Not to step into your mini feud, but I've been torturing myself reading through the last half of this thread and the tit for tat between you and Provost. A heck of a lot of words of a very simple argument....Is being rated #6 for NA skaters, different than being rated #6 of available talent from the whole planet overall, (including goalies)? Seems you took a heck of a long time to finally agree to that, kind of.
That whole argument is a red herring to what JB did this off season with him. Re-signed to a two year back loaded contract. Screwing up his ability to even trade him (looks like the Anaheim deal is failing because of that) Seems a little desperate just to fill out his roster after he "ran out of time" with the players he should have been concentrating on. I'd rather have kept Stecher @2.3, who was way more important to our success than Jake, our second best +/- D on the team last season. No need for Hamonic. Use that money to get a decent third liner FA.
The fact is Jake was not taken by any team above us in the draft, and that we have no idea how high Jake would have gone if we'd passed on him. Are you sure that the Hurricanes, Leafs, and Jets would have picked Virtanen? A player that The Red Line Report praised for his skating, but also said:
"Prototypical pro power winger with the draft's best combination of size, speed, shot, and raw power. A natural sniper whose shot is an absolute laser beam, and he loves to fire it from any anywhere. An explosive straight ahead skater who just torches defenders and plays with swagger. Absolutely loves the physical side of the game - gives and takes big hits and comes back even harder. Tough as nails and a devastating fighter. Impossible to move him off the puck from the circles in. He doesn't have great vision or hockey sense - if he did, we'd be talking about the clear-cut best player in the draft. Holds onto the puck longer than he should. Great at penetrating the middle in offensive zone, uses size to gain space in the slot and knock players off the puck. A physically imposing open ice hitter – always has opponents looking over their shoulders."
Benning overlooked "vision and hockey sense" as being important, and went with the popular local boy who was going to somehow overcome that lack of hockey sense with his grit and speed. Because he "Absolutely loves the physical side of the game" and " Impossible to move him off the puck from the circles in"
Is it that hard to admit JB made a mistake in 2014? I can. Just like we don't know how high Jake would have been picked if not for us, Jim didn't know he'd be such a bust either. Fair enough. But he made the pick. He is the one with way more informed advice at his beckon call than we do on a message board. That's one thing that is hilarious on here, giving Jim a bottomless mulligan as if he had just as many resources as any member of CDC.
The buck stops with him, sorry, that's the responsibility he is paid handsomely for. He was the one that chose not to listen to those who were more skeptical like Craig Button, and instead agreed with Bob McKenzie, who I'm using because he was the highest, @ 8, you could find. BTW someone who also raved about Cody Hodgson as being maybe the biggest steal in his years draft.