FTHM PART II: RNH AND MATTERS OF SIZE

Robin Brownlee
May 03 2011 08:19PM

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doesn't have any trouble measuring up when it comes to talent and hockey sense, but in a league where the perception has long been that size matters and bigger is better, he doesn't fare as well when NHL scouts take out the tape measure and scale.

So, while the 18-year-old center from Burnaby doesn't have to take a backseat to anybody in terms of the former after tallying 106 points in 69 games with the Red Deer Rebels this season, it's the latter that has some people wondering if bigger might be better.

That's a question Edmonton Oilers chief scout Stu MacGregor and his staff will be tossing around between now and the 2011 Entry Draft in Minnesota, where the Oilers will follow up the selection of Taylor Hall in 2010 with No. 1 pick for the second year in a row.

At just a touch over six-feet and weighing just 165 pounds, Nugent-Hopkins is eye-to-eye with other top-rated prospects like Adam Larsson, Gabriel Landeskog, Sean Couturier and Jonathan Huberdeau in terms of skill, but not stature.

How, exactly, does that fact play into the equation for MacGregor and the Oilers, who already have a roster laden with smaller forwards like Jordan Eberle, Sam Gagner, Linus Omark and Andrew Cogliano who don't play a robust, physical style?

It's a fair question, and one I asked MacGregor.

MEASURING UP

While Nugent-Hopkins certainly isn't the second-coming of legendary mites like Bobby Lalonde or Steve Tsujiura -- you have to be a fossil to remember those big talents in little bodies -- and isn't much smaller than Huberdeau, who is half-an-inch taller and 170 pounds, there's no question he isn't an imposing physical specimen. He likely never will be.

"Will he get big enough? Will he get strong enough to play in the NHL? I don't know if size is an issue in terms of height, but he will have to get stronger," MacGregor said.

"He's six feet and half-an-inch, that's what Central Scouting has him at. The issue is, is he going to put on enough poundage to handle the rigors of the NHL?"

That's a question that's been asked about a lot of players who turned out just fine, as in Hall of Fame fine, like Wayne Gretzky and Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman, who were all scrawny, pencil-necked kids as NHL rookies.

Of course, just mentioning three of the greatest players to ever lace on skates draws a groan from MacGregor, as you'd expect.

GROWING PAINS

"I've never been one who likes to compare players, especially when you get to Gretzky. Like, come on," MacGregor said.

"Yzerman was drafted at 155 pounds. Sakic wasn't very big either. I'm not comparing this guy to those guys because they're hall-of-famers, but remember these guys are 17 and 18 years old.

"The question is, can he put on the weight that gives him the strength and power? Those guys did, so obviously it's not impossible to do that. Now, is it possible for him to do that?"

Obviously, it's tough to say for sure with an 18-year-old. Fitness programs and diet aside, Nugent-Hopkins should put on size naturally as he matures. He has an older brother who is the same height and his father is shorter. Both are "thicker," according to MacGregor.

I'll get into what MacGregor had to say about other aspects of Nugent-Hopkins game later in this series, but my read is he puts other attributes ahead of size when it comes to this player.

"He's got great hockey sense and he's got great skill," MacGregor said.

BY THE NUMBERS

There is also concern in some circles that Nugent-Hopkins scored 59 of his 106 points this season on the power play and that his even-strength numbers don't stack up favourably against other top forwards. That's not a fact lost on MacGregor.

"I guess you can look at it any way you want and we will have those discussions," he said. "There will be somebody who will bring that up in our meetings. They are important things to discuss."

Discussion about the breakdown of the numbers put up by Nugent-Hopkins -- he finished fourth in WHL scoring and was the youngest player in that group -- is one thing. Consternation about them is another.

"I've watched the kid play at both ends and he seems to do a lot of things on the power play and 5-on-5, so it's not a real issue at this point," said MacGregor.

"He had the same number of points that Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin did last year. He rose to the occasion enough to be the leading scorer with his team and one of the top five in the WHL. He didn't have a lot of guys to play with, but in the games I saw he was the guy who stirred the drink."

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 andrewmk20
May 04 2011, 12:07PM
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I like Nugent Hopkins over Larsson but Kyle Turris was once compared to Sakic as well and Turris has yet to break 30 pts in a season. I think this is one of the seasons where no.1 overall is much murkier so if they are going to move it this year is the likeliest one.

