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2020 Draft Thread

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"He reminds me of Gilbert Perreault," Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky told Sportsnet. "He can skate, handle the puck. He's just around the puck so much. When you have that much puck sense, that much speed, I can see him being a center at the next level."

 

Impossible, Wayne.  I know you think you know a lot about hockey, but Kipwinger has already informed the rest of us that wingers cant play center.  Nice try, tho.

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3 hours ago, Jonas Mahonas said:

"He reminds me of Gilbert Perreault," Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky told Sportsnet. "He can skate, handle the puck. He's just around the puck so much. When you have that much puck sense, that much speed, I can see him being a center at the next level."

 

Impossible, Wayne.  I know you think you know a lot about hockey, but Kipwinger has already informed the rest of us that wingers cant play center.  Nice try, tho.

This is an example of the Grade A thinking that made Wayne Gretzky a spectacular coach with the Coyotes after his playing days were over. 

 

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7 hours ago, kipwinger said:

This is an example of the Grade A thinking that made Wayne Gretzky a spectacular coach with the Coyotes after his playing days were over. 

So you don't think an ELITE player with all the qualities of a good centerman (high hockey IQ / vision, great skating, elite passing, etc.) is capable of making the transition from wing to center?

I'm not saying Lafreniere will be a center, but he definitely could be a center, and it may be beneficial for whatever team that drafts him next year to convert him to center. As you know, center is arguably the most important position in hockey, and ideally your best players are playing down the middle.

Jonathan Ericsson (drafted 291st overall) converted from center to defense. I'm sure Alexis Lafreniere (drafted 1st overall) could convert from wing to center...

Hall is another player I think could have (maybe should have) seamlessly transitioned from wing to center at 17-18 years old.

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8 hours ago, Jonas Mahonas said:

What does Gretzky know about hockey, right?

You should definitely double, hell even triple, down on the "Cuz Wayne Gretzky said so" argument.  It's working really well for you so far. 

2 hours ago, krsmith17 said:

So you don't think an ELITE player with all the qualities of a good centerman (high hockey IQ / vision, great skating, elite passing, etc.) is capable of making the transition from wing to center?

I'm not saying Lafreniere will be a center, but he definitely could be a center, and it may be beneficial for whatever team that drafts him next year to convert him to center. As you know, center is arguably the most important position in hockey, and ideally your best players are playing down the middle.

Jonathan Ericsson (drafted 291st overall) converted from center to defense. I'm sure Alexis Lafreniere (drafted 1st overall) could convert from wing to center...

Hall is another player I think could have (maybe should have) seamlessly transitioned from wing to center at 17-18 years old.

I don't know if he could or not.  I DO know that historically most elite level wingers don't.  There's probably a reason for that.  Maybe we should ask Wayne Gretzky since he's a hockey oracle now. 

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45 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

I don't know if he could or not.  I DO know that historically most elite level wingers don't.  There's probably a reason for that.

Most "elite wingers" aren't on the same level as Lafreniere either. This guy is being touted as the best prospect since McDavid. If the player has any hockey sense at all, it really isn't that difficult to transition from wing to center, especially this early in the players' career.

I'm sure you would agree that it is much more difficult to transition from defense to forward, or vice versa? Well. there have been several instances in which players made that transition. Brent Burns, Dustin Byfuglien, Andrei Markov, Mathieu Dandenault all switched from forward to defense after being drafted. Wendel Clark switched from defense to forward and Fedorov played center, wing and defense. That's only looking at recent history and not including one of the best all time to make the switch, Red Kelly. I'm sure there are many more examples as well.

1 hour ago, kipwinger said:

Maybe we should ask Wayne Gretzky since he's a hockey oracle now. 

Gretzky failed miserably as a head coach. That doesn't mean his opinion on anything hockey is irrelevant...

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35 minutes ago, krsmith17 said:

Most "elite wingers" aren't on the same level as Lafreniere either. This guy is being touted as the best prospect since McDavid. If the player has any hockey sense at all, it really isn't that difficult to transition from wing to center, especially this early in the players' career.

I'm sure you would agree that it is much more difficult to transition from defense to forward, or vice versa? Well. there have been several instances in which players made that transition. Brent Burns, Dustin Byfuglien, Andrei Markov, Mathieu Dandenault all switched from forward to defense after being drafted. Wendel Clark switched from defense to forward and Fedorov played center, wing and defense. That's only looking at recent history and not including one of the best all time to make the switch, Red Kelly. I'm sure there are many more examples as well.

