Adam Courchaine

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Greg7, Apr 4, 2005.

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  1. Greg7

    Greg7 Registered User

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    Drafted in the 7th round in 2003 by Minnesota. Very skilled, but only 5'10 175 or so. One year ago, I would have told you that he has no shot at playing in the NHL, and might make a decent AHLer if he wants to. However, despite his not that impressive numbers as an overager in the WHL (78 points after 82 and 85 points), I think he now has a better chance to play than ever before, and has completely turned a corner in terms of his commitment to becoming a pro. Under Don Hay, I have watched Courchaine learn that in order for him to have a chance at the NHL, he must commit himself to becoming a well rounded two way player good in all three zones, and he has done that. He is by no means a defensive gem, and he will probably never be a guy who drives to the net, but the fact that he has realized what he has to do to make it is the biggest step he will have to make.

    I know all the knocks on him. He's small, he's not strong enough, he needs better footspeed, he has to learn to embrace physical play, he must get better in the dirty areas, etc. But I am beginning to believe he can improve these areas if he is willing to put in the work, which I now think he is. He is too smart, too fast, and too skilled to fade away, and if he can continue to play the way he did in the playoffs this year I don't see why he can't take his game to the next level. His work ethic, passion, commitment to defense and will to win, all of which I previously thought he lacked, suddenly became his greatest assets in this year's playoffs. He was the only Giant on the ice that was consistenly dangerous, he was excellent on the draw, he worked in all three zones, and he even tried to throw his weight around a bit.

    My question to those who know him is, do you agree? I admit, I really fell in love with the guy in the playoffs, and I can't tell if I like him because he's turned the corner, or I think he's turned the corner because I like him. Hopefully he goes out and makes Houston next year and continues to grow and eventually makes the Wild, in any capacity. It would just be a terrible shame to see such vision and talent wasted, especially after the strides he made this year.

    So does Courchaine have a shot at playing in the NHL, or am I a disillusioned fan?
     
  2. nomorekids

    nomorekids The original, baby

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    I'll tell you what, I know he's a couple of years older than Brule...but man, did he ever outperform him vs Kelowna.
     
  3. Hordichuk_24

    Hordichuk_24 Registered User

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    Greg-

    First of all great post.

    I agree with you for the most part. Adam has definitely improved his two way game no question about it.

    Even though Adam's numbers in the WHL are just about as consistant as you can get (285 games played, 283 points) I still think there a lot of times this season where he didn't show up consistantly and wasn't a big factor for the Giants. Mostly early into the season. He was having some problems scoring goals (which isn't usual for Adam) even though he was getting opportunities. He did pick up his play as the season progressed and he played very well during the playoffs. So hopefully that was just a rut Adam was in. Maybe the transition from a one way game to a solid two way game had that effect on Adam offensively.

    The only real flaw I see with Adam is his strength and physical play. Obviously physical play will never be a big part of his game but I do think he needs to bulk up a little. He avoids just about all physical contact.

    From what I hear the plan is to put him in Houston next season. So hopefully Adam will work hard this summer, try and put on a little muscle and see what happens from there. I wish him the best of luck.
     
  4. Monkeypox

    Monkeypox Registered User

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    If he's willing to put in the work, and has some good skills, his size wouldn't necessarily hold him back - the Wild have had lots of smaller, fast guys over the years; currently you have Walz, Park and Bouchard. Walz and Park have stuck because they have amazing speed and amazing work ethics, so there is hope if this guy is willing to put in the work.
     
  5. CF

    CF Registered User

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    He was the hardest working player in the playoff series. If he can keep up the work ethic, I see him playing with the Wild.
     
  6. Greg7

    Greg7 Registered User

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    I generally agree that his consistency needs to improve, more because in the past his inconsistency has often appeared to be complacency. However, if he can play with the drive he had in the playoffs, that won't be an issue. It used to be that if he wasn't scoring he wasn't doing anything at all, but he grew into a more impactful player in all areas of the game this year.

    All replies so far are generally positive. Encouraging, but surely Courchaine, even if he improves his strength, is not a lock to play in the NHL. Let's have some of those who don't think he has what it takes throw in their two cents.
     
  7. Hyack57

    Hyack57 Registered User

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    Courchaine is a great talent in the sense that he has all the tools to be a very good 2nd line shift speedy centre in the NHL. I see him like another Brendan Morrison type. Not overly physical but good on the draw and sees the ice real well. He can be a 20g/30a/50pt easily at the NHL level in a few years. He just has to become more consistent in the minors to be noticed by Wild brass.
     
  8. ceber

    ceber Registered User

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    Can he put more weight on his frame without losing speed?

