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Canucks Prospects Rankings from Dave Gagner (Director of Player Development)


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#1 vancouvercanucks#1

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:15 AM

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Finally, an end to all the prospect ranking threads. It's official:

1. Eddie Lack, G: The Canucks are able to trade Roberto Luongo not only because they have Cory Schneider, but because Lack, 24, is ready to be a NHL backup. Lack spent the past two seasons in the American Hockey League. He won 21 games with a 2.31 goals-against average and .925 save percentage last season with the Chicago Wolves after winning 28 games with a 2.26 GAA and .926 save percentage in 2010-11 with the Manitoba Moose.

"He's 6-foot-5, can play deep in the net because of his size, and has great reflexes. There are some games when you're watching you're just like, they're not scoring on him," Gagner told NHL.com. "He has that Pekka Rinne-like confidence that he brings to the team."

2. Nicklas Jensen, RW: Vancouver made the Danish winger the No. 29 pick in the 2011 draft. He has put up back-to-back 58-point seasons with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League, and had six points in six games for Team Denmark at the 2012 World Junior Championships. He's considered one of the top offensive players in the Canucks system. Jensen signed with AIK in Sweden, but is expected to compete for a roster spot when training camp opens.


"He's a power forward and likes to model his game after guys like (Jaromir) Jagr, who is one of his heroes," Gagner said. "He likes to go one-on-one in the corners. He protects the puck and is very strong on the puck. He has great lateral movement. He's a left-handed shot and plays the off wing and gets chances off the half wall. He scored six goals in eight games in the American (Hockey) League at the end of the year for us, so he adjusted well."

3. Kevin Connauton, D: The 22-year-old blueliner from Edmonton is getting closer to the NHL. He had 33 points -- including 13 goals -- in 73 games for the Wolves last season and was an AHL All-Star. He won the hardest shot contest at the AHL All-Star Skills Competition with a blast that registered 99.4 mph. Vancouver made Connauton the No. 83 pick in 2009.

"He's probably our best offensive defenseman right now at the prospect level," Gagner said. "He's a really good skater with great puck skills and is a power-play guy. He can also shoot it. He was a forward as a kid so he's got more of that comfort level when he joins the rush, and when he gets the puck he knows what to do."

4. Jordan Schroeder, C: Schroeder, the No. 22 pick in 2009, has spent the past two full seasons in the AHL. The 5-foot-8 pivot has 31 goals and 41 assists in 137 regular-season games, including 21 goals and 23 assists in 76 games last season. With Hodgson gone and Ryan Kesler potentially out for the start of the season rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder, Schroeder could challenge for an opening-night roster spot.

"Jordan was what (ex-Chicago Wolves coach) Craig MacTavish called our most reliable player last year in the American League," Gagner said. "He played in all situations. He lacks size, but he's got great agility and a high skill level. Once he started killing penalties his game just took off because he was on the ice for 20-22 minutes per game. Especially in the second half, MacTavish was really impressed with his all-around game."

5. Anton Rodin, RW: Rodin, a Swedish prospect who was selected in the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft (No. 53), is coming off his first professional season in North America after playing professionally in Sweden. He had 27 points in 62 games with the Chicago Wolves. He's considered a potential call-up this season for the Canucks.

"This kid has some great legs, great lateral ability. His skating is top end," Gagner said. "He just has to get some confidence in his upper body strength. He had shoulder problems and he couldn't work out for two years, but he's gotten over that and has probably had the best summer he's had in a real long time. We're expecting him to make a big leap this year."

6. Brendan Gaunce, C: Gaunce was Vancouver's first-round pick in June (No. 26). He is a hulking forward who had 68 points in 68 games for the Belleville Bulls last season. Gaunce played for Team Canada at the World Under-18 Championships and will likely compete for a spot on the Canadian Junior National Team this year.

"He's already 210 pounds and his skating ability is higher than we expected," Gagner said. "You read the scouting report prior to the draft and some people would question his skating ability, but we don't see any issues at all with it. We're really impressed with that part of his game, actually. And, he shoots the puck like a man. He really snaps it. He has the ability to play a strong two-way game. He just needs time to develop now."

7. Joe Cannata, G: The 22-year-old recently completed a four-year run at Merrimack College, where he started 75 of the team's past 77 games. Winning 17 of his 36 starts as a senior, Cannata had a 2.17 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. He went 25-10-4 as a junior. Cannata signed in March and won his only start with the Wolves last season, making 38 saves in a 4-2 win over Peoria on April 15.

"He has really good numbers at Merrimack and he gave that program legitimacy," Gagner said. "They really weren't a program on the map and now they are. His nickname is 'Joe Cool' because he's very calm. With him and Lack, we feel pretty good about our goaltending depth."

