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NFT: I hope the Devils take Kakko

Jay in Toronto : 5/19/2019 8:20 am
Excellent article on the making of an elite youngster, the skills involved, and various paths to development.

Spoiler alert, I'm a Ranger fan.


Making of an elite hockey player. - ( New Window )
Great article  
Ross : 5/19/2019 8:41 am : link
As a Rangers fan....not a bad year to have the #2 pick. We get a stud earthier way but I canít see the Devils passing on Hughes
We canít lose. Two great talents.  
yatqb : 5/19/2019 9:29 am : link
.
Both teams are sitting pretty  
Sammo85 : 5/19/2019 9:37 am : link
Doesnít really matter who. I think Kakko might have a little more immediate success and be able to put some more pucks in the net but both will be near elite players a couple years in.

Great for energizing the rivalry back up too.
Center is more valuable  
larryflower37 : 5/19/2019 10:06 am : link
I think they take Hughes.
As a Ranger fan either way we are good but I hope the Devils take Kakko too.

After seeing Kakko  
pjcas18 : 5/19/2019 10:14 am : link
dominate at the worlds, I think what was once not likely is at least a possibility.

I will say Hughes is a ridiculously talented skater, he is incredible with the puck, he makes the zone transition similar to McDavid, but he doesn't yet have a great shot (not a sniper...yet).

And I can't help get the image out of my head from the draft lottery where Kathryn Tappen was standing next to Hughes in studio and Kathryn Tappen was taller than Hughes.

I don't think there is a wrong pick here and i agree that center is a more valuable position, but in this era we have seen wings dominate - Ovi, Jagr, and more.

I wouldn't second guess either pick, but I think Hughes still goes #1, but i might lean Kakko at this point depending on my teams current roster construction.
Kakko  
Giantfootball025 : 5/19/2019 12:02 pm : link
Had a fantastic tourney, but it was the most recent flavor of the week. Both kids are studs, but scouts are unanimous that Hughes is the top prospect and heís been for a few years. One tourney isnít going to change that. What Kakko did show though is heís NHL ready. Iíd be shocked to see the Devils pass on the consensus #1 and risk Hughes becoming a star.
The thing I don't understand  
Jay in Toronto : 5/19/2019 4:10 pm : link
Is comments by scribes that Gorton is 'fortunate' that he doesn't have to makes the call and risk a bad decision.

BS. I'd much rather have #1 and the decision in my control.

Kakko has basically proved  
Giantz_comeback : 5/19/2019 4:49 pm : link
His floor is very, very high.

Now the overall ceiling of a guy like Hughes with his skillset and skating may be higher but he is not nearly as developed body wise or size wise as Kakko. Add to that that his shot isnt exactly sniper like yet Id prefer the super high floor of Kakko though he may have a tiny tick of a lower overall upside than Hughes. And Kakko at minumum is going to be a 30+ goal scorer in this league that carries great value in itself.
RE: Kakko has basically proved  
Stu11 : 5/19/2019 8:08 pm : link
In comment 14449010 Giantz_comeback said:
Quote:
His floor is very, very high.

Now the overall ceiling of a guy like Hughes with his skillset and skating may be higher but he is not nearly as developed body wise or size wise as Kakko. Add to that that his shot isnt exactly sniper like yet Id prefer the super high floor of Kakko though he may have a tiny tick of a lower overall upside than Hughes. And Kakko at minumum is going to be a 30+ goal scorer in this league that carries great value in itself.

While I agree with your assessment, as a Devs fan I want Hughes. With the #1 overall pick I'm always looking at the ceiling, not the floor. Kakko admittedly has been off the charts at the worlds. However with his skill set, Hughes potential is a franchise player.
RE: RE: Kakko has basically proved  
Giantz_comeback : 5/19/2019 8:26 pm : link
In comment 14449145 Stu11 said:
Quote:
In comment 14449010 Giantz_comeback said:


Quote:


His floor is very, very high.

Now the overall ceiling of a guy like Hughes with his skillset and skating may be higher but he is not nearly as developed body wise or size wise as Kakko. Add to that that his shot isnt exactly sniper like yet Id prefer the super high floor of Kakko though he may have a tiny tick of a lower overall upside than Hughes. And Kakko at minumum is going to be a 30+ goal scorer in this league that carries great value in itself.


While I agree with your assessment, as a Devs fan I want Hughes. With the #1 overall pick I'm always looking at the ceiling, not the floor. Kakko admittedly has been off the charts at the worlds. However with his skill set, Hughes potential is a franchise player.


