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Jan Mursak/ Merged

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Jan Mursak update (11/16/06):

This weekend was a bit of an "off" week for Jan. In 3 games he only posted 2 assists & 4 PIM's & was an even +/- mark. Hopefully he gets back on track next week! Of course we did play 3 tough teams this week in Sault Ste. Marie, London & Owen Sound. It seems that other teams are watching their game tapes & focusing on shutting Jan down a bit & double teaming him at times, but he is still skating through the double coverage & looking really good out there. He definitely has not slowed down any. Too bad we will only have him here in Saginaw for one year. There's no way he does not move up to Grand Rapids next year.

Thanks once again for the update.

Yeh was a disappointing week for Jan and there was a little snippet about him from Detroit Central. "COLD: Forward Jan Mursak (Saginaw, OHL) has been silent lately. He is goalless in six games and has just three assists in his past five contests ..."

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Jan Mursak update (11/16/06):

This weekend was a bit of an "off" week for Jan. In 3 games he only posted 2 assists & 4 PIM's & was an even +/- mark. Hopefully he gets back on track next week! Of course we did play 3 tough teams this week in Sault Ste. Marie, London & Owen Sound. It seems that other teams are watching their game tapes & focusing on shutting Jan down a bit & double teaming him at times, but he is still skating through the double coverage & looking really good out there. He definitely has not slowed down any. Too bad we will only have him here in Saginaw for one year. There's no way he does not move up to Grand Rapids next year.

Unless Mursak makes the Wings out of training camp (unlikely--Only one or two forward spots are likely to open up, and at least one will be filled from free agency)

Mursak can't play in the AHL until January 20th, 2008. He'll likely finish next season with the Spirit and then potentially--depending on guys like McGrath and Grigorenko--will jump to the NHL.

Here's how I see it playing out at forward over the next couple seasons barring trades that shake up the roster significantly

OUT: Datsyuk, Lang, Maltby, Draper, Williams

IN: Grigorenko, McGrath, Mursak, Emmerton, UFA scoring winger.

This gives us a roster come 2008-09 that features a forward lineup of Zetterberg, Filppula, McGrath, Cleary at center, and Holmstrom, Samuelsson, Franzen, Hudler, Grigorenko, Mursak, Cleary, and a UFA scoring winger. Emmerton is slated as the 13th. That's solid, speedy, skilled both ways, and very young with only Homer, Sammy, and potentially the UFA pickup over 30.

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OUT: Datsyuk, Lang, Maltby, Draper, Williams

IN: Grigorenko, McGrath, Mursak, Emmerton, UFA scoring winger.

This gives us a roster come 2008-09 that features a forward lineup of Zetterberg, Filppula, McGrath, Cleary at center, and Holmstrom, Samuelsson, Franzen, Hudler, Grigorenko, Mursak, Cleary, and a UFA scoring winger. Emmerton is slated as the 13th. That's solid, speedy, skilled both ways, and very young with only Homer, Sammy, and potentially the UFA pickup over 30.

No reason for Mursak and Emmerton to skip the AHL and make the wings directly, if they can't get top 6 mins. 1 yr of AHL isn't gonna hurt their development, as we found out with filppula last year even though he was NHL ready.

Edited by Mighty Wings

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No reason for Mursak and Emmerton to skip the AHL and make the wings directly, if they can't get top 6 mins. 1 yr of AHL isn't gonna hurt their development, as we found out with filppula last year even though he was NHL ready.

Mursak will probably see at least a handful of AHL games by the time I have him slated to be on the roster. Emmerton was included simply because he's a versatile player and the Wings have been having a youth movement.

Likely, Emmerton won't be on the team for 07-08, in favor of a decent veteran to fill the 13th forward slot. But Mursak's speed and offensive instincts are good enough to get him a look at the big club after a few spots open up from the current roster. He's already the best skater in the organization.

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Mursak can't play in the AHL until January 20th, 2008. He'll likely finish next season with the Spirit and then potentially--depending on guys like McGrath and Grigorenko--will jump to the NHL.

Forgive my stupidity on this one, but why can't he play in the AHL until then? Does he have to be 20 years old for some reason?

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Stevie Y was in Saginaw tonight to check out Mursak & he had some VERY nice things to say about him! Mentioned how most players, when they stop & start it takes a couple seconds to get going again, but Mursak can stop & start without losing any momentum & is an extraordinary skater. Yzerman says Mursak will be a star in the NHL sooner rather than later! He said he was very, very impressed. Surprised, also, even tho he had heard good things. He said he was by far the best skater on the ice tonight! Jan's assist on a goal less than a minute into the game was nice for Steve to see, too! haha!

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Awesome! That really is great news. :clap:

Good to see Jan put in a good performance for him to see as he had 2 assists. Really encouraging that Yzerman seems to think he will be a good NHL player and appears that he’s not too far away from making the NHL. And I can’t wait to see him out on the ice, he must be an amazing skater.

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Weekly Mursak update (12/5/06):

Mursak did in deed NOT play the London game, simply because he has left the team temporarily to go play in the World Junior Championship Tornament for Team Slovenia. It is quite an honor to be selected to a team going to the World Junior's.

