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2019 Draft

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12 minutes ago, krsmith17 said:

Flyers 1 point back (with a game in hand), and Kings 2 points back...

What is going on in Philly and LA? How is a team with Giroux, Voracek, Couturier, Van Riemsdyk, Simmonds, Konecny, Patrick, Provorov, Gostisbehere, Sanheim 2nd last in the NHL??? How is a team with Kopitar, Kovalchuk, Carter, Brown, Taffoli, Doughty, Muzzin, Quick dead last in the NHL? Their core is getting old, and they should soon be looking to rebuild, but still. I don't think anyone could have predicted either of these teams to be THIS bad...

Either way, the Wings have a real shot at finishing this season dead last, and I think at worst we'll have top 3 odds in the draft lottery.

Sell, and sell hard at the deadline Kenny!

With Philly, its mostly goaltending, but also some underperformance / lack of depth.

With LA, it's mostly age and bad goaltending.

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3 hours ago, toby91_ca said:

With Philly, its mostly goaltending, but also some underperformance / lack of depth.

With LA, it's mostly age and bad goaltending.

I think Philly just needs to modify a few things here or there, and with a new coach should be able to be contenders very soon.

LA needs to blow it up.

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4 minutes ago, Neomaxizoomdweebie said:

LA and Philly know how to properly tank. I also dont think that Gritty is a coincidence.

I don't really know why Philly would be in "tank" mode though.  They've got a decent enough team, on paper, and have some really good prospects in the pipeline.  I mean, they might as well tank now that their season is lost, but they seem like a team that was set up for long term success. 

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It's insane how quickly a single tournament can change people's minds about a player.  Prior to the WJC I'd seen Hughes described as the best prospect since Connor McDavid, and even that he's not far off from McDavid as far as his offense.  Now he's neck and neck with a guy based on this one tourney.  Just in case anybody thought pre-draft hype wasn't a thing. 

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4 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

It's insane how quickly a single tournament can change people's minds about a player.  Prior to the WJC I'd seen Hughes described as the best prospect since Connor McDavid, and even that he's not far off from McDavid as far as his offense.  Now he's neck and neck with a guy based on this one tourney.  Just in case anybody thought pre-draft hype wasn't a thing. 

My impression is the tournament hasn't really changed many minds regarding Hughes versus Kakko; the vast majority of people still have Hughes at #1. Also, I haven't seen many (any?) people come out and say he's the best prospect since McDavid. I dunno, maybe you and I are reading different sources, but I read pretty much everything, so... *shrug*

If you're saying people put too much stock in the WJC, I totally agree.

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Just now, Dabura said:

My impression is the tournament hasn't really changed many minds regarding Hughes versus Kakko; the vast majority of people still have Hughes at #1. Also, I haven't seen many (any?) people come out and say he's the best prospect since McDavid. I dunno, maybe you and I are reading different sources, but I read pretty much everything, so... *shrug*

If you're saying people put too much stock in the WJC, I totally agree.

Here's three I found in the last 30 seconds lol.  He's getting the same treatment as Dahlin got last year, when he was described as the "Connor McDavid of defensemen".  People DO put too much stock in the WJC.  But people also love trying to spot the next superstar.  Trouble is, there is a HUGE difference between McDavid or Crosby and even the very best of the rest...which is sorta what I object to.  If I were a betting man I'd take the odds that Kakko turns out like Kopitar WAY before I'd take Hughes being the next McDavid or Crosby. 

http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nhl/news/jack-hughes-nhl-draft-2019-world-junior-championship/nt8oxhtf6zns11k4dlrwokofu

http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/23864766/nhl-meet-jack-hughes-record-breaking-no-1-ranked-2019-nhl-draft-prospect

https://thehockeywriters.com/nhl-draft-teams-need-jack-hughes-most/

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3 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