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#2 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
May 04 2011, 05:34PM
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madjam wrote:

P. Datysuk went from a 19 year old 5ft 7 inch forward of 140 lbs , to a 5ft.11 inch man of 185 lbs .. Pretty amazing transformation i'd say . Now Hopkins just needs to figure out how to add 4 more inches and 45 lbs .. That should make him 6ft 4 inches and 205 lbs . Wonder what kind of food suppliments was Datsyuk on ? Article in Sports Illustrated this week .

Now Hopkins just needs to figure out how to add 4 more inches

am i the only one who read that and cant stop laughing?

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#3 knobby
May 04 2011, 02:28AM
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One further thot occurs to me here. The 1st pick overall is important but I would suggest MacGregor's subsequest 5 or 6 picks are collectively just about as important as who they select 1st overall. I'm really looking forward to see who they chose after the fanfare of the 1st round is over.

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#4 Bruce
May 04 2011, 08:55AM
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@Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

Sheldon, you may have read the interview I did with Rebels coach Jesse Wallin at Cult of Hockey about Nugent-Hopkins a couple weeks back. I asked him directly about RNH's even strength scoring and he raved about the kid buying into the two way game and concluded: "Let's put it this way: I don't have any problem with his five on five play." Not sure who I'd rather hear words like that from than the guy's coach.

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#5 speeds
May 04 2011, 12:32PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Only two options?

How about: "I know what the numbers say, and while some people might read a lot into them, I don't in this case. They don't sway me as much as watching him play."

I'm guessing those pushing advanced stats can accept that there's a middle ground between treating them as gospel and outright rejection.

Some advanced stats can be useful in lending context or as a secondary source of information. As a stand alone, they do not take the place of educated observation.

I would say your response falls under the first option I listed, but I can't say I fleshed that option out as well as maybe I should have. Additionally, I'm sure one could come up with some other ways to interpret his statement - my list of two isn't necessarily exhaustive.

In general, I'm a believer that the stats are more important than some, maybe even some current scouts, might think, but that isn't to say that I think viewing the players is worthless. I think it's important, but the degree of importance probably varies depending on who you ask, and I'm not sure who has the right answer.

A guy like Tyler Myers is an excellent example of a player the scouts correctly identified that wouldn't have been picked that early on stats alone. On the flip side, the scouts thought they saw something in Brad Richards game that caused him to be picked 64th overall, even though he had 115 pts in his draft year.

The question is, where is the proper balance?

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#6 db7db7db7
May 04 2011, 02:56PM
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"A couple of people high up in the Oilers' organization -- and I'm not naming names -- said Hopkins has the best vision on the ice since No. 99 (Wayne Gretzky),"

from: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=561762

Sounds good to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I guess all that's left is to find a McSorley to go with him.

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#7 Quicksilver ballet
May 03 2011, 08:36PM
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The Oilers can't afford not to take this kid now. Don't remember hearing much about his skating abilities though, if Stu and the rest of his peers have faith in this kid then who are we to question what he will or won't be able to accomplish in his career. Would feel better if he brought one of those other kids with him a couple picks later (incase he goes back to Red Deer for next season). Just need Tambellini to do whatever it takes to get a second shot in that top 6.

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#8 John Chambers
May 03 2011, 08:41PM
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Wow! Cryptic.

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#9 Woodguy
May 03 2011, 08:51PM
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Really enjoying hearing from MBS, good stuff Robin.

Looking forward to more.

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#10 buttermilk buscuits
May 03 2011, 08:58PM
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18 years old..most people gain about 20-30 pounds of muscle and bone density weight by around 20 years old..I expect Hopkins to be around 185-195 in a few years..I dont think size should be an issue especially when you consider his playing style in traffic.

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#11 mayorpoop
May 03 2011, 09:11PM
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well this solves nothing. i dont care tho i will continue read and discuss the future of the franchise like i am somebody that matters...oh do i wish i was i would screw this up GOOD.

thanks for spreading these out robin it nice to read new posts daily.

rnh for prime minister!

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#12 mayorpoop
May 03 2011, 09:21PM
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mayorpoop wrote:

well this solves nothing. i dont care tho i will continue read and discuss the future of the franchise like i am somebody that matters...oh do i wish i was i would screw this up GOOD.

thanks for spreading these out robin it nice to read new posts daily.

rnh for prime minister!

to clarify the PM reference...like old stodgy harper (bandwagon team jumpin hockey fan), RNH is as well seemingly loved by the majority.

but unlike our PM he wont be seat searching in 4yrs he will seat FILLIN!

