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Whaler1

2015 NHL Entry Draft

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Sometimes the best pick may not be the sexiest pick.  How many NFL fans are hoping their team takes an offensive lineman with a high pick?  Most fans want a player that is going to have a great touchdown celebration.  Coaches and GM's know that that road grader lineman is important too.

 

Again, glad I'm not the one having to make the final decision.  Depending on how it shakes out, there really could be a tough decision to make.

Edited by super_dave_1

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super_dave, I'm in this boat with you on Marner. As convincing as arguments on here have been regarding the different style of play that Marner brings vs Skins, nevertheless, hopefully this team particularly has learned its lesson of small players going to the net to be hammered by their larger peers. Surely, many on here can, and have pointed out examples of several slight players, eg- Marty St Louis, Patrick Kane and our own Ray Whitney who've successfully avoided the dreaded C condition, but as a low budget team, do we have that luxury to risk a #5 pick being neutralized by a risk like that?

 

No, IMHO, this team has suffered too often from not being able to consistently ice our true Top 6, which would surely be where Marner would fit. Either this team needs to develop the fortitude to not allow, as a group, liberties to be taken with our slighter players, or RF needs to shoot for Strome( hopefully), Raatenen, or Crouse.

 

Kjun, I get your concern. But it got me to thinking; is there any actual evidence that the risk of concussion is inversely related to player size?  On the one hand, that certainly seems to make common sense. But then when you think about it in more depth, isn't it possible that the increased risk due to less body mass might be offset because smaller players are often likely to be more elusive?  Look at some of the big names that have had careers severely effected by concussions: Lemieux, Lindross, and Primeaux leap to mind, and all were at least 6'4".  The Bruins had a spate of concussion injuries last season and they weren't fielding a team of mighty mites.

 

And when you think about where concussions occur, isn't it more often in open ice or if a player gets exposed on the boards rather than in front of the net?    

 

I'm not making the argument that smaller NHL players aren't more prone to the risk of concussion, just raising the question. I wonder if anyone has actually done research on it?

 

 

 

On a related note, did anyone see the ESPN article about the Virginia Tech study of hockey helmets?  They tested 32 helmets, including the high priced ones likely worn by NHL players, and found that many were not effective.  On a 1-5 star rating system, only 1 helmet received a 3 star rating and all the rest were 2 stars or worse.  CCM and Bauer's most expensive models earned only 1 star (marginally effective).  

 

VaTech did a similar study of football helmets a few years back and found similar poor results. After that study, helmet manufacturers overhauled their product lines and now there are 13 football helmets rated 5 stars and another 8 rated 4 stars.  I expect that hockey helmet manufacturers will follow suit, which I expect (hope?) will result in a reduced risk of concussion in the near future. I'd love to hear what Friesen has to say about the issue. 

http://www.beam.vt.edu/helmet/index.php

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/12564082/virginia-tech-study-hockey-helmets-finds-many-unsafe

Edited by LakeLivin

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Kjun, I get your concern. But it got me to thinking; is there any actual evidence that the risk of concussion is inversely related to player size?  On the one hand, that certainly seems to make common sense. But then when you think about it in more depth, isn't it possible that the increased risk due to less body mass might be offset because smaller players are often likely to be more elusive?  Look at some of the big names that have had careers severely effected by concussions: Lemieux, Lindross, and Primeaux leap to mind, and all were at least 6'4".  The Bruins had a spate of concussion injuries last season and they weren't fielding a team of mighty mites.

 

And when you think about where concussions occur, isn't it more often in open ice or if a player gets exposed on the boards rather than in front of the net?    

 

I'm not making the argument that smaller NHL players aren't more prone to the risk of concussion, just raising the question. I wonder if anyone has actually done research on it?

 

 

 

On a related note, did anyone see the ESPN article about the Virginia Tech study of hockey helmets?  They tested 32 helmets, including the high priced ones likely worn by NHL players, and found that many were not effective.  On a 1-5 star rating system, only 1 helmet received a 3 star rating and all the rest were 2 stars or worse.  CCM and Bauer's most expensive models earned only 1 star (marginally effective).  

 

VaTech did a similar study of football helmets a few years back and found similar poor results. After that study, helmet manufacturers overhauled their product lines and now there are 13 football helmets rated 5 stars and another 8 rated 4 stars.  I expect that hockey helmet manufacturers will follow suit, which I expect (hope?) will result in a reduced risk of concussion in the near future. I'd love to hear what Friesen has to say about the issue. 

http://www.beam.vt.edu/helmet/index.php

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/12564082/virginia-tech-study-hockey-helmets-finds-many-unsafe

Great post Lake, I was going to post something similar about concussions happening to big guys as well.

