Jordan Staal historical comparables?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Warm Cookies, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. Warm Cookies

    Warm Cookies Oh!

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    I've heard alot of comparisons for Jordan Staal, but none have really seemed to capture his rare combination of size, reach, smarts, economy, dangle, goal-scoring and defensive play - until just recently.

    Watching Pete Mahovlich play in the Summit Series, I think I finally found a good match. To me, his goal in Game 2 is even reminiscent of Staal's pretty goal vs. Philly this year.

    Maybe I'm not the first to suggest this, but does anyone else see the uncanny similarity?

    Is there another player who's closer in style?
     
  2. roast

    roast Registered User

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    as a fellow pens fan, i'm thinking hussey or beech
     
  3. Sometimes he reminds me of Ron Francis, but not usually...:dunno:
     
  4. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Well Mike Keenan foolishly put the Beliveay tag on him. I dont think he sgguested that he'll be that great but maybe in terms of style. Staal is a better skater than Pete Mahovolich was though, but not quite as big. Right now its hard to say
     
  5. #66

    #66 Registered User

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    I'll go with Staal being an older Keith Primeau type. Even though its not a perfect comparison, Staal has better hands and is less mean than Primeau, Staal does project to be a big power center that can be a great two way player. When he was drafted I was saying that he was a Jeff Carter type but Carter hasn't even reached his high end potential yet.
     
  6. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    I see more of a Nieuwendyk type player. Big strong kid, good two-way game. Very good (bot not elite) offensively.
     
  7. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    I like that. Maybe a more lanky Nieuwendyk..
     
  8. Sensfanman

    Sensfanman Registered User

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    He's still young, he'll bulk up in a couple of years. I also think Nieuwendyk is a great projection for Staal.
     
  9. Tek_Jansen

    Tek_Jansen Registered User

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    When I see Jordan, I personally see Lemieux. Less talented offensively maybe, but the physical size, reach, smarts, etc is the same. Both of them are also great short handed goal scorers with Lemieux having the record, and Staal having the rookie record.
     
  10. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    Uh, less talent offensively maybe?
     
  11. Warm Cookies

    Warm Cookies Oh!

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    Forgive me for my ignorance, but how was Nieuwendyk's defense during his offensive heyday?

    Did he fully take advantage of his size and reach advantage as Staal does to block lanes and intercept passes, and play a large role on the PK?
     
  12. Crosby87.*

    Crosby87.* Guest

    Yea, we're not sure yet ;)

    In all seriousness. Jordan Staal reminds me a lot of Mario in the long reach category. That's the only way really though.
     
  13. jiggs 10

    jiggs 10 Registered User

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    Huh? :biglaugh:

    Staal's only possible comparison to Lemiuex right now is that they are/were both tall with long sticks. That's it. Staal is not much of a passer, which is half the game when you are an offensive player. And his defense is similar to Mario's: non-existant. A good goal scorer? OK, I'll grant you he's shown something there. But Mario had 20 more goals in his rookie year playing with a lot worse talent than Staal has around him. And I couldn't stand Mario!
     
  14. rtafts

    rtafts Registered User

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    Staal is bad defensively? News to me...
     
  15. Warm Cookies

    Warm Cookies Oh!

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    1. Staal is absolutely stellar defensively.

    2. Exactly how many goals do you think Mario scored in his rookie year?
     
  16. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    Exactly, good point. In fact, looking at Mario's goal total in 1985, when the league GAA was 3.92, when normalized for era, it would be 34 goals in an "average" season. Right now the league GAA is 2.92 so numbers need be only slightly averaged upwards. Staal's goal total that he is on pace to at this point translates into 32 in an average season. So their goal-scoring prowess as rookies is practically even.

    Let's add to that, that Mario turned 19 on opening night, and Staal turns 19 during training camp next season, and that Mario had 11 goals on the power play (where scoring is obviously easier) to Staal's 1, and a case could be made for Staal having a superior rookie season in terms of goal-scoring.

    Now I'm not going to be silly and say he's a better player than Mario or will have a better career, but he's definitely special. And he's far better than his older brother, (no naming names) who led the league in even strength goals against per minute among all league forwards last season, despite being on one of the top teams in the league.
     
  17. MXD

    MXD James St. John Smythe

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    I just wish him not to end up like Kjell Dahlin...
     
  18. Did you just say that Jordan Staal is bad defensively?

    You should try watching the Pens.
     
  19. MXD

    MXD James St. John Smythe

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    I won't say he's very good defensively (in a Gainey-Carbonneau-Lehtinen way) but he's indeed extremely responsible.
     
  20. Gainey and Carbonneau were not "very good" defensively. They were legendary defensively. And Lehtinen is arguably the most consistently good defensive forward I've seen in a while. Staal is just 18. :)

    You're right, he's very responsible and extremely talented. I cannot believe he's playing this well at this age. He's scored more goals this year in the NHL than he scored last year in the OHL. Absolutely incredible.
     
  21. jiggs 10

    jiggs 10 Registered User

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    1.) If you say so. I have only seen 15 or so Pens games this year. Give him the Selke!

    2.) 43, which is 14 more than Jordan Staal in fewer games (78 to 73 for Lemieux)

    Steve Yzerman scored more goals at 18 than Staal has, too (39). Just saying he isn't a great player yet, just a very good young one. 5 years from now I may be his biggest fan (although I doubt it, I don't like his style of play all that much), but right now I will wait and see before crowning him "stellar" on defense. JMO.
     
  22. SteelCitySaviour

    SteelCitySaviour Registered User

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    If you have seen 15 Pens games and somehow came to the conclusion that Staal is poor defensively...then I severely question your ability to comprehend what's going on on the ice. Not trying to be mean or anything, it's just that it's been easily apparent that this kid is incredible defensively. Hell, after his first week most of us were saying how we'd love to keep him on the big club because he was our best defensive foward, and that was before it was evident that he had the offensive game to stick as well.

    The second point...I don't know how anyone could compare Staal to Lemieux. I mean, Christ he was the most talented player (along with Orr) to ever lace it up. But let's keep it in perspective here...when's the last time (excluding Crosby, who is pretty much staking his claim for the rarified air of the greats) an 18 year old had 30 goals in a season? Thornton had what....3? Eric Staal had 11 or so. Lecavalier had around 15 I believe.
     
  23. Reider

    Reider Registered User

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    Call me crazy, but what about Mats as a comparison? He's the only one other than Nieuwendyk that I can think of.
     
  24. SteelCitySaviour

    SteelCitySaviour Registered User

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    That could actually be one of the best comparisons yet.
     
  25. Warm Cookies

    Warm Cookies Oh!

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    I just want to say that for the most part, I agree with you; the Lemieux comparison is way off base for Jordan. Mario, he ain't. However:

    1) Staal is actually mentioned in Selke discussions. I wouldn't give it to him at this point because he hasn't shown any shut-down capabilities, but he's as good at forechecking, cutting off passing lanes, and playing responsible, efficient hockey as any player in the league.

    2) You said that Mario had 20 more goals than Staal when he had 14 more. It is a significant achievement for an 18 year old player to score 30 goals, especially one as defensively impressive as Staal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2007

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