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2020-'21 Sabres Prospects


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26 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Remember when Sam Reinhart had "average skating" those were the good ole days. 

I remember Sam scoring over 60 goals before he was 22. I remember thinking how his hockey IQ compensated for his less then elite speed and then seeing how his work ethic improved his skating.

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13 hours ago, tom webster said:

He is not a great skater. He’s quick in short space but he is definitely average at best in straight line.

 

12 hours ago, Curt said:

I’ve got to agree with Tom on this.  Casey’s skating is certainly not dynamic.  I’m not even sure that I would call it above average.  At best maybe.  It’s fine.  It could get better.

I admit to being legitimately shocked/surprised when I saw how Casey moved around on the NHL ice, after seeing what looked like a dynamic skater at the WJC. I agree with both the takes above. But why the discrepancy? Rose coloured glasses while i watched the WJC? Maybe. But it's not like I saw the same skater, yet overmatched, at the NHL level. It's like he became a worse skater in the interim. 

This gives me a tinge of hope that what we are perceiving as skating issues may at least somewhat stem from his poor processing speed, which can be improved. At the NHL level, when everyone is good, even a split second hesitation will leave the good skaters behind in a patch of dust. 

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9 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Remember when Sam Reinhart had "average skating" those were the good ole days. 

As an NHL skater, I think he's average. 

That is to say, I think he's a really good skater. 

But I get when people SAID "average" for Sam, they generally meant "poor". He's definitely improved there. 

And his shot, too. And he never misses games. We need more Sam Reinharts. 

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3 minutes ago, Thorny said:

 

I admit to being legitimately shocked/surprised when I saw how Casey moved around on the NHL ice, after seeing what looked like a dynamic skater at the WJC. I agree with both the takes above. But why the discrepancy? Rose coloured glasses while i watched the WJC? Maybe. But it's not like I saw the same skater, yet overmatched, at the NHL level. It's like he became a worse skater in the interim. 

This gives me a tinge of hope that what we are perceiving as skating issues may at least somewhat stem from his poor processing speed, which can be improved. At the NHL level, when everyone is good, even a split second hesitation will leave the good skaters behind in a patch of dust. 

That is a very good point.

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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

 

I admit to being legitimately shocked/surprised when I saw how Casey moved around on the NHL ice, after seeing what looked like a dynamic skater at the WJC. I agree with both the takes above. But why the discrepancy? Rose coloured glasses while i watched the WJC? Maybe. But it's not like I saw the same skater, yet overmatched, at the NHL level. It's like he became a worse skater in the interim. 

This gives me a tinge of hope that what we are perceiving as skating issues may at least somewhat stem from his poor processing speed, which can be improved. At the NHL level, when everyone is good, even a split second hesitation will leave the good skaters behind in a patch of dust. 

By the time Housley was done with him (and actually a couple of months before that), Mittelstadt looked like a golden lab pup trying to figure out where the ball was getting thrown.  He didn't appreciably get out of that mode until he was demoted.  Getting caught watching tends to make guys look slower than they actually are.

Am looking forward to seeing how he does when he does finally get his chance.

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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

 

I admit to being legitimately shocked/surprised when I saw how Casey moved around on the NHL ice, after seeing what looked like a dynamic skater at the WJC. I agree with both the takes above. But why the discrepancy? Rose coloured glasses while i watched the WJC? Maybe. But it's not like I saw the same skater, yet overmatched, at the NHL level. It's like he became a worse skater in the interim. 

This gives me a tinge of hope that what we are perceiving as skating issues may at least somewhat stem from his poor processing speed, which can be improved. At the NHL level, when everyone is good, even a split second hesitation will leave the good skaters behind in a patch of dust. 

Just went back and watched some WJC highlights just for confirmation.

I honestly don’t think he looked dynamic there.  His skating looked good.  For juniors I’m sure it was very good.  But that’s probably no better than average in the NHL.  I think part of it was that his fancy stick handling really created space for him against junior players, but NHL players are just a lot better at taking away that space/time.  You need to really come at them with speed to beat them.   I don’t have an issue with Casey’s skating, but if he got better, it would help.

Compare to Reinhart for example.  In juniors his skating was good enough for him to be dominant, but in the NHL he looked like he could barely skate.

NHL players are really good at skating.  Casey could stand to get better.

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4 minutes ago, Curt said:

Just went back and watched some WJC highlights just for confirmation.

