Players who Developed Different than Expected

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by buffalowing88, Jun 5, 2011.

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  1. buffalowing88

    buffalowing88 Registered User

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    Obviously no player is going to develop into the exact NHL comparison we set for them as prospects but I am asking more about players who were considered to be grinders when they first came about and ended up being skilled players and vice versa. Also curious if their are any cases where a guy was drafted and than hit an unexpected growth spurt which transformed his style of play.
     
  2. Eisen

    Eisen Registered User

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    I think Ricci was supposed to be a finesse/offensive player. He developed nicely into a 2nd/3rd line grinder/defensive forward over the years.
     
  3. Vector

    Vector Registered User

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    Marty Reasoner jumps to mind. Was supposed to be a soft scoring forward and turned himself into a gritty shot-blocker.
     
  4. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Guy Carbonneau was a skill player in junior but used his hockey sense to be one of the best defensive centres ever.

    Alex Burrows was barely even a prospect and in his first few season at the NHL level was a pest with hands of stone, but has become a first line scorer.

    There's probably boatloads, because the most important skills like physical talent, hockey sense, and drive to succeed(With the right attitudes behind it.) don't translate specifically to any role on the ice, they just translate to success.
     
  5. matnor

    matnor Registered User

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    A lot of players are skill players in junior and the minors but has to become grinders in order to make the NHL . On the other hand, it is not common with the opposite, but I think Franzén is a player who was perceived to be a grinder when he entered the league but then developed into a goal scorer.
     
  6. luiginb

    luiginb Registered User

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    Surprised no one mentioned Dan Cleary yet, who was an offensive dynamo in juniors, who evolved into an NHL bust, and finally found his niche as a gritty bottom liner who can sometimes score.
     
  7. Iain Fyffe

    Iain Fyffe Hockey fact-checker

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    I came here to post about Carbonneau, so I'll have to try to find another one now.

    Do players who were considered to small for the NHL who end up winning the Hart Trophy count?
     
  8. Passchendaele

    Passchendaele Registered User

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    I'm pretty sure Jason Blake was never meant to be more than a 3rd liner.

    He scored 18 points in 82 games at age 28.
     
  9. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

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    I don't remember exactly but I think Larmer was a late bloomer who was first destined for an energy line/AHL.
     
  10. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    Ian Laperriere, big time scorer in juniors, became a pest and grinding, checking line center in the NHL.

    I recall Mattias Norstrom being touted as a well rounded, smooth skating prospect with the Rangers, but he became a solid stay-at-home defenseman with the Kings.

    There have been plenty of cases with dmen developing differently after graduating from juniors to the pros. Bouwmeester stands out as one of those dmen.
     
  11. buffalowing88

    buffalowing88 Registered User

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    Thanks for all the responses guys, I was curious to see how common this change was.

    How did Bouwmeester develop differently than expected?
     
  12. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Bob Carpenter was supposed to be a consistent goal scorer. While he was that for 2-3 seasons, the majority of his career he was an effective grinder.
     
  13. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    Bouwmeester was considered a guaranteed #1 dman who can do it all. He was said to be as smooth of a skater as Scott Niedermayer, with the ability to control a game with his play. Today, he is far from that. He's at best a decent 2-3, defensive dman.

    Chara turned out differently as well, I don't think the Isles or draft experts anticipated Chara to become the player that he is today.
     
  14. FDBluth

    FDBluth Registered User

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    Burrows never had hands of stone. Perhaps in his first few years he wasn't quite adjusted to the speed of the NHL, but he still had pretty deft hands.
     
  15. bruinsfan46

    bruinsfan46 Registered User

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    Kyle Wellwood has to be mentioned as the player he is today, is 180 degrees from the player you would have expected him to be when he first came up with the Leafs. Started out a lazy, one dimensional scorer, is now a checker who doesn't score much. Paul Bissonnette was a defenseman in juniors, a pretty good one too, ended up a tough guy on the wing.
     
  16. JSmith81x

    JSmith81x Your weapon is guilt

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    He was described as the new Craig Janney.
     
