Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by fedorov_jr, Jun 8, 2004.
I'm not really surprised personally. He needs this more then another season of NCAA hockey. I congratulate him on a fine career here in MN.
Also, it shouldn't be long now until Vanek is a Sabre.
We over at the Coyotes board think he won't play more than a few games in the AHL (CBA allowing) because fellow Minnesota alumni Jordan Leopold was called up after a small number of games, and Paul Martin did not see the A at all.
Nice signing! I was very suprised when the Yotes got him.
He could be fantastic. Now all the Yotes need is a top four dman who is huge and tough and can move the puck. Too bad every team wants a player like that.
Anyway, GO JETS!...er....Yotes?
...plz come home
We're hoping that'll be Matt Spiller. At the very least he is top 6.
Both were better defensively then Ballard. With Martin ahead of Leopold and I think Ballard better on the offensive side (atleast at the same time frame as Leopold with the Gophers) of the other two.
Ballard was a great aquisition for the Yotes, as far as the minors and him go I am really not sure. I know he can get the job done on offense. It just depends if they want to let him get better on D in the minors or up with the big club.
Paul Mara - David Tanabe
Derek Morris - Keith Ballard
Brad Ference - Matt Spiller
Radoslav Suchy, Igor Knyazev, Forster, Bezina..
What a wonderful young defense the Yotes have.. All kinds of ingredients, very nice mix of players.
On the other hand Calgary and New Jersey are very tough teams to crack. Im sure after playing in the World Championships Ballard will be targeting a top 6 spot on the Coyotes.
What is strange is suddenly having four talented puckmovers in Morris, Mara, Tanabe and Ballard. A year ago when Teppo left all we had was Mara and nothing else.
Actually, Cale Hulse would be there instead of Ference.
Main problem with the projected pairings is that the top four defensemen listed are all puck moving d-men. Hopefully Ballard will spend a year in the AHL to work on his defensive play, and the Coyotes will sign a stay-at-home defenseman who can clear the front of the net (or that Callahan or Knyazev steps up... which is doubtful).
And Bezina singed with Geneve Servette, CZE
I have the Yotes in a fantasy league and I'm anxious to see Ballard created!
My defense in this league looks like that:
Derek Morris - Tom Poti
Teppo Numminen - Dave Tanabe
Phil Housley - Radoslav Suchy
I brought a lot of ex-yote (Numminen, Housley on D, Handzus on offense).
I think we can expect Phoenix to move one of their puck moving defenders (possibly at the draft). It will have to be one of Mara or Tanabe (I would expect the former) unless Phoenix doesn't like Morris's contract demands. Tanabe was absolutely fantastic when he was healthy last year so I can't see them dealing him.
If Phoenix moves Mara it would have to be for one hell of a player/package. He was great last season and is just now coming into his own.
I dunno about that. Since we have three already on the team, it would only make sense to have Ballard play in the AHL. Tanabe (played great), Morris (payed a lot to get him) and Mara (career year) all played well last season, so I really can't see any of them being moved. There's no point in forcing Ballard onto the team when he isn't exactly needed yet, and he could still use some work anyways.
Plus if we do have too many puck movers, it's not a huge problem. Tampa Bay doesn't exactly have a physical defensive core, so they play better positionally, and block a lot of shots. This team could be modeled after the Lightning if our new coach decides to do so. (which would be a treat to watch as well)
This defense wouldn't be so soft if Mara and Hulse would use their size to their advantage, and if someone could tame Ference.
I have to say though that Ballard's defensive side has gotten better this past season. I agree with you that Martin and Leopold are better, but I was impressed with the improvement of Ballard's defensive game. I expect that to continue at the pro level.
Very good signing by the Coyotes.
Agreed a verygood signing. As a College fan it's too bad Ballard left,but as a Maine fan adios He reminds me alot of Leopold and Martin which can only mean good things for him i'd say he's more of a Leopold D man.
Ballard may not be as good defensivly as the others but his physical play is better. May suit him in the pros to have a bit of a mean streak.
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