Last year everybody was ready to trade Tatar "because we have Nyquist so he's redundant" and this year many are ready to trade Jurco "because we've got Mantha". About the time we draft and develop top six wingers folks are ready to trade them. Insane.
To me, Nyquist, Tatar, Jurco, Larkin, Mantha, Quellet, Sproul, and Marchenko are untouchable. Which still gives us Jensen, Backman, Pulkkinen, and one of Nosek or Athanasiou as high end prospects for trade.
Think about it. In five years the wingers on your top two lines can be some combination of Tatar, Nyquist, Mantha, and Jurco and your top four defensemen could be Sproul-Dekeyser, Ouellet-Marchenko (Lefty-Righty, offensive-defensive in each case).
I agree that people are oftentimes too quick to want to trade away these young guys, and I will admit that I was one of the one's that wanted to trade Tatar, but not because he's too much like Nyquist. I wanted to trade him because he would have garnered the highest return out of our assets at the time. I admit that it probably would have been a bad trade in hindsight. However, I'm still not completely against trading Tatar if the return is big enough. I love Tatar and I never wanted to give him away, but the more he plays the more I'm loving the way he plays.
Jurco is definitely an untouchable in my books and it drives me insance hearing all the people saying we should trade him. I agree with your untouchable list for the most part, but I would probably replace Marchenko with Jensen on my list. I have not been impressed much with Marchenko so far this season, and Jenson impressed a lot in preseason and is doing much of the same down in Grand Rapids. He is a great puck mover with a high hockey IQ, loves to use his body and also has a pretty underrated shot from the blueline. I would also add Athanasiou to my untouchable list. I think he's going to be a beast in the NHL one day...
The reasons I picked Marchenko over Jensen or Backman are these: His size, right shot, great passer, defensive d-man. I wanted another defensive d-man to go alongside Dekeyser. I see Jensen and Backman competing more with Sproul, Ouellet, and Smith and despite being really good, I think they lose out. Also, I think you need to give Marchenko another look. He's a lot like Brad Stuart. You don't always notice how good he's playing because he's not flashy. But you'd sure miss him if he was gone. I definitely see him anchoring an offensive d-man the way Stewie did for Kronwall early on.
As for Athanasiou, I agree he's going to be a beast. I only left him off the list because I think you've got to give to get and because we've got Nosek and Larkin. But really, if we can keep two of the three, I don't care which ones. Ideally we'd keep Larkin and Athanasiou and trade Nosek, but he's an unknown quantity and I doubt (right now) he'd get much interest.
I see where you're coming from with Marchenko, but to be fair, there isn't a huge size difference between the two, they both like to hit when they can, their both righties, I think Jensen is the better passer, while Marchenko is slightly better defensively. I think DeKeyser and Jensen would complement each other quite well as well. I agree completely on the center situation.
2 inches and 15 lbs is a pretty big difference in size. However, I do agree that Jensen would slot well with Dekeyser, but that would leave Sproul with Ouellet and I don't like that because I think Sproul will need someone who lays back and plays defense so that he can make plays offensively...which, by the way, is the reason why I think he (and Backman) aren't playing well this season. I HATE that pairing.
I guess it depends on which site you get your bio from, and I'm assuming you're using the Griffins website which may be the most accurate, but several others list them as 6'1" and 6'2". Either way, I don't see that as a huge difference in deciding who is the better option. They both play big and that's what matters. Sproul definitely needs someone defensively responsible to play with, I agree with that, but Ouellet isn't a terrible option there in my opinion. He is a good offensive defenseman but is also very defensively aware as well. I hope Sproul can clean up on the defensive end of the puck as well or he will get eaten alive in the NHL, especially if Babcock is still the coach by then...
I'm not 100% sure but I don't think Backman and Sproul have seen significant time together this year. I've watched the majority of the Griffins games so far this season and from what I could tell the pairings have been Ouellet - Marchenko, Paetsch - Sproul, and Backman - Jensen...
Every time I watch they've been together, and they were a pair during the prospects tourney as well. Though admittedly, I probably haven't seen as many games as you. I watch when I've got a stream and the Wings aren't playing at the same time.
I agree with most of your thoughts above, except that I'll say I'm not overly concerned with Sproul being less than stellar in his own zone, given his offensive upside. None of Doughty, Subban, or Cam Fowler were great in their zone for a few years. Still, their offensive skill set made it worth while to keep them on the big club. They just needed their minutes sheltered a bit until them matured. I know it won't happen because this is Detroit, but I'd have that kid focusing almost entirely on honing his offensive skills and being adequate defensively. I'm not convinced its always best to have guys that do a little of everything pretty well. Sometimes it helps to have a few guys who do one thing extremely well. With his skill set Ryan Sproul should regularly put up 50+ points in the NHL. But probably not if the organization requires him to do it the way Lidstrom did.
I couldn't agree more on Sproul. I would love for him to become a Doughty, Subban, Karlsson lite, but the key part in my above post was "especially if Babcock is still the coach by then"... We know damn well how Babcock treats his offensive minded (gifted) defensemen...
Well every game I've watched those are the pairings I've seen, so who knows... lol
So... you guys are saying we have some options on the back-end?
YAY!!! WE HAVE SO MANY OPTIONS!!!
- kipwinger likes this