Question regarding Wes O'Neill and/or AJ Thelen

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by CoolburnIsGone, Apr 15, 2004.

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  1. We all know that Cam Barker is the top d-man in the 2004 draft. And now that the NCAA has changed the rules on the opt-in situation, the 2 d-man after him is O'Neill & Thelen. FL has the 7th pick this yr and its possible that both players could be drafted right around that spot. FL has its top d-man of the future in Bouwmeester but he really needs a Scott Stevens-type of d-man to pair with IMO. So the question is:

    Is O'Neill or Thelen, potentially, a top pairing d-man who can play physically and basically be a stay-at-home type so Bouwmeester can utilize his skating ability & offensive skills??

    I've suggested on the Panthers board that we use our pick on one of the 2 and then trade off Krajicek, our 1st in 2005, & Huselius for a top line LW around 24 yrs old in the mold of Simon Gagne. While I'm not suggesting a trade here (though some Flyers fans said the deal was fair valuewise but wouldn't trade Gagne), I'm wondering if this would make sense to do - select a d-man with our pick this yr and then make a trade to get a top 6 forward?? Feedback?
     
  2. PhoPhan

    PhoPhan Registered User

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    Thelen is more of an offensive guy. I've seen comparisons to Jeff Jillson, but I think they play a bit differently.

    O'Neill is much more defensive, but if you're truly looking for a stay-at-homer, trade down and go after Boris Valabik.
     
  3. DR. Holiday

    DR. Holiday Guest

    I wouldn't be shocked to see Smid go before both but for sure O'Niell.
     
  4. Dr_Chimera*

    Dr_Chimera* Guest

    Neither is a stay-at-home type. Not O'Neill for sure.
     
  5. X-SHARKIE

    X-SHARKIE Registered User

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    I say Thelen could be the best defensman of this draft when it's all said and done.... But Barker is the safer pick.

    Thelen reminds me of Rob Blake and Wes O'Neil reminds me of Mike Rathje, a big man who is awesome in his own zone and is very smart ...logs up alot of minutes.
     
  6. Thanks for some of the info. I've read some info about Valabik but it seems like a high risk-high reward type of pick and still a project. Now, besides Barker, who would you draft to pair up with Bouwmeester??
     
  7. Cayouche5

    Cayouche5 Registered User

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    Valabik Reminds me Hal Gill but more physical.
    To pair up with Jay-Bo I'll choose Wes O'neil.
     
  8. Dupuis>Ilya

    Dupuis>Ilya Registered User

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    Getting off topic a little, but don't you think that's overpaying for Gagne?
     
  9. Hiishawk

    Hiishawk Registered User

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    Actually, I have Thelen a touch ahead of Barker at this point. Would Barker be an all-CCHA defenceman as a 17 yr old? I think some NHL teams have Thelen ahead of Barker at this point too.
     
  10. Not too much off topic because it is where the idea stems for drafting a d-man instead of a forward. But I just used the first Mike Comrie trade and what Edmonton got for him: Woywitka (picked just 3 spots after Krajicek), 1st in 2004 & 3rd round in 2005. Huselius has lost value and probably could be had for like a 3rd round now so that's what I substituted instead of the pick as I think Philly would want someone from FL's roster that had the ability to score (and Kristian has 2 20+ goals season under his belt). FL's top 6 future forwards would then be set and by drafting the d-man, so would their top 4 d-men. I always figured you deal from a position of strength early on before you get into a situation like Buffalo has with their goaltenders or even what SJ was when they traded Kiprusoff. FL has 4 offensive-minded d-men already (Bouwmeester, Krajicek, Novak, & Van Ryn) and need some defensive d-men, which is solved by the pick. It just seems easier to get a young top 6 forward in a trade than a young top 4 d-man IMO because no team wants to give up those types.

    Oh and I know some teams are high on Thelen but Doug MacLean has stated a few times (from what I read on here) that he's really looking to get Barker at #4 if Chicago doesn't draft him.
     
  11. moosefan

    moosefan Registered User

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    I have seen O'Neill play and he is not a stay at home man he is an offensive d-man and a real good one at that.
     
  12. The Hrkac Circus

    The Hrkac Circus Registered User

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    I saw Wes play all year this year at Notre Dame and at the beginning of the season, it seemed like you were correct that he was more of an offensive guy. But as the season progressed Wes stayed at home more often. The thing with Wes is that he is always a threat to join the rush. I dont forsee him as a defenseman who is going to put up a lot of points in the NHL, but he is very solid in his own end and can help the offense if needed.
     
