David Rundblad or Stefan Elliott?
These two young D-man headed into last season as two of the most highly regarded prospect D-men. Both were coming off amazing seasons. Rundblad was ripping up SEL and Elliott was doing the same in juniors. Expectations were sky high for them (Rundblad was #1 in Dobber's prospect D-man rankings, Elliott #6) and they were in Calder talks before the season (especially Rundblad).
It was quickly noticed, however, that Rundblad's defensive game wasn't at NHL-level and he needed seasoning in the minors which he got, once he was traded to Phoenix. As the promise of Karlsson-Rundblad duo running Ottawa's PP turned into Rundblad having to fight with OEL, Yandle, Gormley and other Coyotes' young D-men, so did the hype stop. Rundblad became quickly the forgotten fantasy stud D-man prospect.
Meanwhile Elliott continued to raise to the top prospect D-men according to many. But was his rookie season really that much more impressive than Rundblad's? The expectations were just a lot less higher and it was known that his game needed more seasoning. Elliott's NHL-career started impressive but as the season went on he struggled and found himself in back in the minors. Still his season is being looked at more impressive than Rundblad's - but was it really that?
Rundblad had 7 points in 30 NHL-games between Ottawa and Phoenix and 16 points 30 games in AHL. Elliott had 13 points in 39 NHL-games with Colorado and 14 points in 30 games in AHL. Points wise their rookie seasons were more or less identical. What separates them is +/- (Rundblad was -30 compined in NHL and AHL, Elliott was +7). But that can be a deceiving statistic and is very team related.
This year Rundblad has started with 7 assists in 7 games in AHL while Elliott is pointless in 7 games.
Elliott has raised to being the top D-man in Dobber's rankings while Rundblad has fallen all the way to 16th place.
They're only 4 months apart in age and were drafted in the same draft class. They also have similar size and both struggle at the defensive end while having top-end offensive skills. So to me they're fairly comparable D-men.
So my question is, which of these two young prospects would you rather own in your keeper league? Has Rundblad really deserved the fall in ranking and in hype (seems like a lot of people already consider him as bust) after his rookie year and was Elliott's rookie year really that good to put him the best prospect D-man?
So, Rundblad or Elliott?