Monday, March 14, 2005

The Darker Side of Prospects

Well, in my last installment, I talked about the better side of the prospects game. However, with the good-- you eventually have the bad. This is what this portions is all about. I'll give you my takes on the bad prospect groups in the NHL today. How I'll do this is give the team, why they have a horrible prospect group, and then give one bright spot to their class. This is purely objective, but I think most people would tend to agree with this in one aspect or another. So, do-see-do and away we go:

1. Colorado Avalanche: The definition of trying to buy a Cup and unloading young talent to get it. The Avalanche has been the worst for building up a core base for the future and in the end, it's going to wind up biting them in the ass. I have to say something to those who are accustomed to the Avs being in the playoffs year-in and year-out; that could be coming to an end sooner or later because of the lack of youngster they are bringing up.
  • Johnny Boychuk: Here's a first year pro who is developing into the pro they want to bring up into their system. The rugid defenseman from Edmonton is the next coming of Rob Blake into the system. He's got a solid shot, work ethic, and leadership which will be a good tool for the young kids coming into this depleted system. Boychuk is the silver lining in the grey cloud overhanging Denver.
2. New York Islanders: Here's a team that has gone after the best Euro talent in the past three Drafts, but it hasn't been too good for Milbury's Clan. The Islanders have the trend of holding back their prospects until they are sold off for scraps or rush their talent too quickly only for them to fall on their face, get dealt, then become a superstar in the end; ain't that right Zdeno??
  • Jeremy Colliton: The new wave grinder from Prince Albert is going to be a leader on the Islanders when he finally gets on the squad. However, his injury proned body could tell him otherwise. He's an Adam Graves-esque forward who would give up the body to make a play for someone else. The Islanders need to bring him up steadily, though, or else they could see him fall into the footsteps of others who have came before him.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning: The Champs aren't very deep on their current roster on defense, but they have five studs coming up. However, they are very young which will possibly hurt them very much when they get thrown into the fray. Not to mention, the lack of depth in the net for the Bolts could be their Achilles Heel as well. A team is only as good as the goalie that's behind them in most cases. Without a proven, or at least consistant, goalie, these d-men are just swimming up stream for nothing imparticular.
  • Mike Egener: You want a punishing defenseman on the blueline, then Edge is your guy. Egener's got everything that a GM could want in a defenseman: great vision, sturdiness on the blueline, and not afraid to drop the mitts to stand up for his teammates. Egener will be able to be a leader on the Bolts if he can continue to be the outspoken one on the Springfield Falcons and when he gets to the NHL. The Bolts need to make sure they bring him up as soon as possible so they can actually see what he can do with a quality team around him.
There are, of course, some teams I left off that could have been put on here. So here they are:
  • Toronto Maple Leafs: Though they have Kyle Wellwood and Carlo Colaiacovo, you would think the Leafs would be able to get some more talent, but they also have the problem of giving up too much for their chance to win a Cup for the here and now. Because of that, they have ruined their farm system to the max.
  • Detroit Red Wings: The issue I have with the Wings is that they have all these lame duck picks that could be dealt away for something better. They have little to nothing in ways of goaltending for the future, and their backline leaves something to be desired.
  • New Jersey Devils: Almost the same thing as the Red Wings. Because they have won so much, they have paid the price. They have nothing in ways of goaltending coming up through the ranks, mainly because of the fact that with Marty Brodeur, you usually don't have much to worry about. That'll come to bite them in the end when Brodeur goes out for his swan song.
So, that's that. This has been my worst list and you can disagree with me in the comments. Next installment, I'll talk a little bit about the misconceptions that people have about Canada and the loss of the NHL season. This, of course, brought upon the comments JR made about the WHA and their possible spring tournament.

This has been ScottyWazz. Take care of yourself and someone else. PEACE!!

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