2003 Top Picks a year on...

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by db23, Apr 3, 2004.

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  1. db23

    db23 Guest

    1 Fleury - First round goalies are a dicey proposition, but Fleury was at least adequate in his NHL time and was very sharp in junior. Still playing in the playoffs.
    B
    2 Stall - Did nothing to hurt his high evaluation in his first NHL season. Solid debut.
    B

    3 Horton - Showed perhaps the most reason for optimism among the top picks. Is half a year younger than most of the others and will be a dynamic player.
    B+

    4 Zherdev - Arrived in NHL sooner than expected and showed the top drawer talent advertised.
    B

    5 Vanek - On cruise control in the NCAA. He dominates the competition there and would benefit from a step up.
    C+

    6 Michalek - Won a spot on the team then was injured for most of the year. Showed he will be a solid two way guy.
    C+

    7 Suter - Wasn't really the dominating player he was expected to be as an NCAA freshman. It does not appear that he will be a top end offensive defenseman, and at 6-1, 190 pounds he can't be a major physical presence either.
    C

    8 Coburn - Seems to have plateaued in his performance the past three years in the WHL. Not a great sign.
    C

    9 Phaneuf - Showed more upside and intensity than the other defenders drafted ahead of him.
    B

    10 Kastitsyn - Didn't appear to be a happy camper in Russia, and just went through the motions at the WJC. The concerns about his head remain, but now they are less about epileptic seizures and more about maturity and work ethic.
    C-
     
  2. #2

    #2 Registered User

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    (1)Fleury - For a goalie to make it to the "show" right after his junior year is big deal, he may not have put up the greatest numbers but hey he plays on the Pittsburgh Penguins
    B+

    (2)Staal - Descent year, nothing that will win him an award but none the less a pretty solid developing season.
    B

    (3)Horton - He was looking really good, before he missed 21 games because of shoulder surgery.
    B


    (4)Zherdev - 33 points in 56 games this season is pretty damn good for a young 19 year old. Lets just say if he were to play the fulll 82 game season he would have been on pace for 49 points.
    A-

    (5)Vanek - Playing well in the NCAA, next season he should become the first line goal scorer the Buffalo Sabres are looking for.
    B-
     
  3. Ajacied

    Ajacied Stay strong Appie! ❤

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    How bout going further than the top 10? The entire 1st or even 2nd round would be even more interesting. Nice idea nonetheless..
     
  4. SmokeyClause

    SmokeyClause Registered User

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    Everything I've heard has been the exact opposite. Have you ever seen him play college hockey?
     
  5. ManuelCalavera

    ManuelCalavera La-La-La-Locked Out

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    For Vanek, Ive seen all of his highlight goals this season (<URL>http://www.gopherpucklive.com/Schedule.htm</URL>)

    He looks dominating offensively... He honestly looks like Jagr with the combination of sheer talent and size. Unfortunately, all the question marks still remain. He doesnt frankly try on defense. He does occasionally make a big body check, but his play outside of the offensive zone is apparently non-existant many times.

    When he is on his game, he is a gamebreaker. He scores big goals and makes it look easy. However, he can get frustrated by a good defensive system that keys in on him...

    But this is just from everything Ive read from Gopher fans and seen in highlights... Not much else I can say without having seen him live...
     
  6. Evilo

    Evilo Registered User

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    Fleury adequate?
    Fleury ok?
    Fleury was outstanding!!!!
    IMO he's head and shoulder the most impressive rookie this year because as a goalie he managed to not only avoid looking bad and out of place but in fact had the best numbers in the league for a while.
    Not many 18 yeard old goalie looked as good as he has.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2004
  7. Liquidrage*

    Liquidrage* Guest


    Umm. In the 1st few games maybe. But after that he did look out of place, he did play rather bad and he got lit up.

    That isn't a knock on him. That is bound to happen to someone of his age on a bad team. But what you say didn't happen DID happen.
     
  8. Evilo

    Evilo Registered User

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    I disagree. He was bad (just like the whole team) for a month in november-december, but he was good again after january.
     
  9. Big McLargehuge

    Big McLargehuge 13

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    Fleury looked out of place in 2, 3, 4 games top in his stint in the NHL.

    The team around him offered him no help, it was disheartening to see him play well enough to get a first star and still allow five goals a game...
     
  10. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    1. Marc-Andre Fleury - Made the early leap to the NHL as an 18 year old goaltender and didn't look too out of place. Stopped a large number of shots in his early NHL stint. Averaged 35 shots against per game and still managed to swing a .896 save percentage. That's quite impressive for a first year goaltender, especially at age 18. Flashes of a great young goaltender who will be NHL ready by the start of next season if the Penguins can ice a decent team. With all the hype that surrounded him, it would have been very easy to come in and fall flat and he didn't do that.