I honestly don’t think he looked dynamic there.  His skating looked good.  For juniors I’m sure it was very good.  But that’s probably no better than average in the NHL.  I think part of it was that his fancy stick handling really created space for him against junior players, but NHL players are just a lot better at taking away that space/time.  You need to really come at them with speed to beat them.   I don’t have an issue with Casey’s skating, but if he got better, it would help.

Compare to Reinhart for example.  In juniors his skating was good enough for him to be dominant, but in the NHL he looked like he could barely skate.

NHL players are really good at skating.  Casey could stand to get better.

That's funny, I always thought his skating looked suspect even at the WJC. I immediately remember my respect for his hockey IQ growing substantially, thinking, "damn, this guy really does always find ways to get on the scoreboard, even when he moves around the ice like that" lol

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13 minutes ago, Thorny said:

That's funny, I always thought his skating looked suspect even at the WJC. I immediately remember my respect for his hockey IQ growing substantially, thinking, "damn, this guy really does always find ways to get on the scoreboard, even when he moves around the ice like that" lol

If you are taking about Mittelstadt, I’m super confused.  Are you talking about Reinhart?

If yes, then I’m with you.  I wasn’t paying much attention to prospects then, but his skating was generally regarded as a weakness at draft time.  My point was just that, in juniors it was good enough for him to get the job done, but in the NHL it wasn’t even close.  Note that I said it was good enough for him to be dominant, not that his skating specifically was dominant.

EDIT:  sorry, I see your bolded section now.

Edited by Curt
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2 minutes ago, Curt said:

If you are taking about Mittelstadt, I’m super confused.  Are you talking about Reinhart?

If yes, then I’m with you.  I wasn’t paying much attention to prospects then, but his skating was generally regarded as a weakness at draft time.  My point was just that, in juniors it was good enough for him to get the job done, but in the NHL it wasn’t even close.

EDIT:  sorry, I see your bolded section now.

Yup. 

I guess I'll have to check out some Mittelstadt stuff - looking at the Reinhart stuff my memory holds, I'm surprised you are saying Casey's wasn't all that special, I remember it being dynamic. I'll watch out for the stickhandling thing. 

Regardless, I'm still hoping the processing speed is something that's contributing, because it's definitely fixable, and he's looked flat out lost so often I'd be surprised if that wasn't an issue adding to perceived lack of speed. 

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5 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Yup. 

I guess I'll have to check out some Mittelstadt stuff - looking at the Reinhart stuff my memory holds, I'm surprised you are saying Casey's wasn't all that special, I remember it being dynamic. I'll watch out for the stickhandling thing. 

Regardless, I'm still hoping the processing speed is something that's contributing, because it's definitely fixable, and he's looked flat out lost so often I'd be surprised if that wasn't an issue adding to perceived lack of speed. 

I honestly don’t think it’s been just one thing for him.

I think he has not made adjustments to his play style.  In juniors he could just stick handle through guys.  Hasn’t worked.  Seems like he often just keeps trying.

I also thing he hasn’t been strong enough to win battles or stop from getting muscled off the puck.  He doesn’t seem strong.  That would probably help everything a little bit.

I also think he totally lost his confidence for a long time.

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Just now, Curt said:

I honestly don’t think it’s been just one thing for him.

I think he has not made adjustments to his play style.  In juniors he could just stick handle through guys.  Hasn’t worked.  Seems like he often just keeps trying.

I also thing he hasn’t been strong enough to win battles or stop from getting muscled off the puck.  He doesn’t seem strong.  That would probably help everything a little bit.

I also think he totally lost his confidence for a long time.

The other reason he might not be scoring is that all of his junior numbers project to him not being a high end scorer. 

There's that, too

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2 minutes ago, Thorny said:

The other reason he might not be scoring is that all of his junior numbers project to him not being a high end scorer. 

There's that, too

Lol, this is true.  One excellent tournament and everyone cut the brakes on his hype train.

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4 minutes ago, Curt said:

Lol, this is true.  One excellent tournament and everyone cut the brakes on his hype train.

Casey Mittelstadt in: SPEED Or, Lack Thereof:  The hype train that can't slow down. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

https://theathletic.com/2229558/2021/01/21/nhl-team-prospect-rankings/

Scott Wheeler is doing his NHL prospect pools.  So far he has ranked 21-31 (Sabres aren't ranked yet).  

However the reason I bring this up now is his definition of a prospect.  We have had this discussion here and I am and remain against the artificial 100 game NHL limit.  Apparently Wheeler no longer believe is such a limit either.  Here is his definition.

To be eligible for inclusion, a skater must be:

Quote

 

Under 23 years old as of Jan. 1. We now know that by the time a player turns 23, he is largely done the steep upward progression we see in prospects and will begin to plateau.

