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The 2011-12 Chicago Wolves Thread

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Poll: Connauton or Granani (198 member(s) have cast votes)

Which defenceman has more upside,or do You think will be a more valuable Defenceman in the future ?

  1. 22 yr old Connauton (167 votes [84.34%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 84.34%

  2. 25 yr old Gragnani (31 votes [15.66%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 15.66%

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#1231 Jaku

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:51 PM

I really like both D-men, but KC has a BOMB of a shot..
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#1232 Joel Heyman

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:23 PM

Corrado :bigblush:
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#1233 CRAZY_4_NAZZY

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:36 PM

K-Con could use another season in Chicago alongside Nolan Baumgartner to fine tune his attributes...i wouldn't be surprised to see him as the first call up if injuries would occur.

Give Gragnani sometime, still very new and learning the system in Vancouver and is still realitively young, still has room to make changes and improvement.

But potential wise K-Conn has a bigger window than Gragnani.
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#1234 keslerian one

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:52 PM

Schroeder will get the chance to play while Kesler's out, unless he gets injured or really stinks in training camp. I think AV was impressed with his improvement in defensive side of the game last training camp as well. I think Schroeder will make the team, but his production in the first handful of games will decide how long he stays.

Jensen was one of the last cuts last year and he would likely be one of the last cuts again. I think a season of AHL will do him a lot more good than rushing him to the NHL. Maybe even half a season before a call up.

Rodin is also another year or two away if he succeeds in adapting to NA hockey and develops more physically.

Connauton I hear is also about a year away because of his defensive game. Connauton has more upside than any of the Wolves Defensemen so it may be a good idea to develop him more to round out his game.

Sauve might be a dark horse to be a replacement for Rome/Albert's job next season. Depends what happens with the Canucks depth Dmen mostly.

Duco, Pinizzotto, Volpatti, Ebbett and Bitz will fight it out for a contract/spot on the roster as well. Depends if Malhotra and/or Raymond is traded/signed or not too. If Raymond isn't qualified or if we decide to trade his rights, then look for Sweatt to make a strong push for the job as well.

Eddie Lack has a good chance to make the team as a back-up, but won't be surprised if he doesn't either. If Schneider is traded (probably not), then yes, definitely. If Luongo's traded, then MG might want to go with a veteran backup, and keep Lack in Chicago and have him develop a little more. But Lack really has dominated AHL for two seasons.

Edited by keslerian one, 30 May 2012 - 10:53 PM.

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#1235 Phamda

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:52 PM

Schroeder will get the chance to play while Kesler's out, unless he gets injured or really stinks in training camp. I think AV was impressed with his improvement in defensive side of the game last training camp as well. I think Schroeder will make the team, but his production in the first handful of games will decide how long he stays.

Jensen was one of the last cuts last year and he would likely be one of the last cuts again. I think a season of AHL will do him a lot more good than rushing him to the NHL. Maybe even half a season before a call up.

Rodin is also another year or two away if he succeeds in adapting to NA hockey and develops more physically.

Connauton I hear is also about a year away because of his defensive game. Connauton has more upside than any of the Wolves Defensemen so it may be a good idea to develop him more to round out his game.

Sauve might be a dark horse to be a replacement for Rome/Albert's job next season. Depends what happens with the Canucks depth Dmen mostly.

Duco, Pinizzotto, Volpatti, Ebbett and Bitz will fight it out for a contract/spot on the roster as well. Depends if Malhotra and/or Raymond is traded/signed or not too. If Raymond isn't qualified or if we decide to trade his rights, then look for Sweatt to make a strong push for the job as well.

Eddie Lack has a good chance to make the team as a back-up, but won't be surprised if he doesn't either. If Schneider is traded (probably not), then yes, definitely. If Luongo's traded, then MG might want to go with a veteran backup, and keep Lack in Chicago and have him develop a little more. But Lack really has dominated AHL for two seasons.


Jensen is not eligible to play in the AHL next year, he'll be with his junior team if he doesn't make the Canucks out of training camp.

Rodin, i think is a year away but may be a darkhorse. By the end of the year, he was looking pretty comfortable on NA ice, also he'll be healthy this summer, i believe his shoulder issues are no more, so he could make huge strides with training this summer.

