Valabik's downside

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by DaveyCrockett, Jul 5, 2004.

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  1. DaveyCrockett

    DaveyCrockett Registered User

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    It has been pretty well established that Valabik's upside is a nastier Chara with less offense but I want to know what you think his downside is. I see his downside as an Eric Cairns type player, a physical monster who can't skate but is good for 12-15 minutes on the blueline.
     
  2. Rattrick

    Rattrick Registered User

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    From what I have read (I am no professional), I would agree with you.
     
  3. willie

    willie Registered User

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    A nastier Max Kuznestov. A scary thought indeed.
     
  4. montreal

    montreal Go Habs Go

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    His downside? Flipping burgers at Burger King would be my guess. All kidding aside, his downside is that his skating mobility doesn't improve enough, his reads and reaction time don't improve by a good margin (since it's only going to get quicker out there when he goes to advance to the next level). I don't know who he could end up being like, but if he can read the plays quicker and react faster, while improving his mobility, stepping up or developing his offensive game (not saying he needs to be the next Gonchar, but some decent offensive abilities would be good if he's to play a ton of minutes and getting his temper under control. I like watching him play cause he seems to always get into a fight or he's ready to drop them, as he seems to be very feisty, but if your one of your teams top defensemen, what good are you if your always in the box.
     
  5. dunwoody_joe

    dunwoody_joe Registered User

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    I'm afraid that his downside could be Enrico Ciccone. If that happens DW is out a job and he can take the scouting staff (read Dan Marr) with him.

    If Thelen or even Meszaros turn out to be better pros DW is in for some criticism. We'll see what Valabik looks like starting this weekend as the prospect camp opens. I'll report back.

    Looking for skating, crisp passing, positioning and good overall defensive hockey sense. If he shows that there can be hope! :dunno:

    We'll see him compared to Coburn.
     
  6. Special Ed

    Special Ed Registered User

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    Dan Focht?
     
  7. Grave77digger

    Grave77digger Registered User

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  8. IkeaMonkey*

    IkeaMonkey* Guest

    Kristian Kudroc
     
  9. Kaiped Krusader

    Kaiped Krusader Registered User

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    I seriously, seriously doubt that Don Waddell's job depends on how Boris Valabik turns out.
     
  10. BrooklynCanuck

    BrooklynCanuck Registered User

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    You've all missed the point. His downside depends on the same factor as his upside, skating. There is no question that Valabik is a beast, but he can't hurt you if you can't touch you. He's going to have to improve his skating a lot because he can't compete in the NHL skating like he does. If he improves a little bit and becomes wise in his positioning (i.e. not taking himself out of position to make a big hit) he may turn into a nasty 5-6 guy a la Cairns, but he will never be worth the pick spent on him. If he makes significant strides in his skating and responsibility then he can become a force.
     
  11. PecaFan

    PecaFan Registered User

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    Downside? I see that as his *upside*. Possible servicable enforcer.
     
  12. Yayo

    Yayo Guest

    Martin Erat.
     
  13. Fighter

    Fighter Always on the move

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    Chris McAllister (probably with less fighting abilities)
     
  14. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    So are every GMs in this league, everytime they pick a player. I'm not high on Waddell but come on, his job does not depend on this pick. This is a high risk pick and as such, the risk part is acknowledged by them.

    How the team is going to do globally is much more important than any pick. You've got GMs who survive years despite drafting steaming crap. It's the overall picture that is important and that is why I am not sold on DW yet.
     
  15. Burke's Evil Spirit

    Burke's Evil Spirit Registered User

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    Like Fighter said, Chris McAllister. And frankly, I'm much more sold on that comparison than Chara...the guy is just so dumb.
     
  16. dunwoody_joe

    dunwoody_joe Registered User

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    Valabik is an intelligent young man. I've seen him interviewed a couple of times since the draft. Learned English in one year and speaks with a vocabulary that already surpasses most natives.

    Speaks openly and realistically of his areas of weakness. Says that he will continue to focus on his skating as the primary area, but that "all parts" of his game need development.

