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Robert Hagg: What they are saying


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Came across this article from Randy Miller where each day they are breaking down the Flyers prospects.  Since Hagg is a one of the key prospects I thought I would share.   I will say that I am a little taken back by Barry Smith's (Asst Coach of Modo) comments that he projects Hagg to be a 5th/6th defensman in the NHL:

 

 

THE SKINNY
Played World Juniors last two seasons for Sweden, which won silver both times. … Scored a goal and was a plus-4 in seven World Junior games this season. … Was a late addition to the 2013 team as an injury replacement and played so well that he might have been his team’s best defensemen. … Split the 2012-13 season playing for Modo’s teams in the Swedish Elite League and the club’s under 20 team. … Was 12th defensemen picked in 2013 draft. … Shoots left.

 

 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Chris Pryor, Flyers director of scouting: “We were really happy with Robert's play last season. He was playing with the men over in Sweden, which is impressive. People don’t realize it’s a big jump for a young guy and he handled himself really well over there. Then he came right from there into the American League, and I know he wasn’t there a long time, but he handled himself without missing a beat. It was fun seeing him being able to make that step with ease. He’s a smart, two-way who is really poised back there. He settles things down. He gets the puck and usually makes a good play with it. He’s got a really good stick. He’s just a smart hockey player.”

 

 

Kjell Samuelsson, Flyers director of player development: “I was in Sweden twice this past season and watched Robert six or seven games. Robert is benefitting from playing with full-grown men for a year and a half in the Swedish Elite League. He’s pretty strong mentally and physically if you compared him to a lot of guys who were born in the same year. Hockey wise, Hagg makes a good first pass, he moves pretty well and he’s pretty good at finding the shooting lanes to the net. He can be physical, too. He is a thick man. He has to get used to the quickness of the North American game. He’s already played a few games for the Phantoms and did really well, but the quickness and the physicality is always is a big step for guys coming from Europe. It’s hard to predict how far away he is from the NHL. I’d say he should probably spend a year in the minors, but if defenseman gets hurt, he could probably get called up. But basically he’s not ready to be an impact player or have a lot of responsibility in the NHL next year. So he has to spend some time in the minors.”

 

 

Terry Murray, Phantoms head coach: “Hagg is a player that played very well for us. He’s got lots of composure and can see the ice. One thing I was worried about Robert coming in from Europe and Sweden, it’s a little smaller ice surface over here and things are going to shut down faster on him. It’s going to be more physical. But there was no adjustment time at all. He was fine. He played his game. He plays hard. He plays strong. He takes his man out. He had a good, strong stick along the boards. He's got a great release from the offensive blueline to the net. It's more of a wrist shot release than a slapshot. He was paired with Mark Alt during his 10 games with us, and as a pair they looked very good together. They really started to compliment each other. A full year in the American League is exactly what Robert needs. Talking to him in his exit meeting, he was very excited about how the 10 games went and he’s looking forward to moving on with his pro career. He’s a confident kid and there’s no question in his mind he’s going to be a player in the NHL.”

 

 

Barry Smith, Modo assistant coach: “If you look at Robert, he doesn’t look like he’s 19 or 20. He seems like a more mature kid. The one thing we probably did is we treated him like he was more mature than we needed to and expectations were probably a little bit higher for him. But looking back, he had a really good year for us. When he started out, we were looking for him to be a little better power-play guy. He struggled for a little time at our level, which is natural for a young kid stepping into the Swedish Elite League and playing full-time like Robert did with us. It’s a great skating league and from top to bottom, there’s no nights off. For a young player to step in and play, that says a lot. I’ve coached in both leagues and the Swedish Elite League may be a little bit tougher than the American League in the way the league’s made up because there’s not as many young kids. The Flyers were happy with how he played in the American League and I think for Robert the smaller ice there would be easier for him because he makes good decisions and he gets there quick. On the big ice in Sweden, he would kind of hesitate a little bit, and with that indecision a guy would have room to make a move and beat you on the big ice. I think if Robert works hard, plays with confidence and plays within himself, he can be a fifth or sixth defenseman at the NHL level eventually. He skates well enough. He handles the puck well enough. The thing that he lacks is sometimes his decision-making process of defending and sometimes his decisions with the puck, but that seems to be a little bit of a confidence thing for him.”

