I Love Paris in the Springtime

Lowetide
March 30 2011 07:50AM

A kid from Paris--the one in France--who owns a Spanish sirname is the most sought after free agent in the game today.

Some time today (or possibly tomorrow) it'll move on the ticker: Merrimack center Stephane Da Costa has signed with an NHL team. According to yesterday's Dreger Report there are at least 20 NHL teams interested in the player, and other sources have all 30 teams knocking on his agent's door.

He's 21 years old, 5'11, 180 and went 14-31-45 in 33 games this season in the NCAA. Da Costa has been playing in the USA since age 17 (he played for the Texas Tornado of the USHL. The Ottawa Senators are considered to be the front runners, but the Oilers could offer the same thing the Senators can: money in big bundles and a chance to play in the NHL right away.

Should Da Costa sign and play in the NHL, he would be the first NHLer from Paris, France. There have been 5 other French born NHL players and they are listed here. There have been 3 NHL players from Paris, Ontario: Syl Apps Sr, Jay Wells and Ken Ellacott.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 EasyOil
March 30 2011, 08:02AM
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LT: You think the Oil could sign him? If they do, that surely puts some of the Oilers existing prospects in danger of not receiving a contract (thinking Abney, Hesketh - if he doesn't find another college that will take him on). Not that I would particularly bothered about losing those guys, but the Oilers certainly seem like they're not afraid to use their contract spaces. And thats not necessarily a bad thing.

What's the scouting report on him anyways? Skating? Faceoffs? Perimeter player or nose-to-the-net? Edit: and no I'm not going to say that dreaded word...

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#2 hamzinoilcntry
March 30 2011, 08:21AM
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LT. Have you been watching the NCAA road to the Frozen Four? Any thoughts on Matt Frattin from UND? Kid has had an unbelievable year and in prime shape to win the Hobey. Thoughts on him being an impact player for the Leafs next year? Or will he be trade bait that the Oil could take a look at?

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#3 Maverick
March 30 2011, 08:25AM
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Instead of the Oilers signing Stephane Da Costa I would rather them pay the money to the Swedish free agent goalie Viktor Fasth.

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#4 freeze
March 30 2011, 08:33AM
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Since he is 5'11/180 I'm sure Tambo will drive a truck full of cash up to his door. He'll fit right in.

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#5 Bob Cob
March 30 2011, 08:33AM
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The one question I have is why was this kid never drafted if he is so good? They said the same things about Fabian Brunnestrum and we all know how that panned out for the Stars. If the Oilers do sign him, I hope they dont but if they do, don't break the bank on this kid.

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#6 Oilcruzer
March 30 2011, 08:33AM
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All I wanna know is if he can win at least 45% on the dot.

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Maverick wrote:

Instead of the Oilers signing Stephane Da Costa I would rather them pay the money to the Swedish free agent goalie Viktor Fasth.

Why not go after both?

To be honest I don't get the hype on this kid.

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#8 who is alright?
March 30 2011, 08:44AM
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I think the Oilers should definitely sign the kid. Throw him into OKC and give him a chance.

Was it just me, or did anyone else notice how much of a good power forward Hartikainen is turning out to be? The kid can dominate in the corners and can drive hard to the net.

Also, WTF is Vande Velde still doing playing hockey? YES he can win about half of his draws... however, he has ZERO offensie and defensive abilities. There were several times plays would die in the o-zone because VDV would simply lose the puck.

On another exciting note, we are getting the FIRST OVERALL PICK!! If anyone on here is from Calgary we are going to Hudson's on 12th and 5th to watch the oilers (just like last year!!)

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#9 EasyOil
March 30 2011, 08:46AM
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Bob Cob wrote:

The one question I have is why was this kid never drafted if he is so good? They said the same things about Fabian Brunnestrum and we all know how that panned out for the Stars. If the Oilers do sign him, I hope they dont but if they do, don't break the bank on this kid.

NHL stars and useful players that were never drafted: Dustin Penner Andy McDonald Niklas Backstrom Rene Bourque Alexandre Burrows Dino Ciccarelli Pascal Dupuis Curtis Glencross Jonas Hiller Curtis Joseph Adam Oates etc etc

Being drafted does not guarantee you will be good, and not being drafted doesn't guarantee you will be bad.

The kid might well amount to nothing, but don't write him off when he hasn't even started. He's a late bloomer.

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#10 Zarf
March 30 2011, 08:47AM
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Number of NHLers from Paris, Texas: Zero.

Also - Based on the very-little I know of this Da Costa kid, I guess I'd steer clear. The size numbers are not good and if the Oilers draft that little elf in Red Deer (and I'd be OK with that), they probably don't need another one.

