the nhl 03/04 rookie crop is certainly impressive, and pretty deep too, but...

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by blueliner, Mar 22, 2004.

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  1. blueliner

    blueliner Tough Building

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    ...are there any 03/04 rookies who you might categorize as 'franchise' players?

    there's a ton of intriguing talent getting their first taste of the bigs this season, but aside from penguin marc andre fleury, perhaps, i'd be inclined to suggest that none of them are really players you'd build a team around...

    i guess it depends on how you define a 'franchise player', but if we assume the following basic profiles.....A) bona fide 1st line forward who plays in practically all situations, legitimate top-tier offensive superstar, consistent top-10 nhl points-getter.....B) #1 rearguard who plays in all situations, excels in all three zones and routinely logs 25+ mins a night, multiple norris candidate.....C) undisputed #1 who can steal games and intimidate the opposition (a la roy/hasek not a la emery), multiple vezina candidate.

    so who else might fit the bill?...raycroft?, looks like a perfectly capable #1 but a franchise guy?...zherdev perhaps?...how about pitkanen?...whilst valuable contributors in their own right, i'd suggest we can probably exclude malone/hunter/ryder...semin?, looks good but not so sure...staal?, i like him a lot but a franchise type?

    does anyone fit the bill?
     
  2. Brock

    Brock Registered User

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    I think their are potentially quite a few franchise players in this year's rookie crop.

    As you mentioned, Marc Andre Fleury.

    But IMO, Joni Pitkanen, Eric Staal, Nathan Horton, Tuumu Ruutu, Dan Hamhuis and Andre Raycroft all have the potential to be franchise players for their respective teams.

    That's not saying that guys like Michael Ryder, or Trent Hunter or Ryan Malone, JM Liles.....etc aren't outstanding players. But I just don't see them being top 10 players at their position (as I might dictate a franchise player)
     
  3. blueliner

    blueliner Tough Building

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    Hamhuis is another i really like the look of, can do it all and projects as a sure-fire number 2 or 3, but a legit #1?...again not sure.

    should have included ruuttu in there as well given his recent form, but a) can he keep it up on a consistent basis? and b) is his recent form really 'franchise'-calibre?

    that's kinda my underlying theme here...plenty of serviceable-to-very good types, loads of legitimate nhlers, which makes it a really interesting year, but how many of 'em are legitimate franchise players?
     
  4. Blackjack

    Blackjack Registered User

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    Rutuu's baslically been a ppg player for a while now. If he keeps it up, as physical as he plays, yes, he's a franchise forward. I would also call Raycroft a potential franchise player, as well as Joni Pitkanen. That's just off the top of my head.
     
  5. DKH

    DKH Registered User

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    I been going to Bruins games since the year before Orr and probably averaged 30 games a year since 1882 and 10 from 1966 to 1882 and Bergeron is the most complete rookie player I have seen since Orr. I'd say he's already more fundamentally sound then Thornton. What amazes me is the scouts I know not affiliated with Boston agree- yet I read these boards and he's barely mentioned. From what I understood Sather and McPhee would not get off Bergeron and the Bruins could have had either Leetch or Gonchar even up but didn't even give it 1 second thought. I'm sure the others will be great players but I already heard two hockey watchers say as much as they like Staal they'd take Bergeron. Interesting reading how he doesn't get mentioned. His a hybrid with certain parts of Oates, Barry Pederson and Forsberg's physical offensive zone edge. Check back in 5 years and he'll be on everyone's list.
     
  6. Newfie Bruin

    Newfie Bruin Registered User

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    You are absolutely right on DKH. Bergeron is a wicked hockey player and i am so happy he is with the B's. Got to credit Scout Bradley for that one. Oh one more thing, Brock mentioned Rayzor as a Franchise player...well it looks like will have Two franchises goalies; Rayzor & Toivonen
     
  7. roast

    roast Registered User

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    You've been a B's fan for quite awhile! :joker:
     
  8. db23

    db23 Guest

    I would nominate Mike Komisarek of Montreal, even though he has been brought along very slowly in his rookie year with Quintal, Brisebois, and Rivet ahead of him at right defense. Mike has only been playing hockey for 10 or 11 years, which is at least 3 or 4 years less than any of the other rookies this season. Combine that with his size (6-4, 245) and you have a guy who will still be improving long after the others have hit their peak. In hockey terms, he is more like an 18 or 19 year old.

    He also has the best raw materials to work with. Extremely strong and durable, intelligent, down to earth, competitive. He also brings a sense of excitement and anticipation that is hard to define, since he has not scored a lot of points this year.
    It is the sense of what he can be, I think. The fans get little glimpses here and there of things he does that make you go "wow", but it will take awhile for it all to come together.
     
  9. fatnickmo

    fatnickmo Registered User

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    Despite the Blues poor showing I think Christian Backman has played very well and has a bright future.
     
  10. Til the End of Time

    Til the End of Time Registered User

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    I think a big part of the reason many of this year's successful rookies are not being called franchise players is because, for the most part, they weren't drafted too high.
    Malone 115th overall, Ryder 216th overall, and I'm not sure where Hunter exactly was drafted but not too high. Ruutu, although doing great lately, struggled for a large part of this year which hurt people's perception of him. Raycroft, 135th overall, is having a great year but people don't think he is necessarily a franchise player because of his draft position, I think.

