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RobD360

Sam Steel and center position

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My concern with Steel is that he is a pretty small player playing center position in the NHL at 5’11” (I’m sure I have even seen some sites listing him at 5’10”). Although as Duckfan4life just noted that he matched a franchise record for a rookie  winning all his draws in a recent game I can’t think of any center who has been this small. Most every center I can think of has been 6ft and up. Being a taller center helps him scan the wings and passing lanes better (obviously). Traditionally it seems that centers use their size to create plays for their winged partners up ice. There are centers who also use their size in taking draws (ie Getzlaf). 

What are everyone’s thoughts on this? Will this be a hindrance for him? Can anyone think of a small center who is or was also successful in the NHL? Does height for the center position matter?

discuss....

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I would be concerned with his durability more than anything kinda like the general concern about Vatanen being a smaller d-man was. He has some disadvantages because of his size but I don't think his vision and the ability to make plays is one of them. 

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At the game with a friend right now and had this discussion with him. He stated previous centers who were small in stature but were really good players:

Datsyuk 5’11” 

joe sakic 5’11”

adam oats 5’11”

so I guess that height isn’t the end all be all factor in determining success at the NHL. BTW congrats on Steels 1st NHL goal!! 

if anyone can name other successful shorter centers that would be great :D

 

 

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It starts in Junior if a player is small they take his height in skates if he is light they add a few pounds.Hockey has always embellished it's smaller players .You only have to see some of these teams at an airport to realize that they aren't that big without their equipment.

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4 minutes ago, mulcher said:

It starts in Junior if a player is small they take his height in skates if he is light they add a few pounds.Hockey has always embellished it's smaller players .You only have to see some of these teams at an airport to realize that they aren't that big without their equipment.

Kariya looked like a little boy next to Rucchin last night!

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21 hours ago, RobD360 said:

At the game with a friend right now and had this discussion with him. He stated previous centers who were small in stature but were really good players:

Datsyuk 5’11” 

joe sakic 5’11”

adam oats 5’11”

so I guess that height isn’t the end all be all factor in determining success at the NHL. BTW congrats on Steels 1st NHL goal!! 

if anyone can name other successful shorter centers that would be great :D

 

 

I’d put Steel in the Daniel Briere, Tyler Johnson ceiling type of players. Maybe Saku Koivu as well. The guys mentioned above are first ballot hall-of-famers who’s skill more than compensated for being undersized. Crosby is listed at 5’11 but is obviously an absolute freak of physical and hockey nature. 

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5 hours ago, BombaysTripleDeke said:

I’d put Steel in the Daniel Briere, Tyler Johnson ceiling type of players. Maybe Saku Koivu as well. The guys mentioned above are first ballot hall-of-famers who’s skill more than compensated for being undersized. Crosby is listed at 5’11 but is obviously an absolute freak of physical and hockey nature. 

Interesting, Briere and Johnson are listed at 5’9” and Saku is 5’10”. 

However Steel has a resume that mirrors the young elites as they came into the league so I think his ceiling could be really high

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22 minutes ago, RobD360 said:

Interesting, Briere and Johnson are listed at 5’9” and Saku is 5’10”. 

However Steel has a resume that mirrors the young elites as they came into the league so I think his ceiling could be really high

I guess it depends what your ceiling for him is. I mean, being a quality 2C is a pretty good ceiling which is where he seemed to be projected at when he was drafted. A shifty, play making center. I’d be floored if that’s what he turns into. He was definitely great in juniors but so were far more players that couldn’t translate it into NHL success. I’m tampering my expectations of him but think he can end up as a solid player.

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On 10/22/2018 at 8:40 PM, RobD360 said:

Interesting, Briere and Johnson are listed at 5’9” and Saku is 5’10”. 

However Steel has a resume that mirrors the young elites as they came into the league so I think his ceiling could be really high

Claude Giroux is listed at 5'11' also. Steel will be fine. I know there's excitement about these young forwards but lets not get ahead of ourselves with the expectations. Fowler was supposed to be the second coming of Scotty or at least that's what the fans expectations were. I think Steel has the drive and determination to be a quality 2C but that's a few seasons from now.

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So what’s been all your thoughts on Steel so far? Do you guys think he is a future #2 center player for this team? His resume is that of an elite player but I’m getting the feeling that he’s either going to take longer to develope or he’s just going to be a fringe #2. Hope he’s progressing and becomes great. 

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13 hours ago, RobD360 said:

So what’s been all your thoughts on Steel so far? Do you guys think he is a future #2 center player for this team? His resume is that of an elite player but I’m getting the feeling that he’s either going to take longer to develope or he’s just going to be a fringe #2. Hope he’s progressing and becomes great. 

Can't really judge him on 16 NHL games. He's doing well with the Gulls but like Terry, I think it will eventually come to him. I'm not really numbering lines anymore or in general saying this guy is a #2 or this guy is a #3. I just want four cohesive lines that can produce.

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18 hours ago, RobD360 said:

So what’s been all your thoughts on Steel so far? Do you guys think he is a future #2 center player for this team? His resume is that of an elite player but I’m getting the feeling that he’s either going to take longer to develope or he’s just going to be a fringe #2. Hope he’s progressing and becomes great. 

I still think he has a ways to go before he reaches potential 2C status. He’s done pretty well in SD but that the jump to the NHL might take another season. As a center, he’s likely going to take a longer time to develop given the responsibilities of the position. My fear has been that he’d be a victim of extremely high expectations given his junior career success. 

I chalk this season up as mainly a transition and acclimation to the pro game. I’d expect going into the offseason that he’ll have a much better understanding of what it takes and what he needs to improve upon. Next season should tell us a much clearer picture about him.

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Good feedback. Thanks. I hope he can excel at the center position on one of the top lines in a couple years. This years draft I hope we get a true number 1 center  to replace getz then we would be set 2-3 years from now with Steel and ———- taking the reigns as the new centers

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1 hour ago, RobD360 said:

Good feedback. Thanks. I hope he can excel at the center position on one of the top lines in a couple years. This years draft I hope we get a true number 1 center  to replace getz then we would be set 2-3 years from now with Steel and ———- taking the reigns as the new centers

The Ducks are making the odds of that happening much less likely lol. There do seem to be quite a few centers ranked in the top 10.

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14 hours ago, RobD360 said:

Good feedback. Thanks. I hope he can excel at the center position on one of the top lines in a couple years. This years draft I hope we get a true number 1 center  to replace getz then we would be set 2-3 years from now with Steel and ———- taking the reigns as the new centers

If you're looking for Getzlaf size then there is Raphael Lavoie, Dylan Couzens or Kirby Dach but I don't think they could be considered true #1's. Alex Turcotte on the other hand could be considered a true #1 but he has Sam Steel size and is a lefty. 

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