Gretzky failed miserably as a head coach. That doesn't mean his opinion on anything hockey is irrelevant...

Lol.  Off the top of my head here's a list of elite wingers who haven't played center in the NHL, and are therefore "not on Lafreniere's level" according to your logic:  Kucherov, Ovechkin, Panarin, Forsberg, Gaudreau, Hall, Marchand, Laine, Pastrnak, Tarasenko, Wheeler, and Marner. 

I realize that over the years a select number of players have successfully changed positions at the NHL level.  I'm not arguing that it has never been done.  I'm arguing that it won't be done in Lafreniere's case.  And that it's stupid.  If you need a center draft a center.  If you want Lafreniere, draft him.  But if you need a center and draft Lafreniere expecting to switch him, you're a dips***...despite what Wayne Gretzky thinks.

Also, who (aside from you) is comparing Lafreniere to McDavid? 

Also, also, Gretzky's opinion isn't irrelevant, it's just not the gospel of hockey either.  His one and only attempt at player development/deployment was a nightmare. So trying to use some soundbite from him as a cudgel, in this instance, is a bit misguided. 

Edited by kipwinger

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21 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

Lol.  Off the top of my head here's a list of elite wingers who haven't played center in the NHL, and are therefore "not on Lafreniere's level" according to your logic:  Kucherov, Ovechkin, Panarin, Forsberg, Gaudreau, Hall, Marchand, Laine, Pastrnak, Tarasenko, Wheeler, and Marner. 

Of that list, only two players (Ovechkin and Hall) were *close* to as highly touted as Lafreniere, years leading up to the draft. Ovechkin is elite shooter and better suited on the wing. As I said previously, I believe Hall could have been a great center, had he made the switch earlier in his career. I also believe a number of those players could successfully transition to center if needed.

26 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

I realize that over the years a select number of players have successfully changed positions at the NHL level.  I'm not arguing that it has never been done.  I'm arguing that it won't be done in Lafreniere's case.  And that it's stupid.  If you need a center draft a center.  If you want Lafreniere, draft him.  But if you need a center and draft Lafreniere expecting to switch him, you're a dips***...despite what Wayne Gretzky thinks.

Please explain why you think a player of Lafreniere's caliber would not be able to play center at the NHL level...

29 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

Also, who (aside from you) is comparing Lafreniere to McDavid? 

If you have never heard any Lafreniere to McDavid comparisons, you clearly haven't been paying attention. Just or not, he is viewed as an elite, maybe even generational talent.

https://chl.ca/article/oceanics-alexis-lafreniere-is-the-next-superstar-in-the-making

"It takes a special player to live up to the hype as “The Next One”.

From CHL graduates like Eric Lindros to Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid, 17-year-old Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic is next in line and has seemingly had little difficulty in meeting such a billing as the budding superstar took the QMJHL by storm in just his second season."

37 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

Also, also, Gretzky's opinion isn't irrelevant, it's just not the gospel of hockey either.  His one and only attempt at player development/deployment was a nightmare. So trying to use some soundbite from him as a cudgel, in this instance, is a bit misguided. 

I'm not the one that brought up the Gretzky quote. I just think it's dumb to dismiss Gretzky's opinion just because he failed as an NHL head coach 15 years ago. He was still the best player to ever play the game, and knows slightly more than you or I when it comes to anything hockey...

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3 hours ago, krsmith17 said:

Of that list, only two players (Ovechkin and Hall) were *close* to as highly touted as Lafreniere, years leading up to the draft. Ovechkin is elite shooter and better suited on the wing. As I said previously, I believe Hall could have been a great center, had he made the switch earlier in his career. I also believe a number of those players could successfully transition to center if needed.

Please explain why you think a player of Lafreniere's caliber would not be able to play center at the NHL level...

For the 2nd time, I'm arguing that Lafreniere's not going to play center in the NHL and trying to make him be a center is stupid.  Nobody said he "isn't able".  Had he played center his whole life he'd probably be one in the NHL.  He did, so he won't.

