Is too much emphasis placed on good skating?

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by thestonedkoala, Jul 17, 2011.

View Users: View Users
  1. thestonedkoala

    thestonedkoala Everyone! PANIC!

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    20,436
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    126
    I know you got guys like Marian Gaborik and Paul Coffey, guys that are blazing fast or silky smooth in their skating. And then you guys like Derek Boogaard and Dave Semenko who were...terrible.

    But is there too much emphasis on skating from prospects? I know that balance and agility is important but speed and skating style?

    If a player can skate and be effective with their skating, shouldn't that be enough.

    Not every player is going to be a Coffey or a Gaborik but I think that when prospects are evaluated scouts try to find something wrong and skating is one of the easier knocks to look at.

    Case in point; Zach Phillips. From reports from the prospect camp his skating isn't as bad as a lot of people make it out to be and he's doing actually pretty good at their camp. But everyone knocked him saying his skating is terrible and one of the reasons why he fell.

    So if a player has bad skating, shouldn't agility and balance be more important on the skates then speed and style?
     
  2. hskates21*

    hskates21* Guest

    Depends on their style of play
     
  3. Still All In

    Still All In Plz stop pucks

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    21,671
    Likes Received:
    104
    Trophy Points:
    141
    Occupation:
    Yes.
    Location:
    Scrip Club
    It all depends on what you're trying to accomplish.

    For example, if you put Hal Gill in Tampa he would look awful - exposed, slow, out of position. In Montreal, hes fantastic. Positionally sound, aware, great shot blocker, and so on.

    I think there is too much emphasis placed on good skating and great skating. I think the difference between the two is marginal and that gap gets even smaller when you find out even the speediest of guys usually have issues finishing at top speed. There are very few that can do it well, and consistently. Finding a guy with above average skating with exceptional balance and an understanding of how to use his hips to not just shield himself, but to create space is key.
     
  4. Bure

    Bure Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3,719
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Depends on the position, for example center, I think they need to be smooth skaters.
     
  5. RangerRed

    RangerRed Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    76
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I think there's increased emphasis on skating now because of the rule changes post-lockout. There are a lot of players now, primarily defensemen who have to be good skaters now but who didn't necessarily have to be before. They could simply be big.

    Big, immobile defensemen could intimidate and obstruct little, speedy forwards. So, a price was placed on countering the presence of these defensemen. So, more power forwards were needed. Now that rules favour speed more, defensemen have to be mobile. The more mobile defensemen are, the fasters forwards have to be to maintain an advantage.

    It's just a change in warfare. We've gone from what was essentially tank warfare to special ops warfare to adapt to the changing nature of the game.
     
  6. leafmon

    leafmon Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In over twenty five years of watching junior hockey I'd have to say that good skating is kinda a common thread in the players I've seen make the NHL.

    That said it is not the be all and end all but it will get drafted for sure.

    Two players I watched for 4 years:

    Ben Eager went in the first round pretty much solely on skating. He had about as explosive a first three strides as anyone I've seen in their draft year but he showed poor decision making(dumb penalties) and little offensive ability(hands and vision).

    Marc Savard was the third or fourth player on his own team drafted despite showing exceptional vision and skill . He won the OHL scoring title in his 17 year old season but was knocked because of his size and skating ability.

    Skating is huge and nice to see in a prospect but great hockey sense can make up for some of it. This year Boone Jenner got knocked for skating but his compete level and great anticipation allowed him to be effective and produce his first two years in the OHL. I think it will carry him to a pretty good NHL career.
     
  7. Jason MacIsaac

    Jason MacIsaac Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Messages:
    18,110
    Likes Received:
    304
    Trophy Points:
    154
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    NWO RCN
    Location:
    Halifax, NS
    True playmakers simply don't need to be the best skater because they realize you can pass a puck faster then you can skate.
     
  8. Manny*

    Manny* Guest

    It's huge. There's nothing I hate more than a great prospect who can't skate.
     
  9. The Vinstar

    The Vinstar Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    Home Page:
    I'm another big fan of good skating. I went nuts when my Nuck's traded Grabner.. for a few days I was thinking about giving up on them. Got over it eventually but then realized I shouldn't have.

    Skating will take you places.

    Look at Lebda.
     
  10. TheUnseenHand

    TheUnseenHand Yuri = Waifu

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    28,093
    Likes Received:
    1,716
    Trophy Points:
    156
    Location:
    Bethlehem, PA
    In a league with no clutching and grabbing, and a penalty called virtually every time a player skates by you and goes down, skating (both speed and smoothness) are incredibly important. Definitely one of the most important assets a player can have IMO.

    Not saying you don't need puck skills, hockey sense, ect. BTW.
     
  11. Block More Shots

    Block More Shots Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,382
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    NJ
    Ask Rico Fata.
     
  12. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,997
    Likes Received:
    1,890
    Trophy Points:
    156
    Location:
    PA
    Recovery ability

    Just going to take one little piece of what would otherwise be a far-reaching, rangy discussion.

    You want your best skaters to always be on the blueline. A whole discussion in and of itself, but in short, I just want to discuss positioning and recovery ability.

