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Herpaderp

I think this is what Beachie has now dubbed Johnathan Huberdeau.  We have had the privilege to watch this kid play a couple of games now against the OHL's two best teams (and some say the 2nd and third best Junior teams this year).  I hope you get to watch him play because he is absolutely magical with the puck.  Here is what I have seen so far.

Let's just get a few declarations out first.  I have not seen Landeskog or Laarson play and I cannot say who is better.  I am not advocating a draft pick one way or another.  I am only looking at two games and I am aware that anyone can have a good two games, so I am only reporting what I have seen, not the Junior career.

I said after the first round of playoffs that the Avs should really look at this kid, and I stand by that now (only because he has kept up his pace, other wise I would not bring that up again).  Last night against Owen Sound he took control of the game in the third period and the OT, eventually getting the game winner with a wicked shot.  The first two periods he was a bit quiet but I thought he still played good, the Attack were really physical and tried to take him off of his game.  What we missed was Hishon's play against Hubbs.  I wonder how Hubbs would deal with things such as a pesky tenacious player like  Hishon.  The one real knock I have on Hubbs is that he is not as fast as I thought he would be.  He is not slow, but he is not blazing either.  His passing ability would be amazing to see in the Avs uniform for the next 10+ years.  He hit his teammates repeatedly in the slot for them to make a goal but the teammates let him down.  He very easily could have had 4 assist in the third period alone.  He is a tough player and has a strong stride to break through poke checks.  He shields the puck well.  His back checking was great also, breaking up 3 great chances for the Attack, so he is fast enough to track down someone.  I am very impressed with his physical play and his board work.  He peals off the boards with a torrent amount of power (has a good explosive ability) and keeps the puck on his stick. Simply put he is the best player on the Saint John team and we are taking about a potential four 1st round picks.  If we do draft Hubbs then I will be excited, and you should too.  If we pickup someone else then I will be excited because we got someone better then Hubbs and that is saying a lot.

 

Just a side note on a few other observations.  Hishon is everything as advertised and more.  My concern is his size and in that first game he showed size doesn't matter (TWSS or at least I hope they say that).  I have not seen that mean of a player in I don't know how long.  He has that old school mentality of "I am going to score on you and then pound you then score on you just because I can".  Heaven forbid someone doing the same thing to him, he is going to knock you teeth out, just ask Strome.  I know most people need a year in the AHL to build up to the pro game, but I don't think Hishon needs that time, he is mean enough to compete now, and he can play the game at a very high skill level.  The best thing I can say about Hishon, the Attack was just a good team without him in the lineup.

Jordan Binnington has been amazing this tournament.  He is never out of position and is very poised.  I haven't seen a bad rebound and the first and last goal (cant remember the 2nd goal) he gave up against Saint John was not a bad goal and is a goal no goalie would have made.  If he falls to the 4th round this could be a guy who the Avs might pick up.  I never put stock in a goalie for one season let alone three games.  But what does catch my eye is his positioning, he could give Elliot and Budaj some pointer about positioning. 

Nathan Beaulieu is a guy I have seen a lot of mock suggest we pick up at number 11.  His first game I was completely unimpressed.  I do like his moral character, but not enough for a number 11.  He has great speed just wished he used it.  His one great play I saw he took advantage of a tired Owen Sound team that could not get off of the ice,  His goal was all Huberdeau in the first game.  I wished he used his size more.  Ultimately picking Beaulieu would be like picking up a Skoula.  I think he would have been torched several times if Hishon was in the line up.

I hope you guys are watching these kids play because they play with insane amount of intensity. These games are nasty and a showcase of some amazing skill.  I am shocked at how good these kids are.  I am now a fan of Juniors.  Way better then NCAA.

MileHighHockey.com is a fan community, allowing members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Colorado Avalanche and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editors of MileHighHockey.com.

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