I dunno, I think Duchene is a pretty smart player. He's better than his brains would predict because of his skating and energy, but he wouldn't stand out the way he does without his ability to process the game. He's no Datsyuk in that regard, but he's definitely above average.
Yup. AFAIC, you don't truly understand the sport (and this applies to all team sports, not to mention most things in life) if you don't understand this one rudimentary concept. A pretty successful hockey man I had the pleasure of speaking to once told me that hockey sense, or whatever you want to call the mental aspect of the game that encompasses things like positioning, timing, and decision making is (and I am paraphrasing here) "the key to everything. As a coach, your worst nightmare, other than a player on your roster who has serious attitude or work ethic issues (which is a relative rarity at professional levels), is a player who doesn't understand where to be, when to be, and what to do when he's there. You cannot trust that player, and thus, in playing such a player, he becomes a risk that in almost every case is not worth taking."
Kudos to you, young man. You get it. So sad that so many do not.
I agree hockey sense is very important. But of course as others noted its not everything. If it was id like to think i would be in the NHL lol. To make things harder everyone learns differently so therefore there idea of hockey sense is skewed in that direction. For example Cze learn a more east west game well Canadians learn a more North south game and therefore they define hockey sense based on how they learned. Of course there is a standard hockey sense in certain situations but it a tough one for sure.
what? try when. like in 4-5 years - when judging these drafts would make sense.
I can count. My point is that it's far too early to tell with these players. Zdeno Chara played his first NHL season at the age of 20. He bounced up and down from the farm so he didn't play his first full NHL season until he was at the age of 23. He was good by then but it wasn't until the age of 24 when he got traded to the Sens (lol Yashin) did he have his first SOLID season. Sauer is looking great despite starting at the age of 23. Bieksa's first full season was at 25. Orpik at 23. Hamhuis at 22. Marc Staal didn't even start until he was 21. Meanwhile, McIlrath JUST turned 19. He's got at least 2 more seasons to go IMO. If he takes more, I'm fine with that as well. He's going to be one of those players who we'll have to wait and see the results on; all this to my original point - it's way too early to be doing such a exercise. pre-draft journalistic masturbation if I am permitted to be so colorful about it. Because he was a #10 pick, some people think he has to cash out for the organization last season.
Obviously you take it with a grain of salt. This is Hockey's Future's message boards, and if anyone is taking these rankings as serious as you are upset about them they lack perspective on how prospects develop.