    If intelligence somehow codes for success, the Valabik is hardwired. I'll reserve judgement on his upside potential until I see him skate this weekend. But I know that DW and crew are talking "top 2 pairing."
     
  17. Holly Gunning

    Holly Gunning Registered User

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    Be careful what you read and take as gospel, it will lead you astray more often than not.

    Having spoken to him twice on draft weekend, I have to say he was one of the brightest prospects I've ever met. Very impressive personally. Carries himself with an understated confidence. Interviews are important to the Thrashers, and I'm quite certain he aced his.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2004
  18. me2

    me2 Calling out the crap

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    There is a big difference between general intelligence and game time intelligence. Its a bit like being able to come back with a great one liner in 2 seconds or 20 seconds or 2 minutes. The guy with the 20 second time lag might have a great comeback but its a little too late. Being smart can't hurt, but having good instincts is more important. There are plenty of dumb players with good instincts getting around. Trust instinct as much as anything, and that can only be watched at game time.
     
  19. Juneemoon

    Juneemoon Registered User

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    I have a good feeling about Valabik. Any kid ambitious enough to come to play in North America at his age because he realized that the physical game suited him better is ambitious enough to make himself into a good player. Part of the Thrashers prospect camp is working with a power skating instructor if I'm not mistaken, so he will help him out and show him what to work on. I personally think in 4 or 5 years we will be comparing him to Coburn and wondering why Coburn isn't as good as Valabik. I see him as a 6'7" Exelby some day. That's a scary thought.
     
  20. Kaiped Krusader

    Kaiped Krusader Registered User

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    Yeah, when people say Valabik is dumb, I think they're referring to hockey sense, not personal intelligence.

    I hated the pick at first, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. I think GMs should go for the home run pick at all times. You'll get more busts than other GMs, but you'll wind up with more studs too. Valabik has the frame and the naturally nasty disposition to really be a monster. Of course, other things have to fall into place, but that's true of most prospects. True he doesn't have the skill guys picked after him have, but if he can have a greater impact in the defensive zone than guys like Thelen and Meszaros will have in the offensive one, then I'll be elated.

    If he busts, I won't lose too much sleep over it.

    And Juneemoon, I wouldn't bet the farm on him being better than Coburn.
     
  21. Holly Gunning

    Holly Gunning Registered User

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    Sure, but these things are related. And Bowman telling a player he was too dumb to play defense, there's a reason for that.
     
  22. Kaiped Krusader

    Kaiped Krusader Registered User

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    Nah, I don't think so at all. How many superb athletes in all different sports exhibit terrific sensibility on the court/rink/field/etc. but are blockheads off it? Too many to count. The reverse holds true as well. If there is a correlation, it's very slight. If Bowman tells someone he's too dumb to play defense, he's probably referring to his hockey sense, not how well he understands Electromagnetics or the poety of T.S. Eliot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2004
  23. Holly Gunning

    Holly Gunning Registered User

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    Hockey is more difficult to read and react to than a lot of other sports. How mentally difficult is it to hit a ball? Tackle someone? Not very. Play defense in hockey? Harder.
     
  24. Kaiped Krusader

    Kaiped Krusader Registered User

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    Your analogies don't fly. You can compare tackling or hitting a ball to throwing a check perhaps, but not to everything it takes to being a defenseman. If you want to compare the two, you have to look at everything a football player does as well (a lot more than just tackling someone.)

    Playing middle linebacker takes just as much (probably more) mental capacity than being a defensemen. Does a defensemen have to memorize hundreds of pages of plays and call adjustments to his linemen and linebackers at the line of scrimmage to react to how the opponents have lined up based on the hours and hours of game film he's had to study all week? No, he doesn't.

    Your hockeycentric bias is showing quite clearly here. I love the game too, but don't give it more credit than it deserves.
     
  25. Vincent_TheGreat

    Vincent_TheGreat Registered User

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    Downside, Never plays more then 50 games and is a disaster!
     
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