Here's three I found in the last 30 seconds lol.  He's getting the same treatment as Dahlin got last year, when he was described as the "Connor McDavid of defensemen".  People DO put too much stock in the WJC.  But people also love trying to spot the next superstar.  Trouble is, there is a HUGE difference between McDavid or Crosby and even the very best of the rest...which is sorta what I object to.  If I were a betting man I'd take the odds that Kakko turns out like Kopitar WAY before I'd take Hughes being the next McDavid or Crosby. 

http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nhl/news/jack-hughes-nhl-draft-2019-world-junior-championship/nt8oxhtf6zns11k4dlrwokofu

http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/23864766/nhl-meet-jack-hughes-record-breaking-no-1-ranked-2019-nhl-draft-prospect

https://thehockeywriters.com/nhl-draft-teams-need-jack-hughes-most/

I dunno, I don't see any of those pieces going HAM on the "McDavid Jr." narrative. I think the actual buzzgasm that people are stoking is that he's arguably the best prospect to come out of the USNTDP. So, basically, that he could be someone on the level of Kane or Matthews. And while that might sound ridiculous on its face, it's definitely a case that can be made in good faith.

I still don't find your hypotheticals about non-Hughes players being more likely to hit certain hypothetical ceilings to be very compelling. I get that you don't like the hype machine (I'm not overly fond of it either), but when you go on about how Kakko could become Kopitar and Cozens could become Barkov, you're basically indulging in the very same thing you're knocking. At the end of the day, it's all "This player could become this player," and very little of it is decidedly scientific. If you think Cozens is more likely to become Barkov than Hughes-->Kane, ok. But, personally, that doesn't really convince me of anything and it doesn't change my personal rankings one bit.

Hughes is still my #1; I think he has the highest ceiling, I think he's the most purely talented player, and I think his floor is very high. I'm amused by the small minority of people who unironically worship at his altar and I'm equally amused by the small minority of people who go out of their way to knock him.

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Just now, Dabura said:

I dunno, I don't see any of those pieces going HAM on the "McDavid Jr." narrative. I think the actual buzzgasm that people are stoking is that he's arguably the best prospect to come out of the USNTDP. So, basically, that he could be someone on the level of Kane or Matthews. And while that might sound ridiculous on its face, it's definitely a case that can be made in good faith.

I still don't find your hypotheticals about non-Hughes players being more likely to hit certain hypothetical ceilings to be very compelling. I get that you don't like the hype machine (I'm not overly fond of it either), but when you go on about how Kakko could become Kopitar and Cozens could become Barkov, you're basically indulging in the very same thing you're knocking. At the end of the day, it's all "This player could become this player," and very little of it is decidedly scientific. If you think Cozens is more likely to become Barkov than Hughes-->Kane, ok. But, personally, that doesn't really convince me of anything and it doesn't change my personal rankings one bit.

Hughes is still my #1; I think he has the highest ceiling, I think he's the most purely talented player, and I think his floor is very high. I'm amused by the small minority of people who unironically worship at his altar and I'm equally amused by the small minority of people who go out of their way to knock him.

It's not a matter of comparison, which is a fine analytical tool.  It's a matter of profundity.  The problem arises when certain stylistic similarities drive a narrative without any consideration for proper scope.  The same thing happened when Stamkos and Laine were given the "next Ovechkin" treatment given that they both are righties with awesome slapshots.  It will ALWAYS be easier (and therefore more likely) to be the next Yzerman or Sakic than the next Gretzky or Lemieux.  It will be ALWAYS be easier to be the next Kurri or Iginla than Bossy, Ovechkin, or Hull.  Not that either is likely, but one is so much more unlikely as to be almost silly.  That's my issue.  Sakic and Yzerman, for example, were far more comparable to each other than either were to Gretzky.  So much so that any comparison made to him is almost laughable, and those were are among the greatest players of all time.  Lots of players have been as good as Kopitar or Barkov, almost none have been as good as McDavid is shaping up to be.  That's my whole point.  There's a very real chance that Hughes and Kakko have closer careers to each other than either of them have to McDavid.

