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ajsgolf

Hughes vs Crosby

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Ok I’m guessing not the best comparison but when each we’re about to be drafted Crosby was considered a generational player and Hughes seems to be considered a franchise player.  What was it about Crosby that gave him such an edge over Hughes?  Can Hughes get there?  I keep thinking about that.  Wish the Devils can get a generational player and I’m guessing Hughes is prob the closest thing coming out of a draft the Devils ever had.

I’d still prob say (outside of Brodeur) that Niedermayer was their best player...let’s be clear, Scott...def not Rob lol

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Crosby is just a better player.

I don't think Hughes will ever be at Crosby level good, but he will be elite for sure and is a player you can build a franchise around.  Frankly I see Hughes in the same class as Kane and MacKinnon.

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Why can’t we have our cake and eat it too?  Sorry, I want a Crosby level player...don’t mind me, just frustrated with not having a ridiculous game changer.  How would gretzky fare in the game in this day and age?  If you can’t compare the game to how it was with how it is now, would you say Crosby is the greatest player of all time?  Better than Lemieux?  Better than Ovechkin?

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4 minutes ago, ajsgolf said:

Why can’t we have our cake and eat it too?  Sorry, I want a Crosby level player...don’t mind me, just frustrated with not having a ridiculous game changer.  How would gretzky fare in the game in this day and age?  If you can’t compare the game to how it was with how it is now, would you say Crosby is the greatest player of all time?  Better than Lemieux?  Better than Ovechkin?

Crosby-type players are hard to come by.  That's why they are called generational players.

Hughes is still big and frankly I don't think MacKinnon and Kane are players that you can just sneeze at.  Kane has won 3 cups himself and both players have been in the top 10 in league scoring the past two seasons.  Hughes definitely has the potential to change the franchise for sure.

Comparing players in different era's is both tough and unfair.  It's like trying to compare Wilt Chamberlain to LeBron James.  You really can't do it.  Game was played much different back then than it is now in both leagues.  I mean goalies were winning Vezina's with .887 save %'s (Beezer in 85-86).

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Players like Crosby and McDavid were so dominant at every stage prior to the NHL that it was a pretty safe bet to say that each one would eventually become the best player in the world at some point. Both of these players were the best in their respective league in their draft-1 year, and put up points good enough to be drafted 1st overall a year before being eligible for the draft. With the thousands of kids that go through juniors, scouts have an idea which ones dominate to the point that there really haven't been other players that have kept up with their trajectory in years. To me, a "generational talent" is a player who, year after year, is the best player in the league. That just does not happen very often, especially with how much talent is in the NHL these days. I don't think Hughes has separated himself from some of the other players that have gone through the US Development Program to the point that he can be called "generational".

But that doesn't mean that he won't be an elite center in the NHL very soon. Matthews isn't considered "generational". Neither are MacKinnon, Eichel, Malkin, or Tavares. Some teams get lucky and win the lottery to draft the next Mario Lemieux. Others get lucky and are able to draft someone projected to be a top 5 center in the league. We should all be super excited about that. This is a legitimately strong first overall pick.

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exactly as Nessus stated above.. we should all be more than thrilled if this kid turns out to be what he is projected to be. You can't expect a Crosby or mcdcvid, but that shouldn't mean anything.. Hughes should be phenomenal.. we were thrilled with Nico. Obviously we made the right choice by choosing him, the flyers are already looking to trade away Nolan. with that said Nico is still a great player, this kid Hughes should be exceptional, be patient.. just because Edmonton has mcdavid clearly thats not the end all be all. we are going to be set up real nice with hischier and Hughes holding down the center position for our first two lines. What should be more of a concern is who they are going to play with. Hope that Hall re signs, and if he doesn't hope that we trade him in a package if need be to bring back equal to talent and continue to make upgrades where we can. as we all know this offseason is a big one for this franchise. moves need to be made up front and on the D. 

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the reason why we can't have a player like Crosby is pretty straight forward. 

there's 2 players like Crosby... Crosby and McDavid... so total... 2. There 31 teams... that means there's 29 teams without a player like him... and we're one of the 29. 

