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 interesting, so we're passing 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 Avs become "Stastny's team," I wonder if he can become more individually dominant. Hopefully the Avs keep enough skill around him to not worry about it.

After watching him in college, I didn't think he would ever be more than a third liner, despite racking points and being a very good player at DU. He just didn't look like 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.


achsdu17 said...

Exactly... that's why I'm a fan and supporter of the guy. He plays smart, he's not selfish, he plays the game as it should be played. Sure you can learn crazy moves but those don't get you anywhere at a certain point.

If I were to be lucky and have a kid someday that wants to play hockey... I'd hope I can teach him off of Stastny's style of hockey.

dggoddard said...

Stastny used to park himself on the goaltender's left hip and make awesome outlet passes or pick up garbage goals.

Simple strategy, awesome results.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Tony Esposito, always in the right place. the right time

Anonymous said...

You should have had better seats to watch him at DU...he had the little moves to keep people away and could always make the most amazing passes. He had the most puck control of any DU player I've seen in the almost 20 years of going to games.

pcuk swami said...

In hindsight, Statsny was one of those players whose personal game totally elevates when he's around better players, who can think the game as well as he does, and who have the ability to execute on that thinking.

His dad was right all along about him.