Jump to content

Comparing JVR's first years to John LeClair's


Guest Digityman
 Share

Recommended Posts

I got to thinking about JVR and where he was in his development.

JVR is supposed to develop into a power forward (or maybe he already is?).

Anyway, a Flyers power forward that sticks out in my mind is Johnny LeClair.

So why not compare the two.

How old was John LeClair when he finally blossomed into the player well all know and love?

26 years old give or take. How old is JVR? 22.

Here's a breakdown of LeClairs first years -

1990-1991 - 10gp for 7pts

1991-1992 - 50gp for 19pts

1992-1993 - 72gp for 44 pts

1993-1994 - 74gp for 43 pts (at 25 years old)

It wasn't until 1995 when he played 82 games and had 97pts.

JVR in comparison

2009-2010 - 78gp for 35pts

2010-2011 - 75gp for 40pts

2011-2012 - 37gp for 22pts - projected 74 games is 44pts (at 22 years old)

LeClair hits 43 points in his 4th season at 25 years old

JVR *could* hit 44 points in his 3rd season at 22 years old.

Now will JVR be able to put up anything close to LeClair's number?

I guess we'll find out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, now you're in my sweet spot... :-)

The Habs clearly had no idea what they had in JLC and they didn't use him in a "scoring" capacity, despite his heroics in the '93 Cup playoffs.

JLC also played four years (mostly) at UVM, where JVR played two at the University of Upside Down State, so JLC was older when he hit the NHL.

When JLC came to Philly, he was matched with Lindros and legend ensued. He was a 20-goal scorer (well, OK, 19 in low 70s games), but then exploded with 25 in 37 games when paired with #88 and the league was Doomed.

JVR by contrast has been groomed to be a scoring threat and put into that position, so his early numbers should be higher than JLC. What JVR needs more than anything is the drive to excel. I think JLC got that with Lindros.

I like the JVR-Schenn-Simmonds line. Seems like a good group of complimentary players. Hopefully, it will continue to develop and JVR will continue to improve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John LeClair was a 2nd round pick. JVR was a 2nd overall pick. JVR could already be a difference maker on the ice if he'd quit shying away from anywhere within 5 feet of the opposition. Somebody needs to point out he's bigger than the average player. Nathan Gerbe, all 5'5" of him, plays bigger than JVR. Look at JVR last year at the end of the year when he was driving the net with authority and dictating the play. I haven't seen THAT JVR since. But that is what he can be, if he wants it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted · Hidden by flyercanuck, January 19, 2012 - No reason given
Hidden by flyercanuck, January 19, 2012 - No reason given

John LeClair was a 2nd round pick. JVR was a 2nd overall pick. JVR could already be a difference maker on the ice if he'd quit shying away from anywhere within 5 feet of the opposition. Somebody needs to point out he's bigger than the average player. Nathan Gerbe, all 5'5" of him, plays bigger than JVR. Look at JVR last year at the end of the year when he was driving the net with authority and dictating the play. I haven't seen THAT JVR since. But that is what he can be, if he wants it.

Link to comment

LeClair was a little bigger and had help from a guy named Lindros. Like Dorny,LeClair scored a lot of goals by refusing to leave the crease,still works,but today nobody is willing to take the beating. I bet Shelley would be a good occupy rep. That apparently isn't in "The Lavster's" game plan!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now will JVR be able to put up anything close to LeClair's number?

if a player like eric lindros comes to philly, sure.

i really liked john leclair. i also think he was 100% the product of skating on lindros's wing. he was a 1.11ppg with lindros, .61ppg without him. looking at his career stats, year by year, the jump as he joined the flyers is amazing, 43pts in 93-94 to 97pts in 95-96 (lockout shortened season in between)...and then when lindros left, leclair's dropoff was almost as stunning, 77pts in 99-00 (his lowest output as a flyer, also the year lindros only played in 55gms) to 51pts in 01-02 (injury shortened season in between).

great guy, by all accounts an outstanding teammate, hard worker, fearless, deserves a ton of respect, but...he was a 50 point guy who skated on a line with a phenomenon for several years. as much as i admire him as a person, if that skill level is as far as JVR gets, well, that's not good, 'cause i don't know he has leclair's intangibles to fall back on........

edit: need to say again before leclair fans lych me, I'M ONE, TOO. just, realistically, JVR needs to surpass leclaire's skill level for that 2nd overall pick to have worked out well. the flyers don't have a lindros on the team anymore.