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8 minutes ago, SterioDesign said:

the reason why we can't have a player like Crosby is pretty straight forward. 

there's 2 players like Crosby... Crosby and McDavid... so total... 2. There 31 teams... that means there's 29 teams without a player like him... and we're one of the 29. 

I’d say there’s currently 3 generational players in the league, with the other being Ovi. Guy is the best pure goal scorer maybe ever (imagine the numbers he would have put up in the run-and-gun 80’s), but certainly of this generation. He’ll probably end up at least 3rd all time in goals behind only Gretzky and Howe. And honestly he might even pass Howe if he stays healthy and keeps scoring around 50 goals a season for the next few years. 

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14 hours ago, ajsgolf said:

Ok I’m guessing not the best comparison but when each we’re about to be drafted Crosby was considered a generational player and Hughes seems to be considered a franchise player.  What was it about Crosby that gave him such an edge over Hughes?  Can Hughes get there?  I keep thinking about that.  Wish the Devils can get a generational player and I’m guessing Hughes is prob the closest thing coming out of a draft the Devils ever had.

I’d still prob say (outside of Brodeur) that Niedermayer was their best player...let’s be clear, Scott...def not Rob lol

As someone mentioned, there is a Mario Lemieux and there is a Mats Sundin. Both had an extremely high impact on their team, but Mario was generational.

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Both have the patchy beard of a prepubescent squire, I would imagine. 

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also important to point out that... looking at the Bruins and the Blues. None of them have generational talent and they are both fighting for the cup. I wouldn't say that they have a clear cut franchise player either, they have multiple very very very good players tho which is what you really need

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Posted (edited)

Ironically enough, if we had our 1OA picks 1 year later or earlier each; ending up with Dahlin and LaFreniere, or Matthews and Dahlin, that probably would’ve been much better for our franchise. 

But Nico and Jack is a hell of a consolation prize.

Edited by MB3

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46 minutes ago, SterioDesign said:

also important to point out that... looking at the Bruins and the Blues. None of them have generational talent and they are both fighting for the cup. I wouldn't say that they have a clear cut franchise player either, they have multiple very very very good players tho which is what you really need

Seems you either need 1 generational player (Penguins with crosby, caps with Ovechkin) or a group of “elite” but not necessarily generational (Kane / Toews, Marchand / Bergeron) guys.

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If Hughes ends up in the tier of MacKinnon, Tavares or Matthews, we should be doing backflips. Crosby is arguably a top 10 player of all time

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On 6/7/2019 at 3:42 PM, DevsMan84 said:

Frankly I see Hughes in the same class as Kane and MacKinnon.

...and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Can’t wait to officially add him to our roster.    

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On 6/8/2019 at 12:54 AM, 2ELIAS6 said:

 the flyers are already looking to trade away Nolan. 

Really?  I haven't seen anything on that.   Wonder what kind of return their expecting/wanting........?

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11 minutes ago, Jimmy Leeds said:

Really?  I haven't seen anything on that.   Wonder what kind of return their expecting/wanting........?

Was reported the other day. I'll give them Quenneville plus a 4th. 😉

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On 6/8/2019 at 1:29 PM, MB3 said:

Ironically enough, if we had our 1OA picks 1 year later or earlier each; ending up with Dahlin and LaFreniere, or Matthews and Dahlin, that probably would’ve been much better for our franchise. 

But Nico and Jack is a hell of a consolation prize.

While they play different positions, Hughes and Dahlin are probably at the same level so far as prospect value, so Hughes is not a consolation prize by any means even now.  And give Nico one or two more years before he's called that either as compared to Matthews  Nico's first two seasons were much more productive than Sasha Barkov and more or less at the same level as MacKinnon. 

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16 minutes ago, Jimmy Leeds said:

Really?  I haven't seen anything on that.   Wonder what kind of return their expecting/wanting........?

Friedman rumor that the Flyers are shopping him.  My guess is that he'd be dealt for Trouba, which would be a bummer for us.

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2 hours ago, Daniel said:

While they play different positions, Hughes and Dahlin are probably at the same level so far as prospect value, so Hughes is not a consolation prize by any means even now.  And give Nico one or two more years before he's called that either as compared to Matthews  Nico's first two seasons were much more productive than Sasha Barkov and more or less at the same level as MacKinnon. 

