How is Blake Wheeler doing?

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Kavliary2000, Jan 11, 2005.

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  1. Kavliary2000

    Kavliary2000 Registered User

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    He was a big reach to be picked at #5 overall.... :eek:

    How has his play been....does he deserve the 6.5C rating he has...

    In the longrun..will phx regret their pick?

    how far down the draft should he of fallen....late 1st? :dunno:
     
  2. PhoPhan

    PhoPhan Registered User

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    He's been pretty close to a PPG in the USHL, and was named to the All-Star game, representing the Green Bay Gamblers.

    Even if he hadn't registered a point yet, it'd still be WAY too early to write him off. He is a project. He was drafted as such. He has the rest of this season in the USHL, followed by up to 4 years at the University of Minnesota. He's got plenty of time.
     
  3. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    Can't help you other than statistically. Seems to be decent so far. 24 points in 30 games in the USHL. -5 and 8 PIM. I'd think a big guy like him would mix it up a little, especially since he is supposedly a good football player. Leads his team in points. Was just named for the upcoming all-star game.

    I don't know him but I remain skeptical. What I hear so far doesn't thrill me one bit. But like many, I look at the 5th overall selection and suppose there must have been something there, unless the Coyotes are as inept as I have long suspected under the current management.

    Can't wait to see him. Can't wait for him to make the jump to college, where I am more familiar with the environment and can watch a few games here and there.

    How far should he have fallen? I suspect the only one who really know are those who have seen this kid and it doesn't seem like many get to watch him play, unfortunately.
     
  4. Kavliary2000

    Kavliary2000 Registered User

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    from what Ive read
    If his upside is so high..but is concidered a long term project
    why not give him an 8C or 8D rating......he currently has a 6.5C..ouch especially for a guy picked 5th overall
     
  5. CH Wizard

    CH Wizard Guest

    Blake Wheeler is a project.He has good size , skills.He'll just have to put it all together.He'll need to get better defensively and use his size to his advantage.From what I've see , he's using his size to make place to him and go more easily to the net.I didn't see him play physical though (it was just one game)In the years to come , we'll see if he was really worth to be pick 5th overall.It was a high reward/risky pick , just like Kostitsyn.I was shocked when the yotes drafted him.I also think he has a big upside.The problem's that we don't know how he'll develop ,that's why he's rated C.I'd rate him 8 or 8.5C.He's playing decently in USHL though ......
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2005
  6. Form and Substance

    Form and Substance Registered User

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    Kosts' upside is much more certain, I wouldn't compare the two. Wheeler was slated as an early second round pick at best while Kosts was widely considered a top 10 talent (and I say talent not pick) in his draft year.
     
  7. Draft Guru

    Draft Guru Registered User

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    I think a few things factored into the Coyotes' decision.

    With the upcoming lock-out, perhaps lasting two years, they felt they could take a kid like Blake who has a ton of potential but will need time. There was no rush to grab an impact player who will step in and play in a year.

    Plus the fact it'll be 5 years before they actually have to pay him.

    But he definitely has the raw skill though to be an impact player down the road. Whether he was worth a top 5 pick, that's another story. Perhaps they could have gotten him at 15 or 20 or 30, but we'll never know.
     
  8. rt

    rt DingDongTippIsGone! Sponsor

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    It has been widely rumored that the Islanders wanted to select him with their 1st round pick.
     
  9. Joe d

    Joe d Registered User

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    Leachmeister2000...you got it......Wheeler was projected as an early second round pick. When Phx pulled the trigger at #5 the expectations went up. This kid is still in High School, 6'4.5 , 205 pounds and still growing. Give him a couple years to fill out, mature and then evaluate. Currently he is leading the GB Gamblers in points and was selected for the USHL All star team. Kids that are this big, can skate, see the ice are not common.......I'm looking forward to seeing him develop at Minnesota. Could you imagine if he would of played 1 more year of High School hockey in Minnesota ?
     
  10. WADEugottaBELAKthat

    WADEugottaBELAKthat Flynt Flossy

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    Did I mention that..
    It makes sense that the Islanders wanted him. On TSN Draft, Bob McKenzie claimed to have inside information from Mad Mike that the Isles were going to go Way Off The Map and "would not select a European". Thus, Nokeleinan may have merely been Milbury's backup plan.
     
  11. Reilly311

    Reilly311 Guest

    I'll take Wheeler at 5 than Valabik at 7. :lol
     
  12. The Maltais Falcon

    The Maltais Falcon Registered User

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    What does Valabik being picked seventh have to do with the price of tea in China?
     
  13. Epsilon

    Epsilon #TeamHolland

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    Especially given that he was picked 10th...

    And I'd pick Valabik before Wheeler any day.
     
  14. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    I'm interested to see how Wheeler does in his first year or two with Minnesota. With the dynasty they're building, he's going to get a chance to play with some impact players for as long as he stays there, and as a result will have every chance to shine. He's got tremendous skills for someone his size, and has plenty of time to develop. I don't think he was a stretch at all. He's fits right in with the longterm plans of an organization thinking longterm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2005
  15. Yea but at that time, thats the 16th overall pick. He was ranked 18th overall was he?
     