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On 1/13/2019 at 5:19 PM, kipwinger said:

It's not a matter of comparison, which is a fine analytical tool.  It's a matter of profundity.  The problem arises when certain stylistic similarities drive a narrative without any consideration for proper scope.  The same thing happened when Stamkos and Laine were given the "next Ovechkin" treatment given that they both are righties with awesome slapshots.  It will ALWAYS be easier (and therefore more likely) to be the next Yzerman or Sakic than the next Gretzky or Lemieux.  It will be ALWAYS be easier to be the next Kurri or Iginla than Bossy, Ovechkin, or Hull.  Not that either is likely, but one is so much more unlikely as to be almost silly.  That's my issue.  Sakic and Yzerman, for example, were far more comparable to each other than either were to Gretzky.  So much so that any comparison made to him is almost laughable, and those were are among the greatest players of all time.  Lots of players have been as good as Kopitar or Barkov, almost none have been as good as McDavid is shaping up to be.  That's my whole point.  There's a very real chance that Hughes and Kakko have closer careers to each other than either of them have to McDavid.

You're saying a lot, but all I'm really getting from it is "I'm not big on Hughes." (Which is fine.)

Hughes appears to be the most purely talented player in this draft class. Hughes appears to have the highest ceiling and quite possibly the highest floor. Hughes appears to be the safest bet for a gamechanging talent. There are question marks about him, but there are question marks about everyone. You think Cozens might be the next Barkov? Well, my assessment of him is he's lacking in truly high-end hockey sense, his stats are inflated by the fact that he's bigger and faster than most of his peers, and he's probably a winger at the NHL level. I could go down the list of all the top names.

This "It's safer betting on Cozens becoming Barkov than on Hughes becoming Kane or McDavid" angle strikes me as strawmanning sophistry. The Wings are in desperate need of a truly special player and most people believe Hughes is the most special player in this draft class -- and people aren't just basing this on superficial stylistic similarities to top NHLers.

I think this is fair and compelling (and it largely lines up with my own first-hand impressions):

http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nhl/news/jack-hughes-nhl-draft-2019-world-junior-championship/nt8oxhtf6zns11k4dlrwokofu

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With all due respect to the likes of Finland’s Kaapo Kakko and possibly Russia’s Vasily Podkolzin, the 2019 World Juniors may be nothing more than a formality in Hughes’s quest to remain ahead of his aforementioned competition and be the first player selected in June.

“He’s tenacious,” the same USHL scout told SN. “And his instant recognition of the unfolding play means that you can keep him in check for most of a game, only to have him beat you at a critical moment. His talent and upside is in line with some of the best young players in the NHL.”

While few can justifiably argue against Hughes’s potential, the question remains: Is he a “generational” talent in the mold of Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid? At this point, it’s still anybody’s guess.

That does not, however, mean there are not stylistic similarities between Hughes and current NHL superstars. His speed and explosiveness is elite like McDavid’s, except the latter is bigger with a more powerful stride. When it comes to passing and awareness, Hughes, like Crosby, has eyes in the back of his head and the ability to not only sense pressure, but feint them out of position and into the wrong direction.

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Statistically, Hughes is doing things almost unseen for an elite American draft prospect. He is on pace to smash the scoring records either currently or previously held by the likes of American-born NHL stars Auston Matthews, Patrick Kane, Jack Eichel, Phil Kessel and Clayton Keller — five players who, like Hughes, cut their teeth as members of the U.S. National Team Development Program.

Is Hughes the best prospect to come out of NTDP? The numbers say he very well may be.

Hughes, who last year as a 16-year-old set a single-season NTDP record with 76 assists, came one point shy from tying Matthews’ record of 117 points in 2014-15. He needs only nine assists to surpass Maple Leafs prospect Jeremy Bracco’s career mark of 122 and is 26 points from passing Keller as the NTDP's all-time leading scorer. His invitation to the U.S. World Juniors camp and expected roster spot should cost Hughes approximately six regular-season games, but the NTDP still has an additional 20 or so matches post-WJC, and that’s not including the 5-7 games he should see in April at the under-18 world championships.

