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Has Adam Larsson Really Improved as a Defenseman?


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#41 Triumph

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 01:53 AM

The thing that makes me nervous about Larsson is that we've been so patient with him but Gelinas has looked much better immediately and Merrill is getting there.

 

Gelinas is two years older, and he has not looked better the last 10 or so games.  His shot is way better but he's been helped out by how well he was playing offensively - now that he is spending more time in the defensive zone, it's rather ugly.


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#42 NJDevs4978

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 07:16 AM

Gelinas also had 'at least' two years in the AHL, an advantage Larsson never had since they ran him into the lineup as an 18-year old.  Merrill's had time in college and the AHL the last three years, though I don't really think he did his full apprenticeship yet either, and if we keep playing him like he's Chris Pronger eventually he's going to fall by the wayside like Larsson his rookie year.


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#43 SterioDesign

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 08:23 AM

my one thing comparing Larsson to Gelinas and Merrill is that, of course we know they are both older and got in the league later with some pro experience while Larsson came in right away adjusting to a new ice size and all and he sticked around.

 

But even in the last few years i've been watching those 2 guys (especially Gelly since he was playing junior an hour from my place) but, i could "see" what those guys would/could bring, only a matter of adjusting to NHL level... with Larsson im still wondering and looking. And what posters are pointing out is mostly homers talk and typical prospects overhyping, i may have missed 3-4 games in the last few years and while his "passing" and outlet pass is obviously better than Volchenkov or Salvador, it really never jumped to me that it was elite or even better than any other Devils Dmen.

 

anyways, let's hope he do become a strong dman, its still encouraging that he made the league this young and all. But Myers also made the league pretty young and won the calder and he's horrible since. 


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#44 Marshall

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 09:16 AM

But Myers also made the league pretty young and won the calder and he's horrible since. 

 

 

So? Doughty made the league early and he's amazing. It's easy to cherry pick.


Edited by Marshall, 03 January 2014 - 09:16 AM.

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#45 SterioDesign

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:29 AM

So? Doughty made the league early and he's amazing. It's easy to cherry pick.

 

Well if you wanna talk Doughty. Doughty has always been Doughty. Hitting guys, fast, scoring/producing, ran the PK, good skater, creating plays, playing with an edge etc etc he was like that juniors/when he got drafted.

 

The Kings fans never had to tell themselves that one dayyyy he might start producing, hit more, get faster, skate better etc etc that the just needed time, they got lucky he adjusted pretty quickly. Could have come only after 4-5 years that he would have become a player (in the NHL) like he was and be the kind of player he should be, doing all the things he got drafted for.

 

I think that's the only "knock" on Larsson that some folks are pointing out, he simply doesn't have anything sticking out of his game and some areas are missing in action.

 

Again im not saying he'll be a bust or wtv. He's an NHLer for sure but im not gonna sit here saying what im seeing is that encouraging or showing promises so far, other than that he can handle the game, of course thats great but fair to say expectations we're a little higher for him. Might be unfair to him but thats what it is

 

We always knew Gelinas had a bomb and that Merrill had good vision and offensive instincts. Thats what they'll be for NJ. Take that out of them and they wouldnt be much. And to me i dont see Larsson having that one skill compensating from his skating/lack of speed etc etc

 

i mean, again im not bashing him not its "fair" of fans to be hesitant based on what they saw so far and shouldnt be called out for pointing it out.


Edited by SterioDesign, 03 January 2014 - 10:38 AM.

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#46 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:32 AM

So? Doughty made the league early and he's amazing. It's easy to cherry pick.

 

Yeah, pretty silly to point out one guy like Myers, as though his current path is any more significant than anyone else's.  One could also pick examples of defensemen who got off to less-than-expected starts, but developed over time.  Still very early in Larsson's career, but it kind of sucks that he's only played in 57 NHL games the last two seasons (out of a possible 89).   

 

Main thing that's disappointing right now is that he's hurt.  Good, bad, or a work-in-progress, I just want to see him getting more and more NHL minutes under his belt. 


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#47 caron14

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:37 AM

Would you trade him for yakupov??? i think i would


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#48 SterioDesign

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:40 AM

Would you trade him for yakupov??? i think i would

 

i certainly wouldnt


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#49 njdevil26

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:44 AM

I would. Absolutely. The Devils need to use the strength of talented D prospects as a tool to make this team better. This team BADLY BADLY needs young and fast talent up front.