Connauton has really inpressed me. He has cotinued to develop his offensive game in Chicago but has focused so much on improving his defensive game. Very impressive. Baumgartner should be commended on Connautons improved defensive play, really helped him with his positioning. He logs big minutes in Chicago and plays in all situations. He was a main stay on both the PP and PK. He's still a year, maybe year and a half away from being a regular. Id expect him to be called up in case of injuries. I think Connauton's ahead of Sauve on the Canucks depth chart because Connauton is such a strong skater and a strong offensive threat while Sauve struggles with puck handling and would be a turnover machine at the NHL level.

Sauve's offensive game hasn't translated to the AHL and now projects from being a two-way dman to a shutdown dman. I think he's a 2 seasons away. He has trouble handling the puck and looks like hes playing hot potato, he's made some strides this year but still needs to improve, until he improves in his puk handling, i dont see how he can play on the Canucks blueline.

I cant see Lack being the back-up next season. Lack still feels a season, maybe two away from being a backup. He has a tendency to give up soft goals every game. He needs to cut down on these before becoming a reliable backup. And for his overall development it's better if he plays as a starter vs being Schneider's back-up. Just like Schneider a few years back. Goaltenders IMO should not be rushed. Sign a backup like Brent Johnson for a season. And let Lack start in Chicago
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#1236 D-Money

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 09:50 AM

What I have seen of MAG is a lack of defensive awareness. He loses position a lot. He is focussed on his strong suit, which is natural, being offence. In that effort he often takes big risks with passes coming out of the zone or in the neutral zone. Turns the puck a lot as a result. Ballard, while much older, does not take anywhere near the risks. Playing on the left side MAG will have to beat out a number of options to get any ice, Ballard being #1 on the list. That said I am sure Ballard will be moved if at all possible. MG simply cannot carry his salary on a 3rd pairing.


What I have seen of Ballard is that he makes more boneheaded passes that result in giveaways than any other defenseman on the team, Gragnani included.

Minutes played per giveaway:
Tanev - 52.25
Rome - 50.4
Salo - 40.3
Alberts - 39.3
Edler - 38.4
Hamhuis - 31.0
Gragnani - 28.4
Bieksa - 27.1
Ballard - 25.2

Gragnani's giveaways may not be great, but at least he has some excuses. For one, he's not taking up $4.2 million of cap space. Secondly, he's only played 80 games in the NHL, in addition adjusting to a new position, so he's still working out some bugs in his game. And third, his ventures with the puck, while successful, result in offense more often than Ballard. In his 80 NHL games, he's produced 25 points. In Ballard's 126 games with the Canucks, he has only 15 points.

Again, Gragnani's far cheaper, better offensively already, and likely to only get better.
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#1237 Joel Heyman

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 01:01 PM

Very odd, last night I dreamt that the Canucks selected Daniil Zharkov, even though all that I've heard about him is his name. I can't remember what pick we got him at but it seems he's ranked 33rd amongst NA skaters and has high risk/high reward but is big and fast with skill like Gillis wants so I really dont know what to make of this.


Anyways, I want us to go hard after Bystrom, as usual.

Edited by Hansen 36, 02 June 2012 - 01:03 PM.

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#1238 Joel Heyman

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 11:29 PM

http://www.nhl.com/i...ge.htm?id=80653

There's a link to the Draft Combine results. After taking a look at these my first three picks are cemented (Under ideal circumstances)

1. 26th Overall - Ludvig Bystrom
2. 56th Overall - Henrik Samuelsson
3. (Trade for Anaheim's 4th) 97th Overall - Jujhar Khaira
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#1239 MikeJones

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 07:21 PM

Samuelsson, Koekkoek, Lindholm, Gaunce, Collberg, Faska, Bystrom, Girgensons, Hertl, Sissons, Di Giusppe, Zharkov, and Nieves are all players I am interested in. Some may be ranked a little to high for us at the 26 spot.
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#1240 Joel Heyman

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 10:09 PM

Samuelsson, Koekkoek, Lindholm, Gaunce, Collberg, Faska, Bystrom, Girgensons, Hertl, Sissons, Di Giusppe, Zharkov, and Nieves are all players I am interested in. Some may be ranked a little to high for us at the 26 spot.


Add Jankowski to that list
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#1241 Edler's Mind Tricks

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:32 AM

http://hockey.dobber...tley&Itemid=117

With a nickname like “Boo” you would think people might have second thoughts about you. Well that is definitely not the case for Cristoval Nieves. A nickname that his parents gave him as a youth, this young hockey prodigy has been drawing NHL scouts over the hills and to the woods of New England rinks for the last two seasons.