8. Frank Corrado, D: Corrado was a fifth-round pick (No. 150) in 2011. The 19-year-old from Toronto has played the past three seasons for the Sudbury Wolves in the Ontario Hockey League. He had 26 points and was a plus-26 in 60 games last season after scoring 30 points in 67 games in 2010-11.

"He's really similar to (Canucks defenseman) Chris Tanev," Gagner said. "He's a very mobile, puck-moving defenseman that plays about as error-free a game as you can. He's very detailed in the way he plays. He's been very impressive for us. He's a good fifth-round pick."

9. Patrick McNally, D: McNally was actually the first player the Canucks took in the 2010 draft, but they didn't have a selection until the fourth round (No. 115). He'll be a sophomore at Harvard after being an ECAC Rookie of the Year finalist last season. He had 17 points and was a part of Harvard's top-ranked power-play unit (27.3 percent).

"He's a great power-play defenseman, really elusive," Gagner said. "It's kind of uncanny the way he can maneuver through situations on the ice. He's got a tall, slight build (6-foot-2, 180) and he's working on that, but he basically helped Harvard's power play go from one of the lowest in the nation to one of the best in the nation."

10. Yann Sauve, D: Sauve was the Canucks second-round pick in 2008 (No. 41) and has spent the past season-and-a-half in the AHL with a five-game stint in the NHL in 2010-11. He had nine points in 73 games for the Wolves last season. Sauve, at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, is a hulking defenseman who projects to be a shut-down guy in the NHL as long as he can get better at handling the puck and making decisions with it.

"Yann was involved in a bad accident his first year pro and missed the first three months of the season -- and will now have his third new coach in three years, unfortunately something he doesn't always adjust well to," Gagner said. "He currently has upside as a No. 6 or No. 7 NHL depth defenseman."



I completely agree with how Gagner ranked our players, I was sort of surprised seeing Rodin so high and Connauton being above Schroeder.

But other than that.....how do you think our prospects match up against other teams? I'd say our current pool is mediocre at best:\ Hopefully they develop well...
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i am so sick of don cherry. get him the hell off ...hes way past his expiry date. I'm trying to watch hockey I don't want some senile blowhard talking about respecting baby jesus's birthday and not taking the lord's name in vain.


#2 Ossi Vaananen

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:17 AM

Where'd you pull this from?

Good thread btw.
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#3 Rey

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:20 AM

Here's the link:
http://www.nhl.com/i...s.htm?id=639152
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#4 Jägermeister

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:21 AM

Gaunce being below Rodin, and Connauton is a surprising choice.
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#5 Rey

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:25 AM

Rodin is underrated. It was his first year in North America, it should have been all about adjusting and not about the point totals. He'll probably have a good year next year.

The Canuck's have about 20 Prospects with NHL potential, so it's become a hell lot intriguing than ever. Not saying all 20 will make it, but they are all making progress. It wasn't like a few years ago, when the top 10 included ppg junior players struggling in the AHL level, and not finding much success in the ECHL.

Edited by Rey, 05 August 2012 - 01:29 AM.

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#6 ninja321

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:27 AM

Very interesting rankings i'm curious to see if Connauton can crack the lineup 2 years from now.
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#7 Ryanstorm

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:28 AM

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....mediocre at best is a good way to describe this. I just can't see these guys replacing the Sedins, Kes.. KB3, Hammer..
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#8 mrsasaki

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:31 AM

I didn't think Rodin would be that high, or on the list at all. It sounds like he had a very hard time ajusting to North American hockey, but that's a pleasant surprise. I thought maybe Freisen or even Mallet would be there instead.

Edited by mrsasaki, 05 August 2012 - 01:32 AM.

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#9 Rey

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:32 AM

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....mediocre at best is a good way to describe this. I just can't see these guys replacing the Sedins, Kes.. KB3, Hammer..


Kesler was expected to be a very good 3rd liner at best. Sedin took years to become the players they are now, KB was projected to be a journey man.
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#10 Rey

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:36 AM

I didn't think Rodin would be that high, or on the list at all. It sounds like he had a very hard time ajusting to North American hockey, but that's a pleasant surprise. I thought maybe Freisen or even Mallet would be there instead.


You have to remember that Schroeder put up the same amount of points in his first year in the AHL as well. It's a huge leap. If Freisen or Mallet get 25-30 points in the AHL, i would be considered a good year for the two. Jumping from junior to the AHL is a even farther leap.

Edited by Rey, 05 August 2012 - 01:39 AM.

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#11 stonecoldstevebernier

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:37 AM

Interesting, no Billy Sweatt on this list. Even though he was called up this past year over Schroeder and Rodin, he's ranked at a lower level... his AHL totals did drop, but he's not that far off Schroeder's pace. Although Schroeder does have the superior overall game by the sounds of it, as well as the advantage of being a centre, you'd think Sweatt would be in there somewhere.

