Thursday, 11 June 2015

Giant defencemen take longer to develop.

Which prospect are we talking about here?

--"I will say this, I think (name redacted) is getting better. He’s got the raw tools, his mental side of the game just needs to catch up and he could eventually be a very good NHL defenseman."

--"(Name redacted) has an amazing physical toolbox at his disposal, but is still figuring out how to use all his tools properly. Hockey is a fast game where a lot can happen, and there were far too many instances this season where he made the wrong choice and it cost his team."

--"Started slow and was sent down (...). He seemed to find his game in the AHL."

Now, it might sound like something outgoing Hamilton Bulldogs Assistant Coach Stéphan Lebeau said about Jarred Tinordi, but it's not him.

It's 6'7", 250 lbs giant Dallas Stars prospect Jamie Oleksiak.  Just like Jarred, he came into the league with great fanfare and greater expectations from fans, but hasn't been the instant success a Johnny Gaudreau was this season.

It takes time.  You need patience with big tall defencemen like this, there's lots of anecdotal evidence, it's pretty convincing.

It's not just the Canadiens coaches who are anti-youth or ruining their prospects or banish them to the AHL.  It happens with every team.  If a player isn't ready for the NHL, it's better for him to work on his game at a lower level, and build up his skillset and confidence, progress from there.

It's not all that hard to understand.  We just need to remind each other every other day or so.

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