Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kaspar On Waivers/1st Round Review

In case you haven't heard, the Sharks put former 1st rounder Lukas Kaspar on waivers. There's not much to say about it other than Kaspar hasn't really been given much of an opportunity to do much of anything, so it seems rather strange that the team would have him start in the big leagues, only to get sent down to the AHL via waivers six games in.

While Kaspar hasn't exactly set the world on fire, he hasn't been a total disaster like, say, when Jeff Jillson tried to justify his first-round selection. He's made rookie mistakes and he's had one pretty sweet goal against the LA RudyKellys.

Well, since we're all pondering Kaspar's demise, let's take a quick look at who else the Sharks have drafted in the first round. San Jose has this reputation of being excellent drafters but when you look at the list, you see a bunch of good, not great players:

2005: Devin Setoguchi
2004: Lukas Kaspar
2003: Milan Michalek
2002: Mike Morris
2001: Marcel Goc
2000: Tero Maatta
1999: Jeff Jillson
1998: Brad Stuart
1997: Patrick Marleau
1996: Andrei Zyuzin

I think Michalek will peak at being a 70-point guy and Setoguchi's certainly got the hands and speed to be a 35-goal guy. Goc? Well, I suppose there's always a need for a reasonably reliable defensive fourth-line center. Brad Stuart's a solid defenseman but he didn't turn into the stud everyone anticipated while Andrei Zyuzin's waiver-wire fodder.

The exception here, of course, is Marleau, who can be somewhere between good and great depending on when you take a snapshot of his career. I don't think Marleau ever had the goods to be an Art Ross kind of guy but he's definitely turning into a more well-rounded and gritty player than I ever thought he'd be.


Anonymous said...

I think the Sharks reputation for being excellent drafters is based on their ability to steal really good goalies in the late rounds:

Drafting really good goalies is a great cover for drafting a couple of really big stinkers, like Andrei Nazarov over Sergei Gonchar and Martin Straka. The Sharks have been pretty mediocre to average 1st round drafters:
Pat Falloon
Andrei Zyuzin
Teemu Riihiijarvi???!!!???
Mike Rathje (somewhat of a bust-- never liked him anyway)

But have done pretty well at stealing some talent:
Marcus Ragnarsson
Marc-Edourard Vlasic
Joe Pavelski (60 points realistically this season)
Christian Ehrhoff

Mike said...

Sorry if I get strident here... this is a bit of a hobby horse of mine. I think if you look at other teams, you get the same kind of mix of "good, but not great" players. Great players are not always 1st round picks, and most 1st round picks do not turn into great players. Let's take the Ducks- Ryan, Smid, Getzlaf, Lupul, Chistov, Smirnov, Vishnevski, Homqvist, Salei, Kilger. Other than Getzlaf, where are the 'great' players in this group?

Or Detroit, a team that everybody always says are geniuses in drafting - Kindl, Kronwall, Fischer, Wallin, Kuznetsov, Golubovsky, Eriksson, Bowen, Lapointe. Not exactly an all-star team.

RudyKelly said...

Here are the Kings, for comparison's sake:

2005- Anze Kopitar
2004- Lauri Tukonen
2003- Dustin Brown, Jeff Tambellini, Brian Boyle
2002- Denis Grebeshkov
2001- Jens Karlsson, Dave Steckel
2000- Alex Frolov
1999- Andrei Shefer
1998- Mathieu Biron
1997- Olli Jokinen, Matt Zultek
1996- (no one)

More great players but more busts, too. I think the Sharks have a good draft bonus because they get more late-round guys but they also kept all of their prospects.

Mike said...

Looking at these lists, there's no question in my mind that the Kings are the best among the teams mentioned here. It's a difficult conundrum- over 30% of NHL players are first round picks, but everybody scouts the hell out of the top guys. To some it may appear that it makes sense to mine for value in the late rounds, but to me, I'd rather have consistently good 1st round picks than a 7th round gem every 10 years.

Kent W. said...

And here's Calgary's list of shame:

96: Morris
97: Tkaczuk (7th overall!)
98: Fata (6th overall!)
99: Saprykin
00: Krahn
01: Kobasew
02: Nystrom
03: Phaneuf - lone bright spot
04: Chucko
05: Pelech

Don't look directly at it.

PJ Swenson said...

Maatta was a 2nd rounder, but they did not have a first that year. Not sure if Teemu Riihijarvi even made it to North America.

But the Sharks still get a couple of incompletes. Morris had two major injuries each of which could have been career ending. To give him more leeway and more time at the AHL to develop seems wise. Kaspar looked good in flashes for a few games, but other teams it looked like he did not want to make a mistake, and he was the first player on his line to make it back to the bench for a line change.

I think he was feeling the pressure, and if no one picks him up today he might make a good late season callup if one is needed. He has the size and the speed, and even a little bit of the killer instinct to succeed at the NHL level, what he doesnt have is confidence or experience. Another player I would not give up on.

Looking at the list, Setoguchi was almost universally panned for his conditioning and slow skating on draft day. The draft gurus would swallow their stomach if they watched him against Philly Saturday or Phoenix in the preseason. Michalek for all his ups and downs is 22. Jillson, Stuart and Zyuzin come from a long line of Sharks offensive defenseman draft picks. If you can hit on one of those, your franchise is set for 10-15 years.

PJ Swenson said...

Make that 23.

VeryProudofYa said...

Perry was a first rounder, too, no?

Actually, that '03 draft has got to be the best in Duck history. Two all-stars (Perry, Getzlaf) a first round pick (Thanks, O'Brien!) and Drew Miller, who's been a solid if unspectacular third and fourth line fill in.

4 NHLers and two all-stars from one draft is a pretty juicy haul.

Then again, the sharks yanked Michalek, Bernier, Carle, and Pavelski from that grab bag, so they didn't make out too poorly at all, either.