Friday, October 28, 2005

Eric Staal Off To A Good Start

Its not uncommon for a young player in his second or third NHL season to take a big leap forward and become a star.

Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes appears to be one such player. He was the second overall pick in the 2003 draft and played in the NHL the entire 2003-04 season. In the lockout year, he led the AHL Lowell Lock Monsters in points. This year, he is off to a great start. He has 15 points in nine games so far. This puts him second in scoring in the NHL behind only Jaromir Jagr. He is scoring very well at even strength.

Although I doubt Staal will remain the second highest scorer in the NHL he is quite likely to have a very good season and a very good career. Anyone who shows this kind of ability early in their career is a very good hockey player. How good he becomes will be answered largely by this one question. Once it is clear that Staal is the go to guy on Carolina and teams set up their defence to prevent him from scoring, how will Staal adjust to the increased attention. It is much easier to be a suprising scorer then it is to be the one that a team is built around and the opposing team is keying in on stopping.

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