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06-08-2004, 01:13 PM
  #1
CrazyBlue
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Brad Richards

Just wondering if anyone has a copy of the '98 THN Draft Preview still kicking around? We all know scouting is an inexact science at best but I can't believe Richards fell to 64th overall in the 1998 draft. The Oilers took Michael Henrich thirteenth overall after a 41g-22a-63pts. season in his second year of junior while Richards amassed 33g-82a-115pts. in his first season of major junior hockey. For Richards to fall as far as he did (Buffalo passed on him three times) shows that there were some obvious concerns about him. What I'd like to know, is what were they? What were the scouts seeing that told them this guy was not worth a first round selection?

It's for reasons like this that I don't like taking "character" or "strong two-way" forwards in the first couple of rounds. Granted Henrich was supposed to be a scorer so I can't fault that pick too much and the Oil did not have a 2nd round selection that year but with the relatively high cost of first round players, I think it is a waste of money to use a first round pick that at best projects to an Ethan Moreau type player. I like Moreau but there are dozens of those guys in the league and skill is at such a premium, I think you have to take the best offensive player available early in the draft. The Oilers have started in that direction with Hemsky and Pouliot in two of the last three years but the hype about Stafford concerns me. His scouting report sounds very similar to Manny Malhotra's, who happened to go 7th in that '98 draft and has scored 35 goals in 346 games.

I guess what I am saying is that my draft philosophy would be skill, skill and more skill. You can always find plumbers and third liners. If the skill guys don't work out at least they don't become third and fourth line players who are making between one and two million dollars to score twenty to thirty points.

Guy,

I would appreciate you asking Kevin Prendergast why Richards was so overlooked in his draft year if you get a chance.

Thanks.

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06-08-2004, 01:18 PM
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I think it had a lot to do with most of the people thinking alot of his stats had to do with his team mate, Lecavalier.

I could be wrong on that one though.

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06-08-2004, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
I think it had a lot to do with most of the people thinking alot of his stats had to do with his team mate, Lecavalier.

I could be wrong on that one though.
Part of it was definitely that...it was hard to shake the notion that he just fed off VL's dominance.

Even after VL left and Richards still kept putting up the numbers, there were concerns that he didn't understand what it took to play in the NHL. He was all offense.

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Old
06-08-2004, 02:08 PM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Digger12
Part of it was definitely that...it was hard to shake the notion that he just fed off VL's dominance. Even after VL left and Richards still kept putting up the numbers, there were concerns that he didn't understand what it took to play in the NHL. He was all offense.
That seems awfully shortsighted to me, which I guess is one of the biggest problems I have with scouts. It's always easy to write off an offensive player for a variety of reasons and I think it happens far too often. It is not like Vinny's #'s were stratospheric compared to Richards, both finished with 115 points though Vinny played ten less games, and this was Lecavalier's second year in the Q. Was it the size issue again?

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06-08-2004, 02:30 PM
  #5
Digger12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyBlue
Just wondering if anyone has a copy of the '98 THN Draft Preview still kicking around? We all know scouting is an inexact science at best but I can't believe Richards fell to 64th overall in the 1998 draft. The Oilers took Michael Henrich thirteenth overall after a 41g-22a-63pts. season in his second year of junior while Richards amassed 33g-82a-115pts. in his first season of major junior hockey. For Richards to fall as far as he did (Buffalo passed on him three times) shows that there were some obvious concerns about him. What I'd like to know, is what were they? What were the scouts seeing that told them this guy was not worth a first round selection?

It's for reasons like this that I don't like taking "character" or "strong two-way" forwards in the first couple of rounds. Granted Henrich was supposed to be a scorer so I can't fault that pick too much and the Oil did not have a 2nd round selection that year but with the relatively high cost of first round players, I think it is a waste of money to use a first round pick that at best projects to an Ethan Moreau type player. I like Moreau but there are dozens of those guys in the league and skill is at such a premium, I think you have to take the best offensive player available early in the draft. The Oilers have started in that direction with Hemsky and Pouliot in two of the last three years but the hype about Stafford concerns me. His scouting report sounds very similar to Manny Malhotra's, who happened to go 7th in that '98 draft and has scored 35 goals in 346 games.

I guess what I am saying is that my draft philosophy would be skill, skill and more skill. You can always find plumbers and third liners. If the skill guys don't work out at least they don't become third and fourth line players who are making between one and two million dollars to score twenty to thirty points.

Guy,

I would appreciate you asking Kevin Prendergast why Richards was so overlooked in his draft year if you get a chance.

Thanks.
How about this for a fun fact?