If you have never heard any Lafreniere to McDavid comparisons, you clearly haven't been paying attention. Just or not, he is viewed as an elite, maybe even generational talent.

https://chl.ca/article/oceanics-alexis-lafreniere-is-the-next-superstar-in-the-making

"It takes a special player to live up to the hype as “The Next One”.

From CHL graduates like Eric Lindros to Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid, 17-year-old Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic is next in line and has seemingly had little difficulty in meeting such a billing as the budding superstar took the QMJHL by storm in just his second season."

So, one article compared him to McDavid then?  An article written by the league he plays for?  A league which clearly has an economic incentive to promote him going into his draft season?  Here's a hot take, every single year from now until the sun expands and swallows the earth there will be a "next one" who some jackass will compare to the "last one".  It's good copy, and internet hockey dweebs eat it up.  I bet hundreds of dummies are already pre-ordering their Lafreniere jerseys right now.

I'm not the one that brought up the Gretzky quote. I just think it's dumb to dismiss Gretzky's opinion just because he failed as an NHL head coach 15 years ago. He was still the best player to ever play the game, and knows slightly more than you or I when it comes to anything hockey...

I didn't dismiss his opinion.  I read it, considered it, and then remembered that Wayne Gretzky is not some infallible hockey-god whose opinion is sacrosanct.  Wayne Gretzky thinks this kid shares some of the same traits as an NHL centerman.  Whoopie Doo! You know who else has speed, skating, hockey sense, puck handling?  Erik Karlsson.  Lots of players who aren't centers actually. Who cares?

Holy strawman!

Edited by kipwinger

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6 hours ago, kipwinger said:

You should definitely double, hell even triple, down on the "Cuz Wayne Gretzky said so" argument.  It's working really well for you so far. 

Youre right.  Hes the only player in sports history to have his number retired league wide for his performance, but what would he know about hockey positions?

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Just now, Jonas Mahonas said:

Youre right.  Hes the only player in sports history to have his number retired league wide for his performance, but what would he know about hockey positions?

Wait, Wayne Gretzky had his number retired league wide?  I didn't know that.  It only follows then that the Red Wings should draft Lafreniere in hopes of him becoming a top center after never having played that position his life.  I stand corrected.  Clearly if you're really good as a hockey player you're probably just as good when evaluating talent, and if you're a bad player you're likely also bad as a talent evaluator.  Which is why guys like Gretzky and Patrick Roy have lit the coaching world on fire, and why bums like Scotty Bowman, and Al Arbour, and Joel Quenneville have fallen flat.  If only the latter group had been better players they'd clearly know that the recipe for winning a Stanley Cup is to take really good players and NOT play them at their natural positions.  Good thinking. 

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1 hour ago, kipwinger said:

For the 2nd time, I'm arguing that Lafreniere's not going to play center in the NHL and trying to make him be a center is stupid.  Nobody said he "isn't able".  Had he played center his whole life he'd probably be one in the NHL.  He did, so he won't.

Again, I'm not arguing that he will definitely play center, I'm arguing that he definitely could play center. What's stupid is saying that he definitely won't play center. You think playing your best player at the most important position is "stupid"? Yeah, okay...

1 hour ago, kipwinger said:

So, one article compared him to McDavid then?  An article written by the league he plays for?  A league which clearly has an economic incentive to promote him going into his draft season?  Here's a hot take, every single year from now until the sun expands and swallows the earth there will be a "next one" who some jackass will compare to the "last one".  It's good copy, and internet hockey dweebs eat it up.  I bet hundreds of dummies are already pre-ordering their Lafreniere jerseys right now.

Because I only cited one article, you think that's the only comparison that has been made? If you haven't heard Lafreniere compared in some way to McDavid and / or Crosby over the past 4-5 years, you've been living under a rock... The comparisons have been there since before he was drafted into the Q.

That is an extremely hot take, considering none of the players taken in the past 4 years have been compared to McDavid. And McDavid was the only one compared to Crosby in the 10 years prior... Players get overhyped every year, but not every year there is expectations of a "generational" talent.

2 hours ago, kipwinger said:

I didn't dismiss his opinion.  I read it, considered it, and then remembered that Wayne Gretzky is not some infallible hockey-god whose opinion is sacrosanct.  Wayne Gretzky thinks this kid shares some of the same traits as an NHL centerman.  Whoopie Doo! You know who else has speed, skating, hockey sense, puck handling?  Erik Karlsson.  Lots of players who aren't centers actually. Who cares?

