Transformative defense prospects: From Orr to Potvin to Dahlin

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by hockeydraftcentral, Jun 12, 2018.

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  1. hockeydraftcentral

    hockeydraftcentral Registered User

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    I know there are doubters out there who don't like people going over the top in their praise for Rasmus Dahlin, but as someone who has followed hockey for four decades, I have complete faith that Rasmus Dahlin is the best defense prospect in an NHL draft pool since Denis Potvin in 1973. I also believe he will transform his position like Bobby Orr and Potvin before him.

    I have the same feeling about him that I had about Gretzky in 1979 and Mario Lemieux in 1984. I mean, I'm seriously pumped to see this guy in the NHL. To explain why I feel this way, I put up an article about it on my site:

    Hockey Draft Central -- The Promise of Rasmus Dahlin

    I also posted a YouTube video that shows 34 of Dahlin's points from this season. Watch this video and keep reminding yourself that you are watching a 17-year-old playing against men. Perhaps then you'll understand my confidence in this incredibly special player.

    You can find the video on YouTube or right here:

     
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  2. AppsSyl

    AppsSyl Registered User

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    It might be a little early to lump him in there with Orr and Potvin, and declare he is going to transform the position.
    You are putting some pretty lofty and unfair expectations on a kid that hasn't played an NHL game yet. He is going to have enough pressure without already being declared the next Orr or Potvin.
     
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  3. hockeydraftcentral

    hockeydraftcentral Registered User

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    There's nothing wrong with expectations if they are genuine. In this case, they are.

    I vividly remember the expectations for Gretzky and Lemieux, as well as the more recent examples of Ovechkin, Crosby, and McDavid. All of those guys justified their expectations in terms of what they brought to the league, and I don't see why Dahlin is any different, even though he is a defenseman. If he takes a year or two to get there, so be it -- even Guy Lafleur needed three seasons to live up to his expectations.

    Dahlin's too talented to worry about the expectations of others, anyway. As long as he doesn't get hurt or have off-ice issues, he's a guy people will pay to see for years to come.
     
  4. DonM

    DonM Registered User

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    Why compare him to all-time greats like Gretzky and Lemieux instead of guys like Crosby and Mcdavid? I fully believe McDavid or Crosby would have been the clear best player in the SHL in their draft years, while Dahlin by all accounts wasn't even the best defenceman in that league. Obviously there's no way of knowing this for sure, but the way Petterson dominated the league this year makes me think it's a pretty sure thing.
     
  5. hockeydraftcentral

    hockeydraftcentral Registered User

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    It will be really interesting to see how Pettersson adapts to the NHL. He could end up being one of the great first-round picks of all-time at No. 5, but if he can't play to Hischier's level in his rookie year, it will reflect very badly on the SHL.
     
  6. bigdog16

    bigdog16 Registered User

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    Jagr was a 5th overall pick
     
  7. hockeydraftcentral

    hockeydraftcentral Registered User

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    That's right. However, Jagr would have been picked higher if he had been playing in North America like Nedved. As recently as Jagr's draft year, prospects playing in Eastern Europe were risky picks at the top of the draft. Pittsburgh was willing to take that risk, and they were rewarded with a future Hall of Famer. Two years later, it was much safer to choose Roman Hamrlik at No. 1. Obviously the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 changed everything.
     
  8. FlyTimmo

    FlyTimmo User registered

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    Dahlin won't transform the position.
     
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  9. CraigBillington

    CraigBillington Registered User

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Jagr tell the first four teams he would stay in Europe if selected by them?
     
  10. hockeydraftcentral

    hockeydraftcentral Registered User

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    I don't remember it that way, although I do remember that Jagr was something of a risky pick. The Hockey News had him ranked sixth, but noted that a small number of scouts it talked to were calling him the best player in the draft. Even Bobby Clarke went on record saying Jagr was the best guy when Clarke was holding a top 4 pick, but Clarke got fired two months before the draft. The Hockey News also reported that teams were pleased to know he would be attending the draft, unlike Bobby Holik a year earlier. That indicated he was willing to play in the NHL, and even Holik had already signed a contract after the draft.

    Also, I'm not sure why Jagr would say no to Philadelphia but yes to Pittsburgh. From a lifestyle desire or team quality consideration, that wouldn't make sense, unless it was all about playing with Lemieux.

