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dudacek

POLL: Who are the Sabres best prospects?

Prospects  

63 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these players will have the best NHL career?

    • Rasmus Asplund
    • Will Borgen
      0
    • Marcus Davidsson
    • Matej Pekar
    • Lawrence Pilut
    • Arttu Ruotsalainen
      0
    • Matthias Samuelsson
    • CJ Smith
      0


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8 hours ago, nfreeman said:

These write-ups are terrific, but I must admit I’m not clear on how the poll works now.  

I’ll say that TT has the highest ceiling out of the 2nd group, and that RK is eventually going to nurture it out of him, but that VO is going to have the best 2019-20 out of the group.  

Poll is pretty simple: vote for the guy out of the seven you think will have the best NHL career.

Next season doesn’t really matter; when they entered the poll doesn’t really matter.

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Knew Olofsson had his supporters, but I didn’t think he would be pushing for a top three slot.

 

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On 8/14/2019 at 1:26 AM, GASabresIUFAN said:

Last I looked VO was already 24.  Hard to imagine he'll improve drastically over the next few years.  I also doubt he'll be around contributing at a high level 10 years from now as opposed to 20 year old Mitts and 18 year old Cozens or 19 year old Jokiharju.  

He will as he puts on more strength and gets used to NHL type of play imo.  My guess he gets better in corners and side wall scrum...an area where I believe will just happen.  Kid works

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20 hours ago, dudacek said:

Knew Olofsson had his supporters, but I didn’t think he would be pushing for a top three slot.

 

Com’mon! This is the Swedish Stamkos we’re talking about here. He grew five inches post-draft. It’s only appropriate his fan base grow five fold in the same time. 

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The Sabres third-best prospect by a wide margin is Dylan Cozens.

Up next, another round with the remaining six names before four more are added.

 

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Pronman, from the Athletic, on our U23 talent:

Eichel continues to be one of the premier centers in the NHL with elite talent and elite shot generation. Dahlin was everything you could have hoped for as an 18-year-old defenseman and looks on track to be an impact player in the league, possibly as soon as next season. Reinhart developed into a good NHL player. He may have realized the promise of a second-overall pick (he is fourth in the 2014 draft class in scoring), but he’s a very smart forward who can score and has value for the Sabres. Mittelstadt had rookie season struggles with flashes of brilliance. He has elite skill, but he struggled with the NHL pace more than I thought he would. I do think he will be a very good player, but I may have gotten ahead of myself with his projection last season.

Jokiharju projects as an upper half of the lineup defenseman who can play on both special teams units. He’s undersized but is a very good skater and puck-mover. Thompson had a tough year, but with his size, high-end hands and scoring ability, he will become a player with time. He’s got to be more consistent with his effort and improve his pace though

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45 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Pronman, from the Athletic, on our U23 talent:

Eichel continues to be one of the premier centers in the NHL with elite talent and elite shot generation. Dahlin was everything you could have hoped for as an 18-year-old defenseman and looks on track to be an impact player in the league, possibly as soon as next season. Reinhart developed into a good NHL player. He may have realized the promise of a second-overall pick (he is fourth in the 2014 draft class in scoring), but he’s a very smart forward who can score and has value for the Sabres. Mittelstadt had rookie season struggles with flashes of brilliance. He has elite skill, but he struggled with the NHL pace more than I thought he would. I do think he will be a very good player, but I may have gotten ahead of myself with his projection last season.

Jokiharju projects as an upper half of the lineup defenseman who can play on both special teams units. He’s undersized but is a very good skater and puck-mover. Thompson had a tough year, but with his size, high-end hands and scoring ability, he will become a player with time. He’s got to be more consistent with his effort and improve his pace though

Another reason or example of why I tend to ignore Pronman's views on defenders. Dahlin was an impact player in year 1. Also Pronman has a size fetish that you will notice if you read him enough. Hence his Jokiharju comment as well. 

Also, I would bet pronman his job that Dahlin barring injury will be an impact player this season. Not sure if he means next year as in this upcoming season or next year as in 2021. Either way, Dahlin already is an impact player. Pronman ranked a bunch of young players higher than Dahlin recently so I am not surprised this is his take. 

