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Blues' 2004 Entry Draft

View Poll Results: Which of the following players should the Blues drfat in June?
11. Dave Bolland, C/R, 6-00, 171 1 2.38%
12. Marek Schwarz, G/R, 6-00, 176 6 14.29%
13. Rostislav Olesz, LW/L, 6-01, 194 12 28.57%
14. Boris Valabik, D/L, 6-06, 211 3 7.14%
15. Alexandre Picard, LW/L, 6-02, 190 7 16.67%
16. Sami Lepisto, D/L, 6-00, 176 2 4.76%
17. Vaclav Meidl, C/L, 6-05, 198 1 2.38%
18. Lukas Kaspar, LW/R, 6-02, 202 3 7.14%
19. Alexander Radulov, RW/L, 6-01, 178, Dynamo (RUS) 3 7.14%
20. Andrej Meszaros, D/R, 6-02, 189 1 2.38%
Other player (please name and explain) 3 7.14%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
03-21-2004, 10:31 AM
  #1
Prussian_Blue
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Blues' 2004 Entry Draft

Assuming that the Blues will be picking somewhere between 11th and 20th in the draft this June, I've ranked several players based on their mid-term rankings.

Of these players, which would you like to see the Blues pick, and why?

If there's another, name him and give us a reason why you'd like to pick him.

I've chosen Lukas Kaspar, because he's exactly what the Blues are lacking in their system right now -- a blue-chip scoring LW with good size. I still have confidence that Sejna will pan out, but Kaspar is bigger and has put up respectable numbers while playing most of the season in what may be the best men's elite league in Europe. There's also his near-goal-a-game performance in the Czech junior league.

David Bolland would be my pick if he was available, but I can't see Bolland falling much past 11th overall, and I don't think the Blues will pick quite that high. They might have a shot at Alexandre Picard, however, and he'd be a good option also.

Here are the stats for each of the players in this poll, as of the first week of March:

Code:
Bolland .... London (OHL) ....... 61 .. 37 .. 27 .. 64 .. +15 ..  56
Olesz ...... Vitkovice (CZ) ..... 35 ..  1 .. 11 .. 12 .. + 6 ..  10
............ Vitkovice Jr (CZ) ..  3 ..  2 ..  0 ..  2 .. + 2 ..   0
Valabik .... Kitchener (OHL) .... 62 ..  3 ..  9 .. 12 .. + 4 .. 252
Picard ..... Lewiston (QMJHL) ... 62 .. 33 .. 36 .. 69 .. + 8 ..  74
Lepisto .... Jokerit (FI) ....... 53 ..  3 ..  4 ..  7 .. + 4 ..  20
Meidl ...... Plymouth (OHL) ..... 62 .. 13 .. 27 .. 40 ..   0 .. 104
Kaspar ..... Litvinov (CZ) ...... 37 ..  4 ..  2 ..  6 ..   0 ..  10
............ Litvinov Jr (CZ) ... 23 .. 21 .. 14 .. 35 .. + 5 ..  56
Radulov .... Dynamo (RUS) ....... statistics not available *
Meszaros ... Trencin (SVK) ...... 52 ..  6 ..  4 .. 10 .. +13 ..  10

Schwarz .... Trinec (CZ) ........  5 ..  280 .. 12 .. 2.57 ..  3- 2- 0 .. 163 .. 0 .. .9314
............ Plzen (CZ) ......... 10 ..  603 .. 33 .. 3.28 ..  4- 5- 1 .. 389 .. 0 .. .9218
............ Sparta (CZ) ........  8 ..  335 .. 20 .. 3.58 ..  1- 6- 1 .. 173 .. 0 .. .8964
............ CZ Extraliga totals  20 .. 1218 .. 65 .. 3.20 ..  8-13- 2 .. 725 .. 0 .. .9177
............ Sparta Jr (CZ) .....  7 ..  352 .. 14 .. 2.39 ..  3- 3- 1 .. 185 .. 2 .. .9296