    Pitkanen is an exception. Drafted high, playing well, so people will call him a franchise player.

    But if Malone, Raycroft, Ryder, Hunter were top picks then we'd consider them franchise players.

    All about draft position, seems to me.
     
  11. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    5 YEARS!
    You're lucky you're still alive NOW! :joker:
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2004
  12. Lundmark17

    Lundmark17 Registered User

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    I'm surprised nobody has mention Nikolai Zherdev. I think he's a guy you'll build a team around, the thing is, in Columbus you have Nash too.
     
  13. Luigi Lemieux

    Luigi Lemieux Registered User

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    zherdev's really good, but i don't know if i'd consider him a franchise player. he seems a lot like kovalev, and I don't think too many people consider kovalev a franchise player, even though he's had a 95 pt season.
     
  14. db23

    db23 Guest

    No, its a question of age. All of the guys you mentioned are in their early 20s and have spent time in the minor leagues. They were all born in 1980 or before.They don't have the same potential for improvement that the younger players do. They are all older than Kovalchuk, Nash, Heatley, Spezza, Klesla, etc. Those are the players you have to compare them to.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Mar 22, 2004
  15. Til the End of Time

    Til the End of Time Registered User

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    I think its a combination of age and draft position
     
  16. Munchausen

    Munchausen Guest

    I don't agree. It's all about raw talent and potential IMO. You see things in Fleury or Pitkanen that make you think sky's the limit for them. It's not true IMO for the other (and most sucessful, but also older) rookies this year. I'm Ryder's biggest fan and love his game to death, but never will I have the nerve to call him a future franchise player. Of course anything can happen, but I see Ryder as a 30g - 70pts guy and not much more. Doesn't have the wheels, the moves or that extra superstar quality that makes the players having success look like they're doing it effortlessly. I've seen all those qualities in Pitkanen and Fleury, but not in Ryder, Malone, Hunter, Ruutu (love his game though) and even Raycroft (although he's proving me wrong since the begining of the year and that's fine by me). All very subjective of course so your opinion is as good as mine here.
     
  17. Til the End of Time

    Til the End of Time Registered User

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    I agree that it is all about raw talent and potential.

    But I don't think most fans are able to really determine raw talent and potential by watching players, instead people rely on their draft position.

    Sorry that might not make sense at all, im tired
     
  18. JDog

    JDog Registered User

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    I'm a Blue Jackets season ticket holder so I've seen all of Zherdev's home games (and watched the road games also). There is no question that he has unbelievable skill. As far as his stickhandling ability, he is undoubtedly amongst the top 10-15 players. I would guess that within 2/3 yrs he's averaging a point per game. That being said, I'm not sure that I'd consider him a franchise player since he'll never be a physical force...the franchise player in Columbus is Nash
     
  19. db23

    db23 Guest

    The likelyhood of a 23 or 24 year old NHL rookie (in this day and age) ever becoming a franchise player is miniscule. In the days where the Eastern Bloc players were inhibited from coming to North America that might have been the case. No longer. The vast majority of potential franchise players are playing in the NHL at 18, and nearly all of them by 20.

    That said, "raw talent and potential" is not the whole ball of wax by any means. Look at players like Pavel Bure, Eric Lindros, Alexei Yashin, Alexandre Daigle. They all had as much raw talent and potential as you could hope for in a player, but none really became (what I think of) a franchise player. Character, personality and durability are the other factors, and they are just as important. That is why I like Komisarek from this year's crop. He is off the chart in terms of durability, character and intelligence. The talent is also there with Mike, it just will longer to come out.

    I'm not sold on Fleury's intelligence or physical strength, Ruutu and Pitkanen's durability, Zherdev's character, Staal and Horton's raw talent, Semin's strength and durability.
     
  20. stardog

    stardog Registered User

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    A little overzealous maybe...What is your definition of a franchise goalie. To me, that is a top 3 goalie in the NHL.
    And isnt the thread about the rookie crop from this year? Toivonen has yet to play in the NHL this year, so he shouldnt be listed.
    Razor though, could very well be a franchise goalie.
    Not so sure I'd agree with Toivonen though.
     
  21. stardog

    stardog Registered User

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    While I agree with the principle, Malone spent all of three games in the minors.
     
  22. stardog

    stardog Registered User

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    Gretzky wasn't a physical force, yet he is a franchise player...same with Stevie Y, Jagr, Lidstrom, Hull etc etc. You can lack an element to your game and still be considered a franchise player quite easily.
    That said, I agree that Zherdev wont be a franchise guy and that Nash probably will. I do LOVE watching Zherdev play though. Everything you said about him above, I echo. He is going to be a VERY good player!
     
  23. DaveG

    DaveG Global Moderator

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    Staal, Fleury, Pitkanen, Horton and Bergeron all have the makings of Franchise players, it's all a matter of how much further they can develop over the next few years.
     
  24. Lyons71

    Lyons71 Registered User

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    If Lupul can gain some weight, he's gonna be a hell of a player.
     
  25. stardog

    stardog Registered User

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    Disagree. There have been many franchise players as I noted above, who are lacking in one of those qualities that you suggested.
     
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