Going by his current scoring pace and how close he is to the top, Hughes should become the NTDP’s all-time leader in both assists and points by late February, if not sooner.

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Keep in mind that both Keller and Hughes — unlike Matthews, Matthew Tkachuk, Eichel, Kane and Kessel — were eligible to play their pre-draft season with the NTDP. From a statistical standpoint, however, the numbers become far less murky when you compare their 16-year-old campaigns as members of either the under-18 or under-17 programs (or both).

Scoring rates were different from era to era, and Hughes, like Matthews and Tkachuk, has the benefit of playing alongside a powerhouse lineup that may have nearly a dozen players picked between the first and second rounds of the draft.

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However, unlike previous editions of the NTDP, Hughes’ team has had to overcome a significant shift in scheduling that pitted them against the toughest NCAA schedule the program has ever seen. Playing “exhibition” games against mature collegiate competition has been an annual rite of passage for the under-18 program, but the current squad has faced a record 16 Division I opponents, including three of last year’s Frozen Four finalists and nine who in 2018-19 were ranked in the top 20 at least once. They already beat both Notre Dame and Michigan early in the season and will face No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth on Jan. 5.

Team USA’s diverse schedule also includes most of the USHL’s regular season and three international tournaments against the world’s top under-18 prospects. In November, Hughes appeared on a mission at the U18 Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic, torching some of the best teenagers on the planet to a tune of six goals and 10 assists in four games. He recorded at least four points in each of his first three contests en route to a clean sweep of the competition.

Quote

To put the opposition Hughes has faced into context, consider the significant difference in the age between the NCAA and the Ontario Hockey League — the largest supplier of NHL talent. Players in the OHL, much like the USHL, range from 16 to 21, and the league-wide average per player is just over 18 years of age.

On the other hand, the average collegiate hockey player is over 22 years old, with some as old as 25. That’s not to say that playing NCAA hockey over Canadian major junior is a benefit to ensure success at the NHL level (it most certainly is not). However, the fact that Hughes has played (and produced at an elite level) against both physically-mature opponents and same-age peers, plus the shrinking of your standard NHL rookie, should end any debate as to whether or not Hughes will be able to handle the physical demands inherent in an NHL job.

Regardless of his measurements, Hughes remains a very special talent. With no player among his draft peers who can match his intelligence, dynamism and creativity, the choice for first overall in the 2019 draft should be an easy one for any team to make.

If it's a matter of wanting two cracks at a top talent instead of one (e.g. Kakko + Newhook versus just Hughes), suppose we pick first overall and take Hughes with that pick AND find a way to trade up into the mid-1st round. So, we'd be getting Hughes and possibly a guy like Newhook. That would be pretty incredible, no?

Edited by Dabura

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41 minutes ago, Dabura said:

If it's a matter of wanting two cracks at a top talent instead of one (e.g. Kakko + Newhook versus just Hughes), suppose we pick first overall and take Hughes with that pick AND find a way to trade up into the mid-1st round. So, we'd be getting Hughes and possibly a guy like Newhook. That would be pretty incredible, no?

OR we take Hughes AND Newhook (with the pick from the Nyquist trade) when he drops all the way to the end of the 1st, ala Veleno...

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2 hours ago, Dabura said:

You're saying a lot, but all I'm really getting from it is "I'm not big on Hughes." (Which is fine.)

Hughes appears to be the most purely talented player in this draft class. Hughes appears to have the highest ceiling and quite possibly the highest floor. Hughes appears to be the safest bet for a gamechanging talent. There are question marks about him, but there are question marks about everyone. You think Cozens might be the next Barkov? Well, my assessment of him is he's lacking in truly high-end hockey sense, his stats are inflated by the fact that he's bigger and faster than most of his peers, and he's probably a winger at the NHL level. I could go down the list of all the top names.

