Friday, August 29, 2008

Why Did NHL Scouts Miss The Boat On Stastny

(above) 43 players were drafted ahead of DU Alum Paul Stastny in the 2005 NHL Draft

Its not very often that we post comments from Message Boards, but the comment below was so interesting, I thought we'd pass it along.
From: How Does Stastny Slip To The 2nd round?
Site: Hockey's Future Message Board
Posted By: bleedgreen

"I watched him live quite a bit at the University of Denver and to be honest, he never looked like a stud prospect. He wasn't fast, he never went end to end, he rarely beat goalies with a shot further away than ten feet, he didn't dangle anyone.

Most players in the NCAA who go on to be at Stastny's level in the NHL, were far more dominant individual players in college. He got points for sure, but not very often through highlight reel individual efforts. I'm sure the scouts thought he was too slow and not dominant enough for his game to translate.

Why he did is because of one thing, smarts. He is the closest player I've ever seen to Ronnie Francis. He is always in the right place at the right time, and that translated, as well as his vision and awesome passing. He makes exactly the same plays he made in college, and they're the kind of plays that work at any level.

Scouts couldn't have known that, as I'm sure a lot of guys look like that at lower levels. Stastny is the rare case of a guy being smart enough to fit in with anyone at any level, the better the players around him the more it all works.

I'm curious to see his transition to #1 center continue as the players around him have helped out. As Sakic moves on and the team becomes more his, I wonder if at any point he can become more individually dominant if he is needed to. Hopefully the Avs keep enough skill around him to not worry about it.

After watching him live quite a bit, I didn't think he would ever be more than a third liner, despite him racking points and being a very good player at DU. He just didn't look he was dominant enough. Ironically guys like TJ Hensick [University of Michigan] are the ones who look like studs in college and don't reach the same levels. Hensick is a guy who relies on his skill and speed to get him there; it may not be enough. Whereas Stastny relied on brains and sound instincts.

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