Edited by stonecoldstevebernier, 05 August 2012 - 01:37 AM.

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#12 Bo Horvat

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:37 AM

McNally ahead of Sauve? Ouch.
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#13 Monteeun

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:37 AM

....mediocre at best is a good way to describe this. I just can't see these guys replacing the Sedins, Kes.. KB3, Hammer..


I agree with you. Why do ppl think these kids can replace an experienced Sedins, kesler and Hamhuis.

Edited by Monteeun, 05 August 2012 - 01:38 AM.

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BAD MOVE!!!

BAD FING MOVE

HAHAHA ANOTHER INJURED MORON ON OUR TEAM

HE WILL JOIN US IN 2019

Benning will be fired next year. Hope he enjoys screwing around for a few months. I just cant believe this. Another injured BC player. We just got rid of garrison. Seems like the canucks and linden just wanted any BC born player. Doesn't matter if hes good or not. We don't need another Linden to get us to game 7 of the Stanley cup and lose. We need someone to win us a cup.

5 million a year for Vrbata? 6 million for Miller? Kesler for Bonino and 24th instead of 10th pick or one of their top prospects? Garrison for scraps?

ive already lost faith in JB. Ive never EVER had this bad of a feeling about management.

 


#14 Rey

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:42 AM

Interesting, no Billy Sweatt on this list. Even though he was called up this past year over Schroeder and Rodin, he's ranked at a lower level... his AHL totals did drop, but he's not that far off Schroeder's pace. Although Schroeder does have the superior overall game by the sounds of it, as well as the advantage of being a centre, you'd think Sweatt would be in there somewhere.


Pretty sure he was given a chance because of his age. He's 22 now, still isn't much of a role player nor a dynamic offensive player. He's pretty much a bust. For him to be at that age, and show lack of progression while younger guys are taking advantage of their opportunities, It's going to be hard for him now.

With so many guys ready to make the jump to the AHL, many of them had to settle playing in the ECHL last year. Grenier had to go to Austria.

Edited by Rey, 05 August 2012 - 01:48 AM.

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#15 Tig'ol Bitties

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:43 AM

I am pleased with this. Just think, if all these prospects develop properly we could have a pretty kick-ass team in the future. (Noy saying we don't now...)
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#16 CanuckRow

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:47 AM

Interesting, no Billy Sweatt on this list. Even though he was called up this past year over Schroeder and Rodin, he's ranked at a lower level... his AHL totals did drop, but he's not that far off Schroeder's pace. Although Schroeder does have the superior overall game by the sounds of it, as well as the advantage of being a centre, you'd think Sweatt would be in there somewhere.

Yeah I agree. There has been no love for Sweatt. He deserves a good chance on the team. I hope he proves himself to fight for a top six spot somehow, and blow everyone out of the water. The guy can bring a lot to the table, just needs to be in the right situation. Same with Schroeder.
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#17 Ossi Vaananen

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:49 AM

I agree with the Sauve ranking, 6 or 7th defenseman at best. I mean he was drafted in 2008, I know defensemen take longer to develop but I haven't seen any real promise for him yet.

I also agree with the Rodin ranking. In his last 14 games he collected 9 points or something like that (of his 27). He's adjusted to the North American game, and I fully believe Rodin as well as some of our other prospects will flourish under a system coached by Arniel than MacTavish trying to resurrect his career.

Edited by Ossi Vaanenen, 05 August 2012 - 01:49 AM.

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#18 stonecoldstevebernier

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:52 AM

Pretty sure he was given a chance because of his age. He's 22 now, still isn't much of a role player nor a dynamic offensive player. He's pretty much a bust. For him to be at that age, and show lack of progression while younger guys are taking advantage of their opportunities, It's going to be hard for him now.


True, he doesn't really have a 'role'... he's an offensively inclined player, but perhaps not enough to put up points at the NHL level. That said, I think it's too soon to call him a bust. Fans throw that word around way too easily with prospects they're not satisfied with. it's not like any of our other forward prospects have progressed to the point where they're leaps and bounds ahead of him... in fact, I wouldn't say any of them are NHL-ready, so wouldn't count out Sweatt just yet.
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#19 EDLER.IS.BEAST

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:18 AM

We'll have a beast on our hands if Jensen pans out
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#20 DownUndaCanuck

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:37 AM

I base our prospect rankings on how well they play in the preseason up against other NHL prospects and players.

So based on that, our defencemen like Sauve aren't very strong, but Jensen and Schroeder are almost NHL-ready, especially Jensen.
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#21 carrotshirt

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:46 AM

Good find, thanks for posting. Nice to get the opinion of someone who is so close to the prospects.
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#22 Vaeneir

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:46 AM

Connauton with the hardest AHL shot at just under 100 mph! At only 22 years old, we can expect that to get harder too. That really jumped out at me.
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#23 Brodeur

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 03:17 AM

Connauton with the hardest AHL shot at just under 100 mph! At only 22 years old, we can expect that to get harder too. That really jumped out at me.


