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03-22-2010, 02:25 PM
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cassius
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Jordan Staal's potential/development

Just wanted to touch base on one of my favorite topics on these boards.

Now that Staal is wrapping up his 4th pro season and he's getting some minutes on the 2nd line, I think it's probably a good time to talk about his development.

I know approaching this topic in the past was very contentiuous, but I feel like once you have 300 games under your belt.. it's a pretty safe discussion.

So I'll cut to the chase - where do you guys see Staal in the long-term plans for the Pens? Does this board still believe he is a legit 2nd line center on any other team than the Pens?

I'll give you guys my take: I think Staal projects to be a poor man's Ryan Kesler with less offensive upside. I think throughout his career he will be a 25/25 guy with some occasional hot stretches and contributions on the PK. I still don't see the mean-streak/offensive abilities that would elevate Staal to a 2nd liner/potential power forward. I think his career will end up being similar to John Madden when it's all said and done. Key contributor defensively on multiple stanley cup runs, but he just doesn't have the offensive gifts/instincts to be a top-6/1st PP unit regular.

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03-22-2010, 02:38 PM
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He's 37th in scoring among centers = he's already a legit 2nd line center. Perhaps not on a SC favorite (Pens or any other similar team) with strong center depth but a team with good wingers/defense/goaltending and Staal on the 2nd line isn't necessarily a bad thing.

25/25 potential? He's there already at 21! I think he can max out at around 70 points down the line if things go right for him.

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03-22-2010, 02:47 PM
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Eric Staal's brother is okay (His name is Jordan, right?). I still don't want to talk about him since he's a bust and should have never been drafted so high. Let's talk more about Eric Staal instead.

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03-22-2010, 02:49 PM
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Jeff Goldblum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassius View Post
Just wanted to touch base on one of my favorite topics on these boards.

Now that Staal is wrapping up his 4th pro season and he's getting some minutes on the 2nd line, I think it's probably a good time to talk about his development.

I know approaching this topic in the past was very contentiuous, but I feel like once you have 300 games under your belt.. it's a pretty safe discussion.

So I'll cut to the chase - where do you guys see Staal in the long-term plans for the Pens? Does this board still believe he is a legit 2nd line center on any other team than the Pens?

I'll give you guys my take: I think Staal projects to be a poor man's Ryan Kesler with less offensive upside. I think throughout his career he will be a 25/25 guy with some occasional hot stretches and contributions on the PK. I still don't see the mean-streak/offensive abilities that would elevate Staal to a 2nd liner/potential power forward. I think his career will end up being similar to John Madden when it's all said and done. Key contributor defensively on multiple stanley cup runs, but he just doesn't have the offensive gifts/instincts to be a top-6/1st PP unit regular.
John Madden has never hit either 25 goals or 25 assists, so that comparison is immediately off when you consider that Staal is already putting up those numbers. The Kesler comparison doesn't jive because their games are absolutely nothing alike. I can't imagine you've seen Kesler play more than once if you're comparing him to Staal.

Regardless, you make it clear that you think Staal will put up 25/25 on a consistent basis. What makes you think that production isn't good enough to make him a second liner? Last season, only 96 forwards reached 50 points. Do some simple division and that gives you an average of about 3 forwards per team with 50 points. Statistically, 50 points would thus be first line production, ignoring position. Obviously this is very basic and not conclusive evidence, but it does go to show how few players actually reach 25/25 production. Clearly that is in the realm of second line production.

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03-22-2010, 02:52 PM
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cassius
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Originally Posted by Jeff Goldblum View Post
John Madden has never hit either 25 goals or 25 assists, so that comparison is immediately off when you consider that Staal is already putting up those numbers. The Kesler comparison doesn't jive because their games are absolutely nothing alike. I can't imagine you've seen Kesler play more than once if you're comparing him to Staal.