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#11 Rexall Robots
March 30 2011, 09:04AM
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If you are looking for a little more information on Da Costa, Chemmy over at The Leafs Nation did a pretty good write-up on March 27th.

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#12 esa tikkanen
March 30 2011, 09:06AM
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Glencross was drafted

I think Ciccarelli was too

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#13 Dan the Man
March 30 2011, 09:09AM
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I guess if you have the chance to add a potentially good player to your line up for nothing (by nothing I mean not sending anyone else the other way) you should probably do it.

He is another smallish offensive minded winger though so I think we are pretty solid in that dept.

LT, does it concern you at all that Da Costa's number from last year are almost identical to this years? Do you think it's an indication that he's stalled in his development?

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#14 Hemmertime
March 30 2011, 09:42AM
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Visnovsky first in NHL in D pts. Sure he only had .05 more PPG than Whitney so far, except hes healthy and doing it over a longer period. If we traded a FW who ended up leading the league in scoring the next season we'd be outraged... so why not D? Whitney has been good for us sure, but anytime you trade someone who LEADS THE GODDAMN LEAGUE and your powerplay is LAST IN THE GODDAMN LEAGUE you should lose your job. Although as a positive, this puts me way up on RB with his "Whitney will score more pts than Lubo over next 3 years" debate.

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#15 TigerUnderGlass
March 30 2011, 09:49AM
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@Dan the Man

He is another smallish offensive minded winger though so I think we are pretty solid in that dept.

"Merrimack center Stephane Da Costa has signed with an NHL team."

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#16 Archaeologuy
March 30 2011, 09:51AM
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@Hemmertime

There's pretty much no defending it.

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#17 TigerUnderGlass
March 30 2011, 09:54AM
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esa tikkanen wrote:

Glencross was drafted

I think Ciccarelli was too

Glencross: March 25, 2004: Signed as a free agent by Anaheim, March 25, 2004.

Ciccarelli: September 28, 1979: Signed as a free agent by Minnesota, September 28, 1979.

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#18 Dan the Man
March 30 2011, 09:56AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
He is another smallish offensive minded winger though so I think we are pretty solid in that dept.

"Merrimack center Stephane Da Costa has signed with an NHL team."

Thanks for correcting me, I missed the center part but I'd have to say that we are also pretty solid in the smallish, offensive minded center dept.

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#19 Dan the Man
March 30 2011, 09:59AM
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Keep in mind that Whitney is younger and while I think that Lubo is an exceptional d-man right now I don't think you can fairly asses this trade after one season.

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#20 TigerUnderGlass
March 30 2011, 10:06AM
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To add to the well-known undrafted NHL player list:

Niklas Backstrom Ed Belfour Geofff Courtnall Mark Giordano Steve Thomas Peter Stastny Martin St. Louis

Besides there more famous players there have been a ton solid NHL players who were never drafted. (eg. David Clarkson, Chris Kunitz) Literally dozens. I cannot believe anyone would not consider this a valid place to find players.

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#21 TigerUnderGlass
March 30 2011, 10:09AM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Thanks for correcting me, I missed the center part but I'd have to say that we are also pretty solid in the smallish, offensive minded center dept.

So you trade one. Why not sign talent when it is available?

If talent is there and it costs nothing you take it. Even if he turns out to be an exact duplicate of Cogliano we can trade Cogliano for anything and come out ahead.

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#22 Mantastic
March 30 2011, 10:15AM
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@Hemmertime

they play for different teams. saying lubo would put up the same points here as he's doing this year with the ducks is a ludicrous idea, vice versa for whitney.

good example is foster, last year he put up 40 points for TBL and was a PP specialist.

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#23 Dan the Man
March 30 2011, 10:28AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

So you trade one. Why not sign talent when it is available?

If talent is there and it costs nothing you take it. Even if he turns out to be an exact duplicate of Cogliano we can trade Cogliano for anything and come out ahead.

I don't really disagree with you there, that's why I began with...

"I guess if you have the chance to add a potentially good player to your line up for nothing (by nothing I mean not sending anyone else the other way) you should probably do it."

Oilers management wouldn't be doing their jobs if they didn't try to sign a potentially good player.

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#24 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 30 2011, 10:30AM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Visnovsky first in NHL in D pts. Sure he only had .05 more PPG than Whitney so far, except hes healthy and doing it over a longer period. If we traded a FW who ended up leading the league in scoring the next season we'd be outraged... so why not D? Whitney has been good for us sure, but anytime you trade someone who LEADS THE GODDAMN LEAGUE and your powerplay is LAST IN THE GODDAMN LEAGUE you should lose your job. Although as a positive, this puts me way up on RB with his "Whitney will score more pts than Lubo over next 3 years" debate.