    Grade: A-


    2. Eric Staal- I'm a bit biased here, as I saw him play a great number of his NHL games at this level. I'm very impressed to say the least. Not only did Eric Staal stay healthy, he only missed one game this entire season. That is a statistic that is often overlooked when talking about Staal. He potted 10G and 20A for 30 points on a team that is in total offensive slump. At 18 years old, I said before the season started that if he could get 30 points i'd consider this season a success for him and he did just that, so I can't be disappointed. Played a fantastic two way game this year and is going to develop into a threat at both ends, as far as i'm concerned. Great debut, hope he builds upon that next season.

    Grade: B+


    3. Nathan Horton- At the start of the draft hype, I wanted Carolina to take Nathan Horton and i'm now relieved that we took Eric Staal. Longevity and durability is a big issue to me when selecting a franchise player and I don't feel that Horton is going to have that sort of luck in the NHL. Coming into the draft, it was said his stock was diminished slightly because of a broken jaw he suffered at the hands of Anthony Stewart and a concussion I believe. This season I was looking for him to stay healthy if he hit the NHL and he wasn't able to do that. Now, I don't want people jumping all over me but this is just my opinion on him. I honestly think he's pretty injury prone. He's a fantastic player, that much is no secret. However, if he can't stay healthy he's of no use to you in your lineup. I saw Nathan Horton's objective at the start of this season was to play more passive hockey to avoid injury, due to his still young frame, and to stay injury free for at least 70 games. He did neither. The 14 goals in 55 games were nice, but his major label to shed was his fragility and he didn't do that.

    Grade: C


    4. Nikolai Zherdev- After all the trouble with the Russian League trying to keep him for his military obligation, I was going to consider Zherdev a C if he even made it over the ocean. Well, he did and he put up some fantastic numbers. 33 points in 56 games for the slick russian winger was more than anybody expected out of him in his debut season. Zhedev has fantastic complimentary player written all over him, and i'm sure that's exactly what he'll be to Rick Nash in Columbus. Out of the top 4 selections, Zherdev was the player I thought had the highest bust potential. Skill doesn't always translate into NHL success, and I figured Zherdev had too many off the ice problems to even make the jump this season. However, I was proven wrong on that account and Zherdev wowed me to the point of saying he probably had the best season out of all the 2003 drafted players outside of Patrice Bergeron, who remains an enigma to us all.

    Grade: A


    5. Thomas Vanek- Granted, I haven't seen much of NCAA hockey this year so I can't really comment as to the level of his play compared to this season versus last so i'll try not to do that. However, I will say that Thomas Vanek reminds me quite a bit of Pavel Brendl in the negative context. Brendl appears to be finally getting it together, but he didn't live up to the top 5 billing that he recieved. Vanek is a big bulky sniper who has been playing like a man among boys for the past two years in the NCAA. If he intends to progress, he's going to have to play with some higher level talent. Buffalo needs Vanek to develop into a prime time player and i'm not sure if he's going to be able to do that. I saw this season as a lateral move for Vanek and his stock and next year will really begin the make or break point of his career.

    Grade: C
     
  11. Takkie

    Takkie I Goc ya nose!

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    no offense, but dont know what you are talking about. you can hardly call a player injury prone when one injury came about in a fight (hell, let's call joe thornton injury prone too), and another came in a freak fall into the boards(Marco Sturm is injury-prone too) .
    maybe if it was a reoccurring groin or pulled hamstring you could call him injury prone. But these were two freak accidents.
     
  12. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    Well, that's certainly your right to believe. I believe differantly. Maybe you'll be right, maybe i'll be right. Concussions are reoccuring. As are shoulder injuries, as you've seen this year already out of him. He tried to play on it and couldn't, thus probably doing more damage to it. However, with two freak season ending accidents this year already, you have to wonder how durable that Horton really is. That was his big downside coming into his draft year, and he only perpetuated the vies of people like me by getting hurt for a large portion of this year. When he has been on the ice, he's been great. When he's been on the injury list, he hasn't scored or assisted on a goal all season.

    I'm not going to get into another "define injury prone" debate as I have in other threads, but being in the wrong place at the wrong time and "Freak" accidents is pretty much the definition of being injury prone.

    Anyways, it's just my opinion and it could be wrong but I doubt it. That's why it's my opinion. You're entitled to believe anything you wish, but the facts that i'm basing my opinion on can't be disputed. Horton has suffered major injuries for two seasons in a row.
     
  13. BLACKBURN

    BLACKBURN Registered User

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    Im very wary of past injurys. Maybe because i have seen the likes of Lindros (melon head) and Bure (bad knees) recently :dunno:
     
  14. Takkie

    Takkie I Goc ya nose!

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    i'm not even sure he had a concussion, got proof? i know about the broken jaw and injured shoulder
     
  15. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    Exactly, and Lindros and Bure didn't really get injured a whole lot until they started doing a great deal of scoring at the NHL level. Horton has started getting injured in junior and has gotten injured his first year in the NHL. That paried with the type of physical game he plays in order to be successful, and we're looking at a potential problem down the road for Horton. If he can hold up, he's going to be great. However, we all see how effective Lindros is compared to how effective he used to be based on his injuries. Lindros was twice as talented as Horton coming out, so we'll see.
     