This "It's safer betting on Cozens becoming Barkov than on Hughes becoming Kane or McDavid" angle strikes me as strawmanning sophistry. The Wings are in desperate need of a truly special player and the vast majority of people believe Hughes is the most special player in this draft class -- and people aren't just basing this on superficial stylistic similarities to top NHLers.

I think this is fair and compelling (and it largely lines up with my own first-hand impressions):

http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nhl/news/jack-hughes-nhl-draft-2019-world-junior-championship/nt8oxhtf6zns11k4dlrwokofu

If it's a matter of wanting two cracks at a top talent instead of one (e.g. Kakko + Newhook versus just Hughes), suppose we pick first overall and take Hughes with that pick AND find a way to trade up into the mid-1st round. So, we'd be getting Hughes and possibly a guy like Newhook. That would be pretty incredible, no?

Again, it's not really about "liking" anybody.  My only point is that given how often all these people are wrong about prospects, and given how truly hard it is to be a generational type talent, and given how it's in everyone's interest to have SOMEONE be the "next McDavid" each year, is there reason to believe that Hughes maybe isn't as good as he's being made out to be currently?  And if he's not, if the odds are that he'll turn out not noticably better or worse than other top two(ish) prospects, does that change how one might approach the draft?  Particularly when the goal of the draft is just as much about making your team better as it is about getting the single best player with your picks.  We traded back and got Cholowski and Hronek instead of Chychrun because Arizona thought (correctly) that he was a better prospect than we did. But being a better prospect doesn't mean you'll be a better NHLer (as mock drafts frequently show us). Imagine what you could get for a guy like Hughes if you thought maybe he wasn't as good as everyone else did?

I don't have any issue with Hughes, he probably IS the best player available to be honest.  The question is ask myself is, "Is he going to be SO much better than someone else I could take in the top two or three that trading back to make the team better is absurd?".  I'm not convinced that he is THAT good.  Maybe, but I'm not sure. Same with last year, is Rasmus Dahlin SO good that a team wouldn't be better off trading back and drafting Quinn Hughes and getting a bunch of other pieces in the trade?  I don't think so.  But he was certainly made out to be so, and it was potentially a big missed opportunity. 

Edited by kipwinger

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Just now, kipwinger said:

Again, it's not really about "liking" anybody.

It sure seems like it is. Because I don't think this argument you're making holds much water. It seems to me like you're tying yourself in a knot to justify picking someone other than Hughes. But maybe I'm being unfair. (It's been known to happen.)

2 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

My only point is that given how often all these people are wrong about prospects, and given how truly hard it is to be a generational type talent, and given how it's in everyone's interest to have SOMEONE be the "next McDavid" each year, is there reason to believe that Hughes maybe isn't as good as he's being made out to be currently?

That's not an unreasonable take. But, again, I think you're strawmanning here. My impression is the "McDavid Jr." narrative isn't really a thing; it feels like you're forcing this in here to help your argument. The hype machine is always going to be a thing, and, yeah, "Hughes could be generational" is definitely a thing that's out there. But I don't see many decidedly well-informed people going HAM on that point. If they're going HAM on a point, it's that Hughes appears to be the best player in this draft class -- in a tier all his own -- and he's a very special player. He's a kind of player that you don't necessarily see in every draft class.

If we're going to put on our We're Smarter Than Those People Who Aren't Very Smart hats, why not cast the same skeptical light on every player in this draft class? Why is Hughes the only one we're (hypothetically) knocking down a peg? Let's be hard on Kakko. Let's be hard on Cozens. Let's be hard on Zegras. Let's be hard on everyone. Then, when we're done being hard on everyone, maybe we can agree that everyone is flawed and has the potential to be a disappointment but Hughes is probably the least risky pick...?

