Drew Stafford

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Champ, Jun 19, 2005.

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  1. Champ

    Champ Registered User

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    Stafford can or cannot be a first line winger?

    He play very well with team usa junior last years! But i dont know if he can be a first line winger?

    So you what do you think about Stafford?
     
  2. Barnaby

    Barnaby Registered User

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    Looks like a very solid 2nd line winger to me, but I don't see 1st line potential.
     
  3. BobMarleyNYR

    BobMarleyNYR Registered User

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    Stafford doesn't have flashiness, or the ability to control a game, that's what 1st liners have. No one ever projected him as a 1st liner. He's a prototypical roleplayer for the future NHL, and he can contribute enough to have a steady 2nd line job... he's a lot like Chipchura in many ways.
     
  4. Bryanbryoil

    Bryanbryoil Magician

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    I see him best suited for a 3rd line role where he could pot 20 goals and provide speed and 2-way play. I think that he'd be hard pressed to be a 2nd liner for anything more than as a fill in. He seems to be a pretty good shot to make the show though, he has speed,size, and a good shot.
     
  5. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    3rd liner? I seriously doubt that's what the Sabres have in mind for Stafford. I think people are seriously underestimating his ability to play high level hockey at the NHL level. He's not flashy, but is big, fast, and has a NHL calibre shot. Not to mention he works extremely hard and is defensively reliable. I don't think he can anchor the first line, but he's more than capable of producing on the second.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2005
  6. ZombieMatt

    ZombieMatt Registered User

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    The problem with Stafford is that he isn't a sexy prospect. Casual fans don't watch him play and think "wow, this guy is a first rounder." But he does everything very well, and he has the wheels and the big shot to be a scorer in the professional ranks, even if he lacks the dazzling stick handling ability that far too many people get caught up in.

    I think that the general comparison with him and Chipchura isn't wrong, exactly, just that they are similar players but Stafford has, I believe, a greater offensive upside.
     
  7. McDonald19

    McDonald19 Marcus Pettersson

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    upside: 2nd line
    likely: 3rd line

    a safe prospect he will at least contribute on a third line but will very unlikely be a first liner.
     
  8. PuckFan01

    PuckFan01 Registered User

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    The Sabres may be expecting him to be better than a 3rd liner but I think that is about how he looks at this point. He has not been very consistent in college. He shows flashes of real good play (sort of like Barry Tallackson did in his college career) but he hasn't shown it week in and week out. Until he can show more consistency, he appears destined to be a 3rd line kind of guy to me.
     
  9. Vatican Roulette

    Vatican Roulette Baile de Los Locos

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    2nd liner, although a very valuable player nonetheless. I would love to have him on my team, the kind of player that does all the little things to win games.


    Think Maltby with more offense.
     
  10. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    I'd be interested in your definition of consistency. As a freshman he was close to a PPG, and while he struggled a bit at the beginning of his sophomore year, he finished very strong and improved on his point-per-game average. He also was tremendous at the WJC's for the U.S. leading the team in scoring. I'd say he's been better than consistent.
     
  11. Onion Boy

    Onion Boy Registered User

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    I probably haven't seen him enough, but everything I saw at the WJC and Frozen Four tells me that Stafford definately has first line potential. Maybe not and elite player, but I think he has the talent. Whether or not he reaches that potential is a different question entirely.
     
  12. Hossa

    Hossa Registered User

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    I agree with your assessment of Stafford.

    He doesn't have first line offensive skills, but there aren't a lot of first line players in the NHL nowadays. But he could easily be a contributor on a first line in the NHL, potting 20-25 goals, 50 points, soemthing like that, while being the ideal complimentary player for a first line scorer. Basically, the role that Mike Knuble played in Boston the last two years, although I think he has better pure skill than Knuble.

    One thing about Stafford is that he is clearly more suited to the professional game than college hockey. That is why he thrived at the WJC for example. He's one of those players who plays a pro-game, and his upside should not be underestimated.
     
  13. Bryanbryoil

    Bryanbryoil Magician

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    Agreed, I think that many overrate his ability. How many goals has he scored in his 1st 2 NCAA seasons??? Not enough to exactly show how solid his shot is. He can skate and shoot, but at the very best I see him as a average/below average 2nd liner or a great 3rd liner. The kid will be a pro, IMO he was a safe pick, but his up-side is limited, and IMO he's already pegged himself into the looks of a 3rd liner.
     
