by Corey Pronman
Here are my thoughts on the youngsters involved in the Boston-Dallas trade.
Tyler Seguin, Center: Seguin was the 2nd overall pick in 2010 NHL Draft. He’s an extremely talented young forward possessing dynamic speed, puck skills and vision with the potential to be a legitimate star in the NHL. He hasn’t played center yet in an extended role unless injuries forced the issue as Seguin still needs to round out his game. The offense is dynamic though and it’s not only potential. Seguin was tied for 26th in scoring in his 19-20 year old season in 2011-12. He was one of the top scorers in the NHL per 60 minutes this season and has been one of the league’s top puck possession players.
Joe Morrow, Defense: I wrote about Joe Morrow a few weeks ago. He’s a player who struggled this year but has a lot of potential which is probably why he’s been involved in multiple trades. Morrow’s skating, puck moving and shot are all top-end but he’s really had issues with his defensive game and just playing at the pro level pace. He could be a quality top four defenseman, but he has a fair amount of risk on his projection.
Matt Fraser, Left Wing: Fraser has been a quality offensive player in the AHL the last two seasons after going undrafted. He has a solid amount of skill and while he can make some plays and has good instincts he’s more of a secondary guy with the puck. His best asset is his shot. Fraser is a fantastic shooter who can score from in tight or mid distance. He’s also a gritty player who will win board battles and drive the net. His only significant flaw is his defensive game isn’t the best and he’ll have to be used carefully in offensive situations by the coach. He could potentially be an average NHLer who is useful on the power play.
Reilly Smith, Right Wing: I ranked Smith as Dallas’ #2 prospect last summer. He’s a gifted forward with good speed, offensive ability and has a gritty element to his game as well. He started off the AHL year ok and then his play picked up. He didn’t get a whole lot of ice time in the NHL. Still the 22 year old has top six potential and is a decent guy to gamble on being a fine all-around player.
Ryan Button is a defenseman who skates well and I use to be like as a potential NHLer but as of now I would say he is not an NHL prospect.