 

 

Goran Stubb, Director of European scouting for Central Scouting: “Hagg played regular in the Swedish League and will move to North America for the upcoming season. He has good size and strength. He’s a good mobile skater. He’s an effective two-way player who can play big minutes. He kills penalties and can also run the power play. He’s a smart, skilled D-man with a lot of potential.”

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Came across this article from Randy Miller where each day they are breaking down the Flyers prospects.  Since Hagg is a one of the key prospects I thought I would share.   I will say that I am a little taken back by Barry Smith's (Asst Coach of Modo) comments that he projects Hagg to be a 5th/6th defensman in the NHL

 

Yeah but in Flyers standards that means he will be a #1 or #2.......ok i kid....but seriously i take it all with grain of salt kid will be a solid guy here how he advances and progresses up the depth chart really is up to him.

 

The best thing they can do is leave him alone this year and let him learn and grow this year and eat BIG minutes on the Phantoms. I don't see him being called up unless there are a rash of injuries. 

 

The only down side if you must say there is one is that this year burns a year on his ELC but it has to be done.

 

So i'm ok with it.

 

After next year the following training camp i expect him to get a long look to see if he is ready.

 

And i'm sure Kimmo will certainly be done and they will need someone to fill hos spot weather that will be him form this point would merely be guessing.

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that is interesting.  he even qualified it, saying it might happen if he really buckles down.  it underscores how steep a climb it is for even talented players to make it into the NHL.  i think people forget sometimes just how good you have to be to be a full time NHLer, much less any kind of standout.  

 

That's true, but honestly, I would be surprised if Hagg doesn't turn out to be at least a solid 2nd pairing guy. He really has all the tools, skating, size, smarts (apparently). And he really did adjust to the AHL right away. Like by the 2nd period of his first game. The only consistent knock on him (which was hinted at by Smith) is occasional lapses in focus defensively. But for a 19 year old kid, that doesn't seem like an insurmountable problem.

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@JackStraw

 

we'll see.  i'm just really cynical about prospects.  so very few of them ever stick.  like, only half of first round draftees.  move into the second round and it's a quarter in a good year.  i kind of decided a while ago, after boucher and pelletier and oulette and woywitka and downie and on and on, that i will only ever be pleasantly surprised, that i will assume the really terrible percentages are going to hold true on a given kid until he proves them wrong.

 

edit:  thinking more about my mindset on prospects, i realized when i really took this stance.  it was ryan potulny and stefan ruzicka.  both 3rd round picks, both had strong junior/college careers, both were very effective with the phantoms.  i thought, hey, this is great, these two guys are just steaming along, any day now they'll be locks for the flyer's top 6, and how awesome that'll be.  carter, richards, umberger, gagne, then add these two almost-point-per-game-in-the-ahl guys, the flyers are gonna be stacked.  except the both of them, as good as they were before the AHL, in the AHL...they were in no way NHL material.  the mysterious thing that seperates the NHL game from the AHL game was just way beyond their ability to overcome.  26 points in 30 AHL games became 12 in 35 NHL games, and neither of them were heard from ever again, aside from spare minutes way way down the oilers' depth chart.  after that, i decided none of it counts until it actually counts, and most of these kids will be forgotten after a few years of underwhelming everyone.

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edit:  thinking more about my mindset on prospects, i realized when i really took this stance.  it was ryan potulny and stefan ruzicka.  both 3rd round picks, both had strong junior/college careers, both were very effective with the phantoms.

 

Ryan Parent was another one that ended up being a bust, and he was a 1st rounder.

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Ryan Parent was another one that ended up being a bust, and he was a 1st rounder.

 

 

Yes that is why investing in scouts in paramount it still isn't full proof but it helps increase your chances combined with notes from scouting and then combine results and need weighted in the you come up with your draft board and then stick to it. Like the Eagles sort of for example you have to draft for your system and people still slide.

 

It isn't an exact science but with proper homework you still can hit and miss. Of all the measurables that are recorded there is one (some may argue the biggest) of the biggest key muscle that can't be weighted is heart.