* Radulov has been highly ranked by "Red Line Report."  See this link:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hocke...woodlief_x.htm
Just for comparison, here are the guys I've ranked ahead of these 10:

1. Alexander Ovechkin. RW/R, 6-02, 200, Dynamo (RUS)
2. Kyle Chipchura, C/L, 6-02, 197, Prince Albert (WHL)
3. Cam Barker, D/L, 6-03, 207, Medicine Hat (WHL)
4. Evgeni Malkin, LW/L, 6-03,186, Magnitogorsk (RUS)
5. Wojtek Wolski, LW/L, 6-03, 200, Brampton (OHL)
6. Jeff Schultz, D/L, 6-06, 205, Calgary (WHL)
7. Andrew Ladd, LW/L, 6-02, 200, Calgary (WHL)
8. Al Montoya, G/L, 6-01, 190, U. Michigan (CCHA)
9. Robbie Schremp, C/L, 5-11, 197, London (OHL)
10. Ladislav Smid, D/L, 6-03, 209, Liberec (CZE)

Have fun, and I'm looking forward to the responses.

PrussianBlue


Last edited by Prussian_Blue: 05-23-2004 at 09:58 PM. Reason: alignment issues in stats
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Old
03-21-2004, 11:27 AM
  #2
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I voted Radulov, just because it's impossible that Olesz won't be selected in the top 10.

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03-21-2004, 12:22 PM
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I voted for Rostislav Olesz but he won't be there at the Blues' Pick...

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03-21-2004, 12:42 PM
  #4
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I picked Picard. He seems like good value and we need a good LW. We should trade up for Cam Barker =P

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03-21-2004, 06:39 PM
  #5
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I will enjoy reading the discussion on these players, but having no chance to see them play and no longer having a Hockey News subscription there is little I could add that would be more than a guess.

I do have much more faith in our scouts and Yarmo Kekalainin in particular than I have had in the prior people the Blues had in charge, so I do think we will draft a player that has a good chance to be a quality NHL player.

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03-21-2004, 10:46 PM
  #6
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I'd vote against drafting a LW simply because of a need for one right now (a la Picard). I've always believed in the BPA strategy, and I don't think I'll ever sway.

Two players that I would like to see the Blues getting (assuming they make the playoffs and pick around 17th) would be either Mike Green of the Saskatoon Blades or Evan McGrath of the Kitchener Rangers, both of whom were not on your list.

Mike Green D
6-1 193
2003-2004 Saskatoon Blades 59 14 25 39 -29 92

Don't let the +/- fool you, the Blades are an awful team. Green has been one of the bright spots on this team and I love a defender who's a solid puck-mover, a smart defensive player and plays with a chip on his shoulder. This kid knows how to hit.
CSS has him 8th among NA skaters, and I don't think he's listed in the top 10 on the ISS list. Red Line just had him as a rising prospect and I think pretty highly of him; although the CHL prospects game isn't much of a barometer on talent, Green simply flattened a couple of rushing forwards. He'll get bigger.

I don't know if Green will be available at 17 when the draft comes around seeing his stock is rising so much. We saw that last year with a young Red Deer defenceman named Dion Phaneuf who's going to be the next big thing in the NHL.


Evan McGrath C
6-0 184
03-04 Kitchener Rangers 68 15 36 51 +4 28

McGrath has been all over the board as far as rankings go; he's been as high as 7 on Red Line, been top 10 on CSB, but has lately fallen in the rankings (CSS January has him 15th NA). Not only does a player like this scream inconsistent, but it also screams boom pick to me. McGrath has a bevy of talent, but at times is quiet on the ice. It doesn't mean he's not doing well, in fact it's quite the opposite for him.

His stats this year are not much of an improvement over last year, but the talent is certainly there. ISS knocks him on his shying away from physical contact and "lack of confidence" but I just don't see it. He's behind Michael Richards who's played in every situation ahead of everyone on the team, so I believe it's just a matter of getting proper linemates and gelling. He'll also end being a better winger in the NHL rather than center.

He should be easily available at the 17 spot and isn't too much of a reach IMO in potential.