The pick that TB used to draft Richards was obtained via trade as a minor part of a deal with a team that REALLY wanted Jason Weimer (gave up a 5th and Sandy McCarthy as well). The team?

Calgary.

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Old
06-08-2004, 02:32 PM
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I don't have that issue but I know he was ranked 70th among NA skaters.

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06-08-2004, 06:15 PM
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I believe Lecavalier was the one who convinced the Lightning to take Richards. If only we had such luck.

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06-08-2004, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger12
How about this for a fun fact?

The pick that TB used to draft Richards was obtained via trade as a minor part of a deal with a team that REALLY wanted Jason Weimer (gave up a 5th and Sandy McCarthy as well). The team?

Calgary.
That is a very interesting fact... one that I'm surprised hadn't come up (from what I'd seen) in all the coverage of the finals.

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06-08-2004, 08:18 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USC Trojans
I believe Lecavalier was the one who convinced the Lightning to take Richards. If only we had such luck.
i wonder if that is true cause arent lecavalier and richards best friends.

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06-08-2004, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrush
i wonder if that is true cause arent lecavalier and richards best friends.
Yeah, and plus Lecavalier played with Richards before so he knew what Richards could do. Maybe Vinny can be a scout after he retires...good call on Richards.

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06-08-2004, 09:04 PM
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Derek Roy fell for similar reasons. He could be another Brad Richards down the road, or a similar player at any rate.

Richard's wasn't just talent though. The guy showed amazing stuff in Rimouski's Memorial Cup run in 2000. He was the playoff MVP in that tournament too.

I think what you've got to look for is scoring talent ALONG WITH intangibles. Perhaps this is part of the reason I love Kyle Chipchura so much, and Alexandre Picard.

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06-08-2004, 09:05 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
I think it had a lot to do with most of the people thinking alot of his stats had to do with his team mate, Lecavalier.

I could be wrong on that one though.
Lack or size, lack of strength and lack of speed...killed him

No one could measure that heart though.

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Old
06-08-2004, 09:09 PM
  #13
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Speaking of Vinny, that assist that he got was definitely worthy of being a Stanley Cup winner. When I first saw the goal I thought that he got a lucky bounce off of someone else's skate to regain control of the puck but it was all him.

Here's the replay of Vinny dancing through the Flames' defense: :gman:

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Old
06-08-2004, 09:16 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyBlue
, I think it is a waste of money to use a first round pick that at best projects to an Ethan Moreau type player. I like Moreau but there are dozens of those guys in the league and skill is at such a premium, I think you have to take the best offensive player available early in the draft. .
Can you really name a dozen third line wingers who are better than Moreau? I sure can't.

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Old
06-09-2004, 02:21 AM
  #15
MrMackey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyBlue
I think it is a waste of money to use a first round pick that at best projects to an Ethan Moreau type player. I like Moreau but there are dozens of those guys in the league and skill is at such a premium, I think you have to take the best offensive player available early in the draft.
This statement got me thinking and I went back to look at the '94 draft (where Moreau was taken at #14 - the same pick the Oilers are sitting with). Looking at that draft I can see where the results might be similar to this draft. Here are a few things that are obvious:

1. A lot of highly rated defensemen and goalies. Jovo and Tverdovski went #1 & #2, Storr and Fichaud went #7 & #16.

2. The top few picks were pretty solid, but things drop off after #6 (Smyth).

3. Some talent with question marks... I've seen the comparisons between Bonsignore and Schremp.

And less obvious signs...

4. Moreau was the best choice from picks #14 - #25. Anyone else selected in that range that had success was a fourth liner (C. Wells, W. Primeau, Dingman). This may have indicated that top-level talent was harder to identify at that level.

5. There was enough talent available that some quite good players were selected well in to the second round (picks #27-52). Patrick Elias at #51, but also Dave Scatchard, Rhett Warrener, Curtis Brown, Mathieu Dandenault and most notable Jose Theodore (the 5th goalie taken at #44).

6. There was a few diamonds in the rough taken in the later rounds that took much longer to make an impact, but in the last few years have emerged big time... Hejduk, Turco, Sullivan, Kim Johnsson, Vokoun. Alfredsson made an impact a little sooner, but was taken in the 6th round.

My point?

If (and only if) Picard/Schremp/Radulov aren't available, maybe going the safe route with Chipchura at #14 isn't such a bad idea because by all appearances there should still be some talented players worth taking risks on with the #25/44/74 picks (Zajac, Soderberg, Wick...). However, Chipchura will not be available at Philly's pick and will probably be the only "sure thing" available to us at #14.

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