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Many moons ago, we drafted a Left Winger named Gaudreau in the late rounds, who was small, but talented.

 

In his first year of College hockey, he surprised the hockey world with his smooth transition despite his size, and posted an unbelievable Point Per Game.

 

 

In 2016, we drafted a Defenceman in the third round, who's putting up BETTER numbers...despite being a defenceman.

 

Adam Fox has 25 points in 21 games in his first year with Harvard University.   Again, this production is Above what Gaudreau's, as a LW, was.

              At 5'10, he is also on the smaller side, but not unreasonable at all for a talented NHL D.

 

So what kind of US College Defenceman would we compare him to then?

 

In 2016, none.  Yeah, none.  Nobody is even close to him his age.   Not even any of the forwards and the first rounders.

 

 

So, we move to some of the best defencemen to come out of US college hockey.

 

Take Justin Schultz   (as a reminder, Schultz is actually doing Really well now in the NHL, despite that Oilers stint).

 

   The answer:  HALF.    That's right, Schultz produced at Half of what Adam Fox is producing at now.  And that...was Exceptional.

 

 

Zack Werenski, maybe?

 

Adam Fox is producing way higher then even in Werenski's SECOND year, when it was getting ridiculous and Werenski had to be pulled out of college and put into the NHL, where he belongs, as a star.

 

How about SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE?

 

Also half.

 

 

In the WJC, Adam Fox was a standout (IMHO), and while not on the first line, a huge contributor to their tournament win. 

 

Not bad, for a 3rd rounder.

 

http://www.thehockeynews.com/news/article/prospect-need-to-know-harvard-s-adam-fox-has-serious-puck-smarts

 

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2017/1/25/mens-hockey-fox-world-juniors/

 

I received a lot of Flack for starting this thread.   But I'm accustomed to that.

 

 

Thoughts?  Any others following him?

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4 hours ago, jjgallow said:

Many moons ago, we drafted a Left Winger named Gaudreau in the late rounds, who was small, but talented.

 

In his first year of College hockey, he surprised the hockey world with his smooth transition despite his size, and posted an unbelievable Point Per Game.

 

 

In 2016, we drafted a Defenceman in the third round, who's putting up BETTER numbers...despite being a defenceman.

 

Adam Fox has 25 points in 21 games in his first year with Harvard University.   Again, this production is Above what Gaudreau's, as a LW, was.

              At 5'10, he is also on the smaller side, but not unreasonable at all for a talented NHL D.

 

So what kind of US College Defenceman would we compare him to then?

 

In 2016, none.  Yeah, none.  Nobody is even close to him his age.   Not even any of the forwards and the first rounders.

 

 

So, we move to some of the best defencemen to come out of US college hockey.

 

Take Justin Schultz   (as a reminder, Schultz is actually doing Really well now in the NHL, despite that Oilers stint).

 

   The answer:  HALF.    That's right, Schultz produced at Half of what Adam Fox is producing at now.  And that...was Exceptional.

 

 

Zack Werenski, maybe?

 

Adam Fox is producing way higher then even in Werenski's SECOND year, when it was getting ridiculous and Werenski had to be pulled out of college and put into the NHL, where he belongs, as a star.

 

How about SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE?

 

Also half.

 

 

In the WJC, Adam Fox was a standout (IMHO), and while not on the first line, a huge contributor to their tournament win. 

 

Not bad, for a 3rd rounder.

 

http://www.thehockeynews.com/news/article/prospect-need-to-know-harvard-s-adam-fox-has-serious-puck-smarts

 

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2017/1/25/mens-hockey-fox-world-juniors/

 

I received a lot of Flack for starting this thread.   But I'm accustomed to that.

 

 

Thoughts?  Any others following him?

 

I like Fox and the point production is nice surprise.

 

That being said he does have a long way to go defensively before getting to the NHL.

 

I thought he was just ok in WJC, from the games I watched he was used more as PP specialist and sparingly 5v5.

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16 minutes ago, JTech780 said:

 

I like Fox and the point production is nice surprise.