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03-21-2004, 11:26 PM
  #7
c-carp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
Assuming that the Blues will be picking somewhere between 11th and 20th in the draft this June, I've ranked several players based on their mid-term rankings.

Of these players, which would you like to see the Blues pick, and why?

If there's another, name him and give us a reason why you'd like to pick him.

I've chosen Lukas Kaspar, because he's exactly what the Blues are lacking in their system right now -- a blue-chip scoring LW with good size. I still have confidence that Sejna will pan out, but Kaspar is bigger and has put up respectable numbers while playing most of the season in what may be the best men's elite league in Europe. There's also his near-goal-a-game performance in the Czech junior league.

David Bolland would be my pick if he was available, but I can't see Bolland falling much past 11th overall, and I don't think the Blues will pick quite that high. They might have a shot at Alexandre Picard, however, and he'd be a good option also.

Here are the stats for each of the players in this poll, as of the first week of March:

Code:
Bolland .... London (OHL) ....... 61 .. 37 .. 27 .. 64 .. +15 ..  56
Olesz ...... Vitkovice (CZ) ..... 35 ..  1 .. 11 .. 12 .. + 6 ..  10
............ Vitkovice Jr (CZ) ..  3 ..  2 ..  0 ..  2 .. + 2 ..   0
Valabik .... Kitchener (OHL) .... 62 ..  3 ..  9 .. 12 .. + 4 .. 252
Picard ..... Lewiston (QMJHL) ... 62 .. 33 .. 36 .. 69 .. + 8 ..  74
Lepisto .... Jokerit (FI) ....... 53 ..  3 ..  4 ..  7 .. + 4 ..  20
Meidl ...... Plymouth (OHL) ..... 62 .. 13 .. 27 .. 40 ..   0 .. 104
Kaspar ..... Litvinov (CZ) ...... 37 ..  4 ..  2 ..  6 ..   0 ..  10
............ Litvinov Jr (CZ) ... 23 .. 21 .. 14 .. 35 .. + 5 ..  56
Radulov .... Dynamo (RUS) ....... statistics not available *
Meszaros ... Trencin (SVK) ...... 52 ..  6 ..  4 .. 10 .. +13 ..  10

Schwarz .... Trinec (CZ) ........  5 ..  280 .. 12 .. 2.57 ..  3- 2- 0 .. 163 .. 0 .. .9314
............ Plzen (CZ) ......... 10 ..  603 .. 33 .. 3.28 ..  4- 5- 1 .. 389 .. 0 .. .9218
............ Sparta (CZ) ........  8 ..  335 .. 20 .. 3.58 ..  1- 6- 1 .. 173 .. 0 .. .8964
............ CZ Extraliga totals  20 .. 1218 .. 65 .. 3.20 ..  8-13- 2 .. 725 .. 0 .. .9177
............ Sparta Jr (CZ) .....  7 ..  352 .. 14 .. 2.39 ..  3- 3- 1 .. 185 .. 2 .. .9296

* Radulov has been highly ranked by "Red Line Report."  See this link:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hocke...woodlief_x.htm
Just for comparison, here are the guys I've ranked ahead of these 10:

1. Alexander Ovechkin. RW/R, 6-02, 200, Dynamo (RUS)
2. Kyle Chipchura, C/L, 6-02, 197, Prince Albert (WHL)
3. Cam Barker, D/L, 6-03, 207, Medicine Hat (WHL)
4. Evgeni Malkin, LW/L, 6-03,186, Magnitogorsk (RUS)
5. Wojtek Wolski, LW/L, 6-03, 200, Brampton (OHL)
6. Jeff Schultz, D/L, 6-06, 205, Calgary (WHL)
7. Andrew Ladd, LW/L, 6-02, 200, Calgary (WHL)
8. Al Montoya, G/L, 6-01, 190, U. Michigan (CCHA)
9. Robbie Schremp, C/L, 5-11, 197, London (OHL)
10. Ladislav Smid, D/L, 6-03, 209, Liberec (CZE)

Have fun, and I'm looking forward to the responses.

