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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sizing up Filatov



I've seen a lot of banter tossed around about Filatov being undersized for the NHL. Well these two entries from the Red Line Report's Kyle Woodlief seem to put those rumors to bed:

You mentioned size, so let's talk about Nikita Filatov. Are there any legitimate concerns about his size for the NHL?

I don't think there's a concern about his size at all. He's almost a legit 6-1. It may be a bit of a generalization, but it's quite true that many of the European countries don't develop physically as early at their North American counterparts. I think he'll play in the NHL close to 190 pounds.

What are your thoughts on Steven Stamkos?

He's certainly a legitimate first-line center, good for maybe 90 points a year when he gets into his prime years. A terrific two-way player.

It's funny: You bring up concerns about Nikita Filatov, and Stamkos is maybe eight pounds heavier than him; but other than that, they're identical. Neither one of them are afraid to play in traffic, get their noses dirty.

Lets also keep in mind that two youngsters and certainly not "big" prospects made the jump last season in Patrick Kane and Sam Gagner and made the quite the impact. I'm not saying Filatov will follow the exact same path as those two but if he doesn't make it to the NHL right out of camp it won't be just b/c of his size.

There is another interesting read over on NHL.com about prospects who may make the jump straight to the NHL next year. I thought this quote "The Great One" certainly jumped off the page:

"I can't speak for the other teams, but this group of draft choices was widely viewed as having more NHL-ready players than any in recent years," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said after the first day of the draft. "We don't often speak in those terms with such young players."

Hawks GM Dale Tallon also weighs in on the size factor:

"It's the size of his heart that's more important," Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon said of Kane after the draft in June. "Guys his size that play the perimeter, you have concerns about moving up to the next level; but Pat gets his nose dirty, gets into the traffic areas and he doesn't get knocked down. He has a solid, wide base for his size, and when he gets stronger it's going to be even more difficult to knock him down."

"We're not in the business to not put the best players we have on the ice, regardless of age," Tallon said. "We've kept an open mind in training camp each year and kept youngsters like Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and the same may also happen with Kyle Beach this year ... if he's ready to make the jump to the next level."

The article concludes with some names to keep an eye come camp and yes, one Nikita Filatov is in that mix. In fact here are the names that are dropped:

Stamkos. Doughty. Bogosian. Pietrangelo. Schenn. Filatov. Boedker. Beach. Tikhonov.

For those OSU hockey fans out there it was announced yesterday that Tom Fritsche has been signed to a two-way contact by the Colorado Avalanche. Tom, who is the bother of Dan Fritsche, spent 4 years with the Buckeyes and played a few games with Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL after his OSU season concluded.

THN.com takes a look at teams who need to "move it or lose it":

Columbus Blue JacketsIt’s been a tough existence for Jackets fans, who have had to try and support a team that’s traditionally been eliminated from playoff contention by January. The past couple of seasons have brought hope in the form of Ken Hitchcock and marginal improvement in the standings, but only a playoff appearance – preferably, an extended one – will provide real relief. New faces R.J. Umberger and Kristian Huselius will get all the ice time they can handle.

All I have to say to this one is thanks captain obvious.

According to
this article the Columbus Blue Jackets will have enjoyed 187 day break since they last played a regular season game to the start of next season. The Pittsburgh Penguins will have the shortest break at 122 days followed by the Red Wings at 127. The Edmonton Oilers have the longest at 192.

Now of course that isn't to say all the Jackets enjoyed that much time off. Remember that Leclaire, Nash, Novoty, Hejda & Chimera all participated in the World Championships after their NHL seasons concluded. Heck even Hitch kept on coaching.

Also its not like most these guys don't train over the majority of the summer anyhow. Regardless the Jackets should be well rested coming into camp.

Also Puck-rakers has announced the offical numbers of some of the new faces for the Jackets. We've covered this once before here but what the heck, lets cover it again:

Backman - 5
Torres - 14
Murray - 15
Umberger - 18
Huselius - 20
Commodore - 22
Filatov - 28
Tyutin - 51
Voracek - 93

..and hey, I think we have a new poll question!

-LTL

13 comments:

Skraut said...

Boooo to Commodore for picking a boring number...

I so would have bought one of these

I guess I'll have to wait for the Jackets to draft top Japanese prospect Tokedo Atari and then petition the league to allow him to have the number 800

LTL said...

Haha.. no doubt Skraut. It like Steve Heinze not picking 57.