Ya Vishnosky really is one of the most underrated players in the league.

I like what Whitney brings and the younger age is certainly a bonus but this is still a really tough trade to get behind.

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#25 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 30 2011, 10:32AM
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Mantastic wrote:

they play for different teams. saying lubo would put up the same points here as he's doing this year with the ducks is a ludicrous idea, vice versa for whitney.

good example is foster, last year he put up 40 points for TBL and was a PP specialist.

I'd rather compare what we *know* players *are* doing with their respective teams then always playing the game of trying to speculate what they *might* be doing on a different team.

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#26 Mr. Pederson
March 30 2011, 10:41AM
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Dan Boyle was also never drafted and he made the Olympic team.

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#27 Dodd
March 30 2011, 10:45AM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Visnovsky first in NHL in D pts. Sure he only had .05 more PPG than Whitney so far, except hes healthy and doing it over a longer period. If we traded a FW who ended up leading the league in scoring the next season we'd be outraged... so why not D? Whitney has been good for us sure, but anytime you trade someone who LEADS THE GODDAMN LEAGUE and your powerplay is LAST IN THE GODDAMN LEAGUE you should lose your job. Although as a positive, this puts me way up on RB with his "Whitney will score more pts than Lubo over next 3 years" debate.

Yeah Visnovsky really led us out of the basement when he was here. Oh wait a minute....

We have to be careful with signing older guys (ahem... Khabibulin) because by the time we're ready to win they're retiring or on the downside of their skills while still quite expensive.

A Visnovsky on our team (or a Souray for that matter) would not have changed the fact that our kids aren't ready to be contenders. Who wants Visnovsky on our team at a cap hit of 5.6 per when we can't take full advantage of his abilities because of inexperience and massive holes in our size and in the dot?

Lubo leads the league because he's on a contending team. His contract ends in 2013. Just in time for us to START thinking about being the Ducks. Wouldn't have made sense to keep him. You're either developing kids or making a playoff run. Not both.

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#28 Zarf
March 30 2011, 10:46AM
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I'm not going to get into any arguments about merits of player recruitment via the draft or via free agency. The fact of the matter is, there are several ways to get into the NHL and the draft is only one.

(That said, the poster above who referred to Peter Stastny as an undrafted free agent were technically correct but probably stretching things a tad. Smuggling a player out of a country in the trunk of a car during the Cold War isn't really "free agency," but rather "secret agency.")

Anyway, I think the argument against signing Zappacosta or whatever his name is need not cover any more ground than his size.

He's small centre. Check that - he's a small European centre from a non-traditional hockey country. I think it's perfectly reasonable to question his toughness and his adjustment to the North American game.

The more I read about this kid, the more I pick up a Michel Riesen vibe.

But I just don't know - I've never seen him play.

One thing I do know is this: If the Oilers sign this kid, there's a legion of yahoos on this site who will howl with displeasure that the Oilers have acquired yet-another smurf ... three months before they will likely draft another first overall.

I'm prepared to defend RNH ... but I'm not sure if I'll go to bat for another Michel Riesen.

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#29 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 30 2011, 10:48AM
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Dodd wrote:

Yeah Visnovsky really led us out of the basement when he was here. Oh wait a minute....

We have to be careful with signing older guys (ahem... Khabibulin) because by the time we're ready to win they're retiring or on the downside of their skills while still quite expensive.

A Visnovsky on our team (or a Souray for that matter) would not have changed the fact that our kids aren't ready to be contenders. Who wants Visnovsky on our team at a cap hit of 5.6 per when we can't take full advantage of his abilities because of inexperience and massive holes in our size and in the dot?

Lubo leads the league because he's on a contending team. His contract ends in 2013. Just in time for us to START thinking about being the Ducks. Wouldn't have made sense to keep him. You're either developing kids or making a playoff run. Not both.

Lubo is leading the league because he's an elite offensive Dman.

Whitney's contract runs out the same year.

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#30 Mantastic
March 30 2011, 10:49AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

i don't even know what you're trying to say here...

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#31 Mantastic
March 30 2011, 10:53AM
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@Zarf

Da Costa has been playing NA hockey for quite some time now... so i wouldn't call him a euro player. would you call landeskog a euro player?

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#32 Quicksilver ballet
March 30 2011, 11:02AM
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If the kid doesn't mind earning his stripes Edmonton may be a good fit for him. Who was the last good non drafted free agent we landed, Charlie Huddy is the only one that comes to mind.