PrussianBlue
Why is Valabic rated so high? those look like simply "tough guy" stats. I love the scraps and teh tough guys, but there has to be a catch. What is it guys, can he play the game too or is he projected to be that Dominant of a tough guy.

Thanks

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03-22-2004, 12:26 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-carp
Why is Valabic rated so high? those look like simply "tough guy" stats. I love the scraps and teh tough guys, but there has to be a catch. What is it guys, can he play the game too or is he projected to be that Dominant of a tough guy.

Thanks
The reason he's rated so high is that he's a freakin' giant. His play in the CHL prospects game helped quite a bit as he showed that he is not only physical and strong defensively, but he's got a bullet of a shot as well. Also, while his skating is certainly not a plus, it's actually not that bad for a guy his size either (which is what I believe the knock on Richard Stehlik was last year).

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03-22-2004, 01:10 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
The reason he's rated so high is that he's a freakin' giant. His play in the CHL prospects game helped quite a bit as he showed that he is not only physical and strong defensively, but he's got a bullet of a shot as well. Also, while his skating is certainly not a plus, it's actually not that bad for a guy his size either (which is what I believe the knock on Richard Stehlik was last year).
Those stats still dont look like 1st round stats, before his play in the prospects game was he rated as a 1st rounder?

Thanks

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03-22-2004, 10:56 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-carp
Those stats still dont look like 1st round stats, before his play in the prospects game was he rated as a 1st rounder?

Thanks
Valabik is certainly not an offensive genious, but it's not unheard of for a tough-as-nails defenceman to get drafted in the first round around the spot the Blues would be picking. Barret Jackman in 1999 at 17th and Brooks Orpik at 18th in 2000 come to mind. Valabik's stats for Kitchener in his first year are also not unlike Jackman's rookie stats with Regina and Orpik's with Boston College.

I don't recall if Valabik was ranked as a 1st rounder before the prospects game unfortunately. It's likely that a couple of teams would've taken him that high, but it's also likely that a bunch of teams wouldn't bother with him until the 2nd or 3rd. It's all about preference I guess.

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03-22-2004, 01:12 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
Valabik is certainly not an offensive genious, but it's not unheard of for a tough-as-nails defenceman to get drafted in the first round around the spot the Blues would be picking. Barret Jackman in 1999 at 17th and Brooks Orpik at 18th in 2000 come to mind. Valabik's stats for Kitchener in his first year are also not unlike Jackman's rookie stats with Regina and Orpik's with Boston College.

I don't recall if Valabik was ranked as a 1st rounder before the prospects game unfortunately. It's likely that a couple of teams would've taken him that high, but it's also likely that a bunch of teams wouldn't bother with him until the 2nd or 3rd. It's all about preference I guess.
Using your own statement, drafting Valabik would be a mistake. We already have a ton of Physical D men(Jackman, Walker, Shefflemaier, Fitzgerald, Byrne(not to mention Salvador and Pronger at the NHL level)) adding another one would be overkill at this point(unless he's in the Pronger or Blake mold which I don't think Valabik is(not enough offensive awareness)). I would strongly suggest not going with the BPA method this year and attempt to adress some needs in our system.

IMO our system has 2 glaring weakness at this point: Center's and LW's. We need to address those area's with our first 2 picks this year(and the more glaring weakness is on the LW).

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03-22-2004, 01:27 PM
  #12
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Bruce Graham
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68Gm 24G 33A 57Pts 89PIM

I know he's a center, but Douggie isn't going to be around for ever, and Bruce is a big (Tall), Quick, Crafty Forward who is really coming around. He's also a great skater, I'd be willing to bet he goes top 20, even though earlier he was set for around 40th.

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03-22-2004, 01:36 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
Valabik is certainly not an offensive genious, but it's not unheard of for a tough-as-nails defenceman to get drafted in the first round around the spot the Blues would be picking. Barret Jackman in 1999 at 17th and Brooks Orpik at 18th in 2000 come to mind. Valabik's stats for Kitchener in his first year are also not unlike Jackman's rookie stats with Regina and Orpik's with Boston College.