 

That being said he does have a long way to go defensively before getting to the NHL.

 

I thought he was just ok in WJC, from the games I watched he was used more as PP specialist and sparingly 5v5.

No no no don't be silly. A players offensive numbers in lower leagues no matter their size mean they are an NHL star in the making.

 

for the record just joking JJ.

 

i do like what we have in fox, and as I posted in another thread I think he's a good talent, very raw but if he improves defensively I think we could see a player like Jared spurgeon.

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23 minutes ago, JTech780 said:

 

I like Fox and the point production is nice surprise.

 

That being said he does have a long way to go defensively before getting to the NHL.

 

I thought he was just ok in WJC, from the games I watched he was used more as PP specialist and sparingly 5v5.

 

Absolutely.   But, to be 18 years old, and at the WJC at 18 years of age as a defenceman, on the US national team and all their depth, is pretty spectacular.

http://www.eliteprospects.com/league.php?season=2016&leagueid=WJC-20&pos=Defensemen&leagueteam=&teamname=&nation=&nationname=&age=u19&prospects=

 

Defencemen take a year or two more to develop, at the best of times.  It was basically just him, and Kale Clague (a 2nd rounder).  Nobody else of any real impact.  Not a one.   Jake Bean, as an example?  He did ok, not great.  No cup for him.   To get that from a 3rd rounder?  wow.  And it's not just the WJC, he's been doing this all year.

 

The talent there is incredible imho.   He has many years to learn the defensive side to his game, quite honestly it will be easier for him to do so as his body fills out.  It's a factor, but not a huge factor in a prospect his age and size.

 

While I'm comparing World Juniors, Juuso Valimaki is way under-rated.  Should be top 10 at least, imho.

 

 

 

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Impossible to not be excited about Foxs season and it's certainly a very pleasant surprise. He's a really fun player to watch and incredible talented puck mover. Lots to iron out and improve upon before he's in the NHL conversation and I'm happy he is in college. He can take his time, build up his strength and hopefully be a long term player for the Flames. 

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If anyone is interested Adam Fox and Harvard are playing in the Beanpot Tournament this week and their first game is on TSN2 today at 3pm MST. 

 

They are playing Northeastern who has one of the top college free agents in Zach Aston-Reese.

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2 hours ago, JTech780 said:

If anyone is interested Adam Fox and Harvard are playing in the Beanpot Tournament this week and their first game is on TSN2 today at 3pm MST. 

 

They are playing Northeastern who has one of the top college free agents in Zach Aston-Reese.

hmm interesting that kid is having a pretty good season from the looks of things, ill have to take a look at him. Could make for an interesting signing for the flames

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Here are my impressions of Adam Fox from today's vs. Northeastern.

 

Very good vision and passer. Sees the ice well and makes quick passes to the right man.

 

Has zero panic with the puck. Isn't afraid to hold onto the puck a half second longer to open up a passing lane.

 

Needs to get much stronger losses puck battles far too easily.

 

Skating leaves much to be desired. Lacking NHL speed, and looks a little awkward on his edges at times.

 

Seems a little too casual in the defensive zone.

 

He isn't going to a player that rushes the puck up the ice, instead looking for the outlet pass.

 

Doesn't have a big shot, but he gets it on net.

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I bet my bottom dollar he pushes his way on an NHL spot first yr and never looks back might not be here but I betcha

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Biggest thing I noticed with Fox, is the game in the D zone just isn't a natural thing for him. He acts like he is bored when the puck is in his own zone and once it gets across the red line it's like a new game. Not that his coverage is terribke, it's ok but not great, but you can tell it's just not the part of the game he enjoys. 

 

Lots of positives and the upside is high but he's got a lot of work to do in the d zone. Fox is a project, which is not a bad thing in the 3rd round. 

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Fox could be considered one of the best "steals" of the draft. I was a bit surprised he was still around in the 3rd round considering his accomplishments within the US development program. This kid could be a really good prospect for us moving forward. Its nice to hear he's been coveted around the league and included in a lot of trade packages. I can't see the Flames letting him go unless they get an offer they can't refuse. We'll see, with Hickey, Fox, Andersson, Kylington all on the come up we could have a very mobile, offensively capable group of young D men for years.

