Info wanted about these defensemen

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Chapin Landvogt, Jul 14, 2004.

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  1. Chapin Landvogt

    Chapin Landvogt Registered User

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    I'm very curious:

    For a team that has very little to show for itself in defensive prospects, the New York Islanders have spent the first 3 to 4 picks of the last 3 drafts picking forwards. However, this summer they then picked 3 defensemen in a row, with O'Neill and perhaps Axelsson each expected to go in rounds earlier than they went.

    Is there anyone here who has an opinion to share about these two or the Czech fella, Mrazek? Anyone think the Isles struck gold considering where they picked these defensemen?

    Thanks for any responses!
    :handclap:
     
  2. Oilers Chick

    Oilers Chick Registered User

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    O'Neill is a big, strong talented kid who hasn't really figured out how to put all of his tools together yet. His greatest asset IMO is his size. He's a big kid and when he "fills" out, he'll be a very intimidating presence out on the ice. He skates remarkably well for a guy his size. He's physical and dish out the hits as well as take them.

    One knock that many scouts had on him was his problem with decision-making. For example, in one game I saw O'Neill in versus Ferris State, he made a errant pass up the middle of the ice with FSU players in the vicinity that nearly resulted in a goal for FSU. The pass was intercepted and the FSU player (Brett Smith I believe it was) got in a very good scoring chance. O'Neill, on this particular play, had the option of passing up to an open teammate who was parked near the left side boards but for a reason known only to him didn't.

    I think O'Neill will turn out to be an excellent player eventually, but he is definitely a project at this point.
     
  3. Chapin Landvogt

    Chapin Landvogt Registered User

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    Thank you, I appreciate the synopsis! :)
     
  4. Hunter Gathers

    Hunter Gathers White guilt milquetoast piece of human garbage. Sponsor

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    I agree with OC on most college players, and I find myself agreeing again.

    Wes has all-star skills and a 1st grade brain.

    Let's see if he can put it all together. If he does, he's a helluva steal.
     
  5. X-SHARKIE

    X-SHARKIE Registered User

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    I think O'Neil slipping to the fourth was an outrage.

    I've seen him twice this year live and once over the dish.

    I also saw him 13 times in Green Bay a year ago.

    His mental game isn't nearly as bad as scouts say it is. I couldn't believe people saying that.

    In my opinion he's going to end up like Mike Rathje, He's a big big guy, who skates very well with a long stride, has a hard shot but doesn't like to use it. His mistakes are coachable and with hard knocking on him he'll learn to use the boards more and more. He also has a solid set of hands and has great poise.
    Thelen also has great body positioning. His defensive game is rock solid. Boxes out forwards with the best of them, especially in front.

    Islanders got a 1st round worthy prospect in the 4th!
     
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