I don't recall if Valabik was ranked as a 1st rounder before the prospects game unfortunately. It's likely that a couple of teams would've taken him that high, but it's also likely that a bunch of teams wouldn't bother with him until the 2nd or 3rd. It's all about preference I guess.
I understand your point, and I guess knowing that he is similar to Jackman or Orpik I wouldnt mind picking him, but we deesperatly need to build up our depth at forward.

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03-22-2004, 01:37 PM
  #14
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This is where the debate begins. Do you draft, BPA style or by current team need?

Last year, the team hit a HR w/ Belle - big win/big bust - looks like big win. Further, Backman really broke out this year, last season, he wasn't close. Inlight of the fact that most players picked from the middle of the 1st on will be in the NHL in 3-4 years, we are not talking about emidiate impact - and in truth who knows how this team will look in 3 years.

Our D does look to be set for awhile, at least 1-3 (Pronger, Backman, Jackman) and we still have Belle, Byrne (5-6 Dman), Stuart, Fitzgerald, Johnsson.. I think that the Blues are set as far as D and really do need to address our lack of depth in system, up front. I have read about Green, and it does appear his stock is rising.

I voted for Olesz, though as many pointed out, he may not be available.

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03-22-2004, 02:46 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimzey59
Using your own statement, drafting Valabik would be a mistake. We already have a ton of Physical D men(Jackman, Walker, Shefflemaier, Fitzgerald, Byrne(not to mention Salvador and Pronger at the NHL level)) adding another one would be overkill at this point(unless he's in the Pronger or Blake mold which I don't think Valabik is(not enough offensive awareness)). I would strongly suggest not going with the BPA method this year and attempt to adress some needs in our system.

IMO our system has 2 glaring weakness at this point: Center's and LW's. We need to address those area's with our first 2 picks this year(and the more glaring weakness is on the LW).
I wasn't saying that the Blues should draft Valabik at all. I was simply answering c-carp's questions.

With that being said, I think that Frenzy1 makes a great point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenzy1
. . . in truth who knows how this team will look in 3 years.
Players in the 1st round that aren't in the top five a generally not going to have an impact for at least a year (in the case of mid-teens perhaps two or three years). Any kind of stocking done on any position can fill holes that are left by changing and even freak situations (e.g. MacInnis going down with his retinal insanity, Pronger going out for a full year with multiple surgeries). Ask the Colorado Avalanche fans if they were mad that they drafted too many skilled forwards in Milan Hejduk, Alex Tanguay, and Chris Drury when they already had the likes of Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg playing.

As for the physical defenceman, none really have an upside of a top-4 (with the exception of Zach Fitzgerald I've heard). I don't think it's insane to call Salvador, Byrne, Scheffelmaier, or Walker stuck in the 5 or 6 range. Valabik does have the possibility of being a Zdeno Chara (though he needs a good amount of work). Pronger's future is just about as set as the Blues playoff hopes for this year, so that leaves you with Barret Jackman and Christian Backman as the "defensemen of the future". Doesn't exactly fill me with glee.

I guess all of this is moot considering I already made my two choices in another post.

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03-22-2004, 03:31 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
Pronger's future is just about as set as the Blues playoff hopes for this year, so that leaves you with Barret Jackman and Christian Backman as the "defensemen of the future". Doesn't exactly fill me with glee.

I guess all of this is moot considering I already made my two choices in another post.
I wonder what the Blues will do w/ Pronger. There is a lot of interest in him and his value is very high... But this should be another thread (and may already be one). IMO, if Pronger goes, he will bring back a young NHL ready Dman in return.

Personally, I think players picked in the 10-20 spot will all be NHLers, but to what extent is based on Development. While people say BPA, most of those players are at the same level (ei. Green could be top 4 D, McGrath could be top 6 forward - all things being egual, I think the Blues need to take the forward instead of the D).

I think there are tiers for prospects (like NHLers). You have your top teir guys and so on, so forth... When evaluating tallent, one must also look at system needs, and all things being equal, must play to that need.