I don’t think Hughes and Dahlin are the same level of prospect value. Dahlin got the “generational” defenseman label; those don’t get tossed around frequently.

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10 minutes ago, MB3 said:

I don’t think Hughes and Dahlin are the same level of prospect value. Dahlin got the “generational” defenseman label; those don’t get tossed around frequently.

It's a meaningless label and some have given it to Hughes as well given that the second he steps into the league he will be considered one of the top fifteen skaters in the world, perhaps higher.  He's not a consolation prize compared to Dahlin and it's 50/50 who would go first if Dahlin were born five months later. 

You are correct that Nico was seen as winning a $40 million jackpot when it was $350 million the week before.  I wasn't that excited about it at the time either.  However, he compares favorably to two other players I've mentioned who are considered elite centers.

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2 hours ago, Daniel said:

It's a meaningless label and some have given it to Hughes as well given that the second he steps into the league he will be considered one of the top fifteen skaters in the world, perhaps higher.  He's not a consolation prize compared to Dahlin and it's 50/50 who would go first if Dahlin were born five months later. 

You are correct that Nico was seen as winning a $40 million jackpot when it was $350 million the week before.  I wasn't that excited about it at the time either.  However, he compares favorably to two other players I've mentioned who are considered elite centers.

Who would you rather have? Nico and Jack or Matthews/LaFreniere and Dahlin? That’s all I was saying when I meant consolation prize. It is hitting the jackpot, and your analogy is perfect.

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4 minutes ago, MB3 said:

Who would you rather have? Nico and Jack or Matthews/LaFreniere and Dahlin? That’s all I was saying when I meant consolation prize. It is hitting the jackpot, and your analogy is perfect.

Right now,  Matthews and Dahlin since the two of them are the more proven commodities.  I’d take Nico and Jack right now over Dahlin and LaFreniere.  However, if Jack is a top ten center in the league and Nico is like Sasha Barkov, which is plausible enough, I’ll take the for sure elite one two center punch.

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On 6/7/2019 at 3:38 PM, ajsgolf said:

Ok I’m guessing not the best comparison but when each we’re about to be drafted Crosby was considered a generational player and Hughes seems to be considered a franchise player.  What was it about Crosby that gave him such an edge over Hughes?  Can Hughes get there?  I keep thinking about that.  Wish the Devils can get a generational player and I’m guessing Hughes is prob the closest thing coming out of a draft the Devils ever had.

I’d still prob say (outside of Brodeur) that Niedermayer was their best player...let’s be clear, Scott...def not Rob lol

Coming in late here but I want to chime in. As a prospect - Hughes isn't McDavid-level, and isn't Crosby-level either. But your question is more "can he get there?"

It's easy to compare prospects to current stars but hard to project just how good players will be. So most any assumptions about what kind of player Hughes will be are guesses - no matter how surefire of a prospect he is.

That said he's an elite prospect. When people say that he's "not McDavid or Crosby," that's more of a nod to how good those two are rather than a knock on Hughes. Watch McDavid play. He's just so much better than everyone else - he clearly does things no one else can do. The combination of his shooting, passing, hockey IQ, speed, edges, vision, and size are unmatched.

But I'm going to use your post as reason to simply explain why I think Hughes is an future NHL superstar despite not being quite Crosby level. There are a few things that set Hughes apart and make him an elite prospect.

First is the one everyone knows about - his edges. His skating is absolutely dynamic, it sets him apart from almost every other prospect in the past few years - aside from maybe well...Quinn Hughes. His first step is top notch but his overall top speed, while very very good, isn't the best of the best. It's Hughes' speed east to west, the speed at which he turns on his edges that creates space for him on the ice.

Watch starting about 0:29 in the following video. Watch how Jack enters the zone with speed and moves east and west across the ice and changes directions while beating everyone else:

 

The next thing about Jack is his brain. This is something that doesn't get talked about enough. Watch the video below starting at about 1:00.