    The bottom line with Jagr was that Eastern Europeans weren't as thoroughly scouted as they are today and Czechoslovakia was only a year away from its Communist past. That probably had more to do with his draft position than anything else. In today's world, with more money devoted to scouting and fewer political concerns, a player of his caliber would be an easy No. 1 choice. I was shocked that Nedved didn't go first that year. Owen Nolan came from nowhere in the season's final weeks. In the years leading up to that draft, everyone had assumed Ricci would be the No. 1 guy.

    I'm a big Jagr fan and dealt with him a bit as a media person. In addition to his skills, he was one of the more interesting and thoughtful players of his day and definitely very quirky. His longevity is one of the most remarkable hockey stories of the past 25 years. If he had not gone to the KHL for three seasons, he might have broken Gretzky's career goals record.

    How did I end up reminiscing about Jagr on a Dahlin thread? Oh, well.
     
  11. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    Not much talk about Dahlin in the article. Neither was a compelling case made that he is a revolutionary prospect.
     
  12. TheWhiskeyThief

    TheWhiskeyThief Registered User

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    I wrote it a couple months back, but I’d take Dahlin over half of the D in the NHL ASG right now.

    That out of the way, I think you’ll get better value out of Svechnikov over the time until they hit UFA.

    Nothing against Dahlin, just a question of how much ultimate value you can get out of the position when shooting/creating from distance.

    Is this a fail of how players are measured, what is valued or the nature of the game. I think Dahlin is easily a generational talent. He could make serious money just doing stick handling & edgework videos on YouTube. People try and compare Boqvist’s O to him (and Boqvist’s ability is really, really good,) but I’ve never seen him do what Dahlin does on either the wing or his off hand when Dahlin was 16.
     
  13. alko

    alko Registered User

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    How exactly should he transform his position?
     
  14. Kyndig86

    Kyndig86 Registered User

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    I read his stock fell because he had to serve in the military for 3 years but somehow the Penguins got him out of that.
     
  15. Tomas W

    Tomas W Registered User

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    Yeah its defenatly to early. There is a lot of room for Rasmus to improve on different things. He is the best D prospect of this draft class year, that much I know, further than than that I cannot tell, but then again im not the greatest hockey analyst out there, im just a hockey fan.

    To give him high praise anyway; Rasmus got a winners psyche when his on the ice, he is stone cold calm and collected, he can make very bold moves, like dangling (always dangerous when you are D), but it doesnt look reckless or careless, it looks effective. I assume thats why he is ranked no 1 this year.
     
  16. Signature

    Signature #keepyourstickontheice

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    Great prospect? Yes.
    Potentially amazing NHL career? Very possible!

    "Transformative"?

    [​IMG]


    Way to hype your blog with hyperbolic fluff, though. I prefer truthful analysis. Kid could be amazing for sure, but OP is a bit ridiculous.
     
  17. hockeydraftcentral

    hockeydraftcentral Registered User

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    My definition of transformative applies to players capable of doing things that no players before them have done. Either through incredible skating (Orr), off-the-charts hockey IQ (Gretzky) or raw physical tools (McDavid). My belief in Dahlin stems from his obvious strength in all of these areas. No defenseman has ever brought this combination at such a high level to the NHL. When you have these unique abilities, you are likely to do things no player before you has done. Orr and Gretzky did things nobody would have believed before they saw them actually unfold. Dahlin has that kind of upside. I expect him to be unlike any defenseman we have ever seen, which is how I define "transformative". If you think this guy is just another very good defenseman, you're not going to agree with me. That's totally fine. I happen to think he's special. If I'm proven wrong, so be it, but I would never have said this about any defenseman I have seen drafted over the past 40 years.

    Coffey, Bourque, Lidstrom, etc. are all Hall of Famers, but coming into the NHL, none of them possessed the combination of elite skills that Dahlin already has. You have to go back to Potvin to find someone like that coming into the league.
     
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  18. Voodoo Child

    Voodoo Child Registered User

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    I think Rasmus Dahlin is a tremendous prospect and will be a great player, potentially a top 1-3D, but how does he transform a position which itself has been transformed in the last ten years, and how does he do so when he isn't instantly better at all of those things than everybody else playing?