I would like to see a study involving the correlation between player size and concussions.

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IMO, the size thing is a lot more than just concussion concern, but, a highish hit on a shorter player will have a greater chance of having the head be the point of impact.  I also think that a lot of players try to target the smaller, highly skilled guys with big hits to get them off their game. 

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IMO, the size thing is a lot more than just concussion concern, but, a highish hit on a shorter player will have a greater chance of having the head be the point of impact.  I also think that a lot of players try to target the smaller, highly skilled guys with big hits to get them off their game. 

 

True, I was just addressing one aspect that has been brought up a lot here. Plus it gave me an opportunity to post that Va. Tech study about the helmets, which I find fascinating.  If NHL helmets are really that bad, how much will the risk of concussions be reduced once they get redesigned? 

Edited by LakeLivin

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Lake, you make very good points, and possibly my angst is the frustration of seeing a player with tremendous potential, now be constantly in the mix for trade conversation on these boards. Thus, I've extrapolated from a solo example, not a very sound statistical position. On the other hand, as sd_1 points out, and I also have a feeling, it appears to me that smaller, more skilled players do invite more hits, and when so, the size differential does make their upper body, particularly the head, more of a target, if for no other reason than offering a plausible excuse for an otherwise "cheap shot".

As rem vividly points out, with as many needs as we seem to have, any one of a half dozen or more of these players could be ideal. Marner by all indications could very well be a number 1 pick in many years, but I'll go back to my underling proposition on him, and that is, can this club, with it's well discussed thin roster even down to the Checkers, and lower financial bottom line, afford to "gamble" on it's #5 pick like some of the more well funded teams? That's a hard decision for our GM to make, and although he and his scouting staff are the unqualified experts, it's doubtful that a draft is anything more than a "leap of faith", for us or anyone.

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There is also th slippery or ellusive factor. When I first laid eyes on Marin St Louis I thought, holy cow, this guy is going to get crushed. I kept waiting for him to get run. But no one could line the guy up. Has he had concussion problems? (I'm asking). Or Gerbe? Or Kane? I know Crosby has, but I doubt many Pens fans would give him back. I do know bigger players get concussions too. Nash got one in warm ups from a puck, Hillen, etc. Skinner seems concussion prone, but some of that is style too.

 

There are risks with all the guys we are looking at. Crouse's risk is that he ends up being a third liner roll player picked #5 in a very deep draft. Hanifin's risk is the defensman risk. etc...There is also the risk of passing on a huge talent.

 

I do think, the more I look at Hanifin, that he is the least risky, that guy is going to at least be a good NHL dman, but after that there is risk.

Edited by remkin

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Rem, do you see the risk in drafting Marner?

There's a risk with every prospect when their unproven at the professional level. What if Crouse turns into Dustin Penner, a 6'4 230lb journeyman? What if Rantanen can't adjust to a smaller ice? It's a two way street there. Having size doesn't automatically equate to future nhler.

Most of the players in the league that put up 100+pt's/2ppg in the OHL are now all stars/franchise players.

And you can add Pronger, who is 6'6 and had a physical reputation to the list of players that'll never play again due to concussions.

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There's a risk with every prospect when their unproven at the professional level. What if Crouse turns into Dustin Penner, a 6'4 230lb journeyman? What if Rantanen can't adjust to a smaller ice? It's a two way street there. Having size doesn't automatically equate to future nhler.

Most of the players in the league that put up 100+pt's/2ppg in the OHL are now all stars/franchise players.

And you can add Pronger, who is 6'6 and had a physical reputation to the list of players that'll never play again due to concussions.

 

Fine, and once again, do you or Rem see any risk in drafting Marner?

 

I get that big guys get concussions.  I get that some smaller players have great careers.  You don't have to keep coming back to that argument.  I am asking whether Rem (or you, or anybody else that keeps taking this side of the debate) whether or not you see any risk in taking a player like Marner because of his size.  Yes or no?  Do you think there is any disadvantage by being smaller? 

 

 I do see a risk, and that is all I have tried to say. 

Edited by super_dave_1

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super_dave, What I'm getting at is not necessarily the "risk", but the overarching problem is, could this team, as a prototypical LOW BUDGET team afford that risk? That to me is where the difference lies. While other "affluent" teams could rebound from this type of gamble, can this team afford to?

I mean, if we were in the league with the Maple Leafs, Canadians, Red Wings or Bruins, etc, we just sweep these blunders under the rug and buy replacements. We do not have that luxury, thus the mounting pressure on drafting well.