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I hope they trade Fox I have a big concern he will test the market when he is done with College picking College prospects is a crap shoot at best we are always scared they will jump ship and it is a big possibility with a player as you say is coveted by other teams best get what you can for him as long as it is a fair swap.  

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1 hour ago, zima said:

I hope they trade Fox I have a big concern he will test the market when he is done with College picking College prospects is a crap shoot at best we are always scared they will jump ship and it is a big possibility with a player as you say is coveted by other teams best get what you can for him as long as it is a fair swap.  

It's a tough situation as Fox is still developing so it's hard to gauge what the Flames really have in Fox. Right now it looks like he's trending in all the right directions...u could argue he's the best D man in college as he's put up more pts in fewer games than the other leading D men. It's too early to trade him away..unless it's a deal the Flames just can't refuse. Cue the Godfather...

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it's 3 full seasons after this before Fox can opt out and elect to be a FA. Worrying about that right now is a gigantic waste of time. 

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53 minutes ago, cross16 said:

it's 2 full seasons after this before Fox can opt out and elect to be a FA. Worrying about that right now is a gigantic waste of time. 

 

Is it 2 more seasons or 3? I thought it was 4 seasons after your draft year before you can go UFA?

 

Either way I wouldn't worry about it now.

 

I wouldn't be opposed to using him in a deal if it meant we could keep Hickey, Andersson and Kylington instead, as I see those 3 as being a tier ahead of Fox.

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6 minutes ago, JTech780 said:

 

Is it 2 more seasons or 3? I thought it was 4 seasons after your draft year before you can go UFA?

 

Either way I wouldn't worry about it now.

 

I wouldn't be opposed to using him in a deal if it meant we could keep Hickey, Andersson and Kylington instead, as I see those 3 as being a tier ahead of Fox.

 

Yup my bad. 3 not 2. not sure why I typed 2. 

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5 minutes ago, JTech780 said:

 

I wouldn't be opposed to using him in a deal if it meant we could keep Hickey, Andersson and Kylington instead, as I see those 3 as being a tier ahead of Fox.

 

Andersson and Kylington, I think for the Moment are higher rated and more valuable prospects, yes.  Although IF Adam Fox made the NHL (less likely than them), I am wondering if he might have the higher ceiling (maybe).

 

Hickey, I don't see that.  Hickey's in his third year of College and Fox is destroying him in every category as a freshman.  Yes, Hickey is a bit bigger, but not big enough to make up for that.

 

I think, for dencemen, Fox is firmly third in our prospect list behind Andersson and Kylington, and the situation is fluid enough that it's those three you really need to keep, and everyone else is looking up.

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2 minutes ago, jjgallow said:

 

Andersson and Kylington, I think for the Moment are higher rated and more valuable prospects, yes.  Although IF Adam Fox made the NHL (less likely than them), I am wondering if he might have the higher ceiling (maybe).

 

Hickey, I don't see that.  Hickey's in his third year of College and Fox is destroying him in every category as a freshman.  Yes, Hickey is a bit bigger, but not big enough to make up for that.

 

I think, for dencemen, Fox is firmly third in our prospect list behind Andersson and Kylington, and the situation is fluid enough that it's those three you really need to keep, and everyone else is looking up.

 

Fox is good offensively, but is a flat out trainwreck in the defensive end. He is far behind defensively, even compared to his peers. I also somewhat doubt that his production will carry with him to the highest level, from the times I have watched him his skating is less than desirable. As it sits right now I still see Fox as a long shot to be an NHL regular.

 

With Hickey is skating is right up there with Kylington and Brodie at that elite level. Hickey defensively is way ahead of Brodie at the same age. The points aren't in college but with his skating he easily could be a top 4 guy in the NHL.

 

As it sits right now I would say Hickey, Andersson and Kylington (in that order) all have a better chance to play in the NHL than Fox does and it really isn't close for me. 