Anyway, Jan had possibly his worst week with the Spirit this week, recording 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, was a -2, and had 0 PIM's. However, the team as a whole had a bad week getting only one point out of a possible 6. Jan will be back in the States at the end of December.

Also, it is my understanding that Jan CAN play in the AHL next season - I was told that only players who are drafted from the CHL can not play until they are 20, but that does not include players drafted BEFORE they came to the CHL, as Jan was. So he is eligible to play in the AHL right away.

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I have watched this kid play and lets just say this. He has the hands, skates like he is on fire and sees the ice like no other. He is very strong with the puck and a shot that just plain smokes. This kid is the real deal. He will be in the NHL and he will be there for a long time.

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There is an interview with Jan in local newspaper. If you are interested I can translate it to you.

Uh, yeah, I think everyone would be interested. What are you holding out on us for? :lol:

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Here you go. I will not translate it word by word and please note that some things may be lost in translation. I some things are unclear I can try to explain them in other words.

You were drafted as no. 182. Was that a disappointment?

I believed that I'd be drafted sooner, many has told me, that I would be, if I played in North America last year. But Detroit is known for good late draft picks. Like Datsyuk ot Zetterberg, who are among biggest NHL start today.

You left Ceske Budjeovice, although you had secured place in team nad went to NA to Saginaw Spirit.

I would play on third or fourth line, not good enough for NHL scouts. Now I'm on their doorstep and I would never return to Europe. I adapted quickly to everything, also to faster play. There is huge difference between Slovenia and Czech Republic, but diffenrence between Czech Republic and NA is even bigger. They take care of everything you need and fans are incredible. In Saginaw there are on average 3500 and in some other arenas up to 9000.

You broke ten years old league record. You scored at least a point in 22 games.

Yeah,even people in Detroit are suprised. They are watching me constantly, last was here Steve Yzerman. He told my agent more than he did to me, but I heard him on radio, that I have some advantages against other young players. That I'm already best Detroit skater.

Also other scouts from NHL have evaluated your skating as superb. It's hard to believe that you gained that at Maribor hockey team.

When I was young my father took me to recreational skating every day. I skated 2 hours without rest. While other were just skating I tried to do everything possible. Now I'm gaining from that.

They have also said that you lack physical strenght and weight

I have 180 cm and 80 kg, I need another 10 to 15 kg, in muscles of course. It's going slowly as I don't eat any additives as some of my teammates do. And you cannot work out in fitness to much in the middle of season.

Then you're lucky that you're in Saginaw and you cannot go out a lot

Yeah, there isn't much to do in Saginaw, but even if it was I couldn't go anywhere as I'm too young. I don't even go to private parties as I'm only interested in hockey. And I'm going to school.

Do you live alone?

No I live with family I was assigned to by Detroit. They are hockey fanatics(in good way). They come to every game, they bought slovenian flag over internet, which is hanging on their house and they learned some slovenian words..

Have you explained to Americans difference between Slovenia and Slovakia?

With my Slovakian teammate Tomas Zaborsky I speak in Czech language, which I learned well, so others were even more convinced that Slovenia and Slovakia are the same. But we explained it to them. Anze kopitar is taking care of hockey promotion of Slovenia. He is well known on eastern coast too.

There is only one player from Maribor area in national team. You could become second.

To be hockey player in Maribor is not easy as fans like soccer more. But some players are now in younger selections, so things are going forward.

This article can be found on http://www.vecer.com/ (only in Slovenian).

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No, of course not. I just hope I didn't do damage as I'm not used to do this. Also my english has become rusty lately.

Thanks for the translation, very interesting interview. I'm really starting to hope for big things from Mursak. It sounds like he's having little trouble with adapting to North American hockey and the lifestyle, which to me is more important than the flashy stats.

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Thanks for the translation, it's a great read. :) I really like this part...

Then you're lucky that you're in Saginaw and you cannot go out a lot

I don't even go to private parties as I'm only interested in hockey. And I'm going to school.

Seems like a young kid very focused on making the most of his ability. A very important trait.

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Watched Mursak play against the Windsor Spitfires today in a 4-3 loss. Here's a brief (and not necessarily accurate, since it was only one game) scouting report based on what I saw.

Strengths:

The fastest player on the ice; he's quite slippery and has excellent one-step acceleration. His hockey sense is above average; he seemed to be at the right place more often than not and a few times he would tip the puck forward and then attempt to outrace the d-man to it. Moreover he knows how to use his speed to avoid checks and generate offense (although a few times at the expense of his defensive assignments).

Weaknesses:

Lacks strength and does not make a physical impact at all. The one time he tried to lay a hit on the Windsor d-man he actually bounced off the guy. Also on one of the Windsor goals (I think it was a SHG actually) he failed to pick up the late man, but he did get some PK time and seemed to do ok. Moreover he could stand to shoot more (one time he had the goalie out of position and instead of shooting at a sharp angle chose to pass behind the back to a teammate on shot it right at the goalie).

Overall:

Bulking up physically (and just gaining strength in general) without losing speed will be a challenge since he's only 5'11", but he has a good work ethic, excellent offensive instincts and the kind of skating ability you can't teach.

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