  17. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    burrows doesn't have goal scorer's hands by any stretch. not hands of stone either though. but what has made him successful is that he is extremely smart. that, plus his extraordinary work ethic, got him into the NHL where a lot of marginal prospects start-- as a fourth line energy guy who could also play some D and have some PK upside. he has become a top six player because his brain for the game also translated to the offensive games, where most guys in his position can only think the game defensively. rick meagher is an example of this. and of course, burrows has a very good thing going with the sedins, but he has succeeded more than anyone else in that role because he thinks the game on their level, unlike trent klatt, anson carter, steve bernier, mikael samuelsson, etc.

    marty st. louis might be another guy who, while he clearly had more offensive upside, was never envisioned as more than a versatile energy guy who can play either wing. maybe twenty goals from the third line, or in a career year or on a very weak team on the second line with some second unit PP time and kill some penalties with his speed. but at least he was a huge scorer in college. burrows was about barely a PPG player in juniors and the ECHL.

    another guy in vancouver who has wildly exceeded all of our expectations offensively is ryan kesler. his best case projection was linden with less offensive ability, and most saw him as a career third liner, albeit an excellent one in the mould of john madden. a lot of that is hard work. his shot especially is a million times better than when he came into the league. we used to say that you could cover the net with a sheet of paper and kesler couldn't pierce it. look at him now.
     
  18. connellc

    connellc Registered User

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    Jumbo Joe was supposed to be a power forward who would drive and be a huge body in front of th net. Instead, he has turned into an amazing passer who works the perimiter well.

    There are plenty of junior players who turned into grinders, but I was very surprised that Matt Green scored as many goals as he has in the NHL.

    While watching Tim Gleason for Windsor Spitfires, I thought for sure he was going to put up more offense in the NHL than he has and not just be a stay at home guy. Windsor always used him on the PP for his big shot at the point.
     
  19. Guest

    Guest Registered User

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    It seems like many players had offensive ability at lower levels and turned into more defensive minded players at the NHL level. I think that's a good example of how teams took a chance on the offensive upside and then the player adapted to keep a spot in the NHL.

    I don't have any players that come to mind, but it would be interesting to see players that you didn't think would develop into such a good player like Burrows as previously mentioned.
     
  20. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    mike knuble was another guy who came in and looked like a career third line grinder, maybe like a scott thornton type. then when he scored a few goals most of us probably thought he was a product of thornton and murray, like nils ekman with thornton and cheechoo, or dean mccammond with iginla and conroy. but look at him, still playing top six minutes and scoring 25 goals this season at 38 years old.
     
  21. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Marco Sturm was touted as a 30+ goal scoring two-way player but he never quite got there offensively.

    Doug Murray has turned into much more than the long haired hitting goon he seemed to be. He's mobile, with a good shot and a top-3 stalwart.

    Patrick Marleau was touted as the star playmaker and has instead carved out a solid career as a finisher around the crease and a pp and pk specialist.
     
  22. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    They thought he would be a short, squat guy with a pleasant streak?:sarcasm:
     
  23. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    Also add David Legwand and Brad Stuart to that list. Legwand was supposed to be a franchise center, compared to Mike Modano. He's no more than a two-way forward who doesn't provide much offense, and I'd say he is far from being a franchise center.

    Brad Stuart was supposed to be the next Rob Blake. He never came close to matching his expectations but developed into a competent defensive dman.
     
  24. buffalowing88

    buffalowing88 Registered User

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    A bit of a less obvious example could be Daniel Paille. I believe he was a pretty high first round pick and although he wasn't a bust like a Jessiman or a Stefan, he ended up a different player than Sabre's fans had initially envisioned. I think the book on him was to be a Mike Richards or Kesler type 2 way center who could score and hit. He ended being a contributor for Boston recently but as a 3rd line grinder primarily.
     
  25. buffalowing88

    buffalowing88 Registered User

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    The reason I made this thread wasn't to point out busts, just to clarify, it was to look at guys who became something other than what they were expected to be. This isn't always a bad thing at all, I just think it's odd scouts put so much emphasis on these 17, 18 year old kids before the draft when in all acutality, very few of us are anything like our 18 year old self by the time we are in our mid 20's.
     

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