Question about Kessel

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Beesfan, May 1, 2006.

  1. Beesfan

    Beesfan Registered User

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    We all know how fast Kessel is, but can anyone who has watched him describe the other aspects of his skating? In particular, I'm interested in his balance and strength on his skates. Does he get knocked off pucks? Can he shield defenders and play strong in tight areas?

    I ask because this seems to be a major factor that distinguishes a prolific NHL player from an average one or a guy in the AHL. A lot of the current NHL starts are not only very fast, but have great strength too. The best IMO, in no particular order, are: Crosby, Jagr, Forsberg, Modano, Iginla, Ovechkin, Alfredsson, Selanne, and Thornton. Many second tier stars, such as Patrice Bergeron and Saku Koivu also have underated strength on their skates.

    From what I've seen of Kessel, he does not have the characteristic bow legged stride that marks many of the strongest skaters. He is more of a straight away burner like Mogilny. But I really haven't seen enough of him to judge, and when I did see him he was pretty young. So for those of you who have watched him play, would you say his center of gravity is a strength, weakness, or neither? Also, how does he compare to draft competition like Toews and Backstrom in this regard?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    First of all, I think a significant challenge for Kessel will be to get stronger, both upper and lower body. I wouldn't categorize him as "weak" but he needs work in that area. As for his skating, it's simply dynamic. He's an effortless skater that can get to top speed in very few strides and is extremely shifty. He has the ability to back up defenders which creates a lot of space for himself.
     
  3. #66

    #66 Registered User

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    Well said by RR. I'm not a Kessel fan but his skating is pretty elite. He doesn't have the puck strength like some of the guys Bees mentioned but speed from the getgo, change in direction, turning in either direction, stopping and starting, ect. is all there. IMO its like Samsonov or Afinagenov.
     
  4. Hunter Gathers

    Hunter Gathers White guilt milquetoast piece of human garbage. Sponsor

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    Samsonov is actually a pretty good comparison for Kessel. Though, I'd take Kessel's arsenal of shots any day over Sammy's.
     
  5. #66

    #66 Registered User

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    Yep or Sergei Berizan (spelling). I've been saying that for a while but some people want to make Kessel out to be the next Crosby and thats just not fair to him. I think that he'll be good not great and thats not a bad thing. Its kind of funny that people play off this year at Minny as being a down year. He's a good player that had a good year, thats all.

    As a Pens fan, I just don't think that he's a good mix. I would want a winger that will give and go with Crosby/ Malkin instead of just taking the headman pass and getting shots off. Thats why I'll always want some others in this draft over him.
     
  6. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    Kessel is extremely adept at the give and go. I'm not sure why you keep inferring that he isn't.
     
  7. Oilers Chick

    Oilers Chick Registered User

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    RR: Excellent description!

    Effortless was the first adjective that came to my mind when I first saw him skate.
     
  8. WhiskeyYourTheDevils

    WhiskeyYourTheDevils yer leadin me astray Sponsor

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    the boy is like bure. He just goes and goes
     
  9. TRask

    TRask Registered User

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    Yeah, I think Kessel is taking a hit just cause peeps expected him to be the American Crosby. When hes really more of a Karyia clone. Very heavy shot and fast skater...
     
  10. PMP5030

    PMP5030 Registered User

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    I wouldn't say a Kariya clone.... Kessel doesn't have the unreal eyes-in-the-back-of-his-head vision Kariya had at the NCAA level. He is a very nice skater, with a pinpoint accurate wrist shot. Minnesota used him mostly as a center, but I think he projects as a scoring winger at the NHL level.
     
  11. crosby_87

    crosby_87 Registered User

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    I don't think his wristshot is very accurate yet(and thats after watching him all season). His shot is every bit as hard as advertised, but he really really needs to work on his shot accuracy IMO. I also think he projects to be a scoring winger in the NHL.
     
  12. neelynugs

    neelynugs Registered User

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    kessel has much better speed than samsonov. one misconception about sammy is that he's fast - he's not. his straight line speed isn't that good...his real asset is his quickness and shiftiness.
     
  13. PMP5030

    PMP5030 Registered User

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    Fair enough. I only got to see him live twice, so I'll defer to you on the shot accuracy comment. If the Pens take him he'd get 40+ goals as a rookie on a line with Crosby with the open looks he'd get.
     
  14. From being touted as the equal of Crosby, to being touted as a Samsonov/Afinogenov type player, all in the span of 10 months or so.

    Wow! He fell off the map.
     
  15. espo*

    espo* Guest

    There are a few aspects of his game that he shares with Kariya but overall you are right,he plays nothing like Kariya overall.
     
  16. realstateofhockey1

    realstateofhockey1 Registered User

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    kessel needs to elevate his game from the one to the two-move wonder....then he may be a force to be reckoned with. also I do not see him as a physical force at all. Awesome skater with a more than descent shot and a bad defensive side. Will be interesting to see how he does without potulny
     
  17. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    Are we stuck in a time warp?
     
  18. MN_Gopher

    MN_Gopher Registered User

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    Yes we are. Its still eary January. Didn't you get the memo?
     
  19. timmy12

    timmy12 Registered User

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    Kessel had a goal today in the world championships
     
  20. GaryU

    GaryU Registered User

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    Only 1 goal??? Man, he stinks!! :sarcasm:
     
  21. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    Guess not..... :sarcasm:
     
  22. Beesfan

    Beesfan Registered User

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    I'm really ambivilant about Kessel playing in this tournament. On one hand, I'd love to see him have a good showing because I like him as a prospect, but on the other hand, I really want the Bruins to get him in the draft. Safe to say that if he is one of team USA's leading scorers he will go within the top 4 picks.

    Likewise, I'm hoping Jordan Staal gets to the memorial cup and lights it up, and that Backstrom does great in the WC for Sweden. This way they are more likely to go in the top 4, and even if they fall to the Bruins then they have shown they are good players, so it isn't so bad at all. More and more I am thankful that Columbus won that last game and gave us the 5 slot :yo:
     
  23. Unbiased_Observer

    Unbiased_Observer Registered User

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    From all the reading I've done on Kessel and the limited viewing (I'll come clean, I only have seen him live at the WJC's) I never came away convinced he was as a clear cut #1. I think he falls out of the top 3 in the draft. As to his skating, he's dynamic straight away and on his edges but he doesn't possess the cycling game that say a Foresberg or Crosby does. Then again, they don't possess his straight away speed. I think because of the renewed emphasis on special teams ala the 'new NHL', length strength and puck possession have become more valuable commodities. Then again, his speed probably creates those powerplays.
     
  24. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    That's a fair way of looking at things. Kessel is very much a straight ahead, run and gun type player. He will be great in the NHL off the rush with good linemates.
     
  25. Shelby-villains

    Shelby-villains Registered User

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    Jagr used to drive me crazy in his first few seasons with Pittsburgh cuz he would try the same move over and over again. Luckily for him, he learned to use his teammates a little more. I think Kessel will do the same.
     

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