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CGC: Building up the middle.

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05-11-2010, 10:44 AM
  #1
BigFatCat999
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CGC: Building up the middle.

Well, it's draft time and I'm going nuts thinking again. (What the hell else is new?)

I speculated this a little while ago and I've put some thought on it. Building up the middle in hockey. Now in baseball there is building up the middle; catcher, pitcher, 2B, SS, CF. In hockey you could do the same with; Goalie, Defenseman, Center.

Where the metaphor falls apart is the simple fact that that's 3/4ths of the positions in hockey! Of course you can build a team like that because you only forget about the wings!

So let's take a deeper look at this. If you look at the prospects this year Nashville's pretty good with goaltending prospects. If anything they should make a move to get picks for one of them. Defenseman is ok, they could pick up one or two but that can happen in the later rounds. Wing for once is ok but they could always use a top wing prospect or two. Center, yeah that could be a problem.

HF lists 13 total prospects at Center, not including Blake Geoffrion. Of those, Colin Wilson is in Nashville, same with O'RLY, and Spaling. Budish is in college but could be a one year in Milwaukee kind of guy. Thuresson is a wing, if anything, they need to switch Thuresson and Geoffrion. After this list is a bunch of unknowns. Ben Ryan, Nick Oliver (Who's got another 4 years till he makes Milwaukee), Craig Smith(Strong year in Wisconsin but will most likely have 3 more years to go), Jani Lajunen (Europe and has been a prospect forever), Same with Snellman, Latta, Cam Reid (Who's a long shot prospect), and Stanislav Balan (Um......does Worst even know this guy?)

After Wilson, Budish, O'Reilly, Geoffrion, and Spaling the cupboard is looking bare.

One of the benefits of drafting a center is that they can easily transition to wing If you have a depth of center you don't have a lack of wing. Because of this drafting a center has more value than simply drafting a wing. The only time you should be drafting a wing is if they are an extraordinary talent.

Here's what I'm thinking for this years draft.

We know that this is a forward year with a lot of lower picks for defenseman and maybe one goalie. If Poile plays to his usual game he will draft a defensive minded center to fill up the prospect depth chart. (Worst could pick out the potential candidates.)

If Poile gambles like I think he just might, he will draft a goal scoring machine at wing.

Draft picks as of now.

1st round pick: Either #16, 17, or 18 depending on Montreal and Philly

3rd round pick: Either #76, 77, or 78

5th round pick: #126 (From Tampa Bay),

6th round pick:

7th round pick: #194 (From St. Louis)

7th round pick:

2nd round pick: Denis Grebishov trade.
4th round pick: Boyd trade

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05-11-2010, 10:52 AM
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glenngineer
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I'm not worried about the cupboard being bare. There is a transition time in all of this and guys like O'Reilly, Wilson and Spaling, once they make the big club, should be here for a while so we have time to develop the next bunch of guys coming thru the system. It's very much the same on the blue line in that we may lose a guy or two here and there but will have guys to plug into their spots or so it appears. You also forgot about Beck in your analysis of our forwards. He is not looking like a bad prospect at this point either.

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05-11-2010, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
You also forgot about Beck in your analysis of our forwards. He is not looking like a bad prospect at this point either.
Agreed but Beck is listed as a Wing along with Geoffrion. If anything, the wing position is looking stronger than it's ever been.


Another side note, the Preds sitll have rights to Antti Pihlstrom and Alexander Radulov. They should be considered prospects because of their rights situation. Pihlstrom could be considered a dark horse prospect for the 3rd and 4th line if he comes back.

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05-12-2010, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFatCat999 View Post
After Wilson, Budish, O'Reilly, Geoffrion, and Spaling the cupboard is looking bare.


First of all, you mentioned five viable NHL center prospects, which is more than most organizations have at any given time. Hell, that's more than we can fit on our roster: some of them are having to make the move to wing (Wilson in particular, Spaling on occasion) to get playing time. I would also consider Latta very much a viable NHL player who gets overlooked by the shiny pro prospects like Spaling, and Ben Ryan's development has been better than most likely would have expected; he has been outproducing Thang for the last two years in spite of injuries.

The wing is still our biggest weakness. After Beck, our best prospects are Bourque, Thuresson, and Thang. I like those guys, but there are no sure-fire NHLers among them, and certainly no NHL scorers among them. If we have the chance to take Quinton Howden or Austin Watson and don't take him in favor of, say, Jon Merrill, our prospect pool will be worse off for it, even if Poile makes some nice value picks late in the draft (which he usually does).

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05-12-2010, 07:24 AM
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I tend to agree. I still see our biggest organizational need as a scorer, preferably on the wing.

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05-12-2010, 08:44 AM
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According to Jim Diamond, the Preds draft position will be based on the outcome of tonight's Game 7 in the Eastern Conference...

If Montreal wins, the Preds will pick 18th...but, if Pittsburgh wins, the Preds will pick in the 19th slot...

http://www.examiner.com/x-8246-Nashv...ators-Examiner

Personally, I like the talent projected to be available in the 16-21 range...but I have a couple guys that are my favorites and really don't want to slide any further down the draft board. Therefore...