    In short, a player can make adjustments on the fly regarding his positioning to maintain good defensive posture. Which, say, a smaller Hal Gill (reduce the reach factor), would not have such a luxury because of a poor first step or poor lateral mobility.

    Kristopher Letang from Pittsburgh and Val D'Or is a great example of this, in my opinion. He's not a pinnacle for excellence in terms of positioning, but his superb lateral skating ability allows him to adjust quickly and fairly smoothly and interrupt plays that weaker-skating d-men would have failed to defend. It gives you (scout, coach, what have you) that little extra comfort that Letang has that "safety valve" in his back pocket in case his positioning is a little off or his gaps are a little wonky...

    It sounds like small change, but it's one of many ways that this discussion could go and just wanted to touch on it briefly.
     
  13. Circulartheory

    Circulartheory @danccchan

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Messages:
    5,517
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Home Page:
    Skating is only one of the factors that make a hockey player. You can prioritize skating as your first filter when trying to narrow down which prospects you like, but at the end, the sum of the tools have to equate.
     
  14. Kevin27nyi

    Kevin27nyi Trotz <3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    14,841
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Trophy Points:
    158
    I agree. Skating is just one of many attributes to being a player. Grabner is much faster than Tavares but Tavares is better.
     
  15. James Franco

    James Franco Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,582
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Anaheim, CA
    Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry were subpar skaters when they were drafted buy the Ducks.
     
  16. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    29,232
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Marketing Executive
    Location:
    San Diego
    Home Page:

    And Tavares and Sidney Crosby both possess great stick skills and read and create plays tremendously in the offensive zone....

    ...And Crosby's skating advantage will forever ensure that he is the superior player.

    Of course, there are good players who are ordinary skaters. But skating is hardly overrated. In fact, it is often a differencemaker the higher up you go in the skill level of a league (read: NHL). That infintesimal difference in accelration, pivot radius, strength on the puck, etc. can often be the advantage in a league of relative player parity.
     
  17. leafmon

    leafmon Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good points and {tell me if wrong} that you are describing excellent hockey sense combined with the great physical ability.
     
  18. Sojourn

    Sojourn Where's the kaboom?

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    46,352
    Likes Received:
    2,712
    Trophy Points:
    187
    True, but they also put in a great deal of effort to make sure that wasn't going to hurt their game at the NHL level.
     
  19. voxel

    voxel Knights and Jets Bandwagon

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,306
    Likes Received:
    592
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Location:
    Florida
    If a player like Schremp had AVERAGE NHL skating ability years ago he'd carve out a career for himself. Poor skating is like being undersized... it's not going to prevent you from being an NHL regular, but makes it all the more difficult.
     
  20. Well speaking of Schremp, if he was a better skater and a guy that committed to playing a more well rounded game and was stronger, that would help his cause. That goes for a lot of players, but some of the slower skaters that have made it, find a way to work around that flaw in their game.

    Brunette has made it this long in the NHL while not being a good skater.
     
  21. Mr Lahey*

    Mr Lahey* Guest

    Skating is the most important part of a player's game.

    People will say Rico Fata, but for every Fata, there are 10 players like Mike Brown, Mason Raymond, Mikhail Grabvoski who quite simply would not be in the NHL if they didn't have some wheels.
     
  22. Fulcrum

    Fulcrum Guest

    After watching Kabanov at the rookie camp, I saw that his acceleration is rather weak- and that changed my perception of him ever so slightly. Anyone who's seen him lately would agree, or did I see it the wrong way?

    He just seems to move his legs a lot without really moving forward at the beginning- kinda looked too Jr Hockeyish. He is certainly not explosive and that's dissapointing considering his skill set, he could be like Malkin if he had his skating figured out.
     
  23. GM17*

    GM17* Guest

    Phillips has decent skating, he just *looks* remarkably slow because he sets up in the neutral zone for the dish-in pass to his linemates Jurco Huberdeau Galiev whose role is to get the puck in deep and cycle it. Phillips is never trailing behind this play, he gets into the cycle and is often the one that puts a seeing-eye pass onto someone's stick for the goal.

    It's his style of game that doesn't call for blinding speed, but I have seen him skate through defenders and avoid hits.

    The only problem I can see for him is that his linemates won't be the same calibre of players relative to the level of play. He'll have to improve for the NHL, but he has plennnnnnty of time for that.
     
  24. zeus3007*

    zeus3007* Guest

    Skating can be the difference between a prospect being a success and not, but it isn't the only factor. Some great skating prospects crashed and burned at the NHL level because they couldn't put the entire game together. Some piss poor skaters made the NHL and Hall of Fame despite their skating. That said, in a prospect, I'm looking at a players mobility as a major trait. Just not the only one.
     
  25. jaeger

    jaeger Registered User

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    51
    THIS. You don't skate to make the game faster and dictate the flow. You need to pass the puck. Passing is - if not much more important - at least one level more important than skating. Skating is hugely overrated, but what's even MORE overrated is hitting. If you take the puck away it's basically all the same if you do it by hitting or lifting the stick - the end result is your team gaining posession.
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"