2008-05-12

Projecting Lapierre

In his 21yo season Lapierre was .26ppg in the NHL and .29ppg NHLE in the AHL. At 22, he was .34ppg in the show and .32ppg NHLE in Hamilton. Pretty consistent. We should have a bead on his abilities at this stage in his career.



Vermette was in the AHL at 22 due to the lockout. At 23 he was a little ahead of Lapierre at 22 with less icetime but also shooting 17%. It's tempting to call him a good comp but I think Vermette shows more offensive potential. We'll see.

Stajan's .34 is really similar to Vermette's 23yo season - it came with less icetime than Lapierre but with a sky-high shooting% of 18%.

Cooke is probably the best comp, minus the debilitating cheap shots. Lapierre's dirty, just not put-you-in-the-hospital dirty. His production and role at this stage are very similar.

Yelle's numbers are from a higher scoring time. Lapierre is doing better than him.

Devereaux, being an early pick, got chances to play at 19 and 20. His drop at 22 coincides with a move to Detroit and the consequent drop in icetime. He might be a good comp, although his good sportsmanship doesn't match Lapierre at all.

On the whole, Lapierre seems like a mix of Vermette and Cooke, only not as good as Vermette and not as vicious as Cooke. Less optimistically, he might be Yelle or Shantz or Bassen. To be frank, guys like those three just aren't worth developing. They can be bought dirt cheap and fully developed - no growing pains.

~

I'm watching the CBC rerun of game 5 of the '86 final. The '89 final game was on a few weeks ago and I think the '89 team would have demolished these guys (though Richer is out with an injury tonight).

It's remarkable how similar the hockey is to today's game. The players are smaller (esp. the goalies) and the shots are weaker. The speed doesn't seem to be too far off 2008 levels, but that's not easy to pick up on a TV broadcast.

The Habs #1 PP was Smith-Naslund-Lemieux-Robinson-Gingras. Gainey-Carbo-McPhee were a helluva checking line. There's a dead man skating in Kordic. Chelios credits the Moose Jaw Canucks with giving him the career start he needed. Rick Green was a fine defenseman.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Olibou said...

Lapierre, Skost and Higgins are 3 interesting cases... Any one of them may play at a new position next year.

Lapierre is most probably holding the 4th line pivot spot warm for Chipchura or whomever else may turn up (unless the get Smokes one more year for that job). After that, he is RW bound.

We saw Carbonneau try SKost at Center before giving Higgins a shot. He was clearly overmatched. In fact, even at LW he seems more confused and penalty-prone (wich, given Siarhei's general propensions toward misbehaving, pushes him over to the nuisance category). Maybe Carbo will give him 10-15 games at center (on the 4th line, with easy minutes, why not?), I wouldn't be surprised.

After SKost inability to get top-6 minutes at pivot was established, Carbo went with Higgins. Even tough Higgins looked somewhat overmatched at times, I have to say I was impressed. As 3rd line center goes, there is no one in the organisation who comes near him. If they don't get some outside help in the summer, I'd see him behind Pleks and Koivu.

I'd rather have Sundin (or some other guy), but a 1-2-3-4 center depth chart of Pleks-Koivu-Higgins-Skost is an intriguing (and quite undersized) possibility.

5/12/2008 11:54 AM  
Blogger Jeff J said...

There is indeed a lot of flexibility with this group. I'd like to see Higgins nudged toward a Lehtinen-like role. He's just not a top finisher.

Even if Gainey stands pat over the summer they'll be set at all forward positions and should be about as good as they were this year.

Garrioch insinuated today that hte Habs were inquiring about Yashin. I'll believe when I see it. An upgrade at C sure would be nice, though. There is a tonne of cap space for 08-09, but not quite so much for 09-10. A guy like Sundin on a 1-yr deal would be sweet, but Sundin could command (and easily get) a 2 year contract.

5/12/2008 11:01 PM  

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