  13. Crossbar

    Crossbar Registered User

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    Who in the NHL would you closest compare Wes to? Thanks!
     
  14. X-SHARKIE

    X-SHARKIE Registered User

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    My honest opinion is that he looks like a Eric Brewer like defensman offesnivly....He's very big obviosly, has good agility, and really can get accross the ice quick ...expecially when he has the open ice and his long stride can do him wonders.

    I've seen O'Neil over 20 times...twice this year live in Wisconsin vs Notre Dame and 20 plus times last year in Green Bay.... IF you think O'Neil doesn't have stay at home like qualities your nuts. O'Neil is very smart, and very dedicated to his own zone and shows great positioning.

    I still think the Panthers can not pass up on Thelen if he is available.
     
  15. Drake1588

    Drake1588 UNATCO

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    I think it would be a mistake to trade Krajicek, frankly. I'm a fan.
     
  16. Erack82

    Erack82 Registered User

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    IMO Thelen is the way to go. I have seen both on a fairly regular basis and personally I wouldn't take O'Neill until the 2nd round. Don't get me wrong he is a very solid defensive defensemen but I personally wouldn't draft him that high.

    Offensive defensemen are hard to come by. Thelen provides a great shot, offensive potential, a physical presence, and size. He has top-4 written all over him. I see him as a bigger more physical John-Michael Liles. And this is coming from a U of M fan. Another thing to note is that he graduated HS in 3 years, so he played most of the season as a 17 year old.
     
  17. Green Star

    Green Star Seggy #91

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    Not that Im questioning ya scouting because Im enjoying ya works. But did u not said Barker also remind you of Rob Blake? seem like we got alot of Blake-ish in this draft :)
     
  18. The Hrkac Circus

    The Hrkac Circus Registered User

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  19. Hossa

    Hossa Registered User

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    He's different from Hal Gill in that I think he's more mobile and offensively inclined. Valabik to me is just like Alexei Semenov, although for some that may not be a great comparison considering Semenov has yet to break out in the NHL. Nonetheless, his upside is that of a big, bruising defenceman who can contribute offensively and skate with smaller forwards.

    I like the Eric Brewer comparison for Wes O'Neill. Brewer or Chris Phillips is where I was thinking. A.J. Thelen I've been comparing to Paul Mara for a while now and it fits if you ask me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2004
  20. jincargo

    jincargo Registered User

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    O'Neill would be perfect for Washington. The two first rounder sitting there are trade bait along with a few of the prospects to add on to a deal (Stana, Johansson, and Laich heading the pack).

    If the Caps could move up and add O'Neill with Ovechkin?

    Yep...you guessed it!!

    :banana:
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2004
  21. MN_Gopher

    MN_Gopher Registered User

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    O'Neil has an all around game. The problem is he plays in Notre Dame the Wild of the NCAA. A stay at home, low scoring team that plays team D. Hard to read what kind of player he will be. He has the ability and skills to be offensive minded but he is smart and does not rush at the expense of his team giving up an odd man rush.
     
  22. choda32

    choda32 Registered User

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    i ve seen wes oneill play since his days playing for chatham in the western junior B league in ontario as a 14 year old .. he has a potiential offensive upside i say 30-40 pts in his prime in the show..but not gonna put up huge blake type numbers.. the comparison to brewer is dead on , they have the same skating style and can score the big goal if need ..he has a big shot and i would like to see him use it more.. i like that he has had a coach that is stressing that he must be a defensive d men because i think that what he will need to do to be an nhl player..Also not affraid to fight
     
  23. Dupuis>Ilya

    Dupuis>Ilya Registered User

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    That's interesting some of you say O'Neill's skating is good. One of the biggest knocks I've heard on him is that is footspeed is not good.

    Looking strictly at skating, who is better: Thelen or O'Neill?
     
  24. DR. Holiday

    DR. Holiday Guest

    O'Neill is dropping on lists. He may drop behind, Green, Smid, Thelen and Valabik and Meszaros.
     
  25. choda32

    choda32 Registered User

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    oviously wes oneill is not gonna have the same speed and foot speed for that matter as some one that is alot smaller than him... ( iles, rafalski...) but he has enough speed to be a mid first rounded with his size 6'4 210 and still can fill out more .. i think he could be a sleep just because he raises his play every time he jumps up a level.. in notre dame he played with bret lebda a very offensive d man , so wes had to play a more defensive style
     
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