Why are we still talking about Gretzky? I don't give a s*** about what Gretzky said. The point is, Lafreniere could absolutely play center at the NHL level, and it's not completely out of the question (as you seem to think) for him to make the transition. I will admit, that it probably is more likely that he remains on the wing, but I wouldn't rule out a switch either.

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33 minutes ago, krsmith17 said:

Again, I'm not arguing that he will definitely play center, I'm arguing that he definitely could play center. What's stupid is saying that he definitely won't play center. You think playing your best player at the most important position is "stupid"? Yeah, okay...

Because I only cited one article, you think that's the only comparison that has been made? If you haven't heard Lafreniere compared in some way to McDavid and / or Crosby over the past 4-5 years, you've been living under a rock... The comparisons have been there since before he was drafted into the Q.

That is an extremely hot take, considering none of the players taken in the past 4 years have been compared to McDavid. And McDavid was the only one compared to Crosby in the 10 years prior... Players get overhyped every year, but not every year there is expectations of a "generational" talent.

Why are we still talking about Gretzky? I don't give a s*** about what Gretzky said. The point is, Lafreniere could absolutely play center at the NHL level, and it's not completely out of the question (as you seem to think) for him to make the transition. I will admit, that it probably is more likely that he remains on the wing, but I wouldn't rule out a switch either.

I will categorically rule out a switch.  I'm also 100% willing to bet on it, since I don't believe in talking s*** without backing it up.  Reach out to me in messages for the terms of said bet. 

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2 hours ago, kipwinger said:

Wait, Wayne Gretzky had his number retired league wide?  I didn't know that.  It only follows then that the Red Wings should draft Lafreniere in hopes of him becoming a top center after never having played that position his life.  I stand corrected.  Clearly if you're really good as a hockey player you're probably just as good when evaluating talent, and if you're a bad player you're likely also bad as a talent evaluator.  Which is why guys like Gretzky and Patrick Roy have lit the coaching world on fire, and why bums like Scotty Bowman, and Al Arbour, and Joel Quenneville have fallen flat.  If only the latter group had been better players they'd clearly know that the recipe for winning a Stanley Cup is to take really good players and NOT play them at their natural positions.  Good thinking. 

STRAWMAN MACHINE!

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1 minute ago, Jonas Mahonas said:

STRAWMAN MACHINE!

If I'm misrepresenting your point, then please elaborate what exactly you're trying to say.  Because it sure seems like you're suggesting Wayne Gretzky can't have a stupid opinion because HE'S WAYNE FREAKIN' GRETZKY, BRO!

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19 hours ago, kipwinger said:

This is an example of the Grade A thinking that made Wayne Gretzky a spectacular coach with the Coyotes after his playing days were over. 

 

"f*** Me!"

gretzky-wayne-940-8col.jpg.1ee79fafca135b731ee01f257ad09008.jpgGretzkyCoach.jpg.e67e4c8a0fd177f60dbc9069606ce0e8.jpgcoach-gretzky.jpg.b7c7ddec635aa26a81cc6caef7deb2c7.jpg

Of course Wayne did say that Fedorov was the best player he's ever seen play, so I am in agreement with his player assessment. :) 

Edited by LeftWinger

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1 hour ago, kipwinger said:

If I'm misrepresenting your point, then please elaborate what exactly you're trying to say.  Because it sure seems like you're suggesting Wayne Gretzky can't have a stupid opinion because HE'S WAYNE FREAKIN' GRETZKY, BRO!

Wayne Gretzky knows more about hockey than you do.  Deal with it.

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3 hours ago, Jonas Mahonas said:

Wayne Gretzky knows more about hockey than you do.  Deal with it.

EVERYONE with a job in professional hockey knows more about the sport than I do.  And yet, professional hockey people do stupid s*** ALL THE TIME. Examples abound.  Peter Chiarelli traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. Ken Holland signed Justin Abdelkader to a 7 year, 4.2 million dollar contract.  BOTH of them know more about hockey than I do, both did dumb s***.  The fact that Wayne Gretzky knows more about hockey than I do too does not preclude him from being wrong. 