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#50 SterioDesign

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:48 AM

I would. Absolutely. The Devils need to use the strength of talented D prospects as a tool to make this team better. This team BADLY BADLY needs young and fast talent up front.

 

of course but could we target someone else than a young russian with attitude problems who already threatened to leave for russia within 2 years in the league? i mean... i'd trade for RNH, Hall, Eberle or wtv but not Yakupov.


Edited by SterioDesign, 03 January 2014 - 10:51 AM.

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#51 Marshall

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:08 AM

I wouldn't want to trade a player whose future is up for debate (Larsson, in terms of how good he'll get. Not if he'll be good) for someone whose future is even more up for debate. 

 

Yeah, for a recent 1st overall and with that kind of talent, he'll be relatively cheap but there's always that risk. The unlikelihood of Lou dipping into that talent pool again pretty much renders this discussion moot.


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#52 dmann422

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:08 AM

Gelinas has at times looked like he has his head cut off in the defensive zone. I think it's a big stretch to say he's looked better than Larsson. He certainly has had an impact on the pp and his shot is electric and brings a totally new weapon to the team offensively, but I trust Larsson in the defensive zone much, much more than gelinas.
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#53 Triumph

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:11 AM

Gelinas also had 'at least' two years in the AHL, an advantage Larsson never had since they ran him into the lineup as an 18-year old.  Merrill's had time in college and the AHL the last three years, though I don't really think he did his full apprenticeship yet either, and if we keep playing him like he's Chris Pronger eventually he's going to fall by the wayside like Larsson his rookie year.

 

Merrill is basically averaging 20 minutes a game.  He's also really good.

 

my one thing comparing Larsson to Gelinas and Merrill is that, of course we know they are both older and got in the league later with some pro experience while Larsson came in right away adjusting to a new ice size and all and he sticked around.

 

But even in the last few years i've been watching those 2 guys (especially Gelly since he was playing junior an hour from my place) but, i could "see" what those guys would/could bring, only a matter of adjusting to NHL level... with Larsson im still wondering and looking. And what posters are pointing out is mostly homers talk and typical prospects overhyping, i may have missed 3-4 games in the last few years and while his "passing" and outlet pass is obviously better than Volchenkov or Salvador, it really never jumped to me that it was elite or even better than any other Devils Dmen.

 

anyways, let's hope he do become a strong dman, its still encouraging that he made the league this young and all. But Myers also made the league pretty young and won the calder and he's horrible since. 

 

Then you are not watching, it's that simple.  If you're going to compare Adam Larsson to Tyler Myers, you're not watching either player.  Defense is about physical skills, but it's also more than anything else, about showing up.  Where are you on the ice?  Myers has lost that ability, or maybe he never had it.

 

Before his injury, Larsson was starting to be at the right place on the ice.  He can't run a power play and his offense isn't very good, but his outlet passing is excellent.  Combine that with covering his man, a little bit of physical play, and you have a very fine NHL defenseman.


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#54 Marshall

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:17 AM

Gelinas has at times looked like he has his head cut off in the defensive zone. I think it's a big stretch to say he's looked better than Larsson. He certainly has had an impact on the pp and his shot is electric and brings a totally new weapon to the team offensively, but I trust Larsson in the defensive zone much, much more than gelinas.

 

He's like a D-version of Sykora/Ryder. If he's not shooting the puck then he's not doing much else for you. He'll get a lot better (I hope) but I reckon he'll always be a defenseman who needs his offense to offset his defensive shortcomings. And there's nothing wrong with that.


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#55 mouse

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:44 AM

Again im not saying he'll be a bust or wtv. He's an NHLer for sure but im not gonna sit here saying what im seeing is that encouraging or showing promises so far, other than that he can handle the game, of course thats great but fair to say expectations we're a little higher for him. Might be unfair to him but thats what it is

 

I've always hated this knock. Good d-men often DON'T stand out. Most of the time, if you notice a d-man, it's because someone scored. Not every time, but enough. I'd love to go through an entire game without once commenting on the d. Unless you're capable of game changing hits like Stevens (and can do that without getting yourself out of position), or rushes like Rafalski or Nieds (and I always felt Rafalski was slightly overrated because of this, he wasn't the best positionally on d), you can be excellent at your job, as long as you're boring. When I played, most of our best d were understated guys who put in shifts and got off the ice. The dudes who tried to do too much usually ended up getting beat. 