 

Flyers have done things to improve their scouting department over the last couple years adding Neil Little and Frank Nitty to scouts they already have and maybe even more that i'm not aware of. Yet all that and yes a crap shoot really is a good description. 

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Ryan Parent was another one that ended up being a bust, and he was a 1st rounder.

 

In fairness, it didn't help that his back was shot. You'd figure that a medical check would have uncovered the problems with the discs in his back and that it was a degenerative condition that was only going to get worse. You'd figure that when you're acquiring and making investments in these players, at the very least, you'd treat them like investments and make sure that everything checks out fine. Parent was a case in which everyone in the organization dropped the ball.

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@aziz - I know that there are no guarantees. Hagg, Ghost, Morin, etc... we won't know until we know (channeling Donald Rumsfeld here). I have yet to actually see Morin play, but I'm optimistic about he, Ghost and Hagg. Time will tell.

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Just saying I never bought into Ruzicka or Potulny. Both seemed like roster fillers if the cupboard was bare.

But, in general, I get your point, @aziz. You know I tend to be a pessimist myself (sorry if that is labeling you) but in this case I'm a lot more hopeful about Hagg than I ever was about either of those two players.

To tell the truth, I'm a bit more hopeful about him than I am about Morin.

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To tell the truth, I'm a bit more hopeful about him than I am about Morin

@ruxpin

Me too... I had at least heard of Hagg prior to the draft , I hadn't heard of Morin until Craig Button's draft preview which I saw on the eve of the draft... I thought what is he smoking?

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It's very early to make predictions on how they'll end up, but the view on Hagg is a little worrisome. His draft analysis had his ceiling pegged as a 3/4 defenseman. To hear the Modo coach - who sees him everyday - say that *if* he works hard, he could end up a 5/6 defenseman is not reassuring. I guess the good news is that Hagg stepped in and contributed right away with the Phantoms, though it's a small sample.

 

Morin is pegged as the same - a 3/4 defenseman with more size, and potentially more offensive upside. 

 

I'm excited to see how they look in camp after a full year of development since the draft.

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@JackStraw

 

we'll see.  i'm just really cynical about prospects.  so very few of them ever stick.  like, only half of first round draftees.  move into the second round and it's a quarter in a good year.  i kind of decided a while ago, after boucher and pelletier and oulette and woywitka and downie and on and on, that i will only ever be pleasantly surprised, that i will assume the really terrible percentages are going to hold true on a given kid until he proves them wrong.

 

edit:  thinking more about my mindset on prospects, i realized when i really took this stance.  it was ryan potulny and stefan ruzicka.  both 3rd round picks, both had strong junior/college careers, both were very effective with the phantoms.  i thought, hey, this is great, these two guys are just steaming along, any day now they'll be locks for the flyer's top 6, and how awesome that'll be.  carter, richards, umberger, gagne, then add these two almost-point-per-game-in-the-ahl guys, the flyers are gonna be stacked.  except the both of them, as good as they were before the AHL, in the AHL...they were in no way NHL material.  the mysterious thing that seperates the NHL game from the AHL game was just way beyond their ability to overcome.  26 points in 30 AHL games became 12 in 35 NHL games, and neither of them were heard from ever again, aside from spare minutes way way down the oilers' depth chart.  after that, i decided none of it counts until it actually counts, and most of these kids will be forgotten after a few years of underwhelming everyone.

 

I remember watching Ruzicka on Owen Sound after the Flyers drafted him. I mentioned on the Philly.com board that I didn't think he'd make it as an NHLer. He had the shot, but did way too much watching instead of playing. He wasn't good enough to get away with that.. Potulny played in college I believe, so I never saw him play.

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I'm not going to hold Barry Smith's words with much weight. Terry Murray has a very good record when it comes to developing defensemen and if he says that Hagg will be a good defenseman, that's good enough for me. The man might not be the greatest head coach, but he really knows defense. The fact he made Randy Jones look like a legitimate top four defender should be enough to lend credence to what Murray says about Hagg.

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I remember watching Ruzicka on Owen Sound after the Flyers drafted him. I mentioned on the Philly.com board that I didn't think he'd make it as an NHLer. He had the shot, but did way too much watching instead of playing. He wasn't good enough to get away with that.. Potulny played in college I believe, so I never saw him play.