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#13 @NateInVegas
May 03 2011, 09:32PM
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Robin,

The scouts are saying Nugent-Hopkins is projected to be better than Seguin, does the same go for Ryan Johansen?

Another year in the WHL for a #1 ?

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#14 Oilcruzer
May 03 2011, 09:39PM
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Hmmm. My opinion is made. I think you have to take him.

If he doesn't pan out, you won't look as bad as you would in not taking the number one ranked and he turns into Stevie Y.

You don't coach hockey sense.

He has a great attitude.

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#15 Robin Brownlee
May 03 2011, 09:39PM
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@NateInVegas wrote:

Robin,

The scouts are saying Nugent-Hopkins is projected to be better than Seguin, does the same go for Ryan Johansen?

Another year in the WHL for a #1 ?

Are you referring to scouts Stauffer cited on his show? How many scouts said it? In what context?

I don't know who said what, and I don't know enough about Nugent-Hopkins first-hand to offer any insight of value on how he compares to Seguin or the CBJ kid.

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#16 Team Hoppy
May 03 2011, 09:41PM
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Great, great article Rubin. This is exactly the stuff we want to be hearing. If you put up a new article every day from now till draft on this draft, I would not ever get sick of it. Good point that MBS says he plays well all the time, and stirs the drink. One worry about a player is that he is made to look good by his linemates. This does not appear to be the case. Also, numbers only tell so much. When MBS says he plays fine 5 on 5, that's because he watched him play. Maybe the kid spent so much time on the pp he didnt have much time 5 on 5 to rack up pts? BTW, which scout said RNH looks better than Seguin? Interested to see that.

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#17 @NateInVegas
May 03 2011, 10:12PM
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It was on Bob's show in context to RNH likely producing more than Seguin. (no names used)

Curious where Johansen fits into the mix?

His all around game might be better than RNH and he's NHL ready...

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#18 John Chambers
May 03 2011, 10:14PM
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Robin,

I'd be curious to know what Stu's take is on the importance of size for the team's forward corps. As in, where does he place value when selecting players who can throw their weight around vs pure skill?

Regardless of whether RNH is the unanimous choice as the best available player in the draft or not, to what extent are the Oilers' management and scouting staff concerned about their relative lack of size, and how proactive will they be about addressing it as an imperative to becoming a competitive team?

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#20 Butters
May 03 2011, 11:06PM
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Out of the top ten in playoff scoring thus far, Lecavalier, Bergeron, Ovechkin and Clowe are over 6 feet tall. I would throw Downie in as a bigger player even though he is under 6 feet. The rest Giroux, St. Louis, Cammalleri, Briere, and Marchand are hardly giants. Do you need to be big to score when it matters? I am not so sure.

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#21 NastyNate
May 03 2011, 11:28PM
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@@NateInVegas

What mix are you referring to? he's Columbus property....are you suggesting trading #1 overall for him? Yes he may be NHL ready but he played on much better team (Niederreiter, Bartschi) and RNH still outscored him with no name linemates. He was one of, if not the best forward for team Canada at the WJHC, but he also has 1 more year of exp. than RNH.

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#22 Cobber
May 03 2011, 11:44PM
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Robin watched Steve Tjisura play when i was a kid and he was unbelievable!! Too bad he didn`t have any size he would have been a star in the NHL!

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#23 DonovanMD
May 04 2011, 12:01AM
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Loving this segment already. Nice job Rubin.

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#24 Slapshotzky
May 04 2011, 12:37AM
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Thx for this series, Robin.

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#25 VicOilFan
May 04 2011, 02:05AM
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Excellent Robin! Looking forward to this series.

Did MB (Stu) have any comments with regard to RNH performance, or lack thereof during the Rebel's series against the Tigers?

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#26 VicOilFan
May 04 2011, 02:08AM
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Cobber wrote:

Robin watched Steve Tjisura play when i was a kid and he was unbelievable!! Too bad he didn`t have any size he would have been a star in the NHL!

The same time Stevie Tj was tearing it up there followed a guy with all the prototypical power forward attributes in Medicine Hat: Ken Solhiem. He had all the tools but fizzled at the NHL level. My point, the draft is in the end, a crapshoot. My hope is that Stu MB is a helluva crapshooter!