Edited by aziz
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about another comparison, maybe more valid since it's recent (same team in fact)...

Giroux

08-09 (21) 42 gp, 27 pts, 0.64 ppg, +10

09-10 (22) 82 gp, 47 pts, 0.57 ppg, -9

JVR

10-11 (21) 75 gp, 40 pts, 0.53 ppg, +15

11-12 (22) 37 gp, 22 pts, 0.59 ppg, -1

Now, one could argue that JVR at 22 should be ahead of Giroux since it's his 3rd year in the league and it was G's 2nd, but on the other hand G was still in juniors at age 20. And one could argue that his junior career was better preparation for the NHL than UNH was for JVR. And of course we all know that power forward types take longer to develop than the small shifty types. Giroux didn't really "arrive" until this year, at age 24. I wouldn't mind waiting another 2 years if it means that JVR will break out the way Giroux has this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about another comparison, maybe more valid since it's recent (same team in fact)...

Giroux

08-09 (21) 42 gp, 27 pts, 0.64 ppg, +10

09-10 (22) 82 gp, 47 pts, 0.57 ppg, -9

JVR

10-11 (21) 75 gp, 40 pts, 0.53 ppg, +15

11-12 (22) 37 gp, 22 pts, 0.59 ppg, -1

Now, one could argue that JVR at 22 should be ahead of Giroux since it's his 3rd year in the league and it was G's 2nd, but on the other hand G was still in juniors at age 20. And one could argue that his junior career was better preparation for the NHL than UNH was for JVR. And of course we all know that power forward types take longer to develop than the small shifty types. Giroux didn't really "arrive" until this year, at age 24. I wouldn't mind waiting another 2 years if it means that JVR will break out the way Giroux has this year.

The big difference here is JVR comes into the NHL with a huge size advantage, and Giroux comes in with a huge work ethic advantage. Until JVR stops being a perimeter player, that's all he'll be. He's got everything he needs to be a very good player. The only thing holding him back is in his head.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got to thinking about JVR and where he was in his development.

JVR is supposed to develop into a power forward (or maybe he already is?).

Anyway, a Flyers power forward that sticks out in my mind is Johnny LeClair.

So why not compare the two.

How old was John LeClair when he finally blossomed into the player well all know and love?

26 years old give or take. How old is JVR? 22.

Here's a breakdown of LeClairs first years -

1990-1991 - 10gp for 7pts

1991-1992 - 50gp for 19pts

1992-1993 - 72gp for 44 pts

1993-1994 - 74gp for 43 pts (at 25 years old)

It wasn't until 1995 when he played 82 games and had 97pts.

JVR in comparison

2009-2010 - 78gp for 35pts

2010-2011 - 75gp for 40pts

2011-2012 - 37gp for 22pts - projected 74 games is 44pts (at 22 years old)

LeClair hits 43 points in his 4th season at 25 years old

JVR *could* hit 44 points in his 3rd season at 22 years old.

Now will JVR be able to put up anything close to LeClair's number?

I guess we'll find out.

I think it is too early for people to be talking about giving up on JVR or trading him. He still has a few years of development ahead of him, as you point out in this post. This year has been a tough year with injuries. I wonder what he could do on a line with Jagr, or perhaps Read/Couturier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The big difference here is JVR comes into the NHL with a huge size advantage, and Giroux comes in with a huge work ethic advantage

Yeah, but that gets back to the whole "power forwards take longer to develop" thing doesn't it? I don't know that I agree that Giroux has a better work ethic than JVR, but he does have a "compete level" advantage, which may be at least in part due to playing junior hockey rather than college. Before getting to the NHL JVR probably was able to dominate just because of his size and skill. Now things are tougher and I think he's still figuring out how to apply his abilities at the NHL level, and gain confidence. And Giroux is having his breakout year now playing with Jagr and Hartnell, JVR hasn't had that kind of situation.

PS: another comparison, Jeff Carter at age 22: 14G 23A 37pts -17 in 62 games. 2 years later, at age 24: 46G 38A 84pts +23.

Edited by JackStraw
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is too early for people to be talking about giving up on JVR or trading him. He still has a few years of development ahead of him, as you point out in this post. This year has been a tough year with injuries. I wonder what he could do on a line with Jagr, or perhaps Read/Couturier.

