Doesn't it look like he's somewhat short on explosiveness? He does a lot of nice things, but he doesn't really leave me with an impression of someone with either the speed or strength or dominate in those departments.
They may not have their own first rounder, but Brian Burke has assembled quite a few extra picks and he wil be trying to work his way up the ladder. I keep hearing the Leafs love Mark McNeil, a center from the P.A. Raiders. Great hands and a your definitive power forward. There are rumors the Leafs could use their picks to move up and grab McNeil.
If Boston makes it to the Cup Finals their 1st will be virtually a 2nd round pick. IMO #19 and #31 from Edmonton is much more appealing than Philly's and Boston's 1st round picks if the Oilers decide to make a push for McNeill.
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^ It always makes me laugh when people say "practically a 2nd", or vice versa. Why not just say "late 1st"...because that's what it is? But, yes, you're right, Edmonton will win the Mark McNeill competition. You win.
Could he play in the NHL... yes, should he play in the NHL... no. Give him time to improve his all around skill set, and dominate junior before you rush him to the show. Hawks have no need to rush him.
I think with big, powerful, but talented players especially, guys who will sort of default to bottom 6 roles if they're not "ready," you have to take your time. You look at guys like Getzlaf, Backes, Perry, Ryan, Clowe, etc., all were given plenty of time to hone their skills and really dominate at lower levels before moving up to the NHL, and it worked out real well for them. Bring McNeill up now, and you risk him just getting sort of mentally comfortable in a grinder role, when the potential could be there for him to be a lot more.
The majority of his points last season came because he was so much stronger than everyone else he was playing against. He was on a completely different level and he could not be handled or even touched for that matter. If he goes to the NHL this up coming season he wont have that advantage like he had with Prince Albert. He'll be on the same playing level and his main advantage will be gone.
I'd give him at least one more year in Junior to work on his game. It wouldn't hurt.