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The Positive Impact of Amateur Scouting and Player Development

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02-26-2011, 07:31 AM
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TaketheCannoli
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The Positive Impact of Amateur Scouting and Player Development

The Jackets are making a nice, unexpected run. At least I didn't expect it. I can't help notice this run coincides with the arrivals of both Grant Clitsome and Matt Calvert. Their impact so far cannot be minimized.
Its clear Clitsome has impacted at least two areas: when Clitsome is on the ice, the puck comes out of the defensive zone much faster than it has in a long time. His arrival clearly coincides with a major improvement in the effectiveness and success of the power play. He moves the Puck and the defense well and is pretty effective getting the puck on goal. He is scoring at a .70 ppg pace, which is top ten in the league for defenseman.

We are almost all thrilled after Calvert's natural hat trick. He brings a tremendously competitive game to this team, forechecks like a demon, is responsible in his own zone and is scoring at a 50 point pace.

I'm among those who criticize the Jackets hockey operations for a number of scouting and/or development mistakes like Brule, Legein, Leclaire and Zherdev.
Fair is fair. They also deserve the credit for these apparent successes. In fact, it would be very easy to argue that considering their respective draft positions, if neither player ever contribute again, they are already unqualified successes.

Bravo! Thank you! Congratulations hockey operations team.

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02-26-2011, 11:48 PM
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I agree, Leek.

For the first time in our franchise's no longer brief history, I truly feel we're moving in the right direction. We might not do anything this year (or even next), but our guys are showing signs of being competitive with the league's best, and I'm truly content with our prospect depth right now. Never before did we ever have prospects like Calvert and Clitsome come in and play the way they have, seamlessly stepping in and competing on a top level.

Looking at the way our young guys are developing right now, you're really starting to see the fruition of this team's true potential. We have viable options coming up on defense in guys like Holden, Moore, Savard, and Goloubef, and some intriguing young forwards like Calvert and Kubalik, amongst others.

You don't get development from mid-late round picks (and in some cases, even first rounders) unless your scouting/development team is on the same page. Finally, it looks like we are doing this the right way.

Kudos.

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02-27-2011, 12:20 AM
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If they can untangle the knot that Filatov's gotten himself into then I think we're on a good track.

I have yet to see how we can develop d-men though. That'll take 3-4 years.

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02-27-2011, 09:05 AM
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I have to agree here...I've been hard on them for a while, but Calvert & Clitsome have done well right out of the box, Brassard's had a good season, and we've still got Kubalik in the pipeline, who has intrigued me since his pre-season hat trick against Pittsburgh.

The future is (finally) now.

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02-27-2011, 12:05 PM
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Don't forget Steve Mason. Despite his inconsistencies, he is a third round draft pick playing the starting goaltender role. Dmac has looked pretty solid for a third/fourth line center as well and though he wasn't drafted by us, he was signed to a good low-risk contract and is currently paying dividends.

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02-27-2011, 01:02 PM
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In the Doug MacLean draft thread, I referred to Clitsome as a Howson-style pick. This refers to someone who's already committed to play college hockey somewhere, so the team has four years to watch him develop and decide if he's a worthwhile prospect going forward. MacLean had too few of these, and the number has obviously increased under the current regime.

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02-27-2011, 03:10 PM
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One of the changes I think that has happened is drafting with hockey sense and the right mindset in mind (like dedication and commitment to win) - rather than size or skill. Not that those things aren't important, but when you take the skill that a player like Calvert has and combine it with an incredible hockey sense, dedication and desire to win - then you get a great hockey player.

Too much in the past has there been draft picks where the player had the skill, but not the intangibles. While players at age 17-19 can mature, taking too many risks on players who mentally didn't have what it took to be NHL players.

Another thing I think needs to be credited with the change was Jared Boll's off-season work in Columbus that enabled him to make the Jackets as a rookie. That set the example for all the young prospects to work their arses off in Columbus with the hopes of being like Boll and making the team. 1st round picks aren't just penciled into the lineup any more. Instead, you have 17 year old Johansen coming into that environment in the summer.

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02-28-2011, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacketsFanWest View Post
One of the changes I think that has happened is drafting with hockey sense and the right mindset in mind (like dedication and commitment to win) - rather than size or skill. Not that those things aren't important, but when you take the skill that a player like Calvert has and combine it with an incredible hockey sense, dedication and desire to win - then you get a great hockey player.

Too much in the past has there been draft picks where the player had the skill, but not the intangibles. While players at age 17-19 can mature, taking too many risks on players who mentally didn't have what it took to be NHL players.

Another thing I think needs to be credited with the change was Jared Boll's off-season work in Columbus that enabled him to make the Jackets as a rookie. That set the example for all the young prospects to work their arses off in Columbus with the hopes of being like Boll and making the team. 1st round picks aren't just penciled into the lineup any more. Instead, you have 17 year old Johansen coming into that environment in the summer.
Excellent post.

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