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03-22-2004, 03:33 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
Pronger's future is just about as set as the Blues playoff hopes for this year, so that leaves you with Barret Jackman and Christian Backman as the "defensemen of the future". Doesn't exactly fill me with glee.

I guess all of this is moot considering I already made my two choices in another post.
I wonder what the Blues will do w/ Pronger. There is a lot of interest in him and his value is very high... But this should be another thread (and may already be one). IMO, if Pronger goes, he will bring back a young NHL ready Dman in return.

Personally, I think players picked in the 10-20 spot will all be NHLers, but to what extent is based on Development. While people say BPA, most of those players are at the same level (ei. Green could be top 4 D, McGrath could be top 6 forward - all things being egual, I think the Blues need to take the forward instead of the D).

I think there are tiers for prospects (like NHLers). You have your top teir guys and so on, so forth... When evaluating tallent, one must also look at system needs, and all things being equal, must play to that need.

Right now, I think the Blues top needs for the system - not team - are LW, D, C, RW, Goalie.

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03-22-2004, 05:20 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenzy1
Personally, I think players picked in the 10-20 spot will all be NHLers, but to what extent is based on Development. While people say BPA, most of those players are at the same level (i.e. Green could be top 4 D, McGrath could be top 6 forward - all things being equal, I think the Blues need to take the forward instead of the D).
QFA, and that's why I went with my pick of Lukas Kaspar. Picard would be a good pick, too... if still available.

KF, I've heard some discouraging things about McGrath. Wasn't he dissed a little in that link I provided to "Red Line Report," or am I thinking of someone else?

To answer CC's question, Valabik was ranked 13th in North America at mid-term ,so yes, he was a projected first-round pick.

This is the kind of discussion we need here, folks... keep it up.

PrussianBlue

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03-22-2004, 09:19 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
I wasn't saying that the Blues should draft Valabik at all. I was simply answering c-carp's questions.

With that being said, I think that Frenzy1 makes a great point:



Players in the 1st round that aren't in the top five a generally not going to have an impact for at least a year (in the case of mid-teens perhaps two or three years). Any kind of stocking done on any position can fill holes that are left by changing and even freak situations (e.g. MacInnis going down with his retinal insanity, Pronger going out for a full year with multiple surgeries). Ask the Colorado Avalanche fans if they were mad that they drafted too many skilled forwards in Milan Hejduk, Alex Tanguay, and Chris Drury when they already had the likes of Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg playing.

As for the physical defenceman, none really have an upside of a top-4 (with the exception of Zach Fitzgerald I've heard). I don't think it's insane to call Salvador, Byrne, Scheffelmaier, or Walker stuck in the 5 or 6 range. Valabik does have the possibility of being a Zdeno Chara (though he needs a good amount of work). Pronger's future is just about as set as the Blues playoff hopes for this year, so that leaves you with Barret Jackman and Christian Backman as the "defensemen of the future". Doesn't exactly fill me with glee.

I guess all of this is moot considering I already made my two choices in another post.

I wasn't picking a fight, I was just expounding on your point. No, it isn't uncommon for a Physical D man to be picked in the first round, I simply think it would be a mistake for the Blues to do it this year. We have enough physical D men in the system as it stands(you need to have balance among your defensemen, we have 3 potential NHL caliber D men(Walker, Fitz and Byrne(I see both Fitz and Byrne as being physical number 3/4 Dmen)) that play a physical, defensive oriented game, where does the offense come from other than Back's?). If we were to draft any D men at all in the first round they need to be offensive minded(and perferably a right handed shot).

IMO If there isn't a D man that absolutely blows you out of the water address one of our needs by drafting a scoring forward.

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03-22-2004, 09:25 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
QFA, and that's why I went with my pick of Lukas Kaspar. Picard would be a good pick, too... if still available.

KF, I've heard some discouraging things about McGrath. Wasn't he dissed a little in that link I provided to "Red Line Report," or am I thinking of someone else?

