Cam Ward - WHL Goaltender and Player of The Year

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Vagrant, May 2, 2004.

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  1. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    2003-04 Red Deer Rebels (WHL) 56 31 16 8 2.05 0.926 19 10 9 1.85 0.926


    Carolina prospect and Red Deer Rebels goaltender Cam Ward was named the league's top player and the league's top goaltender. Dion Phaneuf was the defenseman of the year, as well.

    Why doesn't Cam get the respect as a top goaltending prospect? He has won two of the last three WHL goaltender of the year awards and just won his first WHL player of the year award.

    Go Cam! :D
     
  2. rnyquist

    rnyquist Registered User

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    because people aren't convinced he can turn that success into nhl success. THe same reason why no one confuses Labarbera with a top prospect goalie. Labarbera set records in shutouts and named top AHL player and yet may never be a starter or backup in the NHL. Also Corey Locke, lead all of the CHL, but will he ever play in the NHL, doubtful. Or Brandon Bell, named CHLs most outstanding defencemen but his career in the NHL is all but certain. Sometimes a player is able to dominate a lower league but his potential to go beyond is questionable
     
  3. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    Well, I understand what you're saying. However, Labarbera wasn't a first round selection or even a second round selection for that matter. He was taken in the third round and plays for a very gifted Hartford Wolfpack team. While his numbers are gaudy and impressive, he was never projected to be an NHL goaltender and that is why his accomplishments go unnoticed. I'm aware of the Kelly Guard type goaltenders who put up outstanding numbers. It's just that Cam Ward was selected in the first round, which vouches for how the scouts project his NHL success, and still plays a fantastic game in the WHL and recieves the player of the year award and it takes a week or more, and probably never had I not done it, to see a thread related to it. I'm just wondering if it's his status as a Carolina Hurricanes prospect that makes him a little more obscure than most of the other prospects.

    Brendan Bell actually is a pretty decent prospect, IMO. He scored 25 points on the blueline as a rookie defenseman in the AHL this season and appears to be on a fast track to see NHL time in the near future. He still has flaws in his game that need major work, but he is building a solid foundation.

    It just concerns me a little that Josh Harding is often touted as the WHL's best goaltender while Cam Ward appears to have a similar skill set, was drafted higher, produced better numbers, and has two goaltender of the year awards to his credit and still doesn't get his name mentioned more often than not. I've seen quite a bit of Cam, and he projects well to the NHL level as far as i'm concerned and i'm just curious if i'm the only one who recognizes that. Don't get me wrong, Harding is a fantastic goaltender in his own right, but it's not as far apart as some people think as far as my opinion goes.
     
  4. LaLaLaprise

    LaLaLaprise lalalaprise -twitter

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    Hes played for stacked teams with Red Deer his whole carrer.

    That could be why.
     
  5. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    Up until this season, I would have agreed with you. However, Cam carried this Rebels team this year without a great deal of help in terms of players on the blueline. Meech and Phaneuf are great but they can only play a certain amount of time. Mercer and Kurceba are both 87's and are inexperienced on defense. Zavisha and Kuukka aren't anything to write home about either. Woywitika left after last season and put a severe dent in the defensive game of the rebels and Cam actually improved his output.

    I certainly would have bought that two seasons ago, but not now. Ward was the rock this year and Phaneuf helped quite a bit but he can't play 60 minutes.
     
  6. Harding absolutely stole games for the Regina Pats...They were weaker than the Rebels in all aspects and Harding got named to the Canadian Team...

    While I don't think Ward is that much different than Harding, it might also do with him being a 1st rounder and the fact he was somewhat touted in the draft while Harding got little press.
     
  7. Auld Cents 20

    Auld Cents 20 Registered User

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    Very rarely does junior success transfer over to pro hockey, although there are exceptions ot the rule.
    It seems to be a good mix for the Rebels, a younger defence, and an experianced goalie. The stacked team argument couldve been used a couple years ago, but doesnt hold as much water now, as a 19 (or however old he is) goaltender with the skills of a Cam Ward tend to dominate the leagues theyre in no matter how strong their defence is. Its the same all over junior hockey.

    As for the Harding/Ward comparison at the junior camp. I guess they just went with the best camp performance. I don't see it as a slight against Ward, or an indication that Harding was better. But I wasnt privy to what happened at the camp.
     
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