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

Pronman, from the Athletic, on our U23 talent:

Eichel continues to be one of the premier centers in the NHL with elite talent and elite shot generation. Dahlin was everything you could have hoped for as an 18-year-old defenseman and looks on track to be an impact player in the league, possibly as soon as next season. Reinhart developed into a good NHL player. He may have realized the promise of a second-overall pick (he is fourth in the 2014 draft class in scoring), but he’s a very smart forward who can score and has value for the Sabres. Mittelstadt had rookie season struggles with flashes of brilliance. He has elite skill, but he struggled with the NHL pace more than I thought he would. I do think he will be a very good player, but I may have gotten ahead of myself with his projection last season.

Jokiharju projects as an upper half of the lineup defenseman who can play on both special teams units. He’s undersized but is a very good skater and puck-mover. Thompson had a tough year, but with his size, high-end hands and scoring ability, he will become a player with time. He’s got to be more consistent with his effort and improve his pace though

It's so easy for us to "forget" about all of our own mistakes and bad calls. Good on Pronman! 

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

Pronman, from the Athletic, on our U23 talent:

 Thompson had a tough year, but with his size, high-end hands and scoring ability, he will become a player with time. He’s got to be more consistent with his effort and improve his pace though

Interesting. 

I see he’s also got his first vote in the poll.

I’m curious with all the flak he got around here last year where Tage will end up in the poll.

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10 hours ago, dudacek said:

Pronman, from the Athletic, on our U23 talent:

Eichel continues to be one of the premier centers in the NHL with elite talent and elite shot generation. Dahlin was everything you could have hoped for as an 18-year-old defenseman and looks on track to be an impact player in the league, possibly as soon as next season. Reinhart developed into a good NHL player. He may have realized the promise of a second-overall pick (he is fourth in the 2014 draft class in scoring), but he’s a very smart forward who can score and has value for the Sabres. Mittelstadt had rookie season struggles with flashes of brilliance. He has elite skill, but he struggled with the NHL pace more than I thought he would. I do think he will be a very good player, but I may have gotten ahead of myself with his projection last season.

Jokiharju projects as an upper half of the lineup defenseman who can play on both special teams units. He’s undersized but is a very good skater and puck-mover. Thompson had a tough year, but with his size, high-end hands and scoring ability, he will become a player with time. He’s got to be more consistent with his effort and improve his pace though

I’m assuming he meant to say “may not have” based on the full quotation. I don’t agree. If Reinhart is a 65 point player going forward, that’s deserving of a 2nd overall pick in your standard draft year. 

10 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Another reason or example of why I tend to ignore Pronman's views on defenders. Dahlin was an impact player in year 1. Also Pronman has a size fetish that you will notice if you read him enough. Hence his Jokiharju comment as well. 

Also, I would bet pronman his job that Dahlin barring injury will be an impact player this season. Not sure if he means next year as in this upcoming season or next year as in 2021. Either way, Dahlin already is an impact player. Pronman ranked a bunch of young players higher than Dahlin recently so I am not surprised this is his take. 

Oh ya, look at any of the underlying metrics and it’s *clear* Dahlin was an impact player year one. 

What ranking is this? 

 

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11 hours ago, Thorny said:

I’m assuming he meant to say “may not have” based on the full quotation. I don’t agree. If Reinhart is a 65 point player going forward, that’s deserving of a 2nd overall pick in your standard draft year. 

Oh ya, look at any of the underlying metrics and it’s *clear* Dahlin was an impact player year one. 

What ranking is this? 

 

He looked at the last 5 years of drafts and put together a ranking of those top players going into the draft. So basically if all those players were the exact same age in the same draft how they would have been drafted. He said that he ignored everything they did after their draft year and it was based on how he felt they were going into their drafts. 

 

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13 hours ago, North Buffalo said:

Who has longest carreer.... Borgen?

I would bet that of the list Jokiharju has the longest NHL career. Mitts and Pilut also have a good shot at long careers. Until he proves himself, Thompson is a tweener with no shot at a successful NHL career. 