To answer CC's question, Valabik was ranked 13th in North America at mid-term ,so yes, he was a projected first-round pick.

This is the kind of discussion we need here, folks... keep it up.

PrussianBlue
McGrath was knocked in the latest blurb from the ISS appearing on the HF homepage under the "Falling" section.

Quote:
Originally Posted by International Scouting Service
McGrath is not playing the way a guy with this much talent should be. Where is the rookie 90-point Tier II Junior A All-Star? Itís surprising the way he has played this season, as it was that thought he would be dominant. McGrath shies away from physical contact, and doesnít have the confidence at this level to control and move with the puck as he did in playing Tier II Junior A.
While it is true that he's not a physical player, I question a report that would place both Robbie Schremp and Wojtek Wolski at 3 and 5 who are similar players in physical style. In fact, Wolski has dropped off of the top ten on the Red Line Report and was "dissed" in the link that you posted. Schremp was taken off of the top ten very soon after the whole "I don't want to play for the losing Ice Dogs anymore" and demanded a trade that was consumated 3 games into the regular season and went to the London Knights. London finished on top of the Western Conference and Mississauga surprised everyone by finishing 2nd in the East.

McGrath saw a disappointing season, but again I credit that more to getting 2nd-line time because of captain Mike Richards. Richards is the go-to guy on the Rangers for all situations (PK, PP, Even Strength) and as both are centers, McGrath who is the younger gets less time and thusly, lesser linemates. McGrath was hot and cold during Richards tour with Canada at the WJC's so he may indeed have lost some confidence. He's got loads of talent, but this year it hasn't been present on the score sheet.

Keep an eye on McGrath though during the OHL playoffs. Mike Richards is out for the Plymouth series with an "undisclosed injury" meaning McGrath is getting top time centering Petr Kanko who is a big-time winger in the OHL (though I doubt he'll be anything big with the Kings) and could be for a while. The series is 2-1 in favour of Plymouth right now, but McGrath has 2 goals and 1 assist in the two games since Richards went out.

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03-22-2004, 09:44 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimzey59
I wasn't picking a fight, I was just expounding on your point. No, it isn't uncommon for a Physical D man to be picked in the first round, I simply think it would be a mistake for the Blues to do it this year. We have enough physical D men in the system as it stands(you need to have balance among your defensemen, we have 3 potential NHL caliber D men(Walker, Fitz and Byrne(I see both Fitz and Byrne as being physical number 3/4 Dmen)) that play a physical, defensive oriented game, where does the offense come from other than Back's?). If we were to draft any D men at all in the first round they need to be offensive minded(and perferably a right handed shot).

IMO If there isn't a D man that absolutely blows you out of the water address one of our needs by drafting a scoring forward.
I re-read my post and realised it sounded a little defensive and angry. That wasn't my intention. I did it at school after having listened to an extremely boring Social Anthropology lecture.

I still stand by my argument though. By going for "needs" you can overlook some serious talent going on. I hearken back to the draft of '99, when it was the opinion of many that the Sens needed to draft a strong defenseman and had enough talented young wingers to build an All-Star team. They could have addressed that need by selecting Kristian Kudroc, but instead decided to go with the more talented player in Martin Havlat. Who would you rather have at this point? Besides, just two years later the Sens addressed the need for a big defenceman by getting Zdeno Chara as an add-on to the Yashin deal (the 2nd overall pick was the big piece of the trade that turned out to be Jason Spezza).

As for a righty defenceman, I'm still leaning towards Mike Green. A caveat emptor if you will though, is that I get attached to players that I consider to be under-rated and I think I have one each year. Dion Phaneuf was one from last year who seems to be working out well, but I went pretty big on Scott Hartnell in 2000, who hasn't been the dominant power forward that I thought he would be, though he may still develop.


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03-23-2004, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
I re-read my post and realised it sounded a little defensive and angry. That wasn't my intention. I did it at school after having listened to an extremely boring Social Anthropology lecture.

