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2010 Entry Draft: I Was Right (Sort Of)

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Old
06-28-2010, 03:34 PM
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2010 Entry Draft: I Was Right (Sort Of)

I posted a couple of times saying how I thought someone in the draft might fall. Some of it was just wishful thinking on my part. Some of it is a function of having watched more damned drafts that I'd like to admit. Often, after just a couple of picks, somebody goes off the board a bit, followed by someone else who goes off the planet.

This time, it was the Blue Jackets going with Johansen as the 4th pick overall and the Rangers going way out on a limb with McIlrath [sorry about the spelling gaffe(s)] at 10th overall. My hope was that Brett Connolly might fall all the way to us because of his serious hip injury, which kept him down to 16 games this past year. Instead it was Cam Fowler.

Which leads me to another point. A while back, some of you advocated trading up to take Cam Fowler. I voiced a little skepticism based upon Kyle Woodlief's comment about him in one of his evaluations: "Skates and passes like a pro. Shoots and body checks like a pee-wee."

I thought that was an awfully negative comment. If he had just said Fowler may be a little "soft" on defense, I could've lived with it. But if Woodlief also thinks Fowlers "shoots . . . like a pee-wee" that makes me nervous.

I know that Woodlief is not the ultimate authority and I'm hoping he's dead wrong. Still, the guy fell like a rock. When Getzlaf fell to us, it proved to be a great blessing. Time will tell with Fowler. I was impressed with him in a couple of post-draft interviews I saw.

Back to the question I posed several months ago, which I don't believe anyone answered: have any of you seem Fowler play? How bad is he defensively? Does he have anything on his shot?

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

P.S.: For the record, I really like what the Ducks did with their next two picks.

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06-28-2010, 03:42 PM
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I am no expert on Fowler, but I did watch him a bit in the WJC and from what I remember he was tasked with shutting down Hall, which is no small feet. I may sound really stereotypical but his play reminds me a lot of Neidermayer. Great skating, great passing, decent shot nothing like a Weber though, not too physical but is always is in great position just like Neids. I mean I am not saying he will be the next Scotty, but he will be coached by him and plays just like him.

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06-28-2010, 03:49 PM
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Yeah, I'll be that guy.

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06-28-2010, 03:56 PM
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He is known for being aware defensively, and seems pretty good with his stick. I have never paid much attention to his shot power, but as far as accuracy goes, there are defensemen that are worse.

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06-28-2010, 04:30 PM
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It is funny that people are always criticial of "soft" defenseman(not only you Dirk), when in reality two of the best defenseman of the past 10 years would be considered "soft defenseman" and the up and comers are "soft" as well. I'm talking about Nieds and Lidstrom, and then up and comers like Suter, and Keith. Not one of those guys would intimidate their opponents with hits, or use a hard shot, but rather beat them using other tools(positioning, speed, stickwork, etc...). If Fowler or any defenseman can use the other tools to be effective, I really don't see a problem with a defenseman not throwing bone crushing hits. There are some guys who can only really throw bone crushing open ice hits, like Sutton, but he is hardly a top 4 dman.

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06-28-2010, 04:54 PM
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Jerky Leclerc
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I know Scott Niedermayer is a consultant on this team but does anyone know how involved he will be with this organization? It would be great if he mentored Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa. Someone needs to fire this question to Bob Murray.

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06-28-2010, 05:44 PM
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Vinegar Strokes
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I was extremely impressed with Cam at the WJC, he was never out of position and always seemed to make the smart play when the puck was on his stick. He wasn't physical, because he doesn't need to be, he would draw forwards to the outside, then simply take the puck away or force them into the corner.

The thing is, his skating is so good that you just can't get around him, add in that he has a very good stick and a good head on his shoulders and you have a very Niedermayer/Keith lite player. Not saying he'll be as good as them, but he plays that style.

He doesn't have an overpowering shot, but it's certainly not peewee level, even in an exaggeration. His shot is once again, Niedermayeresque, it's not going to over power, but it's accurate and he knows how to get it through traffic.

Once again, this is just my impression of him at the WJC, I watched every game the US played, but that's still a very small sample, so take it for what it's worth.

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06-28-2010, 06:01 PM
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He is a Nieds in the works. Let's hope it works out the same.

