapt very well to being put on the wing. And he obviously won't get much of a chance at center in Pittsburgh. I think he's likely to be trade-bait in the offseason.
Anyone can always look back. Hindsight is 20/20, but for me that year, I had Toews pegged as my #2 behind Johnson. And that was only because franchise type d-man are harder to come by. Similar to this year for instance, it depends on the need of the team. But for myself it was EJ then Toews.
Yup, Toews was the consensus number 2 draft day and is proving why.
He wasn't. There was a TOP 5 EJ, Staal, Toews, Backstrom and Kessel. EJ had slight advantage and was consensus ¹1. But any of other 4 wouldn't surprise anybody at ¹2.
I must say, that when Staal had his impressive 1st year, I said that he will not be a big superstar and probably Backstrom and even Kessel(who had so-so 1st year) would be better. Right it looks that at least here I was right. From TOP 10 of 2006 draft, I would have taken EJ, Toews, Backstrom, Kessel, Brassard, Mueller and probably even Frolik ahead of him.