The shot may be great, but how's the accuracy?
Well, at least players might be afraid to block. Good luck to him. I'm hoping he turns out into a great player for Vancouver. From GIants to Canucks. Would be nice.
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#24 Tragoedia

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 04:03 AM

I agree with you. Why do ppl think these kids can replace an experienced Sedins, kesler and Hamhuis.

I don't think most of us think any of our prospects can compare to the Sedins. None of our draft picks were picked near the top 20, and they went 1 and 2 *edit* 2 and 3, so that is an unfair comparison. No one expects them to live up to superstar status. What we do hope is that some of them do fill certain roles in the future. Like Jensen has top 6 winger potential, like Booth or Higgins. While Gaunce has at best 2nd line centreman, and was described as one of the most NHL ready of the 1st round picks. He was also expected to go earlier, but the surplus of defenceman and questions about his skating bumped him back to us. Connauton has the potential to be a 2nd pairing defenceman. And Sauve has the potential to be a 6th-7th depth defensemen. Schroeder also has 2nd line centre potential, while also being defensively responsible enough to maybe be suitable for the 3rd line. His biggest weakness being his size.
You see it's not about replacing players, as there is no crystal ball telling management which players we will need to replace 4 years from now, and which prospects will pan out. So don't look it as replacing, think about it as new players with new potential, coming up through the system.
As someone else already pointed out, Kesler wasn't expected to be much more than a 3rd line centreman, and Bieksa a depth defenseman. Burrows and Hansen Burrows (not even drafted) and Hansen were depth bottom 6 wingers that were longshots of even making the NHL, let alone succeeding in it.
Now before you start comparing our pool to other teams, I don't care about other teams pools right now, and I know are pool is one of the weaker ones. But in my opinion it has been slowly getting better, and also has a lot of sleeper picks that will surprise people. I don't think they will surprise people in the same way as Burrows scoring 35 goals, but I think we will again find ways to make players succeed like Hansen or Bieksa.

*edit* I made a mistake saying the Sedins were 1st and 2nd (stupid me I know better than that. I was up late).
And I also mixed Hansen and Burrows names when typing (didn't actually confuse the players.)

Edited by Tragoedia, 05 August 2012 - 01:20 PM.

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#25 brycemeat

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 05:58 AM

Very good read!

Really looking forward to Pre-season.

I'm so glad they televise those now!
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#26 nuck nit

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 06:34 AM

Sad to see that the head injury and concussion Sauve received has set him back so much.

I hope his cognitive skills become more pronounced this year.
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#27 B_a_M

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 07:43 AM

I agree with you. Why do ppl think these kids can replace an experienced Sedins, kesler and Hamhuis.


I don't think these people expect these propsect to be able to replace the likes of the players you have said. You have to look at where the Canucks have been drafting the past 5 years it is usually at the 22 or higher spot. So you usually get a lot of 2nd and 3rd line potential guys. The Canucks fans should be actually happy to see are propsect pool to actually have some decent propsect in it.
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#28 Boudrias

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 08:13 AM

I agree with the Sauve ranking, 6 or 7th defenseman at best. I mean he was drafted in 2008, I know defensemen take longer to develop but I haven't seen any real promise for him yet.

I also agree with the Rodin ranking. In his last 14 games he collected 9 points or something like that (of his 27). He's adjusted to the North American game, and I fully believe Rodin as well as some of our other prospects will flourish under a system coached by Arniel than MacTavish trying to resurrect his career.

I was a little surprised by the Sauve ranking. He was never forecasted as an offensive d-man so I thought he suffered from underexposure as fans usually look at offensive numbers as a yardstick. He is a big, physical, right side dman which is what Van needed. He played the whole season with the Wolves and his +/- was decent. He might be slow?

I agree with Rodin as his game got stronger as the season went on. He could be a real surprise in camp this fall. All looks will be at Schroeder as his shot is now with Kesler out.
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#29 Robongo

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 08:48 AM

I was really excited when gillis took over that he was really going to take our drafting and player development and turn it around. Hodgson was gillis first pick and a very solid one at that. I believed the guys up top were finally getting it. Four years later and I'm afraid although their philosophy may have changed , the poor scouting and lousy drafting continues. Looking at how well some teams have been drafting and the talent we've been missing out on , especially in the second round, is very very frustrating. They were going to take rodin in the first round had Shroeder not fallen! That should say it all to you. Not a fan of Dave sorry. His time with us so far has been a bust
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#30 Standing_Tall#37

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 08:56 AM

Very interesting rankings i'm curious to see if Connauton can crack the lineup 2 years from now.

I hope too see him as a callup this year.... And as for Sauve, I don't think he'll ever be a full time nhler
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