    I've never seen him play, only read about him, so my opinion doesn't mean much if anything.

    If he works as hard as people are saying, I'd imagine he could have an AHL career, and maybe a sniff at the NHL. He's probably got as good or better a shot with the Wild as anywhere. Monkeypox is right, the Wild will use smaller guys if they show the work ethic and can be consistent. They need to fill a role, though. Can't just be hard working.
     
  9. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    Wow .. a 7th round draft pick .. projected as a 50 point NHLer .. Morrison the player you compared him to had 60 points last season and we know his linemates ..

    Courchaine is going to the Wild organization and he isn't very big at 5'10 ...

    Pretty lofty projection all things considered IMO ..
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2005
  10. Reign Nateo

    Reign Nateo Registered User

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    Don't get your hopes up too high over Couchaine. I have watched him play a few times and to me he looks like just another soft undersized guy with a few moves that will get lost in the shuffle. He may make the NHL one day, but I'd be willing to bet that it won't be as an impact 50 point player.
     
  11. monster_bertuzzi

    monster_bertuzzi registered user

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    Courchaine is 5'11'', but yeah - he's pretty soft. If he's afraid to mix it up in junior against a bunch of teenagers how is he going to do it against grown men? I doubt he makes it.
     
  12. NyCoN

    NyCoN Instant Contender

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    It's interesting to note, that so far most of the haters are Vancouver fans...Of course they don't want a Wild draft pick to work out! :D
     
  13. kmad

    kmad riot survivor

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    Most of the haters are probably Vancouver fans because Courchaine played for the Vancouver Giants, so they had a better chance than most to watch Courchaine play. Vancouver fans are NEVER wrong.
     
  14. NyCoN

    NyCoN Instant Contender

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    haha...ok. Whatever you need to tell yourself.


    But no your point is taken. They would have probably seen him play more. That is why I didn't talk about his chances of making the NHL, because I have never seen him play.
     
  15. Greg7

    Greg7 Registered User

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    He is going to have to if he wants to have any chance at all. His footspeed must also improve. He still has a long way to go, there's no doubt about that.

    A 50 point player would be an absolute extreme upside. I don't think he has really any chance at all of that in the NHL. That's why it's necessary he transform his game in order to make himself good enough in other areas to be a player worth having on an NHL team. He looks like he's finally realized this, which is why I have grown optimistic.

    This is exactly why he needs to get stronger and improve his footspeed. If both of those things happen, he could be quick enough and strong enough to avoid most physical play but deal with it when necessary. I doubt he'll make it too, but a year ago I thought I knew he wouldn't make it, and his progress is encouraging. Don't get me wrong, he's still a bit of a longshot.

    This thread has actually been far more positive than what I expected. I thought everyone was going to say he had no chance of ever playing in the NHL, which is what most people at least used to think about him. If anything, I would say the Vancouver bias is tilting this thread in favour of Courchaine.
     
  16. monster_bertuzzi

    monster_bertuzzi registered user

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    Heh, it has nothing to do with him being Wild property. I pimp Fistric all the time, and he's a member of the 'hated' Stars.
     
  17. Greg7

    Greg7 Registered User

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    Agreed. I would love to see Courchaine reach all of his potential and burn the Canucks every time he plays them, it wouldn't bother me a bit.
     
  18. monster_bertuzzi

    monster_bertuzzi registered user

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    However the chances of this happening are pretty slim.
     
  19. Greg7

    Greg7 Registered User

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    Which makes it even easier to hope for.

    His chances of becoming an NHL player in some capacity are not as slim as they once were though, you have to admit. It's hard for me to say because I am obviously biased towards him, but my best guess is he is now about a 1 in 5 shot, as opposed to the 1 in 100 shot I gave him at the beginning of the year.
     
  20. monster_bertuzzi

    monster_bertuzzi registered user

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    How do you figure? He only had 78 points this year. Thats not too good for a skilled 20 year old. The years before he was much more productive, even had a 44 goal season in 02/03. If anything, his odds have only gone up because of his playoff.
     
  21. Greg7

    Greg7 Registered User

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    I don't think his offensive production is particularly important when considering his chances of making the NHL. His skill is certainly good enough, it's the other areas of his game that need to be better for him to make it. This season he dramatically improved defensively, he got much better in the corners and along the walls, he looked more willing to engage in physical play (obviously this still needs a lot of work though), and his work ethic was better. All of these areas still need tons of work, but, as I've said many times, the fact that he's realized that is what's important because I think he has the tools to make it even as a little guy if he works hard enough. His playoffs were a sort of culmination of his recent improvements. I don't think Don Hay did a really great job overall this year, but what he did with Courchaine was great.
     
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