Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by gocanada, Aug 22, 2004.
Don't really know, I guess it will depend on what positon he plays when the season starts.
I'm not a fan of Burns. He doesn't play physical at all and isn't exactly an offensive dynamo. Hell, not even Stan Butler thinks he should have gone in the first round. Unless he suddenly develops a nasty edge or a scoring touch, I wouldnt expect much out of him.
If he's playing forward, I'd say a second liner and a top line pivot. If defence, a top 4 blueliner.
Burns is physical. He was able to lay out some big hits last year at the WJC's, and he was even physical at the NHL level. Mind you, he's got a lot of growing physically to do, so that side of his game will continue to improve.
You know when they were hyping Taylor Pyatt even before the draft as a huge guy with speed?
Well, they must have thought of Burns. This guy is really great and a fast learner. Seems to have an excellent attitude. And his growth spurt (5-6 inches in the year before his draft) almost certainly bothered him somehow so I would expect him to now grow in his body and get used to it.
Also, this guy has played as a smallish player at a very high level of hockey for a long time. I would expect he was using finesse and smart much more to survive and this may come handy in his career later.
I am halfway between posters here. I don't think he is really physical but it would be absolutely false to say he is a softy. He can be physical, he just doesn't use that much. Once again, you're talking about a player who was probably smaller than the competition almost all his life and now suddenly, he is bigger! Before he gets very physical, it will take an adjustment.
But Minny seems to be sold on his attitude and his track record seems to indicate they are right. And I am sold on the guy. I find him pretty skilled, although he's got a bit of a tunnel vision. He's also not a guy who takes charge (yes, you can recognize young NHLers who will take charge, youth is not an excuse).
I saw a couple of games where Minny was coming out flat, uninspired. And I could see Brent was energized and better. But the overall result was very flat. Totally unable to do it on his own. Not a concern but he has to improve that.
But his skating+attitude+size means that even if he doesn't fully develop his skills and grit, he should still be a valuable player for a team. Now, with a player on the fast track like him, we can also look at the more optimistic side and this guy could really be something. We'll see if his development has stalled next season.
Most likely, I project a guy who can give you 50-55 points, throw good checks, play on all special teams and alternate at any 5 positions. He's the kind of guy who will never make the All-Star game and yet, he will be on the lips of EVERY general manager every time they call Minny.
He could really be a gem. Splendid work by Minny!
I agree with this guy.
Add in the fact that the Wild have developed him poorly thus far, and I doubt he'll have a career worth writing home about.
What do you think the Wild could have done better developmentally in the one year Burns has been their player? I think nearly half a season of NHL play (despite an injury) and a trip to the WJC would be beneficial to a young player. Not sure how you could say it has been a poor developmental year for Burns, even if you feel the OHL would have been better for him--we can't tell whether his progress has been hindered or not at this point in time.
I think mustering only one goal at the age of 18 says that he was rushed at some point in time.
Interesting, because lots of people tend to think that Fleury's development was hindered.
It's this simple: Burns hasn't produced anywhere. Anywhere.
How about Minnesota.
To produce, does one need to score? Not in a team system IMO.
Where he was drafted, in a deep class, will always be scrutinized but, his size, speed and heart are undeniable.
His presence on the Wild did not go unnoticed. His size alone created problems for opposing offenses AND defenses. Yeah, he didn't clean too many clocks or light too many lamps, but not to state the obvious, he was an 18 year-old rookie last year, irregardless of the Wild's history of dealing with 1st rounders. He must have shown something, such as size, which was/is a major need, maturity and a willingness to listen. How he adjusted to what was asked of him throughout last year, such as a position change, showed much more to me than just what some one-way player would by putting up 20-40 pts in a fluke rookie year. He'll do alot more than what the stat sheet will show.
He is also 19 years-old.
The fact he's switched from D to forward and then back to D before his 20th birthday tends to concern me a little as well. To me he has the makings of a fourth line/no. 6 defenseman.
But lets see him prove me wrong.
Uhh, if you're slated as an offensive forward, you kinda do.
Same goes for Danny Lacouture, but I didn't see him in the NHL at 18.
I think they moved him postions to get a look. He does have narrow vision out there. So what better way to teach a guy the game of hockey then to put him all over the ice and really see the game. His best asset at this point is his work ethic, attitude and ability to learn. So move him around, put him in new situations. He should a better passer and more aggresive this year after playing the blue line. And wasn't Burns the guy in the WJC that called for all the elbowings on huge hits in the corners and along the boards. If his postion is power forward i wouldn't exept much until he turns 23-24 and really grows into his frame.
Burns isn't a power forward by any stretch of the imagination. He hasn't proven his offensive skill at any level of hockey and he hasn't been a consistent physical presence. The main reason the Battalion moved Burns to forward was because he wasn't physical enough on defense. The Wild should have left him in junior so he could at least try and gain some offensive confidence.
It's fair to say this was lackluster production, I agree.
