Monday, December 15, 2008

Tale of Two Sophomore D

I am talking about two young sophmore defensemen in different teams in the northeast which have to played as well as they did in their rookie year. These Defenseman come from two Canadian teams. One was sent down and the other is still up with his team. Well the two players I am talking about are O'byrne and Stralman. Both defenseman had great rookie years, one as a offensive defenseman (Stralman) who showed his talents in May not in the playoffs but at the World Championships. O'Byrne defenseman looked like the next Komisarek, a physical presence who just needs to teaching from Hamrlik how to be a D-man in the league. Both of them have not looked up to par in there sophmore year which plagued many NHL players. Toronto decided to send Stralman down for maybe some conditioning or for awhile not sure yet and they decided to keep up a rookie in his place in Sifers who had two good games.

Here is last year stats of Stralman last year and his projected of this year if he stayed up

07-08: 50GP 3G 6A 9Pts -10 18PIM 40Shots

08-09: 21GP 1G 6A 7Pts +1 6PIM 1GWG 29 Shots

pace 08-09: 74GP 3G 21A 24Pts +3 21 PIMS 3GWG 102shots

On paper he looks like is playing better than he did last year. He been playing poorly as of late and now with the returns of Van Ryn and soon Frogren Toronto has too many D-men especially with how Sifers is playing. Some time in the "A" for Stralman can be good for him. Toronto is disappointing with his Powerplay playing being that he showed his potential during the World Championship and so far he has no Powerplay goals to his name. has these has his assets, flaws and potential

ASSETS: Has plenty of puck poise and on-ice maturity. Owns a projectable frame and offensive upside. Is good on the power play point due to a hard shot.

FLAWS: Needs to add more bulk in order to better defend against big forwards in North America. Must adjust quickly to the faster pace of the NHL, and avoid big hits.

CAREER POTENTIAL: Top four defenseman

I think the main reason why he was sent down was because he was not showing the puck poise and on-ice maturity in which he showed last year, he sometimes made some bad plays in his own zone. He will be back sometime this year and hopefully can play better and get some goals on the PP.

While the other defenseman O'Byrne has been for sure looking not as good as he did last year. He is a defensive D-man and you for sure notice him on the ice which is not good news. He been letting too many players to blow right by him. He would just need to get back to playing simple hockey and the basics. Last year he was +7 with 1G and 6A while this year he is already -5 and a projected -18.

From his assets. flaws and career potential

ASSETS: Has the size and physical toughness teams lust after at the NHL level. Is the consummate team player and a sound stay-at-home presence.
FLAWS: Is extremely limited in the offensive zone and will never be confused with a power play quarterback. Has to improve his mobility and coordination.
CAREER POTENTIAL: Top six defenseman.

He for sure does not have stay-at-home presence which has been most of the time lacking and he needs to get back. He for sure does need to improve his mobility and coordination! I think he should be sent down to the "A" and they should bring up Yannick Weber and try him on the powerplay.

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