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#33 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 30 2011, 11:04AM
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Mantastic wrote:

i don't even know what you're trying to say here...

I'm saying your point is weak. Lubo is ripping up the league and Whitney is ripping up the IR. It's irrelavant whom they are playing for.

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#34 Zarf
March 30 2011, 11:05AM
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Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: Yes, because it's my contention that NCAA hockey is probably closer to European hockey in terms of style, number of games and physicality than it is to the "North American brand."

Landeskog's an anomaly - the first-ever Swedish (and maybe European?) captain of a major-junior team. That's why he's so intriguing to scouts. He hits, he fights, he scores and he's doing it in a league that's closer to the NHL in terms of style, number of games and physicality than the NCAA is.

The NCAA, even Division I schools like Merrimack, are full of kids like Da Costa - guys who were decent Tier II players but probably got pushed around a bit too much to make the jump to major junior so opted for college instead. Nothing wrong with that decision - Da Costa obviously made the right one.

Don't get me wrong - I'm quite comfortable drafting players out of college, but I'd like to play it safe and draft the bigger, more physical kids with size that will likely translate better to a pro game. But I'm always a little leery of those small, undrafted NCAA hotshots in their early 20s.

That said, I'm talking out of my (butt) here. I've never seen him play. He could be the next Brian Gionta, for all I know. I'm just saying let's let some other team find out.

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#35 Dodd
March 30 2011, 11:07AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Lubo is leading the league because he's an elite offensive Dman.

Whitney's contract runs out the same year.

Based on that logic, it doesn't matter what team he's on I guess, which is why he should have led the league when he was an Oiler. I wonder why he didn't?

Your logic suggests that it has nothing to do with defensive pairings, a team's ability to win a faceoff, a team's size and how the team uses the player.

I think we can all agree that Vis was an experiment that didn't pan out (though he was very good). I realize Whitney's contract ends at the same time but he's 1.5 cheaper and alot bigger. Yes acquiring Whitney goes against my theory.... so does Khabibulin. I never said I agreed with that.

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#36 rubbertrout
March 30 2011, 11:14AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

I agree. Also are the Ducks really a contending team?

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#37 coggsforsale
March 30 2011, 11:20AM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Visnovsky first in NHL in D pts. Sure he only had .05 more PPG than Whitney so far, except hes healthy and doing it over a longer period. If we traded a FW who ended up leading the league in scoring the next season we'd be outraged... so why not D? Whitney has been good for us sure, but anytime you trade someone who LEADS THE GODDAMN LEAGUE and your powerplay is LAST IN THE GODDAMN LEAGUE you should lose your job. Although as a positive, this puts me way up on RB with his "Whitney will score more pts than Lubo over next 3 years" debate.

anybody who the soil trade always does better somewhere else,you cant name one person who didnt do better,im very bitter but this team is poorly run and always will be!

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#38 Mantastic
March 30 2011, 11:21AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I'm saying your point is weak. Lubo is ripping up the league and Whitney is ripping up the IR. It's irrelavant whom they are playing for.

lol how is it irrelavant who they are playing for? lubo put up 45 points last season, what was the change in the surge in points this season, hmm i wonder....

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#39 gogliano
March 30 2011, 11:21AM
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So am I right these are his NHL equivalencies (using 0.41 for NCAA):

14g-32a-46p

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#40 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 30 2011, 11:23AM
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@ Dodd/Mantasic

Whitney was also putting up far superior numbers with the lotto Oilers then he did with the mid range Ducks last year.

Hmmmm.... I wonder what that does to your theory

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#41 Mantastic
March 30 2011, 11:24AM
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@Zarf

he wouldn't be drafted but signed as a free agent. so we wouldn't be risking anything but a contract.

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#42 gord962
March 30 2011, 11:24AM
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So... if there are 29 other teams interested in this kid and he decides to come to Edmonton are the Oilers not supposed to offer a contract? Not likely. Give the kid a shot; if he works out - great, if not - oh well, I'm sure there is room in OKC. We wouldn't be giving up assets to get him so what is the big deal? He works out and we have too many smurfs? Trade a smurf. It's really that simple. Not going after a guy that every single team in the league is showing interest in would be a HUGE mistake. We are rebuilding so now is the time to take chances on guys like this.

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#43 Bob Cob
March 30 2011, 11:25AM
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EasyOil wrote:

NHL stars and useful players that were never drafted: Dustin Penner Andy McDonald Niklas Backstrom Rene Bourque Alexandre Burrows Dino Ciccarelli Pascal Dupuis Curtis Glencross Jonas Hiller Curtis Joseph Adam Oates etc etc

Being drafted does not guarantee you will be good, and not being drafted doesn't guarantee you will be bad.

