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Thread: Hanzal

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    I'm trying to decide what I feel about Hanzal and his long term projection and curious to know what others think. Will he develop as a dependable top 6 forward with the ability to score 60+ pts or will he develop in a one of the better 3rd line checkers?

    I'm in a situation where I must decide whether or not to retain Hanzal on my team. My alternative options are prospects in Mursak and Grachev. I'm not concerned with who can play next year, just more with who has the best upside.
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    Well when you decide, let me know. I sit on the same question about his potential to produce. I think he has an offensive beast that hasn't been let out yet, but because he is so good defensively, I wonder if we will ever get to see it. He's kinda one of those players I like to hang onto and be able to say "See, I told you it was coming." - not sure it will though.

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    I've mostly given up on Hanzal developing into anything more than a 40-45 point-player but would rather hold on to him than pick up either Mursak or Grachev. Neither of them is a top prospect and likely won't do more in three years than what Hanzal is already doing. Plus there is an offside chance that Hanzal is a late bloomer. Hold on to him unless there are better options than Mursak and Grachev.
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    He sure does play alot of important minutes and when considering his point totals, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. I know he handles alot of the defensive face offs. Seems to be playing 1st line minutes but 2nd PP unit. Also Turris is on the way. I think I'm gonna take a flyer on him and sign him to a new contract. He has high hockey IQ, who knows he may break out yet. I'll let you know how it turns out Shoeless!
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    In all honesty I don't think Hanzal will develop into much more than what he is now, a 3rd line center. I definitely think he can develop into one of the best, maybe approach 50 points while pulling in the important minutes, but I've pretty much given up on him being a top 6 or even 1st line center. It's too bad because I was hiiiiiiiiigh on him coming out of junior, really thought he was gonna be a beast in the NHL.
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    This a post I wrote back in April...

    The thing is Hanzal reminds me a lot of a younger Kesler in terms of style of play as well as early career numbers:

    PIMs: 0.90/game Kesler, 0.78/game Hanzal
    HITs: 1.29/game Kesler, 1.92/game Hanzal
    Points: 0.34/game Kesler, 0.43/game Hanzal
    SOG: 1.71/game Kesler, 1.75/game Hanzal

    So I mean from a numbers perspective Hanzal resembles a younger Kesler.

    Kesler in his 5th season, started to take off with 59 points in 82 games while averaging 19:27 per contest and 2:23 on the PP and 3:19 SH. Hanzal this season had numbers of 19:30 and 3:00 on the PP and 2:07 SH, so definitely very close numbers.

    Now the question that remains is whether you think Kesler's numbers were boosted because he had the help of the Sedin's, or do you think he naturally created the offense because he had it in him.

    Also I think it's a bit early to give up on Hanzal as well. The 1 year that he did manage to play juniors he would have won the scoring title if he played a full season (85 points in 60 games), so I mean he does have plenty of offensive upside. At least much more than 35 points a game that he's shown us so far. Zach Hamill won the scoring title with 93 points in 69 games that year just for comparison's sake. Hamill has played just 4 career NHL games, while Hanzal has 288 under his belt...

    He is a bit of a two-way guy but Kesler was one prior to his breakout in his 5th season as well. I have high hopes for Hanzal just to throw my 2 cents in the ring.
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    He is still so young, and is the prototypical power forward. The key with him is patience.

    I would love to say I see a Kesler-like progression in him - he has steadily been getting more solid minutes, and Tippett obviously likes him. I think they are letting him progress at his own rate - I could see a breakout season for him in the next 2-3 seasons...maybe something like 25G 35+A, lots of PIMs and hits.

    It also wouldn't surprise me to see him hit 30+G 35+A on a semi-regular basis.

    Regardless, the guy is already a solid player on his team at a young age, I only see him getting better. His defensive play alone, combined with his size ensures him lots of minutes.
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    Wicked posting by Gotlaid.

    Hanzal is an NHLer. The same cannot be said about Mursak or Grachev. Both Mursak and Grachev have NOT laid out the paths to NHL success as future high end Fantasy options.

    Mursak, at age 23, isn't a points producer in the AHL (35 points in 54 games). He's also very small, listed at 167 pounds on hockeydb.com In fact, this combination of size, is highly detrimental for him. Ideal third and fourth liners in the NHL are not 'very small'. Projecting him into a top 6 role is not reasonable at this time. I also believe that he's just passed the 'high development' time, at age 23 (hockey years are a bit like dog years). Very few .66 points per game guys in the AHL, at age 23, develop into dominant NHLers. Fortunately he is a winger, and wingers don't need quite as many points in Fantasy. The most persistent of his player type, develop into role players. (assessment - write off)

    Grachev, is 21 years old. He's built for the NHL. Big, strong, skates... a teasing package. Fantasy owners have wondered for several years now, about a strong scoring upside. Playing on the most dominant line in the CHL in 2009, he collected 40 goals and 40 assists in 60 games. Very exciting! Do remember though that he was playing with Duchene & Hodgson. It is not uncommon that one member on the 'big line' doesn't really pan out as a super shooter at the highest level. The all time classic case is probably Denis Tremblay of "Les Trio Denis". (have some fun looking that one up on hockeydb.com - note the birth dates of the members of Les Trio Denis! Remember also that they came from the same very small town and played together from the ridiculous age of 7, or something like that!) So, Grachev, still has time to evolve. However, like Mursak, he is steadily running out of time, if he is to become a points guy in the NHL. His AHL points totals are eye opening, but for all the wrong reasons. 38 points in 73 games leaves little excitement to Fantasy owners. He best come out of the gates in the fall of 2011 with about 20 goals in 30 games at the AHL level, and be battling for the league scoring title, if we are to take him seriously. It's necessary, if he is to re-find his mojo as an Elite scoring prospect. Yes, he's allegedly to become a power forward, and at 6-4 and 224 his tool box is enticing. His NHL picture would also likely be as a winger. This is appealing. Assessment - long shot to be successful.

    Hanzal - 24 years old. It feels like the kid has been around forever. He's a light year ahead of Mursak. At 6-6 and 224 pounds, he's built for the NHL. The argument might be that he's too big! He's flirted with the half a point a game, in the NHL for four years now. His role seems to have evolved as shut down, and he sports quality plus/minus numbers for a guy in this role. I like that his goals total has improved every season. The assists total may have been affected by the quality of his line mates. He should be in the NHL for a very long time. He spent three minutes on PP every night this year. It was be the second unit, as his numbers surely aren't overly enticing. In Phoenix, I would profess that his future certainly holds a 50 point season. Possibly a 60 point season. Should he ever participate in a situation in which more offensive responsibility is passed in his direction, he might move to these levels on an annual basis. (What would he look like in Florida?). There is no reason to hope that he'll be moved anytime soon. He's also not an untouchable. The big boy is going to be a centreman though, so he's only of interest in LARGE fantasy leagues.

    I'm taking the bird in the hand. That's Hanzal. It's much easier to take an abstract step forward if you're actually in the NHL!
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