 

 

Jack might seem a bit blank in some interviews but don't let that fool you. This is a really smart kid.  It's not just his physical talents - he really understands the game and  is able to make smart analysis like the above while at top speed. I also think it was Pronman who pointed out how in conversation with him, Jack was able to recall details of plays from months before.

 

Watch below at 6:27. He knows where players are going to be before they even know.

At 2:29 of the above video you can also see Hughes enter the zone with speed, spin and hit Kane with precision.

 

Then watch below at 3:30-4:00. We could do vision/passing stuff all day.

 

Don't get me wrong the kid can shoot too, watch below at 2:50

 

Hughes is also really brave. He''s not strong but he's fearless. He'll go anywhere with the puck and fight for the puck anywhere. Watch the skinny freshly minted 18 year-old dive to steal the puck from Ovechkin at 7:01 below.

 

 

Hughes is really unflappable. This is important to mention because it not only compliments his skill on the ice, but NHL teams, like the Devils, see leadership qualities in him. This might seem like a joke but watch the video at about 6:30 as Jack introduces himself to the viewers.

 

 

This is just one of many moments where you can see just how comfortable jack is with himself and how confident he is at such a young age, especially compared to Turcotte before him. He can come off cocky at times, but if he didn't have a little bit of healthy ego, he wouldn't be the player he is today. He's not faking his confidence, he believes he can be the best and that's important as far as reaching his potential goes. And that's not to say he doesn't have any humility, I think he has displayed it in most every interview he's done. Well raised kid.

And then what makes Hughes a top flight prospect - is that he takes all these skills, the ones he does elite and the ones he does just very good, and does them all together at speed. There are many players who have better handles. There are many players who are faster on a straight line. Many of those guys aren't superstars. But Jack has a real shot at being a superstar because everything that he does very well, he can do while going at full speed.

Watch at 6:48 below as he reads the play and intercepts the pass at speed, slides on his edges to create space between himself and the D-man and then feeds a pass Hanifin who scores.

 

And then:

 

So, can Hughes reach Crosby-level? Well, I don't know if he ends up quite impacting the overall game as much as Sid. But it's hard for me to watch Hughes' IIHF World Championship highlights and not think that he has the potential to hit 100 points multiple times in his career with the right supporting cast around him. A lot of people raved about Kakko at the WC. I thought Hughes had a great tournament - he might have been even better than Kakko but it's hard to compare two very different players. People had such high expectations of Hughes that they seem to think he played poorly at the WC. But watch the highlight video above. That video accounts for a lot of his ice time. He was dangerous almost every shift - sometimes the most dangerous player on the ice.

Ultimately, there are three main knocks on Hughes:

1. Size and strength - this is a legit issue. I think he is going to have a lot of trouble winning board battles next year. Ironically, Kakko is a juggernaut on the boards. Hughes has to get stronger and fans need to allow him time to fill out as well and not freak out when there are bumps in the road next year.

2. I've heard a bunch of scouts/writers say that when his team is struggling, Hughes tries to do too much. Obviously this isn't a big deal and hopefully Hughes can learn to be disciplined here.

3. He had an amazing supporting cast with the USNTDP. - This is obviously true. Turcotte, Zegras, Caufield, etc...his team was stacked. But who cares? In the NHL you also need a strong supporting cast to have success. It's not like Hughes doesn't have undeniable clearly observable elite skills with or without great players around him. I'm not worried here.

 

Overall, I think the player we are getting in Hughes and his potential is exactly what you are implying in your question - a notch below players like Crosby and McDavid, maybe even Mackinnon, on par with some elite players like Matthews, and well above a Hischier. These things are impossible to predict with certainty but I personally wouldn't be surprised if he's in the top 10 leading scorers in the league for the majority of his career.

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39 minutes ago, Neb00rs said:

Coming in late here but I want to chime in. As a prospect - Hughes isn't McDavid-level, and isn't Crosby-level either. But your question is more "can he get there?"

Answer is, probably not. Neither of those guys developed into what they would eventually become, they came into the NHL as kids and were immediately among the best players in the league. I’m hoping Jack does the same thing, but if he doesn’t, I think he’ll still be a great player. I’m fine with that. 

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