 

Now Fox has upside, but he also has some huge holes in his game, if he can work on his play in the defensive zone, getting stronger and takes another step with is skating, sure he will play, but it will most likely be in a 5/6 PP specialist role.

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I think he will be another Philip Housley know I know I will get a ton of nay Sayers and im putting the cart before the horse type comments and perhaps your right. I also know I won't be around to say I told you so that is my feeling on this kid. I also think he will learn alot in the College atmosphere they are great coaches there. I also know some come out of there and never see the As or NHL but there are those chosen few and I m going out on a limb and saying he is one of those kids that is going to blow your minds.

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1 minute ago, JTech780 said:

 

Fox is good offensively, but is a flat out trainwreck in the defensive end. He is far behind defensively, even compared to his peers. I also somewhat doubt that his production will carry with him to the highest level, from the times I have watched him his skating is less than desirable. As it sits right now I still see Fox as a long shot to be an NHL regular.

 

I think we should clarify this.  

 

Fox is not "good offensively".   No scout, and nobody in US College will agree with that.  Fox is an Elite playmaker, and offensively Exceptional.  On a Johnny Gaudreau level (with less of the size issues).  So we need to be clear about that, and how big the difference is between "good", and where Fox is offensively.

 

Also, fox is not "a flat out trainwreck in the defensive end".   That was Rasmus Andersson at that age.  And, with him, I defended him because I think for prospects that young, you're looking at the positive skillsets more than areas which require improvement.  And Andersson HAS improved here.   Adam Fox, on the other hand, is Plus 16 on his team, similar to his stats last year, which doesn't happen with defensive trainwrecks.   More accurately, he is on the smaller side and tends to get out-muscled and thus out-beat in the defensive end.   Which is Entirely different from not having defensive intelligence.  And is a very minor development concern.  The kid Will get bigger.   And stronger.  And faster.   He will almost certainly improve defensively in US college and with the Flames organization if he makes it there. 

 

Much more depends on his strengths, than his weaknesses.  What matters most at this early stage in his development, is whether his offensive production can translate someday to the NHL level.    And Yes, at that stage in his career, he had Better have his defensive game with him.   But that's Not what will get him into the NHL and it's very likely Not what will keep him out of the NHL either (because it should and will improve).

 

1 minute ago, JTech780 said:

 

With Hickey is skating is right up there with Kylington and Brodie at that elite level. Hickey defensively is way ahead of Brodie at the same age. The points aren't in college but with his skating he easily could be a top 4 guy in the NHL.

 

If he can't produce offensively, he won't be top 4 in this NHL, imho.   But, otherwise, I agree.  His skating is great, he's advanced defensively, and he seems like a surefire fit for your number 5 D, and likely  a PK specialist and minute eater as well in some games.      All of which is readily available on the open free agent market each summer for NHL teams.  So despite his strengths, they are in areas that have enough abundance that he can never be ranked very high in the organization.   An example would be Michael Stone.  Who is bigger, and better offensively, and in the Prime of his career, is worth a third round pick.  That with the other team eating his salary.   That is Hickey's ceiling.  To maybe, someday in his prime, be worth that third round pick.      He can't ever be worth more unless his ceiling is projected higher than that.  And I don't think Hickey will ever be Michael Stone, nor will he ever be 6'3, or a RH shot.

 

1 minute ago, JTech780 said:

 

As it sits right now I would say Hickey, Andersson and Kylington (in that order) all have a better chance to play in the NHL than Fox does and it really isn't close for me. 

 

100% agree.  But that is a very different animal than valuation, which is based just as much on projections and ceilings.

 

1 minute ago, JTech780 said:

 

Now Fox has upside, but he also has some huge holes in his game, if he can work on his play in the defensive zone, getting stronger and takes another step with is skating, sure he will play, but it will most likely be in a 5/6 PP specialist role.

 

All those things are fair projections and there is nothing stopping them from happening.   There are a million reasons why he won't make the NHL, but if he does, he will be a high producer.   If the Flames STILL don't like his defensive game 4 years from now (a huge assumption), he may still have very high trade value if he continues along this path.