  14. Blind Gardien

    Blind Gardien nexus of the crisis

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    All I know is I got a bit of a different impression of Stafford this year watching the NCAA playoffs and WJC than I had from the pre-draft descriptions. He generated a lot more offense, handled the puck better, skated a lot better than I had really expected. I don't know if that's a product of his skill being undersold on draft day or if he has just stepped up his game a notch.

    If it's the former, then yeah, he looks like a guy who can play any number of pro roles, from good 2nd line cornerman to super 3rd liner, even to the Knuble-like supporting role on a modern 1st line. But if it's the latter and he's actually improving his ability to use his offense in game situations, then who knows, maybe if that improvement continues he could be a legitimate poor-man's first line power winger in his own right. That's, what, a 30-goal, 60-pt guy in modern terms? Not completely out of the question, I suppose. :dunno:
     
  15. jake1

    jake1 Registered User

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    One thing to remember about Stafford's numbers and performance in the NCAAs the last two years is that he is still very young. He was North Dakota's youngest player last year despite being a sophomore. There were seven players at the Frozen Four who were younger, and only one of those (Hagemo) was more than six months younger. The point is that he has been playing up in a big way. By comparison, Kessel will be about one month older when he starts play this Fall (than Stafford was when he started).
     
  16. TehDoak

    TehDoak He sure has a

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    He's going to be sure fire NHLer, thats for sure. Whether he plays on the 3rd line or 2nd line is really going to be dependent on the team he plays for IMHO. I think he is capable of being a 2nd liner, but would really contribute better as a 3rd line guy. Though, A good situation for him might be a banger/body guard to make room for more skilled guys (ala Vanek), and if he can net 20 goals, he could very well be playing opposite of him in a year or two in Buffalo.
     
  17. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    I see where you're coming from, but again, I think Stafford's ability is being underestimated. He was not picked in the upper half of the first round to be a "banger" or "body guard." People are making him out to be Dave Semenko or something. Granted, he's not flashy, but that doesn't mean he's devoid of skill or can't make a play. He has all the tools to produce at a high level in the NHL. He might do it somewhat under the radar, but he'll do it.
     
  18. PuckFan01

    PuckFan01 Registered User

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    As I said, I am judging on a week by week basis. Would you rather have a guy who gets your pts. every game or a guy who has one or two big games and then does nothing in the other few games?

    I use the term consistency to judge on a micro level as opposed to your macro view of the whole season.
     
  19. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    Well, we are talking about a guy who was a sophomore in college last year so I don't know how strict we should be with the application of the word consistency. Granted, he started slowly, but he produced very well the second half of the year and came to play in the NCAA tourney and WJC's.
     
  20. fan1234

    fan1234 Registered User

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    He scored a point in each of USA world Jr games(the only player to do so). He had 22 points in UND's last 20 games, scoring in 18 of those 20. He ended the year on a 5 game scoing streak (WCHA's, regionals, and FF) 7 pts in those 5 games. Consistency?:teach:
     
  21. MN_Gopher

    MN_Gopher Registered User

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    I think Stafford is a good player. Shattucks has put out some great prospects. Crosby, Parise and now Stafford. These guys are great coached and are always in the right spot. Like Parise, Stafford is smarter than most of his competition. He will be a NHLer but i do not think he will light the lamp often. He has not lead his team in scoring in his first to years. Was third last year and i think 5th before that. If he is going to be a first liner he needs to tear up the WCHA. Or at least be one of the better forwards in the league. Not being top 15 in scoring is tough to see a point translation to the pro game. His sophmore numbers were almost identical to Jeff Taffes numbers his sophmore year. Taffe is not nearly as well rounded, but probally is a better goal scorer. Now Taffe blew up his junior year. If Stafford is still a only a top 10-15 guy in WCHA i do not see him scoring big at all. Being valuable yes.
     
  22. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    Fair points, although being a big scorer in college (or juniors) doesn't necessarilly translate to being a big scorer in the NHL. Some guys are just more suited for the pro-style game. Guys like Stafford and his teammate on North Dakota Matt Greene.
     
  23. Oilers Chick

    Oilers Chick Registered User

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    I agree that Stafford is likely destined to be a second liner, although he could end up surprising alot of people and make it as a top line winger.

    I also think numbers can be a little misleading. I've seen UND enough just this past season alone to know that just because Stafford isn't putting up points doesn't necessarily mean he's not contributing in other ways. Most people forget about how well he plays defensively or has been able to help shoulder some of the responsibility that things such as injuries tend to create. Brady Murray's absence was huge for UND this season and Stafford was one of the guys who stepped up to the plate and did an admirable job of trying to fill some of the holes (namely offensively) that Murray's absence left.
     
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