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32 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

I would bet that of the list Jokiharju has the longest NHL career. Mitts and Pilut also have a good shot at long careers. Until he proves himself, Thompson is a tweener with no shot at a successful NHL career. 

Is this based mostly on skating, poise and the ability to avoid contact?

Agreed on Jokiharju, those are the type of games that last. Pilut, I’m not too sure if he is talented enough.

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51 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Is this based mostly on skating, poise and the ability to avoid contact?

Agreed on Jokiharju, those are the type of games that last. Pilut, I’m not too sure if he is talented enough.

Do you think Jokiharju "avoids" contact? 

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7 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Do you think Jokiharju "avoids" contact? 

Not in a pejorative sense. I think his lateral movement, puck-moving skills and relatively strong, low base make it hard for forecheckers to get a clean lick on him.

Do you disagree? And why do you think he has a game that will endure?

Edited by dudacek

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2 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Not in a pejorative sense. I think his lateral movement, puck-moving skills and relatively strong, low base make it hard for forecheckers to get a clean lick on him.

Do you disagree? And why do you think he has a game that will endure?

Excellent skating, good battle skills, strong away from the puck, smart with an excellent shot. I just think he will be able to defend well and be a solid #3 for many years. 

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Prospect number four is Casey Mittelstadt.

Added to the poll, our four most recent #2 picks.

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Rasmus Asplund is: a 5’11” 192-pound, 21-year-old, left-shot Swedish centre picked 33rd in the 2016 draft. He put up 75/10/31/41/26/+7 for Rochester last year, his first season in North America

What he’s shown scouts: Asplund isn’t big, but that has never been an issue for him. He’s been playing against men since he was 16. He’s a competitor - clean, but with an edge, whose superior hockey sense combines with above average speed and quickness to make him an effective presence on both sides of the ice. His shot is OK and his passing is good. His decision-making and effort make him a natural centre and a good linemate who makes his team better. His offence came around slowly with Rochester, but by the end of the season he had become the Amerks 1C. He’s never been an elite producer, possibly a byproduct of always being the youngest guy on his team, but he did produce 12 points in 14 games over two World Junior tourneys.

He might fail to fulfill his potential if: his superior hockey sense doesn’t translate to NHL game speed. Without it, his competitiveness isn’t enough to overcome the fact that none of his other attributes are elite. It’s what has held back guys like Kevin Porter.

But if everything goes as hoped, the Sabres might get: an elite 3C borderline 2C with the ability to score a decent amount of points in a shutdown role. Philip Danault might be a good comparison in terms of role and ceiling.

 

Marcus Davidsson is: a 6’0” 192-pound, 20-year-old, left-shot Swedish forward picked 37th in the 2017 draft. He put up 52/10/17/27/16/+10 last year for a strong Djurgarden team in Sweden.

What he’s shown scouts: Davidsson is perhaps the least hyped of the Sabres legitimate prospects. Probably because there is nothing in his game that stands out except for his reliability. He is a good skater. Strong on his feet with solid quickness and agility. His hands are good. He handles the puck OK, but won’t dazzle with his stickhandling and his shot and passing are fine. He can create and he has good hand-eye for tips and fishing the puck out of traffic. He uses his body well along the wall and is good at harassing opposing puck carriers. He is positionally very sound, but will not fool or overpower his checkers. He plays the game with pace. If one thing could be considered his calling card, it is his tendency to consistently be on the right side of the puck, both offensively and defensively. He has been an effective role player for the Swedish national team.

He might fail to fulfill his potential if: his generally unremarkable size, speed or hands stop him from separating himself from the crowd, as it has for guys like CJ Smith or Bryan Flynn. He is moving from a secondary role on Djurgarden to a more central role on a lesser Vaxjo team this year and it will be interesting to see how he responds to the increased responsibility.

But if everything goes as hoped, the Sabres might get: a mid-roster glue guy who can be utilized in multiple roles and situations. His style isn’t the same, but he has the potential to fill a similar niche as Jochen Hecht with a similar level of effectiveness.