Regardless, you make it clear that you think Staal will put up 25/25 on a consistent basis. What makes you think that production isn't good enough to make him a second liner? Last season, only 96 forwards reached 50 points. Do some simple division and that gives you an average of about 3 forwards per team with 50 points. Statistically, 50 points would thus be first line production, ignoring position. Obviously this is very basic and not conclusive evidence, but it does go to show how few players actually reach 25/25 production. Clearly that is in the realm of second line production.
Jesus. Did you even read the thread? Where did I say Madden was a 25/25 guy?

I gave my OPINION of Staal's potential and asked the board to weigh in. Not to painstaking critique every word.

And how can you say Kesler/Staal are opposites? They are both big, rangy selke calibre forwards - but Kesler is wayyyy ahead of Staal in terms of his development/offensive ability.

How about we stick to the topic at hand? You may want to re-read the thread title if you are confused what we are talking about.

edit: If we can't talk about one of our player's development on a hockey message board.. then I don't know. If this topic makes you uncomfortable, you can kindly leave the thread.

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03-22-2010, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cassius View Post
Kesler is wayyyy ahead of Staal in terms of his development/offensive ability.
Kesler's also wayyyy older (4 full years), plus spent a year in college and a full season in the AHL during the lockout.

2 years ago he had put up 23, 16 and 37 point seasons before breaking out last year with 59 points.

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03-22-2010, 03:03 PM
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Kesler's also wayyyy older (4 full years), plus spent a year in college and a full season in the AHL during the lockout.

2 years ago he had put up 23, 16 and 37 point seasons before breaking out last year.
Yep - thats why I think think the Kesler comparison fits well. Playing solid defense came natural for both guys, but it took a while for Kesler to find his offensive potential/grit.

I think Staal could eventually reach a Kesler type level, but I see him more as a 25+25 guy.

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03-22-2010, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cassius View Post
Jesus. Did you even read the thread? Where did I say Madden was a 25/25 guy?

I gave my OPINION of Staal's potential and asked the board to weigh in. Not to painstaking critique every word.

And how can you say Kesler/Staal are opposites? They are both big, rangy selke calibre forwards - but Kesler is wayyyy ahead of Staal in terms of his development/offensive ability.

How about we stick to the topic at hand? You may want to re-read the thread title if you are confused what we are talking about.
I disagree completely here, Kesler is 4 years older, receives legit second line minutes, consistently plays with the likes of Raymond/Samuelsson/Burrows and still only has the same amount of goals as Jordan (he's also a +1 to Jordan's +20, depending on how you view that stat). I'd also disagree with the Madden/Pahlsson comparisons as those guys have average size and average offensive instincts, Staal has considerably more upside and has already outpaced both of them offensively in his career.

I see Staal as a prototypical 2nd line center on most teams and I think he'll have consistent 25-30 g/60-70 pt seasons down the road, whether that's with Pittsburgh or not remains to be seen. He reminds me a bit of Keith Primeau, minus the more physical edge to his game, and his defensive prowess is just outstanding. By the time he's in his mid-20s I think he'll be closer to 230+ lbs and he'll understand how to use his frame against smaller defensemen better.

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03-22-2010, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cassius View Post
but I see him more as a 25+25 guy.
You really think he's maxed out at 21? Dude's one of the rawest players I've seen in the NHL, he almost screams "unfinished product".

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03-22-2010, 03:08 PM
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Jeff Goldblum
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Originally Posted by cassius View Post
Jesus. Did you even read the thread? Where did I say Madden was a 25/25 guy?

I gave my OPINION of Staal's potential and asked the board to weigh in. Not to painstaking critique every word.

And how can you say Kesler/Staal are opposites? They are both big, rangy selke calibre forwards - but Kesler is wayyyy ahead of Staal in terms of his development/offensive ability.

