Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pontificating RE: Milano

2014 Development Camp
Today, good old @BluejacketsNHL threw me a bone, by retweeting something they posted back on Tuesday, which was Sonny Milano stating that he was committed to attending Boston College.  I like this choice a lot by Sonny.  True he might have played more games with Plymouth of the OHL.  And I think Plymouth wants to be a credible junior team, so no worries about the desire to win.

But Boston College has a very competitive NCAA program. and Sonny will face seniors in the games he plays.  And, as a rather slight individual. the ability to firm up his physique will help him in a quest to reach the NHL.  Here's the thing though....

Say Sonny goes to Canadian Major Junior (OHL), and he tears it up, just like all us #CBJ fans want.  Guess what?  He has a choice, make the NHL, or stay in Juniors.  Say Sonny goes to the NCAA, and tears it up, just like all us #CBJ fans want.  Maybe leads his conference in scoring, or something like that, or wins a Hobie Baker award as the best player in NCAA hockey as a freshman.  Unlikely, true, but it's what we hope for as #CBJ fans! What then?  Well, from the amateur ranks, he can turn pro, and play in the AHL OR the NHL.  Keeping in mind that moving from a freshman kicking butt in the NCAA to the AHL is a logical development step, whereas if he is in Juniors he MUST go to the NHL, or he MUST be in Juniors.  The NCAA route at this point for a player like Sonny Milano gives the most options.

Mike Reilly, 2014 Development Camp.  Can you say raw
speed?  Sure you can!
Contrast this with the development track of Boone Jenner.  Physically, Boone was ready to compete in the NHL.  Going to Juniors made the most sense, and he jumped to the NHL when his play warranted the move.  It would be no slight on Sonny Milano if he needed a year in the AHL to adapt to playing against pro players.  In fact it is a natural development track for a guy without the advantage of NHL size out of the box.

The NCAA track provides the most flexibility for when to turn pro.  Look at Mike Reilly.  If he was forced to turn pro this year he might not be ready.  On the other hand, he has a really decent chance of winning the Hobie Baker as a Senior at Minnesota, but as a defenseman.  It is common for defensemen to take a longer period to fully adjust to NHL hockey, whereas that jump is often easier for forwards.   He will likely start in the AHL following his college career, which is a logical development step for him.  If he can kick the door down from Springfield, he is ready for the NHL.  But it is a wise choice for him to play his senior year at Minnesota, and compete for that Hobie Baker award.

Maybe it only takes Sonny 2 years to jump to the AHL.  The college route gives him the most flexibility as to when to turn pro.  Going to Boston College is a wise decision Sonny!  I'm looking forward to enjoying watching your collegiate career.

By the way, while I'm pontificating <purrr, it makes you feel good!> I noticed the Blue Jackets giving Cannonfest a plug on the website, which is really well done.  Wait!  Did I not shout this at you?

Cannonfest V!!! (why is this in a small font??  It's huge on the editor!!  But you get the idea!)

Sunday, August 31st, 1-4 pm

400 West Rich Street

Seriously, this is looking like a crazy good time, at a really exciting venue.  Now if only I could pressure my season ticket rep to ensure a player was there.  Hmmm.  Must diabolically plot.....


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