Not a full-time NHL player. This is the only arbitrary section of the criteria. Here, I trust my judgment for whether or not a rostered NHL player is still likely to bounce between levels more than any pre-determined games played cutoff. Preference for inclusion as an NHL prospect is more likely to be given to teenagers than 22-year-olds.

Either signed to an NHL contract or selected in the entry draft, without the expiration of either of those rights. Players who are signed to AHL contracts were not considered.

To be eligible for inclusion, a goalie must be:

Under 25 years old as of Jan. 1. This expanded age criteria (it was set at under-24 last year) is more reflective of the typical goalie trajectory and allows for the continued consideration of goalies who are very much still prospects.

Not currently established as one of their NHL club’s two go-to options.

 

I would use 24 and under, because I think some guys, like VO, continue to develop past 23. For NHL experience, I'm glad he isn't using any pre-determine number of games. However, for both parts of his definition I'd like to see him use some more objective criteria such as waiver status, rookie status, and what league someone is playing in.  I'd also like to know how their NHL organization views them.  My guess is the Sabres viewed 24 year old VO as an important prospect two year ago.  The 100 game cutoff would have eliminated guys like Thompson and Mitts, but as we now know, both guys were and are still developing.  

I'm curious where Wheeler places our pipeline.  Under the expanded definition we are looking at Cozens, Quinn, Mitts, Thompson, Asplund, R2,  JJP and Pekar upfront. (Also Rousek, now 21, is blowing up in the czeck republic, w 24 pts (12 goals) in 33 games; He had 29 pts in 52 games last year) Bryson, Samuelsson, Johnson, and Laaksonen on defense plus UPL and Portillo in goal.  I know my friend @LGR4GM is not a huge fan of our pipeline before JJP and Quinn were added, but it will be interesting to see what Wheeler thinks.  

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5 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

https://theathletic.com/2229558/2021/01/21/nhl-team-prospect-rankings/

Scott Wheeler is doing his NHL prospect pools.  So far he has ranked 21-31 (Sabres aren't ranked yet).  

However the reason I bring this up now is his definition of a prospect.  We have had this discussion here and I am and remain against the artificial 100 game NHL limit.  Apparently Wheeler no longer believe is such a limit either.  Here is his definition.

To be eligible for inclusion, a skater must be:

I would use 24 and under, because I think some guys, like VO, continue to develop past 23. For NHL experience, I'm glad he isn't using any pre-determine number of games. However, for both parts of his definition I'd like to see him use some more objective criteria such as waiver status, rookie status, and what league someone is playing in.  I'd also like to know how their NHL organization views them.  My guess is the Sabres viewed 24 year old VO as an important prospect two year ago.  The 100 game cutoff would have eliminated guys like Thompson and Mitts, but as we now know, both guys were and are still developing.  

I'm curious where Wheeler places our pipeline.  Under the expanded definition we are looking at Cozens, Quinn, Mitts, Thompson, Asplund, R2,  JJP and Pekar upfront. (Also Rousek, now 21, is blowing up in the czeck republic, w 24 pts (12 goals) in 33 games; He had 29 pts in 52 games last year) Bryson, Samuelsson, Johnson, and Laaksonen on defense plus UPL and Portillo in goal.  I know my friend @LGR4GM is not a huge fan of our pipeline before JJP and Quinn were added, but it will be interesting to see what Wheeler thinks.  

I love that you consistently put Casey in the “still developing” category.

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5 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

https://theathletic.com/2229558/2021/01/21/nhl-team-prospect-rankings/

Scott Wheeler is doing his NHL prospect pools.  So far he has ranked 21-31 (Sabres aren't ranked yet).  

However the reason I bring this up now is his definition of a prospect.  We have had this discussion here and I am and remain against the artificial 100 game NHL limit.  Apparently Wheeler no longer believe is such a limit either.  Here is his definition.

To be eligible for inclusion, a skater must be:

I would use 24 and under, because I think some guys, like VO, continue to develop past 23. For NHL experience, I'm glad he isn't using any pre-determine number of games. However, for both parts of his definition I'd like to see him use some more objective criteria such as waiver status, rookie status, and what league someone is playing in.  I'd also like to know how their NHL organization views them.  My guess is the Sabres viewed 24 year old VO as an important prospect two year ago.  The 100 game cutoff would have eliminated guys like Thompson and Mitts, but as we now know, both guys were and are still developing.  