I still stand by my argument though. By going for "needs" you can overlook some serious talent going on. I hearken back to the draft of '99, when it was the opinion of many that the Sens needed to draft a strong defenseman and had enough talented young wingers to build an All-Star team. They could have addressed that need by selecting Kristian Kudroc, but instead decided to go with the more talented player in Martin Havlat. Who would you rather have at this point? Besides, just two years later the Sens addressed the need for a big defenceman by getting Zdeno Chara as an add-on to the Yashin deal (the 2nd overall pick was the big piece of the trade that turned out to be Jason Spezza).

As for a righty defenceman, I'm still leaning towards Mike Green. A caveat emptor if you will though, is that I get attached to players that I consider to be under-rated and I think I have one each year. Dion Phaneuf was one from last year who seems to be working out well, but I went pretty big on Scott Hartnell in 2000, who hasn't been the dominant power forward that I thought he would be, though he may still develop.
IMO the Blues situation is different than that of Ottawa's. Ottawa had a number of "hit or miss" forwards(such as Scatchlivy) with high end potential. They did not have a lot of sure fire NHL scorers and Jarmo knew that. Besides which, Havlat is incredible offensively. I would place him in that "blows you away" category.

The Blues D men are pretty safe bets to all make the NHL at some point(especially Fitz, Walker, and Byrne). Unless there is a very clear upgrade in that area we should use the first round to address our needs rather than taking the BPA route.

I haven't really heard a lot about Green. All I've seen are his stats and frankly they look more like second round numbers than first round numbers. I believe we should use our first rounder on a forward and then go with the BPA strategy.

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03-23-2004, 05:30 PM
  #23
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I agree with PB, we need a forward - either Kaspar or Picard. I think we're set on defense if we play those cards right, we really need to load up at forward so we'll have guys who can score while the defense does its job. Otherwise we'll be dealing defensemen away to get scoring forwards and wind up short on both ends. (Not that we've done this in the past, you know ... :mad: )

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03-23-2004, 06:42 PM
  #24
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Thanks for the comments and discussions on the prospects guys. Where do most of you get your info on them if you are like me and dont live where you can see them play.

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03-23-2004, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-carp
Thanks for the comments and discussions on the prospects guys. Where do most of you get your info on them if you are like me and dont live where you can see them play.
Right here on the 'Net, mostly... hey, I live in Rockford, so I'm fully aware of the difficulties that hockey fans face in most of Illinois when it comes to getting hockey info from the traditional media.

What I do is go to the league home pages and download the stats at the end of each month, and then track how players are doing based on the changes from month to month in their stats.

For example, there's a goalie in the Quebec league, Gabriel Bouthillette, 6-04, 200 pounds. He was ranked 15th in North America by CSB at mid-term, but by comparing statistical progressions, I've been able to determine that he's gone 12-0-1 in his last 16 starts (since Halloween), with a 1.81 GAA and a .924 save percentage in that time frame.

When the mid-term rankings came out in January, he was 8-1-3 in 14 games, with a 2.58 GAA and an .895 save percentage; not all that impressive, which is why he was ranked in the middle of the pack.

As of last week, he was 17-1-3 in 24 games, with a 2.13 GAA and a .911 save percentage.

Until I did that statistical progress comparison, I wouldn't have given Bouthillette a second look. But, since I don't get the chance to see these guys play (I really miss living in Portland and being able to watch the major junior players first-hand), I can make a pretty good inference on his progression from the statistical comparison. When I find a guy like that who piques my interest, I search the team's web site for info about him; links to news articles, etc.

He's the backup in Gatineau, but that size and those numbers lead me to believe that he might be worth a mid-round pick... if someone else doesn't get to him first.

It takes some work, but scouting on-line can be fun. I've "found" a few guys that way, who ended up being NHL players. I remember the year Cajanek was drafted, I told a bunch of my friends that he would be a good addition for the Blues. They all thought I was nuts, and so was Pleau for "wasting" a pick on a 25-year-old who didn't even want to come to North America right away. Cajanek has since turned out to be a pretty good find for the Blues; not bad for the 253rd overall pick.

PrussianBlue

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