That there are more Barkovs than there are Kanes and McDavids is irrelevant. Hughes is the best prospect in this draft class and he's the odds-on favorite to become something truly special. If I felt like a lot of people were down on Hughes, that'd be one thing. If Hughes didn't thoroughly impress me, that'd be one thing. But neither of those situations is the reality; my impression is pretty much everyone has Hughes at #1 -- and, personally, I have him at #1 on my list, based on his numbers and my own viewings.

18 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

And if he's not, if the odds are that he'll turn out not noticably better or worse than other top two(ish) prospects, does that change how one might approach the draft?

But...nearly everyone agrees that Hughes is the best prospect and is the safest bet for a gamechanging talent.

If, say, the Kings win the lottery, I could maybe see them taking Kakko over Hughes at #1. But I'd be surprised. Because everyone and everything points to Hughes being The Guy, the best value for the first overall pick. Kakko is probably more NHL-ready, but that doesn't mean much to me, personally. Beyond Kakko, I agree with the consensus that there's a big drop-off. I'm not saying there won't be gems, I'm just talking about making the best bets we can with the information we have.

48 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

Particularly when the goal of the draft is just as much about making your team better as it is about getting the single best player with your picks.

-_______-

 

 

tl;dr The Wings' most pressing need is [x]. Of the players in this draft class, Jack Hughes is the one who's most likely to become [x]. His floor is also very high, IMO (i.e. I'll be very surprised if Cozens becomes the better NHLer). I don't care about Kane, I don't care about McDavid, I don't care about Gaudreau, I don't care about Barkov, I don't care about Kopitar.

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Cam Robinson:

Quote

November 2018 – Many expected Hughes to destroy the USHL and U18 circuit the likes of which we’ve never seen. However, after tearing through that level of competition as a 16-year-old a season ago, the consensus number one pick this June didn’t have much room to move up. He wasn’t able to finish his high school credits early and head to the University of Michigan with older brother, Quinn. Labour laws prohibited him from heading overseas to play a season of pro hockey. So back with the U18s it was. If you’re simply looking at the counting stats, Hughes has done extremely well this season. But he isn’t setting records. Except at the most recent Five Nations’ tournament in the Czech Republic. There, the American-born centre is putting up points at will. 16 through four games to be exact. An insane clip. He’s also fared very well against top NCAA competition. A great sign of his ability to play up levels – a scenario he’s always thrived in. 

Hughes is as dynamic as they come. He’s Patrick Kane with more speed. He thinks the game at an incredible pace. A pace that he matches with his feet and his hands. He’s a player you tank out for if you’re not looking like a competitor in your keeper league. Get in line to get your hands on him.

Here's that assessment with the bit about Patrick Kane crossed out:

Quote

November 2018 – Many expected Hughes to destroy the USHL and U18 circuit the likes of which we’ve never seen. However, after tearing through that level of competition as a 16-year-old a season ago, the consensus number one pick this June didn’t have much room to move up. He wasn’t able to finish his high school credits early and head to the University of Michigan with older brother, Quinn. Labour laws prohibited him from heading overseas to play a season of pro hockey. So back with the U18s it was. If you’re simply looking at the counting stats, Hughes has done extremely well this season. But he isn’t setting records. Except at the most recent Five Nations’ tournament in the Czech Republic. There, the American-born centre is putting up points at will. 16 through four games to be exact. An insane clip. He’s also fared very well against top NCAA competition. A great sign of his ability to play up levels – a scenario he’s always thrived in. 

Hughes is as dynamic as they come. He’s Patrick Kane with more speed. He thinks the game at an incredible pace. A pace that he matches with his feet and his hands. He’s a player you tank out for if you’re not looking like a competitor in your keeper league. Get in line to get your hands on him.

Point being, the Patrick Kane comparison isn't centrally important. People will make the comparison, but the decidedly well-informed tastemakers aren't basing their Hughes HYPE! on Patrick Kane or Connor McDavid or anyone other than Hughes himself. Hughes stands on his own.

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