Edit:

Just saw this on the Ducks' site:

http://ducks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=533079

CAM FOWLER'S FAVORITES

NHL Player: Scott Niedermayer

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06-28-2010, 06:07 PM
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I'd be happy with Niedermayer style soft. Ryan Whitney soft I would have an issue with. I'm just excited to have a decent prospect pool again.

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06-28-2010, 06:16 PM
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you were soooooooo sort of right!! props

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06-28-2010, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bradycook14 View Post
you were soooooooo sort of right!! props
Like the Ducks, I was really lucky. I just was looking in the wrong place (i.e., Connolly rather than Fowler). Since initially posting this thread, I've had a chance to see several interviews of Fowler and Etem. Both of them seem to be intelligent, well-spoken, nice kids.

With Fowler, I'm just praying that he's a lot more like Scott Niedermayer than Ryan Whitney.

Side note: Thanks for the insites, above, BN.

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06-28-2010, 07:43 PM
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snarktacular
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kick save: well la-di-freaking dah. What, do you want a medal?

Just kidding. Had to get into the NY mindset of my new home.

But yeah, someone did fall to us. It's not that I didn't believe you at the time but more that I kind of doubted that we'd take the guy who was falling. Sort of like how we skipped on Schroeder. But this time we took them both. It's kind of funny because all the guys I thought might fall to us got picked much earlier than expected (Connolley, Nino, Skinner, Granlund).

Now I haven't actually seen Fowler, so I'm not going to comment on that part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karacter View Post
It is funny that people are always criticial of "soft" defenseman(not only you Dirk), when in reality two of the best defenseman of the past 10 years would be considered "soft defenseman" and the up and comers are "soft" as well. I'm talking about Nieds and Lidstrom, and then up and comers like Suter, and Keith. Not one of those guys would intimidate their opponents with hits, or use a hard shot, but rather beat them using other tools(positioning, speed, stickwork, etc...). If Fowler or any defenseman can use the other tools to be effective, I really don't see a problem with a defenseman not throwing bone crushing hits. There are some guys who can only really throw bone crushing open ice hits, like Sutton, but he is hardly a top 4 dman.
There's 2 types of "soft," depending on your definition. There's Lidstrom/Niedermayer soft, where they don't hit people. Then there's Kariya/Whitney soft, where not only do they not hit people, but they are afraid to battle in tough areas. My concerns with Fowler (or any "soft" prospect) has to do with the latter, not the former.

If Fowler was a non-hitter, but he does go into corners and wins battles, then that's totally fine with me. But, especially as a defenseman, you can't do well with the shirking-the-battles type of soft. Because then big forwards will just dump it into your side and you'll always lose.


Now the book on Fowler was that he might actually be the bad kind of soft. Here's another Woodlief quote, with a little more detail: "Fowler is the best pure passing defender available. He already makes pro style passes — crisp and with touch — and excels at breaking the trap with tremendous stretch passes through the neutral zone. Fowler is a good power-play quarterback who sees the ice and distributes the puck well, but his point shot is mediocre. On the downside, he's extremely soft (despite good size) in his own end and shows zero willingness to engage in battles around the corners and crease area."


Now my experience is that the bad kind of soft players rarely toughen up. It's just so rare to change a player's basic demeanor. But it's also possible that the scouting report is based on a small sample size where he was soft (perhaps because of injury or just an off night).


Let's hope that either the scouts were wrong, or that Fowler is so talented and fast that it won't matter.

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06-29-2010, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by snarktacular View Post

Had to get into the NY mindset of my new home.

************************************************** ******


There's 2 types of "soft," depending on your definition. There's Lidstrom/Niedermayer soft, where they don't hit people. Then there's Kariya/Whitney soft, where not only do they not hit people, but they are afraid to battle in tough areas. My concerns with Fowler (or any "soft" prospect) has to do with the latter, not the former.

************************************************** *******
Ibreaking the trap with tremendous stretch passes through the neutral zone. Fowler is a good power-play quarterback who sees the ice and distributes the puck well, but his point shot is mediocre. On the downside, he's extremely soft (despite good size) in his own end and shows zero willingness to engage in battles around the corners and crease area."
************************************************** *******

Let's hope that either the scouts were wrong, or that Fowler is so talented and fast that it won't matter.
Snarktacular: The "New York mindset of your new home"? Have you moved? To New York? For school? Work? Permanently?

You might "survive" a couple of years there---that is, without becoming one of those people who think that the end of the world is just beyond a 25-mile radius surrounding New York city---but, if the move is permanent, you're doomed.