 

Ryan Johnson is: a 6’0, 175-pound, 18-year-old, left-shot American defenceman picked 31st in the 2019 draft. He put up 54/6/19/25/26/+24 last year as a rookie in the USHL with league champion Sioux Falls and is headed to the University of Minnesota.

What he’s shown scouts: The essence of Johnson’s value is his ability to be what one scout called “a human breakout machine.” He is a wonderfully smooth skater with speed, terrific edgework and lateral mobility. He is a new-age defensive defenceman, who intercepts the rush, separates the attacker from the puck with a quick stick and moves it crisply up ice. Despite his feet and IQ there is debate on how much offence there will be to his game. He has skill and evades checkers and pinches well but plays a low-risk game and has not demonstrated a big shot or ton of creativity. He is still a hockey baby, one of the youngest players in the draft and physically immature. There is a lot of room for growth. He had a good U20 summer camp and appears to have put himself into the national WJC team mix.

He might fail to fulfill his potential if: his game doesn’t mature as expected, particularly physically. His dad (former NHLer Craig Johnson) is a big man and his game doesn’t rely on strength, but he needs to add 25 pounds or he will get pounded. His skating is easily NHL level, but if neither the strength nor the offence come he could end up an anonymous depth player like a Mark Pysyk or even a Casey Nelson.

But if everything goes as hoped, the Sabres might get: a smooth, rocking chair 2/3 reminiscent of James Patrick or Teppo Numminen after their offence faded, or a smaller Hank Tallinder or Jay Bouwmeester.

 

Mattias Samuelsson is: a 6’4”, 220-pound, 19-year-old, left-shot American defenceman picked 32nd in the 2018 draft. He put up 35/5/7/12/38/+3 last year as a freshman with Western Michigan of the NCAA

What he’s shown scouts: You know that friend in high school who had his ***** together enough that your mom and dad would ask him to look out for you? And you were OK with that because when the ***** really did hit the fan he would know what to do? That’s been Samuelsson’s role on pretty much every team he’s played for. He is physically, mentally and emotionally mature beyond his years with a reliable, calm and physically dominant game. He steps up and eliminates his man at the line and in the zone with competence and authority and makes safe decisions in his positioning and with the puck. He can be mean too. His skating has been questioned, but it appears to be more of a first-step quickness issue than speed. He’s strong on his feet and combined with his size that gives him good range. His offensive contributions are OK in that he reads the offensive play well and is capable of making the required play, but he won’t be creating much on his own. He was captain of the USNDTP U18 team and is a candidate to be the captain of this year’s U20 team.

He may not fulfill his potential if: his first-step quickness and acceleration fail to match up against NHL talent, or his physical dominance doesn’t translate to the next level. It might limit him to a Luke Schenn or Erik Gudbranson role on the 3rd pairing.

But if everything goes as hoped, the Sabres might get: a legitimate NHL shutdown defenceman whose length, strength and savvy will lead to a 12-year career, most of it spent matching up against the other team’s top forwards in tough situations. He could fulfill a Mike Ramsey-esque role, but as a 2/3.

Edited by dudacek
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I've got Jokiharju here. What's 1-3 again? 

Also, some of those twitter nerds have been applying their stat tricks to prospects now too, and one (Maybe Tierney?) had the Sabres as the best forward prospect pool in the league. The model (no idea what the model was) was incredibly high on Davidsson.

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Also these are outstanding writeups dudacek.

Haha, should have checked the first post before saying anything. 

Given that I'm one of the bigger Mitts bashers here, I'm surprised that he made it to four. he was my number two behind Dahlin. 

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I really wanted to go with Victor, mostly because I think he’s going to score for us this year and the way he played with Jack and Sam is still fresh in my mind.

But the question is best career, so Joker has to be the guy, for the reasons @LGR4GM and I discuss upthread.

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@... and @PerreaultForever

Wanted follow up on your Thompson comments but I thought this was a better place.

As far as you’re concerned, it wasn’t case of him just not being ready, you’ve given up on him as a potential effective NHL player?

Edited by dudacek

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Note to @dudacekfrom your Friendly Neighborhood Pedantic: Mittelstadt has a "t" at the end. 

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