As long as he tatoos Tootoo I *guess* I'll get over it :)

Plus I'm looking forward to those blue robes and that red afro he'll sport in this year's playoffs!!

-LTL

Anonymous said...

There was a really interesting interview this past spring with the head scout of the Detroit Red Wings, and part of it was the discussion that the Red Wings really don't draft on size. He said that it was much easier for a fast player to get strong than it was for a strong player to get fast, and that sometimes being undersized worked to a players advantage because it forced them to become tougher.

Poppa Burgundy said...

Hey LTL, i thought i read somewhere that Voracek was goin to wear 93 and not 83. But i am not sure so if you could please look into that for me. thanks

jeff said...

Poppa Burgundy-

Puck-rakers reported that Voracek will be wearing #93, not #83...

LTL, is #83 a typo on your post or do you have different information?

LTL said...

Sorry folks.. typo on my part. I'll make the correction.

-LTL

Anonymous said...

Here is what I find interesting about the Stamkos/Filitov thing: Many have said that there is very little difference between Stamkos and Filitov--size is similar, style of play is similar, skill level is similar, level of determination is similar. The difference, however, is that the 'Bolts are building their team around Stamkos and we are taking the 'wait and see' approach with him.

What does this say to me? It says to me that we are in a position of having some NHL depth that will allow Filitov (and the org.) to put him in the lineup when he is good and ready. It also says that we are not in such a dire position (season tickets-wise) to have to oversell a teenager. It leaves both him and the jackets as time to develop our current roster, and if the jackets think he is ready to play vs. men, he will play. I look at these points as a position of strength for the Blue Jackets.

The 'bolts have been in the media a lot this summer and added a hodge podge of players to put on the ice with Stamkos. I am just not convinced that they have made prudent moves that are really going to help them for now and the long term.

Anonymous said...

To 1st anonymous:

I agree with that. It is one of the reasons I find the combine a bit pointless to a degree. Sure, you want to see how dedicated the kid is and at what point he is at in his fitness, but fitness level is the EASIEST thing to correct. Get the player with a decent strength coach and in a few months he can be a completely different player physically.

One of the biggest things the wings look for is hockey sense. It is one of the hardest (if at all possible) things to teach. A player with good hockey sense can make up a deficiency in his skill level and skating by gaining just that half a step on a player who lacks good sense.

I have heard that Zetterberg was drafted based on the size of his grandpa. Henrik was a skinny little kid, but his grandpa had decent size, therefore, the scouts concerns about his growth potential were quashed. They already knew he had great hockey sense, good skill, character and speed.

A player in poor condition would only cause me to do further research. If he is out of shape because he lacks drive and discipline that is one thing, but if he lacks conditioning because he has no access to high end training, that is totally changeable and wouldn't prevent me from drafting him based on conditioning level.

Anonymous said...

Methinks that Voracek 93 should be a choice in the poll.

LTL said...

I thought about adding the rookies but figured I'd do another poll for them as the season draws near and just keep it to the new veterans faces brought in for now.

I also received my THN yearbook in the mail and will post a little more than what Puck-rakers did in their blog today.

-LTL

Sean said...

To anonymous about Stamkos:

I think we ARE in a dire position to sell tickets given how low last year's sales are. There will come a point in time where if we're not making the playoffs and not selling tickets where the rumors will really start flying. I don't know if I would consider alot of the Lightning's moves this year to be prudent, but I would definitely bet that with all of the hiring and shake-up many people in Tampa will be heading to a game to see what all the fuss is about. There was a big buzz in Columbus during the Prospect Training Camp last month, and let's hope that keeps up and translates into higher ticket sales. I get where you're coming from about letting young players develop, and I'm all for taking my time with Filatov, but we could do much wore than hyping a new draftee and turning that into ticket sales.

Anonymous said...

Sean: Season tickets are ahead of where they were this time last year...quite a bit ahead actually.

There is a buzz in the city without the hyping of Filitov and I think that is a much more comfortable place to be working from organizationally. I am a big fan of undersell over-deliver and the fact that the attention surrounding this kid is primarily about his IIHF status is all the better.

The city has been oversold so many times in the past and the org. has under-delivered repeatedly it can't take too much more. One more broken promise could cause the damn to break and may never be rebuilt. Seeing what the 'fuss' is about doesn't have longevity and I am thankful that the current organization can see beyond that.

Anonymous said...

On the subject of Filatov and IIHF, they are supposed to hand out some kind of decision tomorrow re: Radulov, so I'd imagine Nikita's situation will be addressed too.