Discussion in 'Philadelphia Flyers' started by GKJ, Jun 24, 2017.
Best news for today.
Now go and do the same with Wade Allison.
Leads the OHL in shorthanded goals (6). Has quietly been having a great season so far.
Let's not get carried away:
Sushko 1st post draft season: 57g 35-25 55 +10
NAK 1st post draft season: 61g 38-42 80 +13 playoffs 17g 5-10 15 -7
Somebody mentions he was signed...another mentions he leads the league in shorties and having a great season...which he absolutely is for a 4th round pick.
Who's getting carried away?
I wouldn't call it a great season.
Lindblom as a 5th rd pick being the top or one of the top forwards in the SHL at age 20 is a great season.
Sushko developing nicely but not even averaging a PPG post-draft is a good season.
Guess I'm just sorta stingy with the superlatives.
No you are just needlessly contrarian.
Depends on what you expect based on pre-draft assessment.
In case of NAK everyone was hoping to get future middle-6 scoring winger but as far as Sushko is concerned expectations were much lower, most people didn't even know who he was.
Now he has had a standout performance for team Belarus at the WJC , come up with respectable scoring, and thrives on the PK. To me that is a great season for a 4th round pick.
He's not expected to score at the NHL level, so points schmoints, right Ron?
They're clearly not a useful metric for him.
If he wasn't injured and his college season was over, Allison might have been signed already and watching Phantoms games from the press box. Now there's no rush.
Found this today
Philadelphia Flyers | Breaking Down the Maksim Sushko Signing
Spoke to Sushko after Belarus practice today. Will be an Athletic article on the interview in the next few days.
I can say this though, after speaking to him it is very, very easy to root for him to go far. Seems a stand-up kid. Very personable, open and genuine.
Also him and Sharangovich practiced for ~half an hour longer than any other skater. At the end all the coaches were gone, the nets removed, the zamboni guy was stood there waiting, and the two of them were playing little games against each other... like who can hit the sponser logo on the boards etc.
He's clearly not going to have a top 6 role for a long-time on this team, and probably not a top 9 role.
Just look at the guys ahead of him, do you expect him to beat out Ratcliffe, Allison, etc.?
So if he focuses on scoring, he has no future as a Flyer. Because on the bottom six, unless you're a special talent, no one is going to accept an good offensive player with bad defense who can't contribute on the PK. That's how Laughton got sent back to the AHL.
So Sushko's future is to make himself into a valuable role player at the NHL level, i.e., forechecking, good defense, PK, earn a 4th line spot, then keep working on his game, and show in those 8-10 ES minutes a night he's worthy of a 3rd line role.
He'll probably play one more year in junior, then two years in the AHL, following NAK's example, first year focusing on defense, with his offensive responsibilities increasing his second year.
So his ETA would be 2021-22.
This is how it works on good teams with deep rosters and talent pipelines.
I'll let Sushko show me what kind of player he is going to be. He might do it exactly the route you suggest or maybe he instead beats out a higher ranked prospect. What I'm not going to say is what Hextall did: "He’s not going to be that type of player at the pro level. He could be more of a two-way guy that’s not expected to score, but you hope he can chip in. "
Sure, maybe he won't be a top 6 or even a top 9, but I'll let him figure that out as he goes. Of course he needs to remember his defensive responsibility. Of course he needs to be ready to earn his place. All of that makes sense. Tell him to do all of those things. The issue I've always had with what Hextall had to say is he is stating the kind of player he's not going to be in his D1 season. If we put Scott Laughton and Oskar Lindblom's D1 seasons up against each other, which one would we expect to be on the second line and which on the fourth? No one's got a crystal ball.
If you put Lindblom's career against Laughton's, you'd expect Lindblom to be ahead of him.
Lindblom was starting in the SHL at age 18, and was one of the top 2-3 forwards at 20.
The fact that he struggled a little coming over to NA doesn't change the fact that he's a top prospect.
Given how other Swedish players who played well in the SHL at his age have fared in the NHL, there's a good chance he breaks out next year.
Laughton had a good but not great PD junior season 49g 23-33 56 +22, and PO 7g 7-6 13 +8
Second PD junior season was better, 54g 40-47 87 +12, PO 9g 47 11 +2
WJC was 4th line forward and did little
Played half a season in the AHL before being promoted, 31g 2-4 6
Laughton got it into his head he was a scorer, and 71g 7-14 21 with below par defense the next season got him demoted.