I actually thought the JVR-Schenn-Simmonds line was looking quite good together. They were always generating chances, cycling well and had good energy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, but that gets back to the whole "power forwards take longer to develop" thing doesn't it? I don't know that I agree that Giroux has a better work ethic than JVR, but he does have a "compete level" advantage, which may be at least in part due to playing junior hockey rather than college. Before getting to the NHL JVR probably was able to dominate just because of his size and skill. Now things are tougher and I think he's still figuring out how to apply his abilities at the NHL level, and gain confidence. And Giroux is having his breakout year now playing with Jagr and Hartnell, JVR hasn't had that kind of situation.

PS: another comparison, Jeff Carter at age 22: 14G 23A 37pts -17 in 62 games. 2 years later, at age 24: 46G 38A 84pts +23.

Again, I don't think JVRs problem is development. I think it's his unwillingness to "get dirty". He plays like an interior decorator. Last night Giroux got in a fight. I picture JVR fighting like Semin, if he ever fought.

Jonathan Toews played college. He was picked closer to where JVR was than anyone else mentioned. He scored 54 points as a 20 year old, and 69 at 21. He'll also go wherever it takes to score and win. If JVR wants to figure how to apply his abilities, here's a hint for him...you're big and gifted...GO GET THE PUCK instead of waiting for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, I don't think JVRs problem is development. I think it's his unwillingness to "get dirty". He plays like an interior decorator. Last night Giroux got in a fight. I picture JVR fighting like Semin, if he ever fought.

Jonathan Toews played college. He was picked closer to where JVR was than anyone else mentioned. He scored 54 points as a 20 year old, and 69 at 21. He'll also go wherever it takes to score and win. If JVR wants to figure how to apply his abilities, here's a hint for him...you're big and gifted...GO GET THE PUCK instead of waiting for it.

One thing we haven't seen, in reference to the JVR/JLC topic, is JVR willing to go down low and be the front of net presence. That was JLC's office (and why he has such a bad back these days), from the 1993 playoffs onward.

JVR definitely needs an edge and his unwillingness to take the physical aspect of the game definitely hinders his overall presence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@radoran

Exactly. And we saw how awesome he can be when he does drive to the net. I don't blame guys for not wanting to park themselves there. But you have to at least visit the area.

Last night for much of the game it was like the crease extended all the way out to the circles. There was NOBODY in front for HUGE stretches of the game.

Really inexcusable IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think someone in this thread already mentioned that (I think Aziz or Rad).... which, at least to me is quite obvious anyway is that LeClair's numbers were a direct result of playing with one of the most phenominal players who have ever played the game. We will never find out what LeClair's produciton would look like if his centerman was someone like LeCavalier or Jason Spezza. And I am intentionally using these players because they are darn good set-up centermen, but Lindros, in his prime, was 10 levels above each of them. He was in a different league. I think without Lindros, LeClair is a 25-goal scorer, which is still pretty good, but not quite as good as he was playing With Eric.

The irony of this is, JVR's sheer talent in my mind is 5-fold of LeClair's. The Boston series last spring showed that he doesn't *need* to depend on his centerman as much as some other wingers do. Why? Because he was playing like a man possessed. He was creating his own chances by either skating the puck down to the neutral zone or by getting opened, where even Stevie Wonder would find him with a pass...... and that' snothing to take away from Briere or Giroux. This year, he is doing neither of these things. In fact, I have no idea *what* he is doing. He seems to be content with just drifting along and kinda being there hoping that if the puck hits hits his stick, he will score, otherwise, why bother... I hate to say it, but he really became a Zherdev of this team. When you see less talented players like Reid and Simmonds killing themsleves to get a good look in tough spots, and JVR just hangs around, the automatic conclusion one can reach is maybe JVR is just not a winner. I hope I am wrong, but eveything so far is pointing in that direction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, I don't think JVRs problem is development. I think it's his unwillingness to "get dirty". He plays like an interior decorator. Last night Giroux got in a fight. I picture JVR fighting like Semin, if he ever fought.

Well I think this is where we'll have to agree to disagree. And btw, JVR actually had a Gordie Howe hat trick last year:

http://phillysportsdaily.com/flyers/2011/02/15/flyers-james-van-riemsdyk-gets-gordie-howe-hat-trick/

The fight wasn't against a tough guy maybe ("Behold Randy") but JVR didn't embarras himself at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...