The Baldwinsville, NY native has been honing his game under the watchful eye of former NHLer and Michigan Wolverine alum, Matt Herr, at the Kent School (CT). Nieves is set to embark on his collegiate career this fall in Ann Arbor under legendary coach Red Berenson (the same coach Herr played for in the mid-late ‘90s and won two NCAA national titles).

There have been questions if Nieves made the proper decision for his career by returning to 25-game schedule of his prep school. But the decision paid off, as Nieves jumped up four positions on the Central Scouting Services (CSS) rankings from the mid-term point in January to their final grades in April. Nieves was originally slotted in at 31st but impressed enough scouts to find himself inside the top 30 for North American skaters (he was ranked 27th). This may be a bit of a surprise after a sub-par season by Nieves’ standards – he scored just four goals in 18 games, along with 25 assists.

All along Nieves knew going back to Kent for his senior year would pay dividends, as Herr followed the same path in his own career at the Hotchkiss School (CT), and of course at Michigan. Nieves has remarked that Kent would take his game to the next level with superior coaching.

What scouts and coaches are drawn to in his game is his skating ability. Standing at 6-3 and 185 pounds, Nieves still has that explosiveness in his stride along with being very agile and balanced. He plays a strong and physical game along the boards which is something he has developed in his tenure at Kent. The vision, playmaking, creativity, and hockey sense are aspects that have been there since the younger days with the Syracuse Stars.

Nieves made a good choice in joining the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League (USHL) back in March for a few weeks to please scouts. In a league which is considered a step up from the New England prep circuit, Nieves managed to post respectable numbers in 13 games played – two goals and 10 points.

Knowing that Yost Arena would be his home in the fall, Nieves went back to Kent to finish out his schooling to be on track for graduation.
Some have compared his game to Joe Thornton, while Nieves himself prides himself on the play of current New Jersey Devil star, Zach Parise. If Nieves continues on his current path of hard-nosed style, utilizing his quickness in skating and shot release, “Boo” may find himself playing for Lord Stanley someday too.
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#1242 playboi19

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:41 AM

Sissons
or
Laughton
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#1243 NuxFan09

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:24 PM

If the Canucks were able to somehow trade up and draft Gaunce I'd be ecstatic. If developed properly, he could be a Getzlaf type player and take over as the #1 center down the road. If not, like I mentioned earlier in the thread, I'd like the Canucks to draft Tomas Hertl with the 26th pick.
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#1244 Millerdraft

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:43 PM

Heres the thing, we don't know how Counnauton will do in the NHL. He might equally a liablity just liek Gragnani, but as a few posters said and who watched him play during last years pre season, he looked good, in the game I watched, which was Vancouver vs Anahiem, and Anahiem dressed their full line up, Connauton was one of our best defencemens, on top of that, Counnauton is much more tougher then Gragnani.

I think this is a very underrated aspect of this discussion. For a team like this current version of the Canucks that deals with incessant question marks surrounding their toughness, another snarly, ultra-competitive, multi-dimensional player would seriously go a long way towards adding to "team toughness". Getting guys like Connauton & Friesen up here would really help in games vs grittier teams like the '10 Hawks, '11 Bruins & '12 Kings.

What I have seen of Ballard is that he makes more boneheaded passes that result in giveaways than any other defenseman on the team, Gragnani included.

Minutes played per giveaway:
Tanev - 52.25
Rome - 50.4
Salo - 40.3
Alberts - 39.3
Edler - 38.4
Hamhuis - 31.0
Gragnani - 28.4
Bieksa - 27.1
Ballard - 25.2

Gragnani's giveaways may not be great, but at least he has some excuses. For one, he's not taking up $4.2 million of cap space. Secondly, he's only played 80 games in the NHL, in addition adjusting to a new position, so he's still working out some bugs in his game. And third, his ventures with the puck, while successful, result in offense more often than Ballard. In his 80 NHL games, he's produced 25 points. In Ballard's 126 games with the Canucks, he has only 15 points.

Again, Gragnani's far cheaper, better offensively already, and likely to only get better.


Yeah, Ballard has been plagued by the turnover bug ever since he came into the league (a large portion of those from blindly wringing it around the boards). Incidentally, Bieksa had some of the exact same flaws in his game until '10-'11 and I had written him off as well. I'm with you on this one though, I'm not sure Ballard will ever "wring" his hands of that tendency nor does he make quick enough reads of open/closed passing lanes. Perhaps the "hockey IQ" just isn't there?
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Kassian.... Taylor Pyatt 3.0

Lies. He's more of a Steve Bernier. Hopefully his talent level goes up so he can become like a Taylor Pyatt.