Stu I doubt you could go wrong either way...but if you want the higher upside scorer (I do) I think Kakko gets the edge there.
RE: RE: Kakko has basically proved  
Jay on the Island : 5/19/2019 8:33 pm : link
In comment 14449145 Stu11 said:
Quote:
In comment 14449010 Giantz_comeback said:


Quote:


His floor is very, very high.

Now the overall ceiling of a guy like Hughes with his skillset and skating may be higher but he is not nearly as developed body wise or size wise as Kakko. Add to that that his shot isnt exactly sniper like yet Id prefer the super high floor of Kakko though he may have a tiny tick of a lower overall upside than Hughes. And Kakko at minumum is going to be a 30+ goal scorer in this league that carries great value in itself.


While I agree with your assessment, as a Devs fan I want Hughes. With the #1 overall pick I'm always looking at the ceiling, not the floor. Kakko admittedly has been off the charts at the worlds. However with his skill set, Hughes potential is a franchise player.

Agreed, they are both great players but Hughes has the higher upside and fits the Devils system better. Kakko is definitely more NHL ready physically but once Hughes adds to his frame over the next 2-3 years he will be a star.
Ranger Fan Here  
Percy : 5/20/2019 10:30 am : link
But not a player ever. Just a fan. That said, I lean toward Kakko. Who knows if Hughes will ever develop a real shot? Can this actually be taught or coached in? Kakko, older and more developed now, seems to have one already.
Let me back up and pump the brakes  
pjcas18 : 5/20/2019 10:40 am : link
for a moment.

Hughes shot is not elite relatively speaking. Meaning he doesn't have an Ovi cannon or Tarasenko or Matthews snipe.

Hughes shot is fine. It's just not what makes him elite.

Hughes scored 34 goals in 50 games with the USNDTP. They play games against juniors and college programs and he was 17 years old.

this broke Auston Matthews records (who does have a sniper shot) and Phil Kessel's records (who does have a sniper shot).

Kakko, for comparison scored 22 goals in 45 games, in the Finnish pro league, but many of those guys have no NHL future. Kakko broke Laine's and Barkov's goals record in the Finnish pro-league for an 18 year old. Yes, they're older in the finnish pro league by and large, but that doesn't necessarily mean better. It's mostly guys who couldn't make the NHL or hold on in the AHL any longer and still want to play pro hockey. Don't get me wrong it's not a beer league, but it's also probably comparable to AHL but slightly better. In a ranking of pro hockey leagues I read about recently the AHL was 6th or 7th and the Finnish league was 4th.

anyway Hughes absolutely is a goal scorer, only along with this 34 goals in 50 games he had a whopping 78 assists, putting him in uncharted territory among US born players.

in short: his shot is NOT a liability. It's just not what makes him great.
RE: Let me back up and pump the brakes  
Giantz_comeback : 5/20/2019 10:44 am : link
In comment 14449699 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
for a moment.

Hughes shot is not elite relatively speaking. Meaning he doesn't have an Ovi cannon or Tarasenko or Matthews snipe.

Hughes shot is fine. It's just not what makes him elite.

Hughes scored 34 goals in 50 games with the USNDTP. They play games against juniors and college programs and he was 17 years old.

this broke Auston Matthews records (who does have a sniper shot) and Phil Kessel's records (who does have a sniper shot).

Kakko, for comparison scored 22 goals in 45 games, in the Finnish pro league, but many of those guys have no NHL future. Kakko broke Laine's and Barkov's goals record in the Finnish pro-league for an 18 year old. Yes, they're older in the finnish pro league by and large, but that doesn't necessarily mean better. It's mostly guys who couldn't make the NHL or hold on in the AHL any longer and still want to play pro hockey. Don't get me wrong it's not a beer league, but it's also probably comparable to AHL but slightly better. In a ranking of pro hockey leagues I read about recently the AHL was 6th or 7th and the Finnish league was 4th.

anyway Hughes absolutely is a goal scorer, only along with this 34 goals in 50 games he had a whopping 78 assists, putting him in uncharted territory among US born players.

in short: his shot is NOT a liability. It's just not what makes him great.


Thanks for the excellent perspective on this. That really helps see what Hughes is/can be in a better light.

They are more equal to me in my mind than they were before. I still think Kakko has better pure scoring upside but Hughes has the better all around game.
I'm happy with either one  
Anakim : 5/20/2019 11:12 am : link
And while I am a bit perturbed how Hughes is knocked off the puck so easily, I have to remember how old he is and he's only going to get stronger from hereon out.
Great read Jay  
JPinstripes : 5/20/2019 11:35 am : link
Thanks for sharing. I prefer Hughes over Kakko, but the margin is small... Both players will be special in the NHL.

A no loose situation for the Devils and Rangers.
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