Right now he's a bottom six forward, 4C or 3LW.
Sushko had a good PD season: 60g 31-29 60, PO 10g 2-4 6, WJC 6g 2-6 8
But nothing suggests he's a top 6 player, unless he breaks out next year he's not going to be seen as a NHL scoring forward.
So he's more likely to follow Laughton's career path than Lindblom's
You're likely right! Realistically, we should hope he's a valuable bottom 6 utility player, maybe can bounce around. Maybe he is indeed a great 4th liner, if he hits. Hextall wasn't out to lunch with what he said, even if saying it was questionable.
But there's a difference between expectations and setting ceilings for the kid. Because you just don't know sometimes. He's already a diligent 2-way player; he can improve areas of his game simultaneously, as he should. He doesn't only have time to work on either offense or defense to prepare for some pre-assigned role.
And getting the "NAK Treatment" isn't some positive in my book. NAK was a better prospect than Sushko, and he is fighting for usage scraps because the team has dictated he's a bottom 6 player from the word, "Go." He could have perhaps thrived sooner or greater, with PP time for example. His value could've increased at the least. Flyers are stubborn with this crap. They think they struck gold with how they handled Laughton or something. And yet, lower ceiling players like Leier and Vecchione are force-fed PP time and scoring minutes. f*** if I know.
The issue is in general the Flyers seemingly have no open mind that a player could seemingly exceed expectations. They go as far as making these black & white distinctions early in the process.
I'm not putting career up against career in my request because I am referring to where Sushko was at the time of those comments - 6 months post-draft. I said D1 for a reason.
Sure, you can see a different development path years into their career and have a better sense of where they *might* be heading.
Plus what Magua just said.
One of the reasons why I long term think certain essayist is employed by the org.
Lindblom D1 was starting in the SHL and playing well in the WJC, Laughton was in juniors, having a "Sushko" type season.
Lindblom D2 played better in the SHL and had another good WJC series, Laughton was in juniors, WJC 7g 0-1 1
Post draft Lindblom was clearly the better player, few 18 year olds start in the SHL, whereas Laughton was nothing special in juniors.
NAK will be on the fourth line next year unless they trade Simmonds (and would probably want a young 3rd line RW back).
They've known this since he went to the AHL, he wasn't beating out TK, Voracek or Simmonds, or playing on the PP.
So his future, for his first few NHL seasons, requires that he contribute in that role - but as Couts shows, you can start in a defensive role, move up to the third line in a couple years, and to the 1st line in a couple more years.
The same holds for Sushko, if he doesn't master this "NAK" type role, he's never making the roster.
Because until Giroux leaves, Giroux, Lindblom, Laughton, Ratcliffe, maybe even Rubtsov, will be ahead of him at LW.
He's not Frost, Allison or this year's #14 if he's a forward, prospects who are projected to top 6.
The problem in juniors is coaches are there to win (much like college), not develop players for their future NHL team, so they often encourage kids to play an offensive game (plus with the constant turnover I'm sure schemes are kept simple) - Hextall wants Sushko to understand that playing two way hockey, not putting up inflated junior scoring numbers, is his ticket to the NHL.
Get on a NHL roster, play hard, take advantage of opportunities (injuries happen, Wally Pipp someone) and you can move up the food chain. Score a few goals on the 4th line, and if someone slumps on the 3rd line . . .
This is a GOOD THING, because it means we're not forcing players with limited talent into big roles (Weal, Cousins on the 3rd line, etc.).
Instead we're slowly developing more talented players, and letting them dictate their playing time.
Lindblom played well in the WJC. So did Sushko and that was the response.
True, but if Sushko is next Raffl I'll be ecstatic.
I think we would all be happy with that. Heck, I think we're excited if a 4th rounder even turns into an NHL regular.
Same but my whole point is leaving some flexibility there in the early going. For better or worse things don’t always go to plan.
I agree with your point, they pigeon hole guys too early. I'd love to see a feisty guy like Bardreau get a chance in the NHL over a scrub like Weise. Sushko has speed and size so he could end up surpassing expectations if his skill level continues to develop. One would hope they try to get the most out of each kid. Not sure they succeed.