Taking Out the Trash...AGAIN
Yup, the Howson Sanitation Co. rides again.
|Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this graphic would get|
so much use in just two years.
Are Voracek and Filatov BAD hockey players? Hell no. They just couldn't display enough on-ice skill and performance to overcome the perceived (and, in Filly's case, demonstrated) flaws in both their games and heads. Voracek was hell on wheels between the goal lines, but he wasn't filling out his game to the point that scoring chances consistently became goals. Filatov couldn't/wouldn't play the physical style that the CBJ and NHL demand - and when he tried, he got clobbered.
Beyond the game performance, I'm guessing that there's a locker room quality to both moves. In team sports, especially in team sports that play virtual year-round schedules, "fit" is a HUGE consideration. Filatov appears to have been perceived as a prima dona, something that a 19-year-old probably shouldn't be on rosters of twenty-somethings (and a few thirty-somethings). Voracek was light and funny, but that unflappable attitude sometimes can be perceived as a lack of competitive fire on a team dominated by the likes of gritty warriors past (former NHL grinder Scott Arniel, the head coach) and present (alternate captain and clearly dominating personality on the team, R.J. Umberger). In both cases, the young stars-to-be just didn't click. So out they go.
(Don't forget, Gallos offers even more perspective on Filatov in his post-mortem on the trade for Ottawa's third rounder.)
I don't have any read on the cultures of Filatov's new home in Ottawa and Voracek's in Philadelphia, but I'm going to guess that both guys will have a better than average likelihood of NHL success. They both are extremely gifted yet need to round out their games a little more. It's just taking a while for their "breakouts" into NHL stardom to happen, and the CBJ are not interested in waiting any longer.
The Year of The Center
Holy jeez - was anything more obvious? I mean, look at this list:
- 1st and 3rd round pick (plus Voracek) traded to Philadelphia for 2009 All Star center Jeff Carter
- 2nd round pick used on Boone Jenner, a center
- 3rd round pick (picked up from Ottawa for Filatov) gets T.J. Tynan, a center (from my alma mater, Notre Dame - GO IRISH!)
- 4th round pick nabs Mike Reilly, a defenseman
- 5th round pick on Seth Ambroz, a right winger
- 6th round pick goes to Lukas Sedlak, a center
- 7th round pick gets Anton Forsberg, a goalie
Don't forget that these trades and draft picks are coming on the heels of last year's 4th overall pick, center Ryan Johansen (who is expected to at least compete for a roster spot on the big club this season if not make the roster outright due to a screwy rule that won't let him play in the AHL this season, so it's either Columbus or back to juniors) and that kid that Howson keeps talking about in press conferences, center Michael Chaput. So now we're up to 6 relatively new centers in the CBJ organization within two years.
The scuttlebutt is that Jenner and Ambroz slipped in the draft from possible first-round placement to 2nd and 5th, respectively. They could be steals. We shall see. In 2014 or so.
Past that, I don't have a lot more to say on this draft, but a thought going forward: Howson used past drafts to shore up the defenseman prospect pool (probably could use additional care and feeding, but a genuine defensive coach in Springfield is a bigger concern to avoid squandering the prospects that he's accumulated) and now appears to have the center position stocked. I'd start placing futures bets on Howson looking at a big-time goalie in next year's draft...especially if Steve Mason plays as inconsistently as he has in the past couple of seasons.