Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Senators Prospect thread

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Senators Prospect thread

    I've been planning to make a thread like this for a while, but tonight I finally had a good reason to do so.

    Got to see Lazar play live for the first time this year, and he lived up to my every expectation. He really is a coaches dream.

    A couple things worth pointing out for those who haven't had a lot of opportunity to see him play so can only go off the stats: First, the Oil Kings aren't quite such a good team as their record indicates; they are extremely well coached, play a tight-checking, defensive game with an all-star goalie, and have really just two major offensive threats - they're the best defensive team in the East and most of their wins come in low-scoring 2-1 type affairs. Second, the coach likes to roll four lines, and strongly emphasizes very short shifts, and Lazar, being such a smart, coachable player, buys in fully; he only had a couple shifts tonight more than forty seconds, and many were under 30, which makes it hard to get into much of an offensive groove at even strength (and in fact his two points came on special teams - a PPG and a SHA). Third, Lazar truly is a defense-first and team-first player; he's clearly far less concerned with personal stats than he is with being the first guy back every time, being the deepest forward in his own end, and doing everything he can to help his team win.

    It is also interesting to note that while he played about half the game on the top line with Samuelsson and Moroz, he spent about half the night on various different lines as the coach was trying to create more depth and balance - just another example of his versatility and willingness to do whatever it takes to win.

    The first thing I noticed was how much the coach trusts him in every situation. Still just 18 and he's first unit PP, first unit PK, taking faceoffs in the offensive and defensive zones, and in fact he played at least 1:30 of every penalty kill - at one point when the game was tied early, he had been out for over a minute on the PK, then went back to the bench after the whistle but the coach sent him back out to finish the kill.

    As everyone already knows, his skating, acceleration and shot are outstanding. His on-ice awareness without the puck is first-class, both in the defensive and offensive zone. His goal tonight came on the powerplay and was quite simply his nose for the net putting him in the right place at the right time to tap in an easy rebound. His awareness with the puck is good too; last year when I saw him I thought he lacked creativity, but now I realized that while this is surely partly the case, it is also largely that he just makes the easy play every time instead of the creative one. Which doesn't always make for creating offense, but very rarely makes for breaks going the other way. So while this indicates that he will never be an offensive superstar in the NHL, nobody ever made the mistake of thinking he would be. What it indicates more to me is that he is as much a sure-fire NHLer as just about any prospect I've seen lately, as any coach is going to love to have Lazar on his team.

    His game still has some growing to do obviously, mostly in the strength-department, which is good enough for junior, but won't win him many puck battles at the pro level right now. But with his skating, shot, smarts and hockey savvy, if he was 5-10 pounds heavier he could be playing in the NHL right now without being a liability to his team. That said, he could probably use another couple years of development to build muscle and work on his stick skills, but he is perfectly on track to develop into exactly what we drafted him to be, a second/third line center/wing (he plays center for Edmonton, but likely projects better to RW at the pro-level) who will likely average 25-30 goals and 50-60 points, as well as play 1st unit PK and match against other team's top lines. 35 goals in his prime is plausible, but perhaps a stretch.

    As for a current NHL comparison, I'd look for him to end up somewhere between an Andrew Cogliano/David Legwand on the lower end, and a Logan Couture on the higher end. His offensive output will likely be closer to the lower end, but in a lot of ways his defensive game and goal-scoring ability reminds me of a better-skating version of Logan Couture.

  • #2
    Re: Senators Prospect thread

    Awesome idea for a thread and, once again, awesome post! That's great news about Lazar, I hope he find offensive prowess to go with that two-way game. Very happy the Sens have him in the pipeline.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Senators Prospect thread

      One guy I'm getting pretty excited about is Cody Ceci. He seems to find success at every level.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Senators Prospect thread

        Can't wait to see Lazar make an impact in the NHL. Thanks for the writeup, matches. I think a player with brilliant hockey IQ is something we need desperately right now. You know, with such a young team, in key situations, they wanna do too much. They're caught chasing the puck too much instead of trusting each other and when they do get the puck, they aren't in the best position they could be. Alfie had brilliant hockey IQ...he was able to stay calm in the crunch time and get us some huge goals. I think we're missing that.

        Been a fan of Ceci for a while so obviously I'm pumped for him, too.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Senators Prospect thread

          So here's something I've been thinking about regarding drafting lately. Since the cap has been in place, it's becoming clear that full-scale long-term rebuilds just don't work, or if they do they end up taking far longer than anticipated or hoped. Eventually the players you drafted high at the start of the rebuild want too much money and either leave or make it harder to pay other players. Shorter-term, smaller scale rebuilds like the one Ottawa did/is doing are the way to go. A combination of only a year or two of very high picks combined with good drafting, and trading away picks and prospects to accelerate rebuild where appropriate.