GO HABS GO!!!

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05-12-2010, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLake View Post
According to Jim Diamond, the Preds draft position will be based on the outcome of tonight's Game 7 in the Eastern Conference...

If Montreal wins, the Preds will pick 18th...but, if Pittsburgh wins, the Preds will pick in the 19th slot...

http://www.examiner.com/x-8246-Nashv...ators-Examiner

Personally, I like the talent projected to be available in the 16-21 range...but I have a couple guys that are my favorites and really don't want to slide any further down the draft board. Therefore...

GO HABS GO!!!
There are Three teams who have a worse record than Nashville. Montreal, Boston, and Philly. Philly and Boston are playing so Nashville will get one bump from that. If Montreal wins, Nashville gets a second bump

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05-12-2010, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worstfaceoffmanever View Post


First of all, you mentioned five viable NHL center prospects, which is more than most organizations have at any given time. Hell, that's more than we can fit on our roster: some of them are having to make the move to wing (Wilson in particular, Spaling on occasion) to get playing time. I would also consider Latta very much a viable NHL player who gets overlooked by the shiny pro prospects like Spaling, and Ben Ryan's development has been better than most likely would have expected; he has been outproducing Thang for the last two years in spite of injuries.

The wing is still our biggest weakness. After Beck, our best prospects are Bourque, Thuresson, and Thang. I like those guys, but there are no sure-fire NHLers among them, and certainly no NHL scorers among them. If we have the chance to take Quinton Howden or Austin Watson and don't take him in favor of, say, Jon Merrill, our prospect pool will be worse off for it, even if Poile makes some nice value picks late in the draft (which he usually does).
How can you have a lack of depth at wing if you can shift a center to the wing position? If as you say Nashville has center depth they can use it to fill their wing positions. Wilson, Spaling, and O'Reilly are on the roster. I am referring to the depth in the prospect pool. Wilson is already playing the Wing along with Spaling. TO me, both of these players along with O'Reilly are on the roster and are not prospects.

Right now, SLake and I are planning for the moderator's draft and it's got me and SLake thinking. There is a LOT of depth in the first round so Nashville can pick up someone. Also, the might be some surprise sliders who should be top five talent who MIGHT. MIGHT. Make it to Nashville.

And just to make you feel better Worst, Merrill is not on my list.

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05-12-2010, 12:00 PM
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have to remember too, most of these kids are drafted as centers because that is where the best players on a team usually play.

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05-12-2010, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLake View Post
According to Jim Diamond, the Preds draft position will be based on the outcome of tonight's Game 7 in the Eastern Conference...

If Montreal wins, the Preds will pick 18th...but, if Pittsburgh wins, the Preds will pick in the 19th slot...

http://www.examiner.com/x-8246-Nashv...ators-Examiner

Personally, I like the talent projected to be available in the 16-21 range...but I have a couple guys that are my favorites and really don't want to slide any further down the draft board. Therefore...

GO HABS GO!!!
Looks like it will be 18th. 5-2 Habs final.

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05-12-2010, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFatCat999 View Post
How can you have a lack of depth at wing if you can shift a center to the wing position? If as you say Nashville has center depth they can use it to fill their wing positions. Wilson, Spaling, and O'Reilly are on the roster. I am referring to the depth in the prospect pool. Wilson is already playing the Wing along with Spaling. TO me, both of these players along with O'Reilly are on the roster and are not prospects.
Spaling still has a lot of work to do before he becomes an NHL regular. He should still be considered a prospect, regardless of how much time he spent with the big club on this past campaign.

Moving centers to the wing, in general, is not a permanent solution to a shortage of wingers, particularly on the first two lines. It's great that these guys have the versatility to make that move in a pinch, but they need to be playing their natural position to maximize their effectiveness unless we have a rash of injuries. For every Peter Forsberg who can make that transition at a high level and thrive, there are a dozen Mike Santorellis who can't and have their development stifled as a result.

We've seen what good natural wingers can do for our offense with players like Radulov, Erat, and especially Kariya. Imagine how much more effective they could be if they were all 6'3" like Howden and Watson.

Quote:
And just to make you feel better Worst, Merrill is not on my list.
Oh, I'm so relieved.

This is a very deep draft for wingers, particularly in the second round, but it's also a fairly strong class for rearguards. Maybe it's just the cynic in me, but I can't help but shake the feeling that Poile might buck his trend of alternating first round picks to take a player like Merrill, who has enormous potential but doesn't have much hope of living up to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by token grinder View Post
have to remember too, most of these kids are drafted as centers because that is where the best players on a team usually play.
That's true, but at the same time, a lot of the players we're talking about have played there at some point. Spaling played wing in Kitchener. Geoffrion played some wing at Wisconsin. If memory serves, Budish played some wing over at Edina before his knee injury. Players that will eventually find their way to the wings have played wing at a fairly high level of amateur competition by the time their draft year rolls around.

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05-13-2010, 11:36 AM
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I honestly don't think Poile will stop the alternation this year. If anything I still have a feeling he could trade the first.

We shall see and frankly, BPA forward wouldn't be a bad thing.

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