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#27 knobby
May 04 2011, 02:17AM
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If Wiki-P is correct, Joe Sakic was drafted by Quebec Nords at #15 in the first round. In reading the bio of Burnaby Joe it brought to mind a spectacular number of stats. But more than that it recounted much about the man.

If RNH comes aboard I think he has the potential to be as great a person as he is an athlete. With MacGregor doing the selection I have hope that the Oil are going to choose wisely. He's a little lighter than Sakic was in his draft year by 15 to 20 lbs. I think he is being scrutinized to death by most fans. If a mistake is made it won't be the first time the Oil have shot themselves in the foot. (read Klowe here).

Would we be going through all of this angst if the Oil were chosing from a later position? The Oil have had an abyssmal draft record for most of the last 20 seasons. 'In Stu I trust' when it comes to the team's amateur selections.

The question is can lightning strike twice in 24 years in Burnaby, BC the city by the sea?

I would pick RNH and be patient.

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#28 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 04 2011, 08:33AM
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"I've watched the kid play at both ends and he seems to do a lot of things on the power play and 5-on-5, so it's not a real issue at this point," said MacGregor. This includes the most important thing Stu did not say and that is some thing about his 5on5 play being a problem. This statement convinces me that Stu is sold on the Kid it may not be our #1 but I for one will be shocked if it is not as Stu is basically saying I like his whole game. This is his "Guy" in my opinion.

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#29 Matt Henderson
May 04 2011, 08:51AM
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knobby wrote:

One further thot occurs to me here. The 1st pick overall is important but I would suggest MacGregor's subsequest 5 or 6 picks are collectively just about as important as who they select 1st overall. I'm really looking forward to see who they chose after the fanfare of the 1st round is over.

I'm almost more interested in who they take with the 19th pick. Who slides, who jumps up, I'm dying for info on who they might be targeting for that draft position.

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#30 speeds
May 04 2011, 09:33AM
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So, how do others interpret this quote?

"I've watched the kid play at both ends and he seems to do a lot of things on the power play and 5-on-5, so it's not a real issue at this point," said MacGregor.

Is this:

- I've considered RNH's ES scoring and come to the conclusion, after looking through both the data and our observation reports, that it won't be a problem for him at the next level.\

or

- I've seen this player a number of times, and I don't really care what the numbers say when I've "seen him good"?

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#31 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 04 2011, 09:50AM
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Bruce wrote:

Sheldon, you may have read the interview I did with Rebels coach Jesse Wallin at Cult of Hockey about Nugent-Hopkins a couple weeks back. I asked him directly about RNH's even strength scoring and he raved about the kid buying into the two way game and concluded: "Let's put it this way: I don't have any problem with his five on five play." Not sure who I'd rather hear words like that from than the guy's coach.

In other words he may not be racking up as many Offense #s because he is not looking for that free easy point off the break-away but is instead back-checking like a dog. Reminds me a bit of a certain RedWing who is one of the top two players in the game in my opinion because of his dogged determination to get back steal the puck and then score. All in all that is some thing the low 5 on 5 number does not tell you. You have to watch RNH play to see that. Does any one know how RNH is on take-aways compared to the rest of his league?

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#32 Westcoastoil
May 04 2011, 10:53AM
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RB - When speaking with Stu did you ask him if they have a scale of importance (for lack of a better term) when evaluating players- ie. 1) hockey sense, 2) skating (and here do they care more about speed, strength, agility?), 3) size 4) shooting, 5) defensive awareness

Understanding that they look at the total package, it would interesting to know what they consider to be the premium tools in a player. Some things they likely look at as being easier to coach into a player - it would be insightful to the the org. view on that.

Thanks

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#33 Dman09
May 04 2011, 10:54AM
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Does size really matter? I would say a big hell no, it's about how you play the game. Look at Cal Clutterbuck. Arguably one of the best physical, if not the best physical, players in the league and he is under 6 Feet. He has led the league in hits for the last three or four years now.

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#34 fuzzy muppet
May 04 2011, 10:57AM
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@speeds

To me, it's the latter.

RNH may be a very good player, but all this Yzerman/Sakic talk seems offbase. Was anyone saying that at the beginning of the year?

The kid had a hot six weeks at the end of the year.

I believe he had less than 15 goals coming into that last month of play when he got hot.

Some think his series VS. the Oil kings is what pushed him over the top. Well, if you're factoring that in, don't you also have to factor in the complete lack of production in the next round??