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#56 dmann422

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 12:03 PM

He's like a D-version of Sykora/Ryder. If he's not shooting the puck then he's not doing much else for you. He'll get a lot better (I hope) but I reckon he'll always be a defenseman who needs his offense to offset his defensive shortcomings. And there's nothing wrong with that.

oh yeah I'm not trying to knock gelinas believe me I think his emergence helped the team turn the corner this season, but I don't think he'll be a top pairing dman, more of a good #4 who can anchor a power play. If Larsson and Merrill develop into more solid all around defensemen pair one of them with gelinas to help him in the d zone and you're good to go.

Then throw in a guy like santini who sounds like he can be a more defensive d man and we have the makings of a nice well-rounded young defensive core.
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#57 SterioDesign

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 01:10 PM

I've always hated this knock. Good d-men often DON'T stand out. Most of the time, if you notice a d-man, it's because someone scored. Not every time, but enough. I'd love to go through an entire game without once commenting on the d. Unless you're capable of game changing hits like Stevens (and can do that without getting yourself out of position), or rushes like Rafalski or Nieds (and I always felt Rafalski was slightly overrated because of this, he wasn't the best positionally on d), you can be excellent at your job, as long as you're boring. When I played, most of our best d were understated guys who put in shifts and got off the ice. The dudes who tried to do too much usually ended up getting beat. 

 

did i say that a dman had to stand out? no. I said none of his "good" skills are standing out (for examples Gelinas canon or Boucher's shot and speed). Not the same thing at all. 

 

It's like anything, its about compensating from areas to another. If a player is really small, he can still make it by being fast, strong and play hard etc etc... if a player is slow well as long he's still a good skater, good shot, strong on the puck and has a good vision he can also make it, if you're not physical well as long you bring in production, etc etc (those are examples) and if youre simply average at everything we'll you'll only be an average player.


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#58 Daniel

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:22 PM

I've always hated this knock. Good d-men often DON'T stand out. Most of the time, if you notice a d-man, it's because someone scored. Not every time, but enough. I'd love to go through an entire game without once commenting on the d. Unless you're capable of game changing hits like Stevens (and can do that without getting yourself out of position), or rushes like Rafalski or Nieds (and I always felt Rafalski was slightly overrated because of this, he wasn't the best positionally on d), you can be excellent at your job, as long as you're boring. When I played, most of our best d were understated guys who put in shifts and got off the ice. The dudes who tried to do too much usually ended up getting beat. 

 

You're correct about that as a general matter.  But people were expecting more out of Larsson, fairly or unfairly, because of where he was picked, not to mention that some evaluators thought he was the best player in his draft.  If he were even a low first round pick, we'd probably all be thinking Lou hit a homerun. 

 

Think of it this way, a lot of us are excited about Steve Santini even going on the assumption that he has zero offensive upside, and really won't "wow" you at all.  It's only because he was a second round pick.  You better believe that Nashville fans would be fuming, and a lot of draft guru types would be shaking their heads if Seth Jones turned out to be Steve Santini's best case scenario. 


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#59 mouse

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:13 PM

You're correct about that as a general matter.  But people were expecting more out of Larsson, fairly or unfairly, because of where he was picked, not to mention that some evaluators thought he was the best player in his draft.  If he were even a low first round pick, we'd probably all be thinking Lou hit a homerun. 

 

Think of it this way, a lot of us are excited about Steve Santini even going on the assumption that he has zero offensive upside, and really won't "wow" you at all.  It's only because he was a second round pick.  You better believe that Nashville fans would be fuming, and a lot of draft guru types would be shaking their heads if Seth Jones turned out to be Steve Santini's best case scenario. 

That's fair, but IMO the best dman in a draft is often not as good as people hope. Guys like Nieds and Stevens don't come along every year. If Larsson went first, and developed into a top pairing guy, even a boring one, I'd be happy. I think he may be that good in a year or two, and he went fourth.


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#60 Triumph

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:48 PM

You're correct about that as a general matter.  But people were expecting more out of Larsson, fairly or unfairly, because of where he was picked, not to mention that some evaluators thought he was the best player in his draft.  If he were even a low first round pick, we'd probably all be thinking Lou hit a homerun. 

 

Think of it this way, a lot of us are excited about Steve Santini even going on the assumption that he has zero offensive upside, and really won't "wow" you at all.  It's only because he was a second round pick.  You better believe that Nashville fans would be fuming, and a lot of draft guru types would be shaking their heads if Seth Jones turned out to be Steve Santini's best case scenario. 

 

I've said it a million times and this is because people don't understand the NHL draft.  It's not up to reasonable people to assuage that.


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