How about we stick to the topic at hand? You may want to re-read the thread title if you are confused what we are talking about.

edit: If we can't talk about one of our player's development on a hockey message board.. then I don't know.
I'm only critiquing things that I feel are wrong with your assessment. I don't understand what's so upsetting about that. If you can't handle your statements being critiqued, don't post them here, because that's kind of what happens on message boards.

When you say that A) Jordan Staal will be a 25/25 guy throughout his career and B) Jordan Staal's career will be similar to John Madden's, well...I simply don't understand the confusion here.

Staal and Kesler play vastly different games. One uses his speed while the other relies on his positioning. One seeks out hits and physical play to gain the puck while the other uses his bigger frame to push players off of the puck. One uses tenacity while the other stays level-headed. They're both Selke-caliber forwards with offensive upside, but that's about it. They approach the game from entirely different angles. Nobody should ever confuse those two on the ice, so I don't think the comparison holds any legitimacy.

I do agree that Kesler is better right now, though. That's because he's much further along in his development.

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03-22-2010, 03:12 PM
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cassius
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Originally Posted by WVP View Post
You really think he's maxed out at 21? Dude's one of the rawest players I've seen in the NHL, he almost screams "unfinished product".
To be honest - yes, I think Staal might be very close to reaching his offensive potential.

I mean, he's played 300+ games in a Penguins uniform I just haven't seen any big improvement in his offensive instincts. I don't think his passing and shooting skills have shown any real big progression/development since his rookie year.

Like you said, Staal still looks very raw out there and he has 300+ games under his belt at the NHL level. If his offensive skills haven't developed yet, there's a good chance they might never get much better. Another consideration is that Staal hasn't really developed that "gritty" / meanstreak that some folks thought he would develop. I think he's still pretty dossile out there.

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03-22-2010, 03:15 PM
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His assist totals have increased steadily each year? 13, 16, 27 and on pace for 30 this year while mostly next to Cooke and Kennedy.

Plus his increased passing ability is evident by just watching him. IMO.

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03-22-2010, 03:20 PM
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His assist totals have increased steadily each year? 13, 16, 27 and on pace for 30 this year while mostly next to Cooke and Kennedy.

Plus his increased passing ability is evident by just watching him. IMO.
I guess it's just my opinion, but from watching the games I still don't see much skill progression in his passing or his shooting abilities. He's racked up some points, but a lot of those weren't on pretty passing plays - they were more of the unconventional "throw it to the net and crash the net" type of assists.

I think Staal is still very raw in those areas and I think it's still pretty plain to see. He has made little to no contribution on the powerplay in the past 4 years, which is sorta troubling to me. I thought that maybe by his 4th year - he would be a valuable contributor on either the 1st or 2nd PP.

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03-22-2010, 03:21 PM
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If he played on the power play his point totals would increase...I know that when he's out there he doesn't look too impressive, but his experience is very limited. And pker's, knowing he isn't very confident and is thrown on a rag-tag power play unit, press him even more to make mistakes. Sometimes I wonder how his game would grow if he were given more responsibility o the pp/put on a better unit consistently.

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03-22-2010, 03:24 PM
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I actually like when he's been on the PP with Crosby and Malkin lately but it is difficult on the post PP lines.

Outside of that, Bylsma's been a bit sketchy with his PP personnel all year. Not saying Staal should definitely be there but....

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03-22-2010, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by cassius View Post
I guess it's just my opinion, but from watching the games I still don't see much skill progression in his passing or his shooting abilities. He's racked up some points, but a lot of those weren't on pretty passing plays - they were more of the unconventional "throw it to the net and crash the net" type of assists.

I think Staal is still very raw in those areas and I think it's still pretty plain to see. He has made little to no contribution on the powerplay in the past 4 years, which is sorta troubling to me. I thought that maybe by his 4th year - he would be a valuable contributor on either the 1st or 2nd PP.
I don't think he's been given any opportunities consistently to improve or learn on the pp. On top of that, the Penguins second power play unit is a joke and we all know it..they basically keep Gonchar on the ice for two minutes and play Malkin & Crostitties until they are fatigued. After that, they just throw in the towel and throw Staal out there with some scrubs.