I'm not a religious person.  At all.  I could never understand why you'd listen to some other person tell you how to live your life.  But at least religious weirdos can scare you into blindly following them with the high stakes of the subject.  I REALLY don't understand slavishly following what someone else says, in the face of overwhelmingly obvious logic, when it comes to hockey.  It literally doesn't matter at all.  Branch out.  Think for yourself.  You'll be amazed how often you don't agree with Wayne Gretzky.  Lol.

 

Edited by kipwinger

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1 hour ago, kipwinger said:

EVERYONE with a job in professional hockey knows more about the sport than I do.  And yet, professional hockey people do stupid s*** ALL THE TIME. Examples abound.  Peter Chiarelli traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. Ken Holland signed Justin Abdelkader to a 7 year, 4.2 million dollar contract.  BOTH of them know more about hockey than I do, both did dumb s***.  The fact that Wayne Gretzky knows more about hockey than I do too does not preclude him from being wrong. 

I'm not a religious person.  At all.  I could never understand why you'd listen to some other person tell you how to live your life.  But at least religious weirdos can scare you into blindly following them with the high stakes of the subject.  I REALLY don't understand slavishly following what someone else says, in the face of overwhelmingly obvious logic, when it comes to hockey.  It literally doesn't matter at all.  Branch out.  Think for yourself.  You'll be amazed how often you don't agree with Wayne Gretzky.  Lol.

 

Yah, center playing wing, winger playing center.  Inconceivable.  Just admit that you were wrong.  It's pretty easy to just say "you know what, I was wrong on that one."

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7 hours ago, kipwinger said:

EVERYONE with a job in professional hockey knows more about the sport than I do.  And yet, professional hockey people do stupid s*** ALL THE TIME. Examples abound.  Peter Chiarelli traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. Ken Holland signed Justin Abdelkader to a 7 year, 4.2 million dollar contract.  BOTH of them know more about hockey than I do, both did dumb s***.  The fact that Wayne Gretzky knows more about hockey than I do too does not preclude him from being wrong. 

I'm not a religious person.  At all.  I could never understand why you'd listen to some other person tell you how to live your life.  But at least religious weirdos can scare you into blindly following them with the high stakes of the subject.  I REALLY don't understand slavishly following what someone else says, in the face of overwhelmingly obvious logic, when it comes to hockey.  It literally doesn't matter at all.  Branch out.  Think for yourself.  You'll be amazed how often you don't agree with Wayne Gretzky.  Lol.

"Lol" "Holy strawman!" "Lol"

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9 hours ago, Jonas Mahonas said:

Yah, center playing wing, winger playing center.  Inconceivable.  Just admit that you were wrong.  It's pretty easy to just say "you know what, I was wrong on that one."

Show me all the guys who were drafted at wing and then switched to center in the NHL.  I'll wait. 

2 hours ago, krsmith17 said:

"Lol" "Holy strawman!" "Lol"

So, I take it from this post and your lack of DMing me that you're basically unwilling to actually put anything behind your argument here?  Anyway, good talk.  Keep hedging your bets on this "I won't be surprised if Lafreniere plays center in the NHL one day".  I'm sure that wishful thinking will totally pan out for you.

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52 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

So, I take it from this post and your lack of DMing me that you're basically unwilling to actually put anything behind your argument here?  Anyway, good talk.  Keep hedging your bets on this "I won't be surprised if Lafreniere plays center in the NHL one day".  I'm sure that wishful thinking will totally pan out for you.

The problem is that you're confusing my argument with Jonas' argument...

I never said that I think Lafreniere will play center in the NHL one day... I said that he definitely could play center in the NHL if the team that drafted him, wanted him to. You act like it's impossible for a winger to learn how to play center. It's not at all. Far from it.

Why would I place a bet on something I believe is unlikely to happen?

For the umpteenth time... I don't necessarily think Lafreniere will play center. I think that he has all the tools to be an elite forward, whether that's at his natural position, on the wing, or he makes a seamless transition to center.

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1 hour ago, kipwinger said:

Show me all the guys who were drafted at wing and then switched to center in the NHL.  I'll wait. 

After a quick google search, I came up with a few names... I'm not sure if all are 100% accurate, but I know some of them are...

Apparently Bryan Little, Claude Giroux, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Sebastian Aho, Pierre Luc-Dubois, among others, played primarily on the wing prior to being drafted, and all are high end centers in the league today. I'm sure there are many other examples as well...

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