 

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4 minutes ago, jjgallow said:

 

I think we should clarify this.  

 

Fox is not "good offensively".   No scout, and nobody in US College will agree with that.  Fox is an Elite playmaker, and offensively Exceptional.  On a Johnny Gaudreau level (with less of the size issues).  So we need to be clear about that, and how big the difference is between "good", and where Fox is offensively.

 

Also, fox is not "a flat out trainwreck in the defensive end".   That was Rasmus Andersson at that age.  And, with him, I defended him because I think for prospects that young, you're looking at the positive skillsets more than areas which require improvement.  And Andersson HAS improved here.   Adam Fox, on the other hand, is Plus 16 on his team, similar to his stats last year, which doesn't happen with defensive trainwrecks.   More accurately, he is on the smaller side and tends to get out-muscled and thus out-beat in the defensive end.   Which is Entirely different from not having defensive intelligence.  And is a very minor development concern.  The kid Will get bigger.   And stronger.  And faster.   He will almost certainly improve defensively in US college and with the Flames organization if he makes it there. 

 

Much more depends on his strengths, than his weaknesses.  What matters most at this early stage in his development, is whether his offensive production can translate someday to the NHL level.    And Yes, at that stage in his career, he had Better have his defensive game with him.   But that's Not what will get him into the NHL and it's very likely Not what will keep him out of the NHL either (because it should and will improve).

 

 

If he can't produce offensively, he won't be top 4 in this NHL, imho.   But, otherwise, I agree.  His skating is great, he's advanced defensively, and he seems like a surefire fit for your number 5 D, and likely  a PK specialist and minute eater as well in some games.      All of which is readily available on the open free agent market each summer for NHL teams.  So despite his strengths, they are in areas that have enough abundance that he can never be ranked very high in the organization.   An example would be Michael Stone.  Who is bigger, and better offensively, and in the Prime of his career, is worth a third round pick.  That with the other team eating his salary.   That is Hickey's ceiling.  To maybe, someday in his prime, be worth that third round pick.      He can't ever be worth more unless his ceiling is projected higher than that.  And I don't think Hickey will ever be Michael Stone, nor will he ever be 6'3, or a RH shot.

 

 

100% agree.  But that is a very different animal than valuation, which is based just as much on projections and ceilings.

 

 

All those things are fair projections and there is nothing stopping them from happening.   There are a million reasons why he won't make the NHL, but if he does, he will be a high producer.   If the Flames STILL don't like his defensive game 4 years from now (a huge assumption), he may still have very high trade value if he continues along this path.

 

 

I would rate Fox's defensive game and his skating below Andersson's at the same age. 

 

As far as defense goes, his size doesn't really even come into play, because once in the zone he picks his position and really doesn't do much after that, he kind of just stands around waiting for the puck to come free. He generally seems completely disinterested in the game in the defensive zone, it's almost like his brain turns off till he sees the puck going the other way and then he's like OK time to play again. He has further to go defensively than most defense prospects.

 

The reason I said he was good offensively is because his skating is below average for me, and while he think the game very well on the offensive side of things and he is a great playmaker, I doubt his skating is good enough to allow him to get into positions to take advantage  of those things. His shot is also below average and teams will start to not worry about his shot and instead take away his passing lanes, much like they do on Brodie, the difference is Brodie is an elite skater and can use that to crate passing lanes.

 

I also don't put a whole lot of stock into production at lower levels. If they are putting up points but not passing the eye test, than I have a hard time seeing it translate. If they are putting up points and the eye test confirms that they have the tools then I would get excited. At this point I just don't see it with Fox, can that change, sure, but I can only go off of what I have seen of him play.

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15 minutes ago, jjgallow said:

If he can't produce offensively, he won't be top 4 in this NHL, imho.   But, otherwise, I agree.  His skating is great, he's advanced defensively, and he seems like a surefire fit for your number 5 D, and likely  a PK specialist and minute eater as well in some games.      All of which is readily available on the open free agent market each summer for NHL teams.  So despite his strengths, they are in areas that have enough abundance that he can never be ranked very high in the organization.   An example would be Michael Stone.  Who is bigger, and better offensively, and in the Prime of his career, is worth a third round pick.  That with the other team eating his salary.   That is Hickey's ceiling.  To maybe, someday in his prime, be worth that third round pick.      He can't ever be worth more unless his ceiling is projected higher than that.  And I don't think Hickey will ever be Michael Stone, nor will he ever be 6'3, or a RH shot.

