I'm more concerned that our prospect team in the AHL as a whole looks like ass. Kassian is one of honestly very few potential bright spots. Schroeder doesn't look like he's going to pan out into much, Rodin who had potential seems to of fallen off, and really aside from Kassian the only real potential for anything resembling a first line player is Jensen.
Connautan is decent looking, Tanev at times looks good but recently his play has been pretty sketchy. A potential bright spot is Corrado who has been playing stellar and impressed a lot of people, but he's a smaller guy and not many small defensemen have done big things in the big leagues.
All in all, you have an aging top line in the Sedin twins, and you have no valid replacement. You have your second line C who is also aging, but more importantly, becoming very much injury prone and riddled with increasingly constant surgery, and no replacement. Even if we had Hodgson, let's be honest, Hodgson's play when he went almost 18 games without a goal or many points before he was traded and 'wanted out' didn't even scream to be that great of an 'elite' center talent. He'd probably be a 'decent' second line center at best.
We have holes on offense to begin with, and we don't even have anyone to rely on in the future to replace the pieces we do have that will need replacing in the next few years. We honestly have a pretty mediocre defense. I said a couple years ago whenever people started to call our defense 'top 5 in the league' that a bunch of average players does not work out to be a 'good defense'. It's an average defense. As is shown when Salo was out and we looked terrible in the regular season, or when Hamhuis went down are defense all but crumbled against Boston. Our defense is constantly one injury away, even to a depth player, to being considerably poor, and our offense is already streaky and unreliable in the playoffs, without even needing an injury.
Couple this with the fact that we have no bonafide number one D man in the prospect pool, and you're left with a rather disturbing picture. Our big window, has honestly all but passed with the improving of other teams around us. While I wouldn't shy away from saying it probably already passed with our lack of adding a big name forward when we needed one for the last two years, we don't seem to be any likely to get a big name D which would've potentially put us over the top either.
If the twins weren't getting up there in age before, with the addition to the current lockout, that's just one more year tacked on, and an already questionable window is suddenly even more closed.
As much as positive fans will try to hide from it, the future is looking mediocre. All of the bandwagon fans from 2003, and then from the Luongo era, didn't really get to see just what kind of team Vancouver usually was in the past. It was a mediocre one, that usually battled for the 8th playoff spot. We might not quite go back to that, but it's quickly approaching that territory again where we're more average than anything. Our prospect pool is mediocre, our current situation on both offense and defense is mediocre, and there is no real signs of reinforcement coming.
So, am I concerned about Kassian not putting up points? No, I am not concerned about that. He is one of our only real 'good shot' prospects.
Other than him, our only bright spot on the team, which has really been the only bright spot for years now, is our goaltending. Luongo was phenomenal. Schneider has a potentially good future on him, but that's just it. It's potential. No one knows how he's going to handle a full workload just yet, as it will be his first time in the NHL. And considering Luongo's career, and the fact he and Lundqvist have been the two best most consistent goalies in recent history, he's got pretty big shoes to fill. Not only will he have those expectations for the regular season to fill, he's got to do what Luongo had to do, which was to try and hide the shortcoming of the offense and defense of the team before him. Those bandwagon fans won't support him or the team when they start falling back down to earth as that 'window' closes, so he's going to have a lot of pressure on him while the bubble bursts.
Lack was just as good as Schneider was, with a worse team on the AHL, and is another great goalie prospect. But there's already been signs that he could potentially be gone given the situation above him. He's a good goalie prospect for a team with a 'franchise' goalie who is being pushed to be replaced, by another potential franchise goalie. If he doesn't walk, he's probably going to be traded. Schneider is really the only blue chip prospect that can become a top at his postition that we have. Outside of him, maybe Kassian, and maybe Jensen, instead of being worried about one of them, as I said before, I'm more concerned that those are all we have.
LOL-worthy. Talk about being overly pessimistic.
This is not a REALISTIC prediction.
Our prospects are nothing special, but that doesn't make our future mediocre by any lengths.
We've been a top team for the last while. How do you propose we draft a franchise player, while consistently
picking between 25-30? In the short-to-immediate term we will still be a decent playoff team.
While it would be nice, it isn't reasonable to expect our prospects to be elite, impact players. Reasonable expectations, are for them to earn a spot, find a way to contribute, and improve their game over time.
Over the next 2,3,4 years I'd imagine the likes of Jensen, Lack, Kassian, Gaunce, Corrado could probably accomplish this. Of course, we can improve our drafting. But it isn't terrible by any lengths.
We're doing fine.
Look at the Kings. Outside of lotto pick Doughty, most of the youngsters (King, Nolan, Clifford, Voynov, Martinez) contributed as role players to a core of grizzled vets.
Edited by hockeywoot, 14 December 2012 - 10:49 PM.