 

 

Flyer in that draft literally could of had two 3rds of the Winter Hawks top line in that draft. Petan went one pick later to Winnipeg. And later in the draft they took Goulbourne instead of Bjorkstrand.

 

Those two could have solidified the forward depth exponentially i would say.

 

Not complaining so much on Hagg but the Goulbourne selection instead of Bjorkstrand chaps my ass.

 

Or they could of had LW Taylor Cammarata or even goaltender Marcus Hogberg instead of Goulbourne guess they can never have too many goons.

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I'm not going to hold Barry Smith's words with much weight. Terry Murray has a very good record when it comes to developing defensemen and if he says that Hagg will be a good defenseman, that's good enough for me. The man might not be the greatest head coach, but he really knows defense. The fact he made Randy Jones look like a legitimate top four defender should be enough to lend credence to what Murray says about Hagg.

Murray didn't actually make any projections about Hagg and his future in the nhl, though. Just that he was doing well in the A, and is a very confident kid.

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I'm not going to hold Barry Smith's words with much weight. Terry Murray has a very good record when it comes to developing defensemen and if he says that Hagg will be a good defenseman, that's good enough for me. The man might not be the greatest head coach, but he really knows defense. The fact he made Randy Jones look like a legitimate top four defender should be enough to lend credence to what Murray says about Hagg.

 

Murray didn't actually make any projections about Hagg and his future in the nhl, though. Just that he was doing well in the A, and is a very confident kid.

 

I'll take it with a grain of salt, if only because Smith's the coach of the team losing the player.

 

I think there's more than a little message to Haag that he's got to work for it, and I don't see anything wrong with that. He is going to. Just for comparison, they drafted Kevin Marshall with the exact same draft pick in 2007 (#41, 2nd Round). The year before Mike Ratchuk went to the Flyers at 42.

 

Hockey's future tagged them all as "C" prospects. The previous two played all of 10 NHL games, combined (all Marshall).

 

Different players, different years - but a very good indication that there are no guarantees for players.

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I was kidding earlier when I typed I want the kid to be Nik Lidstrom lite or 2.0  but... I wonder what coaches were saying about him at 19 ?

I mean really , at 19 there is still some physical growth take place that can be good or bad,  there is quite a bit of emotional growth for everyone not named Jon Towes, there is knowledge to be acquired.  It truly is part of the "crap shoot" of dealing with prospects. I'm hoping for some of these latest guys to wind up trending more positively than Kevin Marshall and MA Bourdon.

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 It truly is part of the "crap shoot" of dealing with prospects. I'm hoping for some of these latest guys to wind up trending more positively than Kevin Marshall and MA Bourdon.

 

All i can say after watching the impressive defenseman the Kings and Hawks through out there just from what i have read about him and his smooth skating ability....and mind you i have no crystal ball (just comparing abilities best i can now) but he is one of the closest prospect on the farm that resemble what the Hawks/Kings had out there last night.

 

Their typical size is 6-1 210 Dmen that can skate and support the forwards when needed yet have the skating and mindset to get back and yet still play defense.

 

Now mind you i'm in no way saying he is in that category yet.

 

But just at a glance yes i can see him like that in the future.

 

And Ghost with development time too i can envision in that mold.

 

But these guys need to be given time to develop into that. For example Duncan Keith was given two years of AHL time (168 total games in the A plus two years of college and one year of juniors before hand) so that realistically is kind of what i expect these guys to be given.

 

Patience is the key.

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But these guys need to be given time to develop into that. For example Duncan Keith was given two years of AHL time (168 total games in the A plus two years of college and one year of juniors before hand) so that realistically is kind of what i expect these guys to be given.

 

Patience is the key.

 

Been saying for years (and Meltzer brings it up again today) extra time in junior or the A never hurt anyones development...but rushing them sure has.

 

Rad is always telling me two years in college is equivalent in development to one year in junior. :ph34r:

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Rad is always telling me two years in college is equivalent in development to one year in junior.

 

Well college is where i did my first keg stand (1994 Clemson University did i just date myself...God i'm old) that has to account for something!!!!!!!!!!  :D

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