Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/02/09 at 09:53 AM ET
from Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald,
As he’s done everywhere in his career, T.J. Oshie wasted little time becoming a major fan favorite in St. Louis. His name became a verb, fans campaigned to vote him mayor of nearby O’Fallon, Mo., and he was a landslide winner in fan voting for the most popular player on the team….
“I’ve never had the opportunity to pick a Mario Lemieux, a player who has all the physical attributes and skills to step right into the NHL and dominate a game,” Blues head scout Jarmo Kekalainen told NHL.com. “Rarely, in fact, do you find any kid who is physically ready to step into the NHL and make an impact.
“To me, we’re charged with the opportunity to identify skill, hockey sense, character and intelligence in a youngster and then calculate his future. We try to find players with the upside who can become an impact player. You might get a guy that will make your team right off the bat. But you can’t get carried away with that. If it takes four years to get him to the NHL, but he plays 12 years in the league, I’d much rather take that guy than the guy that makes it in the league the next year, plays 100 games and then vanishes.”
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