He scares the hell out of me at #1.

Go safe, Go Swede

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#35 fuzzy muppet
May 04 2011, 10:59AM
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@Dman09

Clutterbuck is 5' 11"

he's also 215 pounds.

He outweighs RNH by FIFTY Freaking pounds so he is NO comparison

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#36 Truth
May 04 2011, 11:09AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

Clutterbuck is 5' 11"

he's also 215 pounds.

He outweighs RNH by FIFTY Freaking pounds so he is NO comparison

http://www.oshawagenerals.com/roster/show/id/2736/roster/34105

Clutterbuck was listed as 185lbs when in Junior, above Brownlee notes RNH as being 170, so 15 lbs difference?

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#37 Truth
May 04 2011, 11:11AM
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I am most definitely not comparing the two, just showing that they do gain weight.

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#38 Dman09
May 04 2011, 11:13AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

Clutterbuck is 5' 11"

he's also 215 pounds.

He outweighs RNH by FIFTY Freaking pounds so he is NO comparison

First off

Jonathan Toews was listed at 6 foot 1 and about 185-190 when drafted. Look at him now. If RNH fills out similar to the rest of his family it is likely he could be of comparable size to Toews. Thats just genetics.

50lbs heavier now but he is also 5 or 6 years older and has filled out. I wasn't using Clutterbuck as a comparision to RNH, I was only presenting the fact that you don't have to be 6 foot 6 monster to be a good physical player. If you read the post there was no mention of RNH only that overall size isn't a determining factor of physicality. I believe Penner is a perfect example of this.

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#39 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 04 2011, 11:24AM
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Robin, Wayne or whom ever; A few weeks back you asked (I think it was this website, that or "Cult of hockey")asked if we had any suggestions for discussion topics for the summer for the slow periods. I have two Questions Which if others find interesting I would find interesting to read peoples thoughts. 1. When I watch old Oilers playoff games they seem to me to be very slow as compared to the games during the 06 run which surprises me when I consider that we were then known as the fastest team in the league. Has any one ever quantified game speed of then VS now. I am sure length of shift to be one potential measure or calories burned. A person could also calculate distance traveled on the ice VS shift length to get speed. 2. When I was young and playing hockey I seem to remember that a lot of the padding I used to wear was a lot softer that that which they wear now. It still protected me when I hit my elbow on the ice fore instance but if I hit a guy in the head it was not near as hard as what they are now using. If all the gear the players are wearing is hard and like armor vs more about padding as I perceive it was then. Would that lead to more injuries. Has any one studied the effect of old equipment vs now as far as injury's to the player getting hit by those hard surfaces. I am sure that the Armor the players wear now protects the player wearing it very well but how much does all that armor contribute to concussions etc. I don't want every one to talk about this now but if you think it has merit bring it up some time.

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#40 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 04 2011, 11:29AM
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speeds wrote:

So, how do others interpret this quote?

"I've watched the kid play at both ends and he seems to do a lot of things on the power play and 5-on-5, so it's not a real issue at this point," said MacGregor.

Is this:

- I've considered RNH's ES scoring and come to the conclusion, after looking through both the data and our observation reports, that it won't be a problem for him at the next level.\

or

- I've seen this player a number of times, and I don't really care what the numbers say when I've "seen him good"?

I really see it as RNH will do well at the next level and I/Stu am recommending him for the #1 pick.

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#41 Wax Man Riley
May 04 2011, 11:42AM
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Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!" wrote:

Robin, Wayne or whom ever; A few weeks back you asked (I think it was this website, that or "Cult of hockey")asked if we had any suggestions for discussion topics for the summer for the slow periods. I have two Questions Which if others find interesting I would find interesting to read peoples thoughts. 1. When I watch old Oilers playoff games they seem to me to be very slow as compared to the games during the 06 run which surprises me when I consider that we were then known as the fastest team in the league. Has any one ever quantified game speed of then VS now. I am sure length of shift to be one potential measure or calories burned. A person could also calculate distance traveled on the ice VS shift length to get speed. 2. When I was young and playing hockey I seem to remember that a lot of the padding I used to wear was a lot softer that that which they wear now. It still protected me when I hit my elbow on the ice fore instance but if I hit a guy in the head it was not near as hard as what they are now using. If all the gear the players are wearing is hard and like armor vs more about padding as I perceive it was then. Would that lead to more injuries. Has any one studied the effect of old equipment vs now as far as injury's to the player getting hit by those hard surfaces. I am sure that the Armor the players wear now protects the player wearing it very well but how much does all that armor contribute to concussions etc. I don't want every one to talk about this now but if you think it has merit bring it up some time.