  16. cagney

    cagney cdojdmccjajgejncjaba

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    Purely from a stats point of view I'm dissapointed. Even if he had been picked in the second round like most thought he would be I would still be dissapointed. Wheeler's stats don't compare favorably to the better 18 year old forwards who have played in the USHL recently (Paul Stastny, Ryan Potulny, David Backes, Danny Irmen, Jake Micflikier, Joe Pavelski etc.). I had hoped he would be one of the top scorers in the league.

    Now compare him the the 2003 5th overall pick, Thomas Vanek. At 17 Vanek had 91 points (46 goals and 45 assists) in 53 games. An 18 year old Wheeler has 24 points (10 goals and 14 assists) in 30 games so far. Stats don't always tell the whole story but that is a ridiculous discrepancy.

    I suppose I'll get jumped on by at least one person but right now I'd say he looks like a reach of the Mike Rupp variety. The only difference (which I think is significant for the reputations of Phoenix's scouts) is that Rupp was already well below the established standards for a top 10 pick (well below average stats in the OHL) while Wheeler looked like he might be something special in high school.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2005
  17. Jacob

    Jacob Registered User

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    Most had him well out of the 1st round.
     
  18. PhoPhan

    PhoPhan Registered User

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    Wheeler has more talent than Rupp. If his playmaking abilities and/or finishing abilities don't translate to the NHL, he will still be nothing less than a Chris Gratton due to his size and skating ability.
     
  19. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    How do you know all that? Have you seen him play? What's his upside and what does he excel at?

    Chris Gratton was a huge kid. Not the meanest but still used his size in Junior and scored 2 points a game in the CHL before he was even drafted. The kid was a star junior player and fairly close to NHL-ready.

    I'm trying to get a better read on the Wheeler kid, I am very curious about him but so far nothing I hear is really convincing. Gretzky was really vague when describing him. It's not Gretz's job to sell a player to fans like me but I wish there was a report of some kind talking about this kid's abilities.

    I don't even remember a quote saying this guy has 1st line NHL potential. He's wasting his time post-draft in a weak league. He's several levels removed from the NHL and can't score a point a game. He seems to have good size and skating and that's about all I gather. He's not described as a special "flying" speedy player with size. He doesn't seem to have intangibles like fighting or leadership. He doesn't appear gritty, statistically it is bland.

    I read that his team is supposedly very talented and despite that they lose many games. He seems wildly inconsistent, scoring in bunches and then not putting up a point for several games.

    The only thing that seems to make this kid special from what I read is that he was an accomplished player in two different sports (hockey and football) and that's really not something I find impressive enough to warrant a 5th overall selection, even in a fairly ordinary draft.

    I'd like to get more comments that would sell the player. But I don't know him and nobody will talk about Wheeler because few people have seen the kid. Looking forward to read what you know.

    My second question regarding this thread is his so-called "long term project tag". Why is it used in Wheeler's case? What makes him such a project worthy of 5th overall status? To me this is something you use in certain cases, like when a player has started playing hockey very late, or a 6 foot 8 bean pole, or a guy who is so fast on the ice he tends to lose the puck but shows flashes of brilliance. Something, anything to warrant that project tag.

    Wheeler just sounds like your typical 2nd round selection so far.
     
  20. MN_Gopher

    MN_Gopher Registered User

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    I have seen Wheeler play in HS. His hands are great for a big guy. I see him with project tag more of a hit or miss kind of player. Either way he will a good player. Depending on where he devolps grows, gets an attitude, will determine if he will be great. In HS he played with a kid Robbie Dee who is this year leading MN hs in scoring or at least the minneapolis metro area right now. Wheeler is a skilled passer with good vision. From what i hear Green Bay is not all that good. Potulny had Irman and vice versa. Vanek i do not think has grown much since USHL. Wheeler still looks like at some times a lanky kid. Hasn't figured how to use his all his abilities at the same time for his size. Good hands but is flat footed stick handling and not doing both at the same time. The USHL get stougher and tougher each year. In most years guys like Wheeler a HS senior would be in USHL. Guys like Tom Gorowsky would be in college. There are more and more players who play one year out of HS in USHL. So to compare points to past players is not that accurate. Not sure where he is in overall point leaders but i know he leads his team.
     
  21. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    How good could he be? Can he become a second liner? A first liner? Who would you compare him to?

    Thanks for the report! :)
     
  22. MN_Gopher

    MN_Gopher Registered User

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    Here is the short versin i ll write more later.

    Best case: A super forward combining size, better then avg speed, passing ability, scorers touch and a very accurate wrister.

    Worst Case: Although i have not written him off yet. Barry Tallackson a current gopher forward. Can play huge make great plays has all the tools. I could show a highlight reel of Barry and he would look the best college player. Then i cold show a longer tape and you may wonder why he plays college hockey.
     
  23. 417

    417 Registered User

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    Pardon my ignorance, but what level is the USHL at? didin't Wheeler play in HS last year, so wouldn't the natural progression be from HS to college hockey or CHL?
     
  24. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Kill! Jeff, Kill!!!

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    The USHL is the American version of the CHL. Wheeler was too young to attend college last year, but he will be going to UMinn next year.
     
  25. dafranchz

    dafranchz Registered User

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    The transition from HS to the USHL is a significant one. However, the USHL quite doesn't measure up to the CHL leagues but, it continues to grow in quality.
     
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