I'm curious where Wheeler places our pipeline.  Under the expanded definition we are looking at Cozens, Quinn, Mitts, Thompson, Asplund, R2,  JJP and Pekar upfront. (Also Rousek, now 21, is blowing up in the czeck republic, w 24 pts (12 goals) in 33 games; He had 29 pts in 52 games last year) Bryson, Samuelsson, Johnson, and Laaksonen on defense plus UPL and Portillo in goal.  I know my friend @LGR4GM is not a huge fan of our pipeline before JJP and Quinn were added, but it will be interesting to see what Wheeler thinks.  

You did forget Peterka... he has shown well overseas so far

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1 hour ago, tom webster said:

I love that you consistently put Casey in the “still developing” category.

What is really surprising is that you, who argue about players getting better because they get more physically developed, don’t have Mitts, 22, as still developing.  Given what we saw with the development of Thompson and VO and the comments from Taylor and RK, I actually find it hard to believe how many here disagree.  

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7 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

https://theathletic.com/2229558/2021/01/21/nhl-team-prospect-rankings/

Scott Wheeler is doing his NHL prospect pools.  So far he has ranked 21-31 (Sabres aren't ranked yet).  

However the reason I bring this up now is his definition of a prospect.  We have had this discussion here and I am and remain against the artificial 100 game NHL limit.  Apparently Wheeler no longer believe is such a limit either.  Here is his definition.

To be eligible for inclusion, a skater must be:

I would use 24 and under, because I think some guys, like VO, continue to develop past 23. For NHL experience, I'm glad he isn't using any pre-determine number of games. However, for both parts of his definition I'd like to see him use some more objective criteria such as waiver status, rookie status, and what league someone is playing in.  I'd also like to know how their NHL organization views them.  My guess is the Sabres viewed 24 year old VO as an important prospect two year ago.  The 100 game cutoff would have eliminated guys like Thompson and Mitts, but as we now know, both guys were and are still developing.  

I'm curious where Wheeler places our pipeline.  Under the expanded definition we are looking at Cozens, Quinn, Mitts, Thompson, Asplund, R2,  JJP and Pekar upfront. (Also Rousek, now 21, is blowing up in the czeck republic, w 24 pts (12 goals) in 33 games; He had 29 pts in 52 games last year) Bryson, Samuelsson, Johnson, and Laaksonen on defense plus UPL and Portillo in goal.  I know my friend @LGR4GM is not a huge fan of our pipeline before JJP and Quinn were added, but it will be interesting to see what Wheeler thinks.  

That list of forwards should include 1 of if not 2 of Berggren, Robertson, Hoglander, Beaucage and it doesn't. 

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37 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

What is really surprising is that you, who argue about players getting better because they get more physically developed, don’t have Mitts, 22, as still developing.  Given what we saw with the development of Thompson and VO and the comments from Taylor and RK, I actually find it hard to believe how many here disagree.  

VO is almost the same player he was when he joined Rochester. The only development he did was picking up the speed and rink of the NA game. 

Tage still has the jury out. I think his size means he will always be a somewhat slow and awkward giraffe. I will give him credit for adding weight. 

Mitts problem wasn't his muscles, it was his lack of compete and being able to play a team game. He's soft in the corners and his skating is just okay. 

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57 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

VO is almost the same player he was when he joined Rochester. The only development he did was picking up the speed and rink of the NA game. 

Tage still has the jury out. I think his size means he will always be a somewhat slow and awkward giraffe. I will give him credit for adding weight. 

Mitts problem wasn't his muscles, it was his lack of compete and being able to play a team game. He's soft in the corners and his skating is just okay. 

Other then the last scrimmage, where he played well with Quinn, when is the last time you saw him play? Buffalo last season?  Did you see him every game and practice in Rochester?  How do you know your evaluation is accurate without recent information?  Until he plays again in the NHL, you have zero idea and either do I of what he has become.  The only people that see him day in and day out say his compete level is better, he is more physically mature and is play a more complete game.  

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1 minute ago, dudacek said:

I don't think Tage has looked slow or awkward at all this year, especially considering where he was in his first year here.

 

When watching TT's games this season I didn't see him being out of place. That's not to say that his play was very noteworthy. Because it wasn't.  But as you noted not being a drag on the ice and being an active participant is in itself a step (not leap) forward. If with playing time his play doesn't show improvement then that status quo performance will indicate that what he is is what he is and not what was hoped for. I'm cautiously optimistic about him. In comparison, I'm incautiously optimistic about Cozens. It's not difficult to believe that he is going to steadily get better as the season advances and become a contributing player in his rookie year.  

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