Born Jul 7 1969
Place of Birth: Burnaby, BC
Drafted 1st Round 15th overall
Born Oct 20 1991
Place of Birth: Stratford, ON
Drafted 1st Round 17th overall
Could we one day be fondly reminiscing over the illustrious career of #18 Stratford Joe (assuming that he drops the "y")? I think it is not out of the realm of possibility. I was noticing some eerie similarities between Joe Sakic and Joey Hishon; such as size (both are around the same height and weight), both are centers, both shoot left, both were picked at nearly the same place in the draft, and both were scoring machines with their respective junior clubs. Though to compare scoring back in Sakic’s junior career era versus Hishon’s era is not really fair because it was a different time back then, and scoring was easier (Sakic had 160 points alone in one season with the Swift Current Broncos (WHL) in 1987-88 which is more than Hishon’s total junior career point total so far.).
I believe that Joey Hishon was a great pick by GM Greg Sherman; I believe that if Hishon would have went un-drafted last year he would have easily been in the top of the first round this year with the numbers he has been putting up with Owen Sound. But where does this leave Hishon with the Avs? Many players put up great numbers in junior and cannot continue the consistency at the NHL level. I hear a lot of people knocking Hishon because of his size (TSN/Versus did list him as 5’9 on draft day though he has been since listed as 5’10, 190 lbs.); however, I do not think that the inch is going to make that big of difference. The key to Joey Hishon having a successful career with the Avalanche is going to be his health, and consistency. I do not doubt the toughness of Joey Hishon, this is a man who once skated on a broken leg and scored the winning goal (sounds more like a Chuck Norris joke than hockey).
I for one am excited to see if he can crack the roster next year, I am also curious to see if they will convert him to a winger (depending on what we do with Stastny or any one of our many centers at the trade deadline). I would be partially opposed to having someone of his size on the wing mainly because they get beat off of the puck a lot easier which leads to odd man rushes (i.e. Marek Svatos); we need SIZE on the wing, not more undersized players, which makes me miss Chris Stewart all that much more. But the past is the past, and I am looking forward to next year possibly being the start of the career of Statford Joe(y)!