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Jake Guentzel Keeps Scoring

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Jake Guentzel looks like the kid next door, only younger.

He can’t grow a playoff beard. “Terrible,” his father Mike calls it. “Just terrible.”

What he can do is score.

He scored on his first NHL shift.

He scored in his first Stanley Cup playoff game.

He scored the winning goal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final and the first two goals, including the winner, in Game 2 of the final.

He scored, impressively, when he played with the great Sidney Crosby. And more impressively, he has scored playing away from Crosby in the Stanley Cup playoffs. On Wednesday night, Guentzel scored his 11th and 12th goal of the playoffs, two away from Dino Ciccarelli’s rookie record of 14 from 1981: The game winner in Game 2 was his fifth of this playoff season. No rookie has ever done that before.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jake+guentzel

Comments

dreamsofhope's avatar

I understand drafting is a lot of guesswork and a challenging thing. I also realize, in full, that hindsight is 20/20. However, will someone with knowledge or an opinion of drafting explain to me how someone like this gets overlooked til the third round? Yes, we used to mine Europe and had Dats and Zetts in late, late rounds. But it appears to me that everyone is catching up on Europe, and we seem to be unable to catch up with NA drafting. Is this an off assessment? I just feel like I see all of these teams unearth players like this, or undrafted NA players (see Tampa) and I just want to know what is going on with us… Do we have bad scouting? Or am I totally off base on this and we end up doing just as well as others? Or is Guentzel just reaping the benefits of playing with world class players?

Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 06/01/17 at 12:59 PM ET

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I think it comes down to your first sentence, drafting is a lot of guesswork.

And he was the 77th pick, which means he was passed over 76 times, likely at least once by every team in the league, and there are scores of players around the league from any given draft year who were chosen in a late round and, if the draft were held again, would be drafted much, much earlier.

As much as Detroit got credit 15 years ago for their drafting, a lot of it was luck even then.  I mean, the story of how Detroit’s scout was the *only* NHL scout who saw Datsyuk play because another scout who was supposed to be accompanying Detroit’s scout on a trip to see a different player came down ill and couldn’t go.  Or how protective and secretive the Wings were when they found Lidstrom (is there any doubt that he would be the #1 pick of the 89 draft if it were redone in hindsight?), yet even then they didn’t covet him enough to take him in the first round.  They took the chance that he would still be around after 50+ picks, taking Mike Sillinger in the first.

As important as the draft is there is almost no such thing as a sure thing.

Hell, look at this year.  There are a couple “sure things” at the top of the draft, but there’s a great chance that, 10 or 15 years on, there’s going to be some kid who was taken in the fourth round who will be seen as “the one that got away” from 29 other teams who passed him over.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/01/17 at 01:36 PM ET

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Go back 20 years.  Russian players came over and lit it up so everyone drafted Russians.  Heck the Pens had a deal with CSKA Moscow at one point.  Then Detroit found Scandinavians so everyone went to Finland. Go back 3-5 years and the league was all Western Conference size and power and so guys like Guentzel, Sheary, Rust were undervalued/passed over.  Just small, speed guys.  Teams went heavy, Pens went quick because there were a lot of those guys with decent skill to be picked up.  Smart moneyball type move.  Teams will draft for speed over the next few years seeing what Pittsburgh and Toronto and the Oilers are doing, then the cycle will begin again.

Posted by PMP5030 on 06/01/17 at 01:43 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Guentzel, in the regular season, played most of his time with Crosby.

53% CF% with Crosby, 46% CF% without.

Scoring chances for with Crosby: 56%. Without? 46%

Verdict: product of Crosby. he may be scoring with out him, but we all know shooting percentages can be wonky.

http://www.naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?season=20162017&playerid=8477404&sit=5v5&stype=2&rate=n&v=p

Posted by ilovehomers on 06/01/17 at 01:44 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Also - look at the scoring log. Corsby is at the top for total and primary assists.

http://www.naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?season=20162017&playerid=8477404&sit=5v5&stype=2&rate=n&v=s

Posted by ilovehomers on 06/01/17 at 01:48 PM ET

dreamsofhope's avatar

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/01/17 at 01:36 PM ET

Thank you. This insight helps a lot. I’m just curious why it seems like every other team gets theirs lately and we don’t. I mean I realize we got Athan in the 4th round… So maybe it’s a comparable. I might just be off base, but for some reason it seems like everyone is finding those “passed over 76 times” guys, and we are not… But that might just be my own oversight.

Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 06/01/17 at 01:49 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Or how protective and secretive the Wings were when they found Lidstrom (is there any doubt that he would be the #1 pick of the 89 draft if it were redone in hindsight?), yet even then they didn’t covet him enough to take him in the first round.

I think I read once, that Swedes under age X couldn’t be drafted after the third round or something. So he wasn’t even a third round level player that year, but the Red Wings figured that in the next draft, with another year of development and scouting, Lidstrom would get taken early so they gambled on him before that.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/01/17 at 02:06 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

However, will someone with knowledge or an opinion of drafting explain to me how someone like this gets overlooked til the third round?

It may be because he was a 5’10” and 155 lb high school player when he was drafted. The odds of someone like that turning into the player we see today have to be pretty darn low.

I mean I realize we got Athan in the 4th round… So maybe it’s a comparable.

AA may very well turn out to be a player that’s even better than Guentzel. On the other hand, Blashill may find a way to completely destroy any confidence the kid has by berating him for not spending 90% of his time being a defensive grinder.

Guentzel may owe part of his success to playing with Crysbaby. But at least he seems to have been used in a way that accentuated his skills. If he had spent most of his time playing with guys like Helm, Glendenning and others, he might be not be the playoff phenom that he is.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/01/17 at 07:05 PM ET

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This insight helps a lot. I’m just curious why it seems like every other team gets theirs lately and we don’t.

Honestly, I think it’s combination of the league catching up with Detroit’s scouting from the late 90s-early 2000, and Detroit’s development.

I’ve read multiple discussions of “Brendan Smith Vs PK Subban”, in that people have complained that the Wings took Subban instead of Smith, but there is an argument that even if the Wings had chosen Subban, he may not have developed into a Norris winner in Detroit’s system, and maybe Smith would’ve turned out better if he’d been drafted by Montreal.

The end point, though, generally tends to be “we really can’t say what would’ve happened if the Wings had drafted X instead of Y because there are so many variables.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/02/17 at 01:19 PM ET

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Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/01/17 at 02:06 PM ET

Yeah, that rings a bell. I think I read that too.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/02/17 at 01:20 PM ET

Avatar

This insight helps a lot. I’m just curious why it seems like every other team gets theirs lately and we don’t.

Honestly, I think it’s combination of the league catching up with Detroit’s scouting from the late 90s-early 2000, and Detroit’s development.

I’ve read multiple discussions of “Brendan Smith Vs PK Subban”, in that people have complained that the Wings took Subban instead of Smith, but there is an argument that even if the Wings had chosen Subban, he may not have developed into a Norris winner in Detroit’s system, and maybe Smith would’ve turned out better if he’d been drafted by Montreal.

The end point, though, generally tends to be “we really can’t say what would’ve happened if the Wings had drafted X instead of Y because there are so many variables.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/02/17 at 01:19 PM ET

I think that pretty much answers the original question, and I’ll add that each team is drafting based on not just best players available, but also based on what they need, AND what they believe they can develop.  Multiple people have pointed out Geuntzel’s success being aided by his time with Crosby - and when you look at the success of other similarly sized and styled players drafted and paired with Crosby or Malkin, I think its pretty reasonable to say the Pens identified a need for a certain type of player to accommodate their stars and their organization.  I guess I’m echoing CDMD here, but the reason teams might pass on one player versus another might not just be because hindsight is 20/20 and they “missed”, they may have drafted based on a specific outline and the player being compared in the “what if” scenario may have never made it to the big club at all.  Or maybe would be a lock for the hall by now, who’s to say?

Posted by PMP5030 on 06/02/17 at 01:49 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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