    He skates very well, but as well as Fowler, Josi or Reilly among a few others?

    His IQ is high, but as high as that of Doughty, Karlsson or Pietrangelo among a few others?

    His physical tools are great, but as good as those of Byfuglien, Hedman or Keith among a few others?

    No.

    The NHL is so many miles above the SHL that it can't even be seen - he won't be able to dangle NHL Ds at will, for just one.

    He has a great base of skills to work with, but he will have to adapt, just like everyone else.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  19. haveandare

    haveandare Registered User

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    Exactly. Nobody can deny that he's at times totally embarrassed people in the SHL. But he was what 15th or something in scoring from a d-man. Given his age that's great, but I'm not sure those are the numbers of someone transforming the position or living up to the more lofty talk about him.

    It'll be very interesting to see if he can play that same sort of highlight reel style in the NHL that he sometimes played in the SHL. My hunch is that maybe we'll see some shades of that in a year or two but I'd be very surprised if he's clowning NHL players like he was SHL regularly at any point, and I'll be shocked if he does it right away.
     
  20. hockeydraftcentral

    hockeydraftcentral Registered User

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    Anything can happen with any drafted prospect. That's what makes the draft process so exciting. Maybe I will be proven wrong about Dahlin, but my opinion about his future greatness will not change over the next couple of years, at least. He will have to adapt, so I'm not expecting him to scratch the surface of his potential until 2020. If he can't do it by then, he's just another talented NHL defenseman.

    I am working on a Svechnikov video for my YouTube channel, and I also think he's an exceptional prospect who would go No. 1 overall in almost any other year. The difference with Dahlin is that he has been playing against men for two years, even if the SHL is not up to its past standards, and he has stood out against them. Based on what I've seen, the biggest issue he will have is his ability to break up plays in his own zone. Looking through footage, I notice he is on the ice for several goals where his netminder was hung out to dry. Playing on Buffalo, I suspect he's going to have a big-time minus rating next season, but that's OK if he's getting the icetime along with good coaching.
     
  21. Rexor

    Rexor Registered User

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    It was 18 months in 1990 (24 months before 1990, 12 months from 1993 to 2004) and relatively easy to avoid.
     
  22. bottomofthefoodchain

    bottomofthefoodchain Registered User

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    Im fairly certain we will see Dahlin dangle a few dudes even in his rookie year. He probably has better hands and better skating than most NHL forwards already.
    He needs to work on his shot though, if he wants to become a really high scoring d-man.
     
  23. Conbon

    Conbon Registered User

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    Been banned here before for "trolling" when I said if Dahlin doesn't put up at least 70 points his first year he was overhyped. That was in response to people calling him a perfect hybrid of Forsberg and Nicklas Lidstrom. After this post comparing him to Orr and Savard, the hype/comparisons are absurd. At this point it's put up or shut up because there are many posters that are going to look stupid if he doesn't hit those expectations.
     
  24. Sansbacon

    Sansbacon Sansagoodhockeyteam

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    When you read things like this from the guy who drafted Karlsson, it’s hard not to believe that the hype is deserved:

    Meet Swedish defenceman Rasmus Dahlin, the 17-year-old scouts say will be better than Erik Karlsson

    And some of the guys he dangled in the SHL played quite a few games in the NHL, so it’s not like they’re OHL kids or anything. And he was doing it at age 17. I remember hearing similar comments about McDavid like “let’s see him try to dangle NHL players and see what happens.

    Well...
     
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  25. Dogewow

    Dogewow Such Profile

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    I think people need to remind themselves of this.

    The NHL is obviosuly a big jump and clearly the best league in the world, but lets not act like the SHL is some wildley inferior league. I think the KHL is really the only additional league that is definitively regarded as the better league, the other leagues are arguably not as skilled or clearly ranked below.

    I don't see why Dahlin can't immediatley jump in as an effective top 4, 20 minute a night guy who shows flashes of brilliance from time to time in his first year.

    Also, I don't understand the questions about his "hockey IQ" in comparison to guys like Doughty or Karlsson. Just watching the kid clearly shows that he understands the game at a level that most other players can't. Does anyone really think he's noticably inferior in that regard or are people just fishing for a knock against the kid or spliiting hairs?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018

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