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03-22-2010, 03:26 PM
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I actually like when he's been on the PP with Crosby and Malkin lately but it is difficult on the post PP lines.

Outside of that, Bylsma's been a bit sketchy with his PP personnel all year. Not saying Staal should definitely be there but....
Ya but how often does that happen?

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03-22-2010, 03:28 PM
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Ya but how often does that happen?
Oh it's rare for sure. I've been missing a lot of games since the Olympics but I thought I remembered a few recent moments with Staal out there that looked good.

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03-22-2010, 03:30 PM
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I will admit though that his offensive game is raw. I'd almost describe it as clumsy.

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03-22-2010, 03:42 PM
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I believe he will be a 65-70 point guy in a year or two(30g-35g) .Staal in two-three years at a 6'4" ~230-245 size is scary.

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03-22-2010, 03:50 PM
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At his size, why can't he forcefully hit anyone?

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03-22-2010, 03:52 PM
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Jesus. Did you even read the thread? Where did I say Madden was a 25/25 guy?

I gave my OPINION of Staal's potential and asked the board to weigh in. Not to painstaking critique every word.

And how can you say Kesler/Staal are opposites? They are both big, rangy selke calibre forwards - but Kesler is wayyyy ahead of Staal in terms of his development/offensive ability.

How about we stick to the topic at hand? You may want to re-read the thread title if you are confused what we are talking about.

edit: If we can't talk about one of our player's development on a hockey message board.. then I don't know. If this topic makes you uncomfortable, you can kindly leave the thread.
You can kindly accept the criticism you deserve for being completely wrong too. Or you can leave the thread. Kesler will never be Jordan Staal and anyone with hockey knowledge wouldn't even think up trading Kesler for Staal straight up. Staal's upside is through the roof. Actually, besides Malkins offensive gifts, I can imagine Staal being a much more rounded centre. He'll also put up big points when he's in his prime............. IN 5 MORE YEARS!!!!! If you talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk cassius. Stop comparing the Canucks filth to our young prodigy.

Staal's Upside Potential
- Perennial Selke candidate
- Perennial Stanley Cup winner
- I think he approaches 80-100 points if he plays on a top 2 line in the NHL.

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03-22-2010, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by steelcityassault View Post
At his size, why can't he forcefully hit anyone?
Some big guys can't hit and some smaller guys like Kunitz can absolutely crush people. Hitting just isn't Staal's thing. I'd rather he play a smart positional game than run around hitting people and getting out of position.

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03-22-2010, 03:58 PM
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At his size, why can't he forcefully hit anyone?
Its just not part of his game. He finds plenty of use for that big body but high light hits won't ever be a part of his resume.

The fact he can do so well with very little PP time suggest that he could put up more points on another team.

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03-22-2010, 04:04 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by steelcityassault View Post
At his size, why can't he forcefully hit anyone?
It takes a long time for some players to figure out how to use their size effectively. Staal's always been a big boy in comparison to the rest of his peers, but he was never a hitter first and foremost, so he'll have to learn that skill too. Part of what might be a problem for Staal in that department is, oddly enough, his height. Most of the game's really devastating hitters aren't all that tall(anywhere from about 5'10" to 6'2")-- they're solid and low which allows them to come up into a hit without losing their balance. Kunitz and Armstrong show that a lot of the bigger hits come from positioning, speed, and a low center of gravity coming into a guy, not size. Even a lot of Orpik's hits come from his above-average skating and excellent core strength.

Staal's still growing into his frame, which is scary enough as is since he's already huge, but hopefully, as he does and adds some core strength and further refines his skating, you'll see him throw more and more big hits. I don't ever think he'll be a hitter on par with the Clutterbucks or Orpiks of the league, but he'll be better no doubt.

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