Scouting is not an exact science, we all know that. Over the years I've come to think it's more like some sort of black magic and that the Red Wings have some sort of serious voodoo going on.
I was cruising the box score of last night's Ducks/Dogs game and and I was shocked to see that Ryan Getzlaf's late tally making it a one goal game was only his second goal in seven games so far this season. When you look at Getzy's stats they're impressive. His game is unlike anyone elses now or ever. His combination of size, gritt, all zones excellence, puzzling playmaking and top ten shot release have never before been seen. I challenge you, name me one other player that brings all that he does as a true centre.
Amazing that he slipped to 19th in the stacked 2003 draft year...or is it? Ryan Getzlaf has been an Olympic and NHL champ. He's topped the 90 point plateau and projects to hang around it for years to come, yet in junior he topped out at 75 points with only 68 in his draft year.
Most of the games stars dazzled in juniors and have yet to reproduce the type of numbers in the NHL that they posted as wunderkinds in major junior, college or European leagues. It took amazing foresight for Ducks scouting staff to see an increase in production from Jr. to the Show; here are a couple other examples:
-Jordan Staal - drafted directly ahead of higher scoring cetnres Jonathan Toews, Nik Backstrom and Phil Kessel in 2006 made the jump right from Jr. to the NHL and put up 29 goals in his rookie season compared to a career high 28 in junior.
-Patrick Sharp was never a point per game producer in the USHL or college but has emerged a dynamic two way threat. He's posted five straight 20 goal campaigns for Chicago after GM Stan Bowman plucked him from the Flyer's system and earned a long term contract this off season on the strength of a 71 point campaign - he's got 7 points in 7 games to start this season.
How does a team identify the type of talent that like a fine wine get's better with age?