          But here's the thing I've just been really noticing lately: it's not just how well you draft, it's how smart you are about drafting. Look at Edmonton - they completely fucked up that rebuild by drafting all forwards who will demand absurd salaries (not to mention drafting poorly in later rounds), so now it's going to take them years more to get the defense and goaltending in place. And defense and goaltending are the most important part. Every team is always looking for defense; if you draft defensemen well, you'll be able to trade some of those away for other assets. Goaltending is harder to get good return for, but consider that it only costs a 3rd-5th round pick to get a potential future starting goalie - obviously the percentages are low, but if you draft well and pick at least one goalie every couple of years, you can trade a good goalie prospect for, say, a couple second rounders, or a good prospect at another position (who might have been a 2nd rounder). It's all about maximizing the value from your picks - this exactly the reason signing college free agents is so smart. Development time is another big factor, goaltending and D have to be drafted first because they take longer to develop, forwards can develop in just a couple of years.

          A team like L.A., when doing their rebuild, started with goalies early on, picking Quick in 05 and Bernier in 06 (Kopitar in 05 as well, but with a 5th overall pick you've gotta go best available), then adding Hickey, Johnson, Teubert and Doughty in the next few drafts, and it was only in the later years they starting focusing on forward like Brayden Schenn, and look what happened, they were able to trade prospects to bring in the forwards they needed. Pittsburgh started their rebuild with Ryan Whitney and Fleury as high picks, and even in the next few years continued focusing on D, picking Letang, Goligoski, etc, and they still continue to do so and are continually able to move good young D-men for other assets. When Chiarelli took over in Boston the first thing he did was bring in Chara and then trade for Rask, the focus on forwards came, a little later.

          St Louis will be the next team added to that list; they picked some forwards early too, but much of the focus was on G and D, with Erik Johnson, Jake Allen, Ben Bishop, Rundbad, Pietrangelo and Cole - and when you have that many high picks in any individual year you can better afford to spread it out. Then once they had a good core with star goalies and D and depth at every position, they started to focus on drafting higher-risk future top line star forwards, in Schwartz, Tarasenko and Rattie.

          Ottawa seems to be on the right track as well, starting out the rebuild with Karlsson, Cowen, Rundblad and Lehner. Then they were able to trade Rundblad for Turris and start drafting forwards high and parlaying some of those prospects for Bobby Ryan. The past couple years we started picking some forwards with at least minimal star potential in guys like Dzingel, and Baillargeon, and a wide and varied mix of role players, from instigators like Vince Dunn to grinders like Tobi Lindberg to hulking stay-at-home blueliners like Ben Harpur. Without a first rounder this year, we'll likely still be looking to simply add depth to our prospect pool, probably mostly on D, but with a very good draft class in 2015, the next couple years will be the time to start going after higher-risk potential all-star scoring forwards with higher picks.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Senators Prospect thread

            Agreed about, uhm, just about everything. Another factor to support this is that defencemen and especially goalies take longer to develop than forwards, so started a rebuild from the back and finalising it up front means all the pieces peak simultaneously.

            As for Edmonton, they would have at least been helped by drafting good non-forwards outside of round one, but their drafting outside the first round has been woeful.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Senators Prospect thread

              Wow, great write up once again Matches. This seems to be pretty solid logic and I think your analysis here is spot on.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Senators Prospect thread

                Wasn't Kopitar 11th overall? I only know he wasn't 5th overall because Price was 5th overall.

                I like your analysis though. I have my idea of what situation Montreal is in, but what do you think, matches?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Senators Prospect thread

                  Originally posted by Dean Ambrose
                  Wasn't Kopitar 11th overall? I only know he wasn't 5th overall because Price was 5th overall.

                  I like your analysis though. I have my idea of what situation Montreal is in, but what do you think, matches?
                  Yeah you're right about Kopitar. I guess my memory isn't what it used to be. I was thinking he must have been really high cus I remember how shocked I and everyone was that a Slovenian-born and trained player went that high.

                  The first thing that comes to mind with the Canadiens is that they've suffered in part from the same problem (or one of them) that has been plaguing the Oilers: a lack of consistent front-office leadership. That being said, they are lucky enough to already have in place one elite-status player at every position, which is something most teams can only dream of and has got to bode well for them. Looking back, the last two teams I can think of who've who have had something like it would have been Anaheim in '07, Detroit in '02 and Colorado in '01. Ottawa had it in '06, and would have won a Cup too if Hasek hadn't been hurt for the playoffs (there's another point to be taken from this actually - it pretty much stopped happening as soon as the cap era begun). Interestingly enough for Montreal, look at the order in which they drafted those three - Price in '05, Subban in '07 and Galchenyuk in '12.