Now I realize that from all I've read, that Marner is exceptional, and certainly, if the scouts, Francis and Peters draft him, I'll be overjoyed, but I hope they do risk stratification to reach that conclusion.

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Fine, and once again, do you or Rem see any risk in drafting Marner?

I get that big guys get concussions. I get that some smaller players have great careers. You don't have to keep coming back to that argument. I am asking whether Rem (or you, or anybody else that keeps taking this side of the debate) whether or not you see any risk in taking a player like Marner because of his size. Yes or no? Do you think there is any disadvantage by being smaller?

I do see a risk, and that is all I have tried to say.

To answer the question, no I don't think there's anymore of a risk of drafting Marner over Crouse/Rantanen. Because like I said multiple pages ago, the league as a whole is getting smaller and faster, citing the two top teams in the conference being smaller. Remkin had a long list of productive nhlers pages ago, and just recently named one player in particular who's played 20yrs in the league concussion free, who are concussion free and fit this boards definition of small. If great drafting was a proper science, everyone would be good at it.

I want to counter-propose a question to you. The three teams directly behind us have two things in common, they're all teams in our division and their fans are salivating for Marner. Do you see it just as risky to let a Patrick Kane-type player go to our direct competition?

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If Marner turns out to be Patrick Kane, then it could be a mistake. The thing is, what are the odds of him being Patrick Kane?

The league is not getting smaller and faster. Faster, yes. Smaller, not so much.

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Rem, do you see any risk in drafting Marner?

 

Yes. In the post right above I said that. Outside of the normal risk that anything can happen, there is almost no risk in taking McDavid and Eichel, and some risk w/ everyone after that.

 

The primary risk for Marner is that he is of slight build and may be more prone to injury. The secondary risk is smaller, that he won't be able to keep up the elite scoring at the next level. I personally (see my disclaimers) feel that the secondary risk is small (pun noted). There is just too much shifty skill, hockey IQ, etc at too high of a level IMHO.

 

I view it as a risk-reward thing. If the upside is sky high, it justifies more risk. One of the risks of picking 5 is that a very safe pick, a guy who has a very high chance of a nice solid NHL career, could still be reasonably seen as a bust if picked #5 in this special draft.

 

Of course anyone can get injured, so, while an oft injured player would be a bust, it is different than a player who just never developed NHL talent (see Boychuk). Also, a guy like Crouse who will throw the body and get in fights, may have a higher injury risk due to that style of play too.

 

Hanifin has been dropped by some scouts. He could get hurt too. Some have said there is limit to his upside. There is the risk of the difficulty predicting defensemen.

 

I have made no bones that I would be really happy w/ Marner. But that does not mean that I don't see serious upside in other guys.

 

Based on my readings and watching and not knowing, my sense is that Hanifin would be the lowest risk pick, he is just so smart positionally and with the puck, kind of like Faulk...the next lowest risk is Marner because of all of that talent, despite the theoretical injury risk.

 

IMHO Crouse is a slightly bigger risk than those two because he has not put up eye popping offense in juniors. In no way does that mean he won't score in the NHL, but he does have to score to justify the pick that high. Not 40 goals, but 25 goals and a heck of a lot of intangibles to go with it, at least. Scoring 25 goals is not easy. That is a risk.

 

There is also the theoretical risk of passing on a guy who becomes a regular All Star. It's more of a GM risk, but still.

Edited by remkin

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Personally I don't see a risk with Marner (in terms of injury). I'll try to point out why with a couple of points.

-I think certain players are just injury prone, in some ways I think genetics may even play a role. Certain players, big and small just never seem to stay healthy. Marner's only two injuries that I know of were a result of cheap shots that resulted in suspensions. I think all skilled players tend to get targeted regardless of size, especially in the playoffs (when Marner was elbowed in the head). Then again you hear about targeting and wearing down a team's defense. I also think the cheap shot targeting thing is more prevelant in the lower-tier leagues. Still, how many smallish players do we hear about getting hit with a questionable hit that results in an injury? Probably the same amount as the average or larger players.

-I think in general hockey injuries are usually a freak thing/are unpredictable. How much time has E. Staal missed the last couple seasons. Look what happened to his brothers, Jordan and Marc. People here wanted us to draft Nichuskin because of his size and he ended up missing significant time to a groin injury. It all seems like chance to me.

-I do believe that there is something to the "elusiveness" thing. You never seem to see a Kane, Johnson, etc. get hit cleanly. Smaller players have had to deal with their size issues their entire careers, yet they make it to the highest level and excel. Many players that are bigger and more physical are mixing it up a lot along the boards, where most injuries seem to happen.

