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#71 Louis Leblanc 2012-2013


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He's disappointed in how much he regressed this season. That said, not everyone gets to the NHL at the same pace, and one could have said a few years ago that Pacioretty had taken a few steps back before he returned as a top 6 player. Leblanc was hampered by a lingering injury this year, and hopefully he spends the off-season doing strength and conditioning and gets out of the gate well next season. I think he could be a mid-season call-up if that's the case, and if he can slot in as a 2nd or 3rd-line player who can score 15-20 goals a season, I wouldn't call him a bust. The idea here would be to groom him into a two-way player. He may not be an offensive star in the NHL, but those expectations were likely too high anyways. He can still be a valuable piece of the puzzle going forward.

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He'd be a bust even if he made it to the NHL as a third-line center. Right now, it's just the difference between bust and ultra-bust (washing out of the NHL, or never making it in the first place).

In a sense, yes, since we obviously drafted him as a top two center, but at the same time he was drafted in the bottom half of the first round, so there was always a good chance of him being a "bust" in this sense.

If he can at least be a useful NHLer, say Chris Higgins level, it wouldn't be a terrible use of that pick.

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In a sense, yes, since we obviously drafted him as a top two center, but at the same time he was drafted in the bottom half of the first round, so there was always a good chance of him being a "bust" in this sense.

If he can at least be a useful NHLer, say Chris Higgins level, it wouldn't be a terrible use of that pick.

True. But he still has to make it happen. Not easy to make it in the NHL, even as a third-line center.

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21 is still fairly young, but he needs to improve next year or I will be worried about (and disappointed) with this pick. I remember when we drafted him people said we had a "Mike Richards type" guy on our hands. Hard-nosed, can score, play a leadership role... Well, hopefully he can still get there in time.

I'd say he needs to get bigger. He's listed at 178 pounds which to me is a little light to be hard nosed.

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  • 1 month later...

The funny thing about LL is that when he came up 2-3 years ago, he really showed a lot of things that most minor-leaguers aren't able to do in their first stints in the big leagues: his work along the boards was strong despite being a younger, under-developed player; his fore-check was impressive without being over-committal (as opposed to what we saw with guys like Lapierre or White, where they sometimes got caught out of position because they were too aggressive); and he played a smart two-way game. I think those are all things he can build on, and I don't feel like he looked out of place in the NHL. Last season was a disaster for him, partly because of his injury but also because he never really got into a groove. We need to remember that a guy like Pacioretty went through something similar, where he made it up to the bigs early in his career then regressed and had to work his way back up. I still believe Leblanc can do the same, although he's going to need to be busy in the gym this summer to bulk up. More importantly, he's going to have to show up to camp (something he didn't really get the opportunity to do this year because of the lockout) and show that he's really dug down deep to get back on track. I agree with those who say he's really only got another year, maybe two, to establish himself as an NHL player, but I'm not ready to give up on him yet.

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The funny thing about LL is that when he came up 2-3 years ago, he really showed a lot of things that most minor-leaguers aren't able to do in their first stints in the big leagues: his work along the boards was strong despite being a younger, under-developed player; his fore-check was impressive without being over-committal (as opposed to what we saw with guys like Lapierre or White, where they sometimes got caught out of position because they were too aggressive); and he played a smart two-way game. I think those are all things he can build on, and I don't feel like he looked out of place in the NHL.

All those things you mention are the exact reason why if Leblanc falters offensively and isn't a top 6 guy in the NHL there's no reason to think he'll be a total bust.

Every year we see some unsung hero, some 3rd/4th line guy come up huge countless times in the playoffs. Sometimes several guys for one team, not just one.

Maybe Leblanc is never a top 6 guy, but he can be 33% of an amazing 2 way energy line with some scoring potential.

But to write him off because of one poor AHL season as some are doing, or say that it's close to make or break time...gotta disagree wholeheartedly.

Example...Kyle Chipchura. Never developed how the Habs hoped, but he's developed as a decent 4th line guy. Played in every one but one of Phoenix' playoff games last year. You don't have a reliable 4th line, your top 3 lines get worn out.

Who knows what Leblanc will become...the flavour of the week Kreider was picked one spot after him, everyone was talking about him last year in the playoffs and then he stunk it up in the NHL this year, and didn't have a banner season in the AHL either. I highly doubt the Rangers have given up on him, nor should the Habs.

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All those things you mention are the exact reason why if Leblanc falters offensively and isn't a top 6 guy in the NHL there's no reason to think he'll be a total bust.

Every year we see some unsung hero, some 3rd/4th line guy come up huge countless times in the playoffs. Sometimes several guys for one team, not just one.

Maybe Leblanc is never a top 6 guy, but he can be 33% of an amazing 2 way energy line with some scoring potential.

But to write him off because of one poor AHL season as some are doing, or say that it's close to make or break time...gotta disagree wholeheartedly.

Example...Kyle Chipchura. Never developed how the Habs hoped, but he's developed as a decent 4th line guy. Played in every one but one of Phoenix' playoff games last year. You don't have a reliable 4th line, your top 3 lines get worn out.

Who knows what Leblanc will become...the flavour of the week Kreider was picked one spot after him, everyone was talking about him last year in the playoffs and then he stunk it up in the NHL this year, and didn't have a banner season in the AHL either. I highly doubt the Rangers have given up on him, nor should the Habs.

IDK,,, Keeps, he is a center,, and we already have enough centers on the team. My guess is this,,,, MB calls him up for the exhibition games,,,sends him down for 20-25 games (and sees how he is doing) , then calls him up to the big club for 5-10 games, ,,,and then make a decision on whether to package him or trade him or keep him in Hamilton. He has 93 games in Hamilton and has 21G and 19A during that time. With the Habs he had 5G,,,5A,,, in 42 games. Granted, during the Habs stint, he "probably" played less than 10 mins. per game.

Like I said in a previous post,,,,,,,, 1 more year,,, and it's either make it or break it.

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