#1245 nd84

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:48 PM

Connauton's more of a shooter, while Gragnani has better playmaking ability. Both could turn out to be quite good, or just ok. It depends how their defensive game develops for how useful they are at the NHL level.


This and as of right now Gragnani just because we've seen him show flashes of great play at the NHL level (playoff performances as well) while Connauton hasn't played a game yet but he can certainly turn out to be a good player
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#1246 D-Money

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:02 PM

Yeah, Ballard has been plagued by the turnover bug ever since he came into the league (a large portion of those from blindly wringing it around the boards).  Incidentally,  Bieksa had some of the exact same flaws in his game until '10-'11 and I had written him off as well.  I'm with you on this one though, I'm not sure Ballard will ever "wring" his hands of that tendency nor does he make quick enough reads of open/closed passing lanes.  Perhaps the "hockey IQ" just isn't there?


Bieksa does give the puck away a lot, but that's because he's trying to make things happen. He scores a TON of points - in fact, he was 2nd among all defensemen in the league last season in even-strength points (only Karlsson had more). So at least his ventures pay off. Whereas Ballard rarely makes goals happen.

Gragnani has been far more effective offensively in his brief time in the NHL then Ballard has since his major injury and trade to Vancouver. Combined with ages, cap hits, and potential for improvement, I'd much rather try to dump Ballard and give Gragnani a shot.
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#1247 NuxFan09

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:28 PM

Connauton. I always prefer the home grown players, unless it's clear the other player is superior. At this point in time, Gragnani is probably the superior player because of his NHL experience but we haven't seen enough of Connauton (in fact we haven't seen anything of him in the NHL at all yet) to choose Gragnani over him. We all know Connauton has the big shot and the offensive tools and he's also slowly working on his defensive game in the AHL under coach MacTavish. I like where the Canucks are going with Connauton and would like to stick with him.
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#1248 hockeywoot

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:29 AM

Gragnani. (but I think KConn is more likely to fulfill his potential in the L/R).

Gragnani has a particular skillset that could have a fit on this team.
PMD are valued at a premium, and are essential in the modern game.

He just needs to be a bit more conservative, and tighten up his defensive play.
I think he could be useful once he's fully adapted to AV's system.

PMD are hard to get cheap in free agency. Low risk move getting MAG.
While I don't really expect him to fulfill his potential, I wouldn't write him off entirely.
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#1249 eretz canucks

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 05:23 PM

When Gillis came aboard he talked and talked about our drafting, everyone thought Ron Delorme should have been fired, but wait!!!
Hold the presses
Not only did he not fire Ron Delorme, he kept him as chief scout and the mismanagement of draft picks continued!!!!

We drafted Yann Sauve in the second round!!!
He will never be more than a fringe NHLer if that!
Etem Emerson was not even on our radar, we traded the pick for Ballard- holy crap!! Etem Emerson is scoring at a rate of 2PPG!!!!

David Honzik- what a bust!!!
He keeps trading picks!
Dong trade picks idiot, because then you can't draft!
Was Paulsson really worth2 4th rounders, we played like 20 games for us and you font intend on resigning him!!!

Tips:
Hold on to your picks
Get a new chief scout, get ANA chris scout, triple his salary and bring him over
Fire Delorme, even if he has pictures of you with hookers

Rant done
I'm out


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#1250 eretz canucks

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 05:24 PM

When Gillis came aboard he talked and talked about our drafting, everyone thought Ron Delorme should have been fired, but wait!!!
Hold the presses
Not only did he not fire Ron Delorme, he kept him as chief scout and the mismanagement of draft picks continued!!!!

We drafted Yann Sauve in the second round!!!
He will never be more than a fringe NHLer if that!
Etem Emerson was not even on our radar, we traded the pick for Ballard- holy crap!! Etem Emerson is scoring at a rate of 2PPG!!!!

David Honzik- what a bust!!!
He keeps trading picks!
Dong trade picks idiot, because then you can't draft!
Was Paulsson really worth2 4th rounders, we played like 20 games for us and you font intend on resigning him!!!