-Not to repeat myself but Cogliano is the current "iron man" streak holder, and he is small, plays big minutes, and doesn't avoid contact.

-When I see writers talking about Marner's size, I'm more under the impression that the concern is that it will affect his production, not that he is going to get beat up and be frequently injured.

-When I see a guy like Bob McKenzie say "you can't go wrong with Strome, Hanifin, or Marner", that also eases my concerns.

If smaller players around the league are getting injured more frequently than average or larger players, I just don't see it. Maybe statistics tell a different story. As far as concussions, look at the guys above who were mentioned (both Lindros brothers, Primeau, Pronger) and those are big men who played a physical style. How many little guys can we name whose careers were cut short due to concussion problems?

I would also say that we are talking about a special talent to this point in his career, not a smaller role player. Clearly he seems to excel at things like mobility, anticipation, etc., and I'm guessing that also helps in terms of getting hit.

I would be curious as to how size affects players prior to reaching the NHL, maybe it is a factor and injuries happen more often than we know. That would be some interesting data.

As mentioned above, the bottom line is that I have concerns about all the players we have talked about, but with Marner it's more about will his size affect his production more than will he be an injury risk.

So in that sense, yes I have a concern. Just like I have a concern about Crouse's offensive ability, Strome's skating, etc..

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Putting aside the rankings, and turning to the pulse of the fandom out there, it looks like there are 3 teirs.

 

Obviously McDavid-Eichel, followed by Hanifin-Strome-Marner, and then there's Provorov, Barzal, Crouse, Rantanen, Werenski, Zacha.  No intended order in tiers 2 and 3.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Putting aside the rankings, and turning to the pulse of the fandom out there, it looks like there are 3 teirs.

 

Obviously McDavid-Eichel, followed by Hanifin-Strome-Marner, and then there's Provorov, Barzal, Crouse, Rantanen, Werenski.  No intended order in tiers 2 and 3.

 

Agreed, but I'd include Zacha along with the rest of your 3rd grouping.  I've seen him higher than Barzal in many rankings.

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I really do see the possible risks in drafting any of the guys below McDavid or Eichel (Group A+) and  Strome or Hanifin.  I put these four in the minimal risk category.  Everybody else comes with a question mark.  I do not get how some are so convinced that Marner's risks should be poo-poo'ed because he may be the next Patrick Kane.  You know, he could be the next Chad LaRose too.  5'10" and 173 lbs.  Scored 61 goals and 117 pts in 67 OHL games in 02/03.  I'm not suggesting that will happen, but it is food for thought when you base your final decision on pts in an OHL season. Maybe his skill is too great to pass over.

 

I am not the only one that has question about Marner's size.  Almost every draft profile has a variation of...

 

The knock on Marner is his size, at 5’11” he lacks the ideal size the other centers in the draft possess

http://www.mynhldraft.com/2015/NHL-Draft-Profiles/Mitch-Marner

 

 

Crouse's lack of offensive numbers is troubling, but hopefully GMRF is turning over all the rocks.  I'd be much more wary of him IF he was not a skilled skater.  From what I read, that isn't the case. 

 

Again, the staff knows far more than I do, and whoever they pick will be done with much more information and knowledge than I have. 

Edited by super_dave_1

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I just can't see a small forward being successful here until the physicality of this team increases tenfold. Until it get's around the league the Hurricanes won't deal with them running our players any player who can't fend for himself will be in trouble.

 

I'm not saying I'm forever against small players, I'm saying this isn't the year for one.

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I really do see the possible risks in drafting any of the guys below McDavid or Eichel (Group A+) and  Strome or Hanifin.  I put these four in the minimal risk category.  Everybody else comes with a question mark.  I do not get how some are so convinced that Marner's risks should be poo-poo'ed because he may be the next Patrick Kane.  You know, he could be the next Chad LaRose too.  5'10" and 173 lbs.  Scored 61 goals and 117 pts in 67 OHL games in 02/03.  I'm not suggesting that will happen, but it is food for thought when you base your final decision on pts in an OHL season. Maybe his skill is too great to pass over.

 

I am not the only one that has question about Marner's size.  Almost every draft profile has a variation of...

 

 

 

Crouse's lack of offensive numbers is troubling, but hopefully GMRF is turning over all the rocks.  I'd be much more wary of him IF he was not a skilled skater.  From what I read, that isn't the case. 

 

Again, the staff knows far more than I do, and whoever they pick will be done with much more information and knowledge than I have. 

From what I've read, points per game is a decnt way to tell if a prospect will stick in the NHL at some point.    After re reading some of the draft profiles, I am leaning more towards Marner ,since he has a greater offensive upside. 

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