Prospect Depth and the Infamous so-called Labels

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/06/2009 02:00:00 PM |
You read a lot of stuff from folks who cover NHL teams who do not see the AHL players very much with only the franchise (ie: top overall picks) in the AHL considered players who will have a major impact when they are called up.

Or even better we read at best they are a second, third, fourth liner or a depth player based on stats or simply scouting going into their draft class.

I get it that folks have to fill space with articles, many have quotes from the people around these players talking about their ceiling while others do not.

The label is slapped on them and it's a tough thing to break because fans take it and run with it. I saw this game at Hockey's Future where folks were required to grade and give potential on players they would not know if they rang the front doorbell.

A lot of folks are very quick to slap a ceiling on a young players potential, usually at a point long before they have had a full development.

The odds are with the folks who say and write these things but it also has to be included a lot of franchise players come out of nowhere from not only the secondary rounds but the later rounds.

To a small degree we kind of saw this a few years ago with Blake Comeau when Ted Nolan recalled him briefly and felt he was the best prospect in Bridgeport at the time.

Third line ceiling, depth player at best, look at his numbers, only three goals for an AHL team......ect.

It's not that simple or very fair.

Comeau's numbers are not there yet on a team without a first line, let's not kid ourselves he will score twenty five goal next season but can anyone tell me in a few years he is not capable of producing that with some prime veteran scoring in the supporting cast?

Do players like Hillen, MacDonald, Joensuu look that overmatched so far that it's not possible they can play on a top line at some point in this league? Josh Bailey is doing it with mixed results and Okposo but those are top picks getting more of a chance on a struggling team that is now officially rebuilding.

Sometimes it does not work out, sometimes it takes too long (Tambellini) and sometimes it fails. (Weinhandl/Papineau)

Sometimes it's the wrong organization at the wrong time with too many veterans or not enough.

All I'm suggesting is enough labeling, lets see what some players can do.

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