                  The Canadiens too, did a short-term rebuild, or rather a similar thing to what the Sens did - delayed the rebuild as long as possible to allow current prospects to develop, so that by the time they were ready to start rebuilding, it was largely just a matter of bringing up the kids and letting them develop at the NHL level. Rebuilding isn't even the right word for this kind of thing; I've heard the term "retooling", but that doesn't seem quite strong enough a term. Anyway, their prospect pool isn't particularly stacked at the moment, but that's largely because most of their best prospects have already graduated. It is still very good, and in fact probably still one of the better ones in the league, particularly at forward. There's forwards of every type just a couple years away, and the big club is solid enough at forward that they don't need to rush anyone. There's one elite goalie, but that's more than you need when you've got Price in net for the next ten years.

                  The defense is where there are question marks. Beaulieu is obviously a good prospect, but I'm not sold yet that he's quite the level that Habs fans think or want him to be. Sure Subban can play 30 minutes a night, and there is a few solid D on the big club, but Markov is getting old and is already remarkably frail, Murray is no spring chicken, and Emelin has had some trouble staying healthy so far in his career. It's not like they're in a panic to fill holes on D, but I'm not sure the D they have now and in the immediate future is Cup-callibre. They seem to be putting a lot of eggs in the Tinordi and Thrower baskets, which may or may not work out. I've seen Thrower play a ton, and he's a great yound defenseman, and I'm confident he'll be a solid bottom-pair defenseman in the league someday. Tinordi will be an NHL player, but there are question marks about how high a level of one. Most D-prospects who are going to work out to much, even very big, very stay-at-home ones, at least put up some kind of offensive numbers in their last years of junior, and he put up none. Even as a pure shutdown defenseman, part of that is being able to move the puck out of your own zone, and he's shown zero puck skills at this stage in his development.

                  Then again, since goalies' primes are usually somewhere in their 30s, and for defensemen, late 20s to early 30s, and mid early to late 20s for forwards, they're going to have an enormous window of opportunities to win with that core, but I think the first very good chance will come in about a year or two, and a lot is going to ride on whether the young guys start to pan out and whether the veterans can stay healthy and relevant, if yes, then the Habs could be a very serious threat, if no, they might have to wait another few years for some of the D they draft in the next couple to pan out, but even if that's the case, Price-Subban-Galchenyuk will all still be in their primes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Senators Prospect thread

                    Haha can you tell I finished finals last week? I suddenly have all this spare time on my hands and no idea what to do with it other than watch, talk, type and read about hockey.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Senators Prospect thread

                      Sweet write up Matches. And yeah, it seems I'm saying that a lot lately!,I would term that type of mini-rebuild (between retooling and rebuilding) as "graduating". Just like you said, it's when teams receive early to middle picks over a few years after delaying a rebuild, and stay relatively competitive long enough to develop those draft picks into the big leagues.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Senators Prospect thread

                        I think we're relying on Beaulieu to become our Markov replacement when Markov retires, so, likely in three years. I think he can be a solid top 4 puck moving defenseman and Tinordi can eventually develop into a top 4 shut down defenseman. Right now, though, they're both not ready for 82 games a season.

                        I think they'll never succeed because they're fine settling for 'middle of the pack'. We sure as hell won't be winning anything with Therrien behind the bench and possibly even Marc Bergevin as general manager with his 'character' fetish when we need SIZE. The team never went through a full rebuild when it would benefit the club to finish at the basement for 2-4 years and do a Chicago or Pittsburgh like rebuild. Another thing that will hold the team back is the language thing. I'm sorry, but I don't care if you're English, French, Chinese, German, whatever the hell you are, if that person is going to help us win, go for them. Don't go for the French coach or French general manager, get the best staff and the best players.

                        That Briere signing almost literally made me completely drop my Montreal Canadiens allegiance. And it's still fucking terrible.

                        And we also won't win anything with David Desharnais, ever.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Senators Prospect thread

                          I still think that the Habs should keep Max Pacioretty. Despite what his critics say, he drives offense for the team, and it's visible when he's on the ice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Senators Prospect thread

                            There's better players than Pacioretty and Galchenyuk is already emerging as that. Desharnais is garbage and Pacioretty seems to only have chemistry with him.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Senators Prospect thread

                              Pacioretty ended up driving the Habs' comeback, factoring in on all three goals by assisting on this first one and then scoring the second two himself.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X