 

 

I won't wade into the debate of Fox vs Hickey but while this is sort of accurate keep in mine the cost. Dimitry Kulikov is a dman who has turned himself into a defensive specialist with little offensive numbers to speak of an all accounts he is going to get 4-5 million in FA this year. Karl Alzer is a defensive specialist with a rumored ask of 6 million bucks a season. Brooks Orpik got 5.5 mill a season. Maybe it's readily available but its becoming VERY expensive so if the plan is to constantly need that in FA your going to be in trouble. Dman who can play tough minutes, like Hickey, or also pretty rare. 

If Fox irons out all his issues sure he will be a great talent and that combo is harder to find for sure, but I dont think that means you diminish what is a very good prospect in Hickey too. Honestly, both have similar ceilings if you ask me, just in 2 different ways. 

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1 hour ago, cross16 said:

 

I won't wade into the debate of Fox vs Hickey but while this is sort of accurate keep in mine the cost. Dimitry Kulikov is a dman who has turned himself into a defensive specialist with little offensive numbers to speak of an all accounts he is going to get 4-5 million in FA this year. Karl Alzer is a defensive specialist with a rumored ask of 6 million bucks a season. Brooks Orpik got 5.5 mill a season. Maybe it's readily available but its becoming VERY expensive so if the plan is to constantly need that in FA your going to be in trouble. Dman who can play tough minutes, like Hickey, or also pretty rare. 

If Fox irons out all his issues sure he will be a great talent and that combo is harder to find for sure, but I dont think that means you diminish what is a very good prospect in Hickey too. Honestly, both have similar ceilings if you ask me, just in 2 different ways. 

I would consider vlasic is another example of a high defensive guy who doesn't have tons of offence. I don't think you have to put up loads of points to play top 4, a good first pass and the ability to skate are just as important as instincts in the offensive zone. I'd rather have a Alzner over a shattenkirk in my opinion.

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15 hours ago, cross16 said:

 

I won't wade into the debate of Fox vs Hickey but while this is sort of accurate keep in mine the cost. Dimitry Kulikov is a dman who has turned himself into a defensive specialist with little offensive numbers to speak

 

I'm the last person in the world to undervalue true defensive skills, but....with that, one has to appreciate the talent and skill involved in a defensive specialist at the NHL level.    Dimitry was scoring over a point per game when he was drafted out of junior, while Hickey was barely producing at all when he got drafted out of an inferior junior league.   

 

IMHO, Dimitry is a defensive specialist for the same reason as Backlund, and many others who went professional too soon and missed development time.  Not that Kulikov or Backlund are failures by any means, but we're talking about players who evolved from unbelievable talents (who couldn't translate their production to the NHL), into defensive specialists.

 

Hickey just isn't that.   He is a good defensive specialist at the College and junior level.   He does not have the skills to produce at that level.

 

If he wants to be a defensive specialist in the NHL, he will have to compete against that kind of talent.    Against players with superstar ceilings who can't translate their production but can evolve their skills.

 

There is a flawed belief that defense can be learned, but offense can not.   It is not entirely flawed.

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At the end of the day there's no point ragging on Fox for his defensive game at this point...this kid is a great prospect in our pool no matter how we look at it. Yes he's offensive minded and gifted but he seems like a smart athlete that given time can learn to master the defensive side of the game. Guys like Karlsson or even the highly touted Shattenkirk aren't being praised for their defensive talent..but rather how productive they are offensively as D men. I'd agree id still peg Fox below Kylington and Andersson but lets not undermine the impact Fox is having at the collegiate level. In a few years time we could have one of the most mobile and offensively skilled set of core D men in our system of any team. 

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