15 Points to Consider – May

Jeff Angus



A sleeper for 2010-11, fixing a mistake, the future of Cory Schneider, and more…


1. Kyle Turris impressed the heck out of me down the stretch and in the first round against Detroit. He was rushed out of college by the Coyotes and struggled to adjust to the pace of the professional game over the past few years, which led to many in the hockey world to sour on his upside. Skill and hockey sense were never question marks with Turris, it has been about the physical tools – most notably size and strength. He looks much stronger on his skates now than he did a few years ago, and he is in a great situation to break out offensively in 2011-12.


Skill is only half of the equation with young players, there needs to be an opportunity as well. Turris didn't have this last year, as the coaching staff didn't trust him to play a regular shift in the top six. That changed over the course of the season. The Coyotes trusted Turris enough to center an "all-kids" line along with Brett MacLean and Mikkel Boedker. If you wrote Turris off as a bust, I hope you did it in pencil and not pen – time to get that eraser out.


2. Chris Kreider cracked my top 10 list for keeper league prospect forwards a few months ago. Not much time has gone by since I put that list together, but I think I would like a do over. I have seen Kreider play a few more times since compiling the list, and his lack of hockey sense is glaring. His size and speed have allowed him to stand out against his college opposition, but I question if he can do the same against professional hockey players. You can always develop speed and size, but hockey sense is nearly impossible to suddenly improve on (even as a young player).


To those of you who went out and acquired Kreider – don't fret. I have been wrong more than once. It is also too early to write him off as a bust (just like the guy I wrote about above). He will make the NHL based on his speed and size, but his lack of hands and hockey sense will probably hold him back from realizing his full offensive potential.


3.  Columbus is disappointed with an awful 2010-11 from several of their forwards, including Jakub Voracek. Voracek has long been a favourite of mine – his Hossa-like strength and skating ability combined with his Jagr-like flowing locks, how could you not like the big Czech? It would be a huge mistake to sell low on him. One reason why I think Columbus is having trouble developing offensive forwards – the lack of puck movers on the back end. Huge difference between receiving a pass on the blade in a good area compared to trying to dig it off the boards after a chip out of the defensive zone.


4. Where will Cory Schneider end up? There will be no shortage of suitors – Toronto (Nonis loves him), Philadelphia (likely), and Tampa Bay (how long can Roloson continue to play?), among other teams. Philadelphia makes perfect sense. The Canucks won't be able to get van Ri