Tips:
Hold on to your picks
Get a new chief scout, get ANA's chief scout, triple his salary and bring him over
Fire Delorme, even if he has pictures of you with hookers

Rant done
I'm out


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#1251 Joel Heyman

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 05:56 PM

When Gillis came aboard he talked and talked about our drafting, everyone thought Ron Delorme should have been fired, but wait!!!
Hold the presses
Not only did he not fire Ron Delorme, he kept him as chief scout and the mismanagement of draft picks continued!!!!

We drafted Yann Sauve in the second round!!!
He will never be more than a fringe NHLer if that!
Etem Emerson was not even on our radar, we traded the pick for Ballard- holy crap!! Etem Emerson is scoring at a rate of 2PPG!!!!

David Honzik- what a bust!!!
He keeps trading picks!
Dong trade picks idiot, because then you can't draft!
Was Paulsson really worth2 4th rounders, we played like 20 games for us and you font intend on resigning him!!!

Tips:
Hold on to your picks
Get a new chief scout, get ANA's chief scout, triple his salary and bring him over
Fire Delorme, even if he has pictures of you with hookers

Rant done
I'm out


Do you even know who Sauve is and who people thought he would be? In his QMJHL draft year, people were debating whether he or Drew Doughty would be better. He has size and speed and sure, he isn't anywhere near where he was predicted to be as a prospect, but he'll still be an NHLer, he'll have a role to play and he'll do it well.

Edit: as for Honzik, he is a good goaltender, he had a bad year but I think he doesn't do well under the pressure of a backup who's going to be and is better. It hasn't even been a year since we selected him and you're labeling him a bust already, that's a joke, it took Schneider nearly 6 years to make the NHL and now it's been 8 and he still hasn't reached his full potential, I guess he's a bust too.

And yes, Pahlsson for two 4th round picks was a steal, he did very well for us in the season and playoffs and might end up taking Manny's job (like he did in Columbus). If we had went deep into the playoffs this year, he would have been invaluable to us; unfortunately, we ran into the freight train that the LA Kings have become into in Round 1. But I agree with you that we need some new scouting staff, only in the Dub though.

Anti-rant-rant over.
Don't let the door hit you.
Hansen out.

Edited by Hansen 36, 08 June 2012 - 06:06 PM.

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#1252 bucsfan

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:56 PM

Joey Laleggia
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#1253 bucsfan

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:58 PM

How come no one mentions Joey Laleggia?
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#1254 Phamda

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:17 PM

Joey Laleggia


He was passed over in two drafts for a reason. He is too small to play at the NHL level. He 5'10" and 180 lbs. He doesn't have the offensive talents of Ellis or Rafalski.
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#1255 Joel Heyman

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:29 PM

How come no one mentions Joey Laleggia?


Not our property
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#1256 hockeywoot

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 07:15 AM

Rankings don't mean much. Team success does.
Look at other perennial contenders....Pens, Wings, Sharks, Caps, Blackhawks.

Except the Caps ,most of these teams don't have any impact roster players
drafted in 2008 or after. Hawks have (Kruger, Shaw), but thats mostly because of cap trouble. Leddy
was acquired through trade.

Of course there's room for improvement.
But nothing worth worrying about.
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#1257 bucsfan

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 11:28 AM

Too small,so is Duncan Keith and Cliff Ronning,Marty St. Louis etc.,the kid is productive and was at their prospects camp last year. I think someone is going to take him this year or he'll sign as a free agent somewheres!
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#1258 bucsfan

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 11:31 AM

The kid remains undrafted dude. He continues to put the points up in the NCAA at Denver and was a prospects invite with the Canucks last year. Somebody will take him late,whether or not us remains to be seen.
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#1259 Phamda

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 11:52 AM

Too small,so is Duncan Keith and Cliff Ronning,Marty St. Louis etc.,the kid is productive and was at their prospects camp last year. I think someone is going to take him this year or he'll sign as a free agent somewheres!


Duncan Keith is not small he is 6'1" an 200 lbs and he's the only defenseman you listed while the other are forwards. I mean you could say he compares to Enstrom, but Enstrom has a much stronger defensive game than LaLeggia.

From what little I've seen from LaLeggia, he's a pure offensive dman and a PP QB. Im interested in how he develops in the WCHA, I'd like to see if he can keep up his production next season.

No one is going to sign him, maybe draft. LaLeggia has already stated he'll be at Denver 4 years because he wants to get a degree before turning pro.

Edited by Puck Puck Goose, 09 June 2012 - 11:53 AM.

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#1260 Dasein

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 03:04 PM

Laughton sounds really solid.

Hope we pick him up at 26.
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