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Thread: Is Paajarvi a bust?
02-20-2013, 06:07 AM #1
Is Paajarvi a bust?
It’s THN mailbag time. Once again, you fine folks have been nice enough to submit a slew of questions. These are the best of the bunch. Thanks again to all who sent one (or more) in.
Hi Adam, the Edmonton Oilers have plenty of young, rising stars, including Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Justin Schultz and Taylor Hall. Another name no one seems to talk about is Magnus Paajarvi, who was drafted 10th overall by the Oilers in 2009. Even though he's only 21, it seems like his growth and development is taking a while. Do you think he could be used as trade bait? Or else can we soon potentially label him as a draft bust?
Alex Hoegler, Richmond, B.C.
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02-20-2013, 01:06 PM #2
I said he was last June and people on here wanted me crucified.
02-20-2013, 01:20 PM #3
I agree with the writer about Paajarvi. I think he's just not allowed to use his skill set to the fullest. I wouldn't blame the Oilers for not playing him enough, but for drafting too many top end forwards. There's just no room on that team for yet another goal scorer. Trading him would benefit everyone involved. Edmonton could get some return in areas they're lacking (defense/overall toughness), whoever they trade with gets a good young talent with tons of potential on the right team where he can flourish as the goal scorer instead of being relegated to the 2nd or 3rd line.
There's also the fact that some guys just take a little longer to develop. Look at guys like Neely and Brett Hull. Both guys took a little time, and a trade, to flourish in the NHL. Some guys are legitimate busts. Daigle, Stefan and Falloon easily come to mind. Those guys proved to be busts over the long term though. Malholtra was drafted 7th overall (I think) and he never became a superstar, but was he a bust? Not by a long shot. He was a third line center at best and a penalty-kill only guy at worst, but a bust? Not by a long shot.
Bust is not thrown around too often, just too early, I think the amount of guys called busts is probably right, but the actual guys who get picked as busts are often wrong.
That said, with Paajarvi, he's not doing much to change anyone's mind. His first season stats are respectable, but since then he has no production and his +/- is god awful. I just don't think he can be used in the proper role with that many players of the same type ahead of him.
My call for bust is Niederreiter, and I was saying that 2 years ago. He's complaining about not getting played in NYI, but the guy has almost zero work ethic. He's a Hemsky at best, float for 59 minutes, stickhandle for 1 and maybe get a goal, but I think even Hemsky puts in more effort.
02-20-2013, 02:38 PM #4
Huh??? Right let's see didn't he score 2 GWGs over the weekend for the Oilers, one being shorthanded. I know they were his first 2 goals of the year but to call him a bust I don't believe would be correct. I had the pleasure of meeting him when he was in OKC earlier on this year. He was one of the hardest working players on the Barons.
I think wickabee has some good points in about his ice time, his skill set and there being so many other goal scorers on the Oilers. Also he may not be as fast developing as some of the other players but I think he will develop in to a solid player. If the Oilers trade him away then I would think you would see his numbers and ice time increase in the right system.
02-20-2013, 02:40 PM #5
As of right now, the answer is simple: NO
21 year olds who don't look completely lost in the NHL, are not draft busts.
He is not the player that Hall, Eberle, Hopkins, or Yakupov are, but that doesn't mean he can't / won't have a very good NHL career..... but (I think unfortunatly) fans & the media are both very quick to give up on players, becuase they're not stars before the end of their first contract.
Look at the whole draft class (well, first round anyway):
Now, compared to Tavares.... Paajarvi certainly hasn't performed all that well as an NHLer..... but as the only superstar to come out of that class (unless you want to count Duchene as one, but I don't) he's heads & tails above everyone else. Duchene is another one that looks like an amazing talent (not Tavares good, but not many are). Some of the other picks have already turned out pretty nicely.
In the top 10, IMO the guy who has had the "worst" career so far would be Scott Glennie. Along with Paajarvi, you'd probably take half of the players in the 11-20 range over him if you were to re draft today. That doesn't make them busts though. That just means that as young players, their development hasn't been instant.
Look at Nazim Kadri. Three months ago, Leaf fans were ready to run him out of town..... becuase he was a bust. Suddenly he looks like a very good NHLer.
Paajarvi has another issue that none of the other picks that year had to deal with. He came into the league with two other high profile rookies (Eberle, Hall) and the three of them got lumped together, and the comparisons will always be there. There are few players that would match up well with those kinds of comparissons.
I don't know that Paajarvi is ever going to turn out to be a highend scorer (honestly, I doubt it very much) but that doesn't make him a 'bust'. A bust (to me) is a guy that washes out of the NHL pretty quickly..... if you go on to play 500+ NHL games, you wern't a bust.
Edmonton is loaded with high end talent up front. Between Eberle, Hall, Hopkins, and Yakupov.... I hope they've got 4 of their top 6 pretty much set for the next 15 years (remains to be seen, but I can hope). Gagner & Hemsky are firmly locked into their spots on that second line too...... at least for the next couple of years.
That means Paajarvi is, at best, the 7th forward on this team. As a younger guy - maybe that means he gets more seasoning in the AHL - where he can play top line minutes. That doesn't make him a bust, that just puts him lower on the depth chart.
I will admit, when trade talk comes up, I think his name is rightfully put into the conversation. The Oilers do need to improve the defense.... they could use more sandpaper up front.... and you've got to trade something good to get something good. If Paajarvi was part of a deal that improves the team, I'm all for it. Trading the player away doesn't equate to "giving up on them".
If someone were to come along and offer them a 2nd round pick for him, I think the Oilers would be foolish to make the deal. If they were going to part with him for a pick, nothing outside the top 15 would make any sense (I'm not saying that a team picking in the top 15 would be wise to trade it for him..... but the odds are that if you're getting a late first rounder, or 2nd round pick.... that player will go on to play fewer NHL games than Paajarvi already has - so why would the Oilers bother?)
If there was a trade offer that saw the Oilers add a player that improves the team today..... and idealy for the next couple of years (I'm not talking about trading for another rookie.... but someone in their mid-to-late-20s, that you can expect will be on the club for 2 or 3 more seasons) someone that has a skill set that the Oilers need more of (defense, big bodies, faceoffs) then go for it.
Realizing what I've written here..... I see that I'm sort of jumping all over the place, and sort of rambling a bit, so I'll just leave it as this: 21 year olds with 120+ NHL games under their belt are not busts. Being drafted 10th overall doesn't mean you need to have a 65+ point season, and significant time on the top line inside your first contract to not be labeled a "bust". He's a developing NHL player, and both fans & the media need to stop looking for non-existant stories.
02-20-2013, 04:43 PM #6
02-20-2013, 04:56 PM #7
It all depends on what one's expectations of him are. He's a viable NHL player at this stage of his career, playing in a rather limited role because there are so many top players ahead of him. That's not too bad, really.
02-21-2013, 06:36 PM #8
maybe a trade would help him out some players do better on different teams i would take him on boston
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02-21-2013, 11:03 PM #10