You make several good points in your post. The first is the distinction between "soft" (where players don't "hit" opposing players) as opposed to "very soft" (where they do nothing to defend against opponents). BTW, I think you're right. If a player is of the latter variety, there's a good chance you can't change him. So, that could be the reason Fowler fell.

On the other hand, if he was so unbelievably soft, isn't hard to believe that not that long ago, many people thought he'd be the 3rd or 4th selection overall? In other words, if his flaws were so serious, and so obvious, it should've have taken him down a long time ago.

I saw one interview with one of the Ducks' scouts who said that Fowler's performance at the combines was so-so---those are my words since I can't recall exactly what the scout said, but that's the general sentiment---but he (Fowler) was so good during the season that that outweighed his performance at the combines. [BTW, "combine" may be football parlance. If it isn't a hockey term, I can't think of the appropriate hockey term].

The other issue is Scott Niedermayer. Scott did a lot defensively based solely upon his great speed, great positioning and sheer intelligence. I think Fowler has these attributes. (Obviously, they may not match SN's, but then few players do.)

The record is mixed on players who have fallen. Getzlaf was a gift to us. Guys like Parise had "size" issues. On the other hand, Ryan Whitney went number 5 overall. So, sometimes, despite "falling", kids make it big. Othertimes, major flaws are overlooked---or not even very well detected---and they prove to be the kids' downfall.

Fowler has a great attitude and a great mentor. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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06-30-2010, 05:31 AM
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Kalvinators
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I think Fowler was put up against Hall in WJC, because they`re from one team, and Fowler knows Hall a bit better than others. That helps a bit, but anyway, shows that Fowler can do something defensively to.

As others, i keep my fingers crossed, that he will`nt become Ryan Whitney 2.0

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06-30-2010, 08:30 PM
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snarktacular
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kick Save View Post
Snarktacular: The "New York mindset of your new home"? Have you moved? To New York? For school? Work? Permanently?

You might "survive" a couple of years there---that is, without becoming one of those people who think that the end of the world is just beyond a 25-mile radius surrounding New York city---but, if the move is permanent, you're doomed.

You make several good points in your post. The first is the distinction between "soft" (where players don't "hit" opposing players) as opposed to "very soft" (where they do nothing to defend against opponents). BTW, I think you're right. If a player is of the latter variety, there's a good chance you can't change him. So, that could be the reason Fowler fell.

On the other hand, if he was so unbelievably soft, isn't hard to believe that not that long ago, many people thought he'd be the 3rd or 4th selection overall? In other words, if his flaws were so serious, and so obvious, it should've have taken him down a long time ago.

I saw one interview with one of the Ducks' scouts who said that Fowler's performance at the combines was so-so---those are my words since I can't recall exactly what the scout said, but that's the general sentiment---but he (Fowler) was so good during the season that that outweighed his performance at the combines. [BTW, "combine" may be football parlance. If it isn't a hockey term, I can't think of the appropriate hockey term].

The other issue is Scott Niedermayer. Scott did a lot defensively based solely upon his great speed, great positioning and sheer intelligence. I think Fowler has these attributes. (Obviously, they may not match SN's, but then few players do.)

The record is mixed on players who have fallen. Getzlaf was a gift to us. Guys like Parise had "size" issues. On the other hand, Ryan Whitney went number 5 overall. So, sometimes, despite "falling", kids make it big. Othertimes, major flaws are overlooked---or not even very well detected---and they prove to be the kids' downfall.

Fowler has a great attitude and a great mentor. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Yup I'm in NY now for work. But I guess technically I don't exist since I'm about 35 miles away from Manhattan.


But back to Fowler. The good thing about him is that not all the scouts were talking about him being that soft. Some just mention him being a little soft. So that gives hope that it's not that serious.

I also think that he's got such great skating, size (6'2") and offensive upside that people fall in love with the tools and might overlook the softness to some extent.

The interview you're talking about was the one with Madden on NHL.com. The interesting thing was the way he put it, "We're aware that Cam didn't have a great combine." Now obviously they didn't interview Fowler before hand (this was mentioned before). But it sounds like they didn't watch him at all at the combine either, and they were going off of second hand reports.


BTW my personal view is that Fowler fell not because his flaws (that he was soft) were so bad, but more because I think the kids were all in a larger tier than us fans think. Since they were all even, the teams went with need, causing the huge run on forwards. I liked a lot of the forwards too.

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