i really don't think it's even about a d-man. i think larsson will be good, but i don't think he'll ever be great. he's probably not going to turn into a pronger or a lidstrom, probably not even a suter or weber or whatever. he'll be good, but he'll probably never be a surefire norris candidate. neither will merrill. both will be solid #2 or #3 guys when they develop fully. unless the devils luck into a fully developed top pairing d-man on the open market, they'll have to muddle through with all the 2nd pairing guys they have now and the ones in albany.
the same really goes with forward depth. the devils don't have any elite centres either. zajac is a nice 1b/2 centre on a great team. he needs another him. henrique could develop into that, but more likely will be a nice complement winger like parise. elias has great vision but he's not as fast as he once was and he's closer to retirement than he is to prime. josefson could top out at a zajac, but likely will be to zajac what paul martin was to rafalski or what rafalski was to niedermayer.
that leaves the devils with an elite scoring winger (kovalchuk), an extremely hard working very talented winger (parise) who may not be in nj next year, and a bunch of filler guys.
i'd love to argue that the devils could become an elite team in the east, but chances are, they'll continue being a middle power or perhaps even decline, depending on what happens in the ufa season.
I'd love for the defence to get a lot better. I just don't see it happening with the current group of prospects. I see a lot of guys that are similar to what the Devils currently have at the NHL level ... 2nd pairing d-men.
Originally Posted by Getzo5
As for Tedenby, I'd love for him to beocme a top-9 forward, but unless he does something to the game, he's going to struggle to make the NHL. He can bulk up or improve his shot to get to an NHL level forward, but honestly I think the best thing he could do is to improve his speed. He's fast now, but he's not so fast that the other quick guys in the league can't stay with him. If he can get that extra step on the d-men and use it to convert chances, he might have a chance to do really well. He's just not fast enough to do it now. And I think it'd probably have to happen with another team, because the way the Devils move the puck up the ice, he wouldn't be able to take advantage of his speed anyways. And once you're in the offensive zone, it's more about finding open space than being faster than the other guy.
You`re a pessimist, I`m an optimist, nothing wrong with that. Nobody knows what the future holds. All we can do is pray for our scouting to be efficient. We`ve been doing a pretty good job lately. You can always find the next Letang/Weber in the 2nd round. Let`s see how those kids pan out first.
As for Tedenby, he just needs to watch a shitload of Sabres games - games of Gerbe and Ennis. Watch and learn, kid, that`s all you gotta do. If he`s given a chance and performs like that, he`ll stick. If not, well, try to showcase him, make a solid looking package and send his *** somewhere else. I think he might flourish elsewhere but whatevs if we get something good in return.
Larsson looked SO good stepping right into the NHL after the draft. Sure, we can't count on him becoming a stud #1, but it was his first year and he has played exceptionally well thus far. Don't forget, he had to transition to a much smaller ice surface, and to playing considerably more games. He'll be much better next year, and, IMO, within 2-3 years he'll definitely be a #1 D.
he also doesn't sharpen his skates. so as soon as someone gets on his case about that, he might actually skate better.
Originally Posted by onefatsurfer
Yeah, that`s the way I try to look at him. Unlike Jim said, the imrpovement was noticeable. I`m not going to pull a smartass and say sth like "what games were you watching for ****`s sake". It`s his overwhelmingly high standards and not taking all those factors (different speed of the game and physicality) into account.
He has shown some flashes and with more experience and training, he should be more than fine in two years. I firmly believe that.
I don't really think I'm a pessimist. I still think that the Devils have the opportunity to win. They'll just need a little luck.
Originally Posted by Getzo5
I think the team had better opportunities to win in the last few years that they've wasted / had bad matchups in the playoffs. The teams around them got better while the Devils stood still. It's not horrible, it's just not the best one could hope for.
I'd love for a great d-man to fall in the Devils lap. I'm not counting on it, bu then again, I don't need to. I root for the team no matter how good or how bad. I don't worry about whether the team is a winner or not because I just enjoy watching the games. I enjoy it more when they win, but I like watching it regardless of what they do.
Re: Tedenby, I think he's either got to be able to fly by people on the rush (he doesn't now) or he's got to be able to make the moves to get open. The Devils transition game isn't very fast, which wastes any speed he does have because it lets the d-man catch up to him before the Devils d-man can get the puck up to the forwards. That's why I think he'd be better of on a team that transitions well.
But who knows what kind of career he'll have. I thought for sure that Bergfors was going to be a star before he got derailed in his first year and then lost the opportunities in the next couple of years. That's what the NHL is all about ... taking advantage of the opportunities you are given. Guys like Bergfors, Corrente, Palmieri and Henrique show how fickle the NHL is with talent and how you can look like you have a promising career one year and then who knows what'll happen.
You perfectly explained why if people want Tedenby to be productive he has to play with more talented players. How was he supposed to be productive playing with Sykora, Carter, Boulton, and Janssen? They don't play a game that is anything like his.
Personally I think he would be perfect with Kovalchuk if both of them could improve their defensive game. Parise would be good too. His biggest asset is his speed, so he needs linemates that work off the rush. He is also good at cycling, but he does need to improve his strength and balance because guys like Chara just knock him over.
IMO he has a lot of potential if he is used properly. I was disappointed this season because he wasn't used properly at all and they kept him up to rot on the 4th line.