However, consider that the whole Minny team looked like crap and many of them couldn't buy a goal. I mean, Jim Dowd had almost as many goals in his short Habs stint last year as he had with Minny during a much longer period.
Gaborik finished with 18 goals.
Dupuis with 11.
Their highest goalscorer was Daigle with 20, followed by Gaborik and then it goes down.
I'm not sure he was rushed. That seems to be the way Minny likes to develop players and I'm still waiting to see if it will pay off down the road.
Not that it has anything to do with this.
But yeah, people tend to be more cautious about goaltenders. It's the whole confidence and up to a point, I would agree. Goaltending is by far the toughest job mentally. Technically and athletically, I think several goalies were better than Roy or at least his equal.
Not really important. He was drafted on the basis that *during* the junior season he constantly improved, on top of having an amazing physical transformation. His number in that second half are great.
Now, they might have returned him to Junior, in which case it is likely he would have produced there. Instead, they turned him into a part time NHLer. You may be right or wrong that he has been rushed.
But his storyline makes it crystal clear as to why he hasn't produced. It's simply amount to circumstances. There are players who produce a lot more, but they remain in the CHL and then go waste their time forever in some weak ass semi-pro leagues.
Is that better? I don't think so.
Lots of players are pretty good from the get go, but what I like about Burns is how he has developed pretty well so far. He's responded adequately to bigger challenges.
It may not be as flashy as a Tim Connolly or something like that, but maybe over the long haul he will fare better.
Goaltenders might be different, but in the case of comparing Burns and Fleury, it should at least even things out. Fleury has had a terrific track record compared to Burns.
I think it's the most important thing. When you're 18 years old and you have yet to find confidence in your offensive game at any level (save for a decent second-half in the OHL) you need to be playing at a level that allows you to compete. Compete not just defensively but offensively.
I don't know what they were thinking when they switched him back to the blueline. People are talking about what promise Burns has, and how he's going to turn out to be some excellent NHLer, yet nobody even knows what position this guy is going to settle into yet. The choice between forward and defense might make or break his career. It's just yet another obstacle that I don't think he'll overcome easily, if at all.
Right now it looks like instead of rushing an 18 year old forward, they rushed an 18 year old defenseman. To me, that's much worse.
Then again, it might be an asset during all his career. Lots of players have been developed that way at that age, it's just uncommon to do so in the NHL (or mostly, in North America).
I wouldn't mind if he was one of the few players who remained that way in the NHL and was switched back and forth. That's not my prefered way of doing things but you won't find me questioning Lemaire on this yet.
If it was a shmuck like Rick Bowness, I'd be worried, however.
Who says there needs to be a choice yet?
He'll make it one way or the other, and was not drafted for his offensive talent. And despite that, I suspect he'll have a more productive career than many offense wiz who just can't stick for long.
P-M Bouchard's lack of production is more of a concern to me. But Brent can be a great utility player on contending teams without scoring much if he develops well. Minny has guys like Sully and Bouchard drafted for this. I don't think they ever envisioned Burns as a scoring threat.
Umm, if there's one thing Burns doesn't lack, it's confidence. He's almost cocky. I think that's one of the qualities that impressed the Wild into keeping him.
Geez, Vlad, why don't you just get down on one knee and propose to him?
A few more single-digit-point-total seasons and he won't be cocky.
Good for them. Unfortunately it is too early to tell what helped and/or hindered a player's development without having a crystal ball to know how said player will turn out. It's all speculation. It's like calling a player a bust before he's had the chance to prove himself; you could be right or wrong, but only time will tell.
They considered starting him there, so it's not like it was a spur of the moment choice. We had an opening, Burns could use the ice time. Why not see how he works there? This isn't a system where young guys are expected to be stars, and the pressure is high. It's a very low-pressure environment as far as the NHL goes. If MN were a province, I might agree that it was a mistake to keep him up or move him around. As it sits now, in my opinion it's far too early to decide if it was a good choice or bad.
Never said he was the second coming of Gretzky or anything!
I'm just not worried by the lack of production, considering the circumstances. And I like the speed, size and ability to adjust reasonably well so far.
Burns could eventually become a solid two-way player for the Wild, but it'll take him awhile to become a solid scorer. He already has great defensive skills, and IMO that's what got him onto the team and allowed JL to use him on D. The games I saw him on D, he did a solid job knocking guys off the puck and forcing them to the boards, and he did a decent job in the corners and in front of the net. As a forward, he showed some good pasing skills but lacked a solid scoring touch and agressiveness on O. He seemed to have a pass first mentallity and never drove to the net or tried to create any offensive pressure when he had the puck. The Wild system is based on strong defense and IMO Burns was a good choice for them.
I think alot of the hesitation in the offensive zone comes from his lack of experience, or offensive awareness. Once he comes into his own, or at least into his body, he will realize that his size alone will create offensive opportunities for him. He won't need to make the perfect pass or create one on one as much if he plays the body and uses his head.
He's played it pretty smart so far, hopefully that is a sign of things to come.
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