The kid might well amount to nothing, but don't write him off when he hasn't even started. He's a late bloomer.

I'm not writing him off, he may be a late bloomer as you suggested, I just don't want the Oilers to break the bank on this kid on a hunch he may be good. Its also my opinion the Oilers don't need more young studs especially after this years draft pick, they need some transitional players to show the young guys how to be everyday pros. But thats just my opinion.

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#44 Mantastic
March 30 2011, 11:29AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

@ Dodd/Mantasic

Whitney was also putting up far superior numbers with the lotto Oilers then he did with the mid range Ducks last year.

Hmmmm.... I wonder what that does to your theory

and how is that irrelevant to what team they are playing for?

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#45 Shane
March 30 2011, 11:37AM
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I dont care what anybody says factoring in age, money, size, leadership, attitude and overall all around abilities plus the 3rd rounder we got(correct me if I'm wrong here) we win the Whitney trade hands down.. Although it was just an overall better fit for both teams and both players

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#46 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 30 2011, 11:42AM
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Mantastic wrote:

and how is that irrelevant to what team they are playing for?

My point is it is irrelavant who a guy is playing for, history backs that up. If he's a good player and puts it all together for the year, they will put up points.

Whether it's with the Canucks or the Oilers.

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#47 Crash
March 30 2011, 12:02PM
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Why do people get caught up in what is happening during one season. People can't seem to grasp the age thing for some reason either. What good would Visnovsky do the Oilers in 2/3 yrs when he's 38? I also wouldn't be surprised if Visnovsky actually asked to be moved.

I guess Chicago should offer up Duncan Keith for Visnovsky or Seabrook. LA should dump Doughty for him, Nashville Shea Weber, Pittsburgh Kris Letang, Boston Zdeno Chara, Phoenix Keith Yandle, Washington Mike Green....some of these teams have bad PP's. I mean if age isn't a factor.

Would've trading Crosby to Vancouver for Daniel Sedin have been a good move for Pittsburgh? Or would moving Hemsky out of here for Selanne be good going forward?

Funny how no one remembers that Visnovsky in two seasons in Edm had 31pts in 50 games & 32 pts in 57 games. I guess Visnovsky is excused for putting up those stellar numbers while here, for some reason.

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#48 Zarf
March 30 2011, 12:05PM
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Mantastic wrote:

@Zarf

he wouldn't be drafted but signed as a free agent. so we wouldn't be risking anything but a contract.

Um, er, yes. But a contract (even a two-way deal) is far more of a committment than a draft pick, especially a late-rounder, which is where this kid would have been picked - if he had been picked - when he was 18.

Like I say, I've never seen him play but you can sorta see where this guy came from. And he

One of the more notable comments on this came from EasyOil, and I quote:

"Being drafted does not guarantee you will be good, and not being drafted doesn't guarantee you will be bad."

Right, but not being drafted is definitely more of a guarantee of not being good than being drafted is.

If you're undrafted, chances are you're done. You've played five years in the WHL and you're headed for Canadian University Hockey or one of the lower professional leagues in Europe (Holland, France, etc.) or, worse, senior hockey.

There are plenty of exceptions, of course, and they've been noted earlier. But the exceptions prove the rule: If you make the NHL as an undrafted free agent from North America, you have bucked the odds.

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#49 Mantastic
March 30 2011, 12:15PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

My point is it is irrelavant who a guy is playing for, history backs that up. If he's a good player and puts it all together for the year, they will put up points.

Whether it's with the Canucks or the Oilers.

it really does make a difference which team they play for, look at keith ballard, D2 for florida but D5/D6 for the canucks. no one could put up the same numbers in that scenerio. different teams have different systems and different depth charts.

so my original point is valid saying that lubo would not put up the same numbers as an oiler this year as he would in anahiem, vice versa for whitney which is pretty evident in last years numbers.

@Crash

+1 agreed

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#50 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 30 2011, 12:39PM
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Mantastic wrote:

it really does make a difference which team they play for, look at keith ballard, D2 for florida but D5/D6 for the canucks. no one could put up the same numbers in that scenerio. different teams have different systems and different depth charts.

so my original point is valid saying that lubo would not put up the same numbers as an oiler this year as he would in anahiem, vice versa for whitney which is pretty evident in last years numbers.

@Crash

+1 agreed

Just so we are clear here, you are saying that:

Vishnoski is putting up better numbers with the Ducks because the Ducks are a better team and that Whitney put up better numbers with the Oilers because the Oilers are a worse team?

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