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The 2011-12 DobberHockey Pool Guide is out. If you haven't already, pick your copy up today. Downloadable as a PDF file and updated weekly through October.

 

A prospect to draft/trade for this summer - Boston's Ryan Spooner. He is a center and may move to thne wing at the NHL level (as long as Bergeron/Seguin/Krejci are around, there isn't exactly free ice time floating around).

 

Spooner isn't as big or as strong as Jared Knight. He doesn't have Jordan Caron's nose for the net, either. What he does have is an extremely high hockey IQ. Players can have a ton of tools but no toolbox, and it is easier said than done to avoid overvaluing them.

 

I was thinking about this earlier while listening to sports radio discuss Tavaris Jackson to Seattle. I'll try to keep the football chat to a minimum, but it helps with my point. Jackson is known for having a great arm, great mobility, and quick feet in the pocket. All three are great tools. However, his big questionmarks are decision making and accuracy.

 

The guy who was talking (a former quarterback, his name I can't recall) mentioned how accuracy and decision making are nonstarters. Good/great QB's MUST have both of them. Can you name me one starting QB who has succeeded without either/both of those two?

 

This relates back to hockey. Time and time again we see prospects (this trend seems to have died out a bit lately) with incredible tools - strength, speed, shot, whatever - gain a lot of hype/praise early on in their career as they dominate at lower levels.

 

There are the rare cases where a physical freak is also a very smart player (Alex Ovechkin is a great example). However, there are also many cases with pure talents not succeeding because the game never seems to be able to slow down for them. Nikita Filatov is a player who may fit into this category. There are countless others, as well.

 

How many physical freaks didn't have the best hockey IQs? Eric Lindros, maybe, but that is selling him short. He was so strong so young that he got by on skating with his head down because no one was big enough to hit him until he reached the NHL level.

 

Back to Spooner. If you are reading about a prospect with average size and average weight, check for terms in his scouting report like hockey sense/hockey IQ/game smarts/poised. They are often immeasurable unless you get to scout a lot of junior games (I don't see much aside from a handful of Vancouver Giants games each year), but these players, as long as they have a good work ethic to get strong and/or fast enough, rarely flop.

 

Some examples in recent years - both proven and on their way: Parise, Skinner, Eberle, Perry (Perry doesn't get mentioned a lot, but he was a slow skater even by OHL standards - the work he has put in has been amazing), Pat Kane, Brad Richards, Giroux, and so on.

 

That's it for my rant...

 

 

We have a great piece from Brendan Ross today on 2012 draft eligible defensemen, so I am going to save Stu McDonald's column for Sunday.

 

A solid read on Gary Roberts and the training mecca he is building - Skinner, Chris Terry, Jordan Staal, Steve Downie, Stamkos, etc. Lots of players are buying in (as they should).

 

"Not that he is completely free of Roberts. From the type of food they eat to the amount of sleep they get, Roberts controls a player’s day. He ships in his favourite spring water from Italy, has Nature’s Emporium prepare organic meals and concocts those infamous protein shakes. (When asked if he ever tried Roberts’ shakes, former Maple Leaf Alexander Mogilny joked, “I don’t want to be 40 years old and be growing a second head.”)

 

Mogilny was one of the more underrated personalities in the NHL - very dry sense of humor.  

 

One last quote with more fantasy relevance than the one above:

 

"“Get some rest, eh,” Roberts urges Vancouver Canucks prospect Cody Hodgson, who wants to stay and work out some more rather than enjoy the holiday."

 

Big news in the US yesterday regarding the debt crisis - how will it impact the NHL? Dirk Hoag breaks it down.

 

Jeff Skinner shows you what he thinks about "sophomore slumps."

 

A great read from Lighthouse Hockey on predicting young defensemen (and how hard it is). Can you name either Player A or Player B? And don't cheat by reading the comments...

 

Some magic from Geno Malkin - I remember watching this goal live. It was very early into his career with Pittsburgh, and showed what was (and still is) to come:


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Comments (8)add comment

Stephen Hubbard said:

hubbard86
Dobber 2011/12 Guide Doesn't Open - PDF The 2011/12 Fantasy Pool Guide won't open in Adobe Acrobat - generates an error.

Fix please smilies/smiley.gif

Cheers,

Steve
August 07, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

Brayden said:

ether
James Sheppard Just read Sheppard's been dealt to San Jose for a 3rd round pick.
http://twitter.com/#!/PollakOnSharks
August 06, 2011
Votes: +0

aj said:

hockey4ever
robert's training "If you are reading about a prospect with average size and average weight, check for terms in his scouting report like hockey sense/hockey IQ/game smarts/poised."
when drafting young prospects in the future will one of the stats to look for be
" A player that is trained by Robert's". just saying smilies/wink.gif
Hockey4ever = Dobberhockey @hockey_4ever (twitter)
August 06, 2011
Votes: +0

Hockey Hoser said:

Hockey Hoser
Gary Roberts Wish that guy was still playing for the Leafs. He probably could on their first line too! At least send Kessel to train with him.
August 06, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... I can't speak for Dobber, but I feel the football fantasy market is one that is a bit saturated.
August 06, 2011
Votes: +0

Jon said:

Who Dat
NFL Ever think of expanding the empire into Dobber Football? I know many people who would definitely pay attention to that.
August 06, 2011
Votes: +0

Lukasz said:

pahlsson26
... some links

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StWe8qei_K0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5VlMjeLXbw
August 06, 2011
Votes: +0

UKflames said:

UKflames
NHL & debt crisis Interesting read Angus. Wouldn't be ironic if Canada became a safer haven for teams rather than the US, it might make Bettman think a little harder about having more teams in Canada. This could break a couple of those struggling teams if it goes on for too long and fans start to stay away as they cannot afford to go to games.
August 06, 2011
Votes: +1
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