I usually write about my team the Buffalo Sabres but today I'm going to blog about picking in the 1st rd because one of my commentators said to me how picking first works out well, just look at the Penguins (Crosby, Malkin).
I'm going to rebutt that by saying look at the Edmonton Oilers and how many consecutive 1st picks they've had recently and look where they still are, near the bottom.
While picking 1st can give you a good if not great player it doesn't always equate to on ice production.
I use the Oilers because their a great example of getting great players but not getting great resaults. Where do I put the blame? Partially on the players but mostly on the management team and the system they have in place at not only the club level but at the farm system also.
In Buffalo we tend to grow our players at a slow pace, check them out in training camp and the preseason and then slot them at the right level in our system, with the exception of Grigorenk who was mishandled.
That's where I think the Oilers made their mistakes, too much mishandling of the talent, theres too many immature 1st picks in the locker room the want to be "the guy".
Imagine having 10 Croby's and 10 Malkin's. While that fantasy works out in the head it doesn't work out in reality. You would have too much desparity in the locker room.
Remeber your parents saying too much of a good thing isn't good?
I think those kids in Edmonton were rushed into the NHL much to soon, their young kids taking a beating that they could have never imagined, they came with bulls eyes on their backs with opposing teams hungry vets waiting to take their "welcome to the nhl" shots at them.
Mishandling comes with a price, you can ruin what can be a very productive player by rushing him in too soon, let's look at 1st rd busts:
Alexandre Daigle, 1st overall Ottawa Senators
Patrik Stefan, 1st overall
Rick DiPietro, 1st overall
I think Daige takes the cake as the worst of all time and DiPietro the luckiest. Hopefully we won't add Yakupov to that list.
NHL scouts and management have to take off the blinders when it comes to drafting. Besides "he can skate. shhot and score" we have to add what's in his head and what kind of heart and soul does he have? Does the kid have that pure passion for playing the game? Can he keep a level head? How does he handle to critisizm?
A 1st round pick can have all the talent in the world but if he lacks psychological stregnth, fortitude and maturity he may be a waste of a pick. Just saying..............