WaNye

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#42 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 04 2011, 11:52AM
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@VicOilFan

"My point, the draft is in the end, a crapshoot." Not near what it used to be however as there is a lot more credence given to things other than box-scores. I would argue that I am more impressed with Hall's temperament than his Jr box-scores as impressive as they were. My point? When Hall is in a position where the game is not going the way the Team/coach planed you can see Hall take it to another level as he is basically saying to himself "I am coming try to stop me!" The last Oiler that I remember really imposing his will on a game like that was #11 and I see that in Hall. In other words personality is huge and testing those intangibles is a huge part of the draft strategy. RNH will be tested and may already have been so and that combined with watching him play makes it less of a "crapshoot" In Stu & Co I trust.

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#43 Lochenzo
May 04 2011, 11:55AM
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Only saw him play a few games but liked what I saw. In terms of his 5-on-5 numbers, he plays on a deeper team than Couturier and his ice time 5-on-5 is significantly less than Couturier's. You break it down to points per minute played even strength and the numbers are closer. But, by the same token you could excuse Couturier's powerplay numbers by arguing that he plays on an inferior team.

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#45 fuzzy muppet
May 04 2011, 12:11PM
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@Dman09

I agree that size doesn't matter in terms of physicality.

My concern regarding RNH (aside from the 5 on 5 Point production and low goal scoing rate), is how will putting on 20 lbs affect his lateral movement? I just don't like all the question marks around a #1 pick.

The fewer ?'s the better. This team needs help in areas that RNH (outside of playmaking) doesn't bring.

If he's BPA, so be it. I just don't think you can go #1 OV for that many concerns.

The scouts don't seem to have those concerns, but the math sure does.

He will go #1. I hope he proves me wrong and is the next Burnaby Joe. I'll be happy to eat crow.

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#46 Lochenzo
May 04 2011, 12:16PM
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I would ask Boston about Seguin. Maybe the B's have their eye on Larsson or Landeskog.

I think Seguin is a superior prospect to the any of the top 5 this year. But, specifically, I am interested in adding a 1st line centre for Hall. While RNH may be a great centre, he shoots left and Hall is a left winger. Now, Adam Oates shot right and was a great setup man for Cam Neely and later, Brett Hull so maybe what I'm saying here is bogus. But, by convention, you would prefer to have one right shot, one left shot. It is easier to complete passes forehand to forehand. If the centre and left winger are both in their traditional lanes, a right- centre and a left- LW are ideal.

Furthermore, given that having players play their offwing during the PP makes cross seam passes and one timers easier, you again would want at least one right shooter and one left shooter on your PP unit.

So, did I mention that Seguin shoots right?

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#47 FastOil
May 04 2011, 12:18PM
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@Brownlee

I agree that heart matters more than size. However it is important to know that smaller players will play in the tough areas and do that playing to their strengths. Speed is critical so that they don't have to play the body.

Watching the Canucks, and seeing the Sedins being forced to the perimeter is something to note. If they were 200 lbs instead of 188 things would be different for them. They can't avoid Nashville players and they are losing battles physically. If your top players can be marginalized when the chips are down bad things happen.

Kessler has been their best forward overall, and I think that is because he can physically compete when other options aren't open.

The Oilers may take RNH, but they still need to find their Kessler/Toews, and I think Horcoff is too injury prone to fill that role reliably anymore.

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#48 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 04 2011, 12:39PM
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@Lochenzo

A potential power forward with a right handed shot would be very nice. Bean town may be interested and if it ever happened it would be the story of the summer. I often wonder IF any Oiler management ever reads any thing ever posted on these blogs as far as micro stats or how we think just to find new perspectives. I doubt it but smart people look everywhere for insights.

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#49 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 04 2011, 12:50PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Only saw him play a few games but liked what I saw. In terms of his 5-on-5 numbers, he plays on a deeper team than Couturier and his ice time 5-on-5 is significantly less than Couturier's. You break it down to points per minute played even strength and the numbers are closer. But, by the same token you could excuse Couturier's powerplay numbers by arguing that he plays on an inferior team.

I thought we didn't have minutes played from jr hockey?

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