  16. Jason MacIsaac

    Jason MacIsaac Registered User

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    Vanek.....HAHA....Try reading at USCHO.com. Vanek is lazy, poor defenivly, has no work ethic.....remember, the things I said about him last year and got bashed for. He does have good offensive skills but he will still be a bust.
     
  17. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    I've searched around a little and found nothing. So either it's not true, or it wasn't well publicized. I've heard it a lot by word of mouth around here at hfboards, so i'm not sure if it happened or not. Usually when a player breaks his jaw in a fight, a concussion isn't far behind. I saw it happen to Jesse Boulerice last season. If anybody else can document that i'd appreciate it.
     
  18. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    I've watched just about every game Zherdev has played in this season and as of this season, he has hands down been the best and most impressive player of his draft class.
    That isn't to say somebody else could end up being better, but Zherdev has Bure-like talent when it comes to stickhandling. He doesn't know a lick about backchecking or covering his man, and at times he does hang onto the puck a lot, but just about every game you will see a draw dropping move out of him.
     
  19. Jovavic

    Jovavic Blood Legion

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    Mostly agree with this. He does overdue it on the stickhandling and he does have to cut down on the turnovers, but as the season has gone along he has gotten better defensively. He does go down to block shots and he does try at covering his man. Compared to Nash's rookie year, I think Zherdev is past him in that aspect. He did dive alot, but like Nash, he's just learning what the refs will call and won't call, and he has gotten better at not diving the last few games. The one thing that I never read in a scouting report or heard about him was his fiesty edge. Kind of Havlat-esque.
     
  20. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    When you have a player as talented as Zherdev, they have to evolve and find a happy medium to the amount of flash and stickhandling they use. It's the same across the board when you're dealing with a player like this. Bure, Kovalev, Semin, Zherdev, Chistov, and Samsonov have all either had to or have cut down on the amount of extraneous stickwork in their game. In order to be effective in this league, there has to be a limit on that sort of thing. As soon as Zherdev finds his medium, he's going to be far more productive. Not that he's a slouch now, but he'll probably evolve into a point per game player. If you remember, all of these types of players come into the league touted as having the "sickest" or "flashiest" moves, even moreso than the previous one. That is because the players now like Kovalev and Bure have found their medium to their game and realize that it isn't always about beating a player with your stickwork that leads you to being productive. It is a lesson that Zherdev too will learn as the years go by. It has a lot to do with experience.


    Honestly, I think Zherdev falls in between Bure and Kovalev when it comes to production. He's going to be a fantastic goal scorer in this league as well. 40-40 potential doesn't seem to be that far off for Zherdev.
     
  21. Dave D

    Dave D Registered User

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    I can tell you from being around the Oshawa Generals that Horton did not, and has never had a concussion. Any reference to a concussion is wishful thinking on the part of whomever made the reference. Concussion was never mentioned by anyone other than whomever was trying to add one plus one and get three. His broken jaw was a crack which turned out to be worse than a break - he'd have been back sooner if the jaw was broken, the trouble with the cracked jaw was that he couldn't exercise properly to stay in shape. To call him injury prone is a gross exaggeration of a couple of unfortunate instances. This kid is a player and will be for quite some time IMO.

    A- the best power forward in the draft by a country mile, underestimated hands, unfortunate injury cost him a legitimate crack at the Calder.
     
  22. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    It needs to be said that this is far from being a Russian problem exclusively. Guys like Connolly, Hemsky and Spezza, all have to go through this as well on the road to efficiency at the NHL level.

    The paradox is that a lot of fans around here actually appreciate the cute pointless stuff while they think certain veterans who are kicking ass while keeping it simple are either talentless or "too old".

    A lot of the popularity factor for the youngsters in the NHL has always been about what they do wrong :(
     
  23. Jason MacIsaac

    Jason MacIsaac Registered User

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    I notice that the most with defensmen. A flashy offensive defensmen will allways get more attention then a stay at home defensmen who does nothing offensivly. I know there are many that like Ray Giroux more then David Hale. I dunno why.
     
  24. The Mighty Duck Man

    The Mighty Duck Man R-E-L-A-X

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    Fleury: 18 year old goalie rarely looked out of place in Pro competition
    Grade: A-

    Staal: Top rated forward played so well and so much like Ron Francis, Francis ended up being dealt
    Grade: B+

    Horton: Injuries slowed his rookie season, but young power forward showed real promise when playing
    Grade: B

    Zherdev: A full season would've handed him a Calder nomination, if not the trophy itself
    Grade: A+

    Vanek: NCAA star will make a fairly strong, fairly young Buffalo team that much better
    Grade: B-

    Sutter: Kept up his strong play in NCAA action
    Grade: B

    Coburn: D-man didn't do worse than last season, but wasn't better either
    Grade: C

    Phaneuf: Is turning into best player outside of the NHL
    Grade: A+

    Kastitsyn: Health issues aside, Belarussian looks like one of most talented from this class, though wasn't as impressive this year
    Grade: B-
     
  25. Hockeycrazed07

    Hockeycrazed07 Registered User

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    DFT, no thoughts on Michalek?

    ~Crazed.
     
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