More than the other three gifted rookie forwards who arrived in 10-11, Magnus Paajarvi is a mannish boy filled with possibilities. He’s an absolute rocket on skates, with size and hands.
What does he need to work on? He’s a little shy in some of the physical areas of the ice and doesn’t use his body like you’d like him to; he’s also quick to exit the scoring zones and cheat for defense. A novel item in a teenager, but you’d like him to have better offensive instincts.
That’s about the only negative things I can think of to say about Magnus Paajarvi. He’s the Tesla Roadster: electric, fast and possibly too good to be true.
NHL Prediction for 11-12: 82, 20-20-40 (.488)
- What’s so good about him? Well, there’s a list. First, his physical skills are breathtaking. I geniunely believe that Hall’s presence has obscured exactly how good this kid is going to be in the NHL. He’s a freaking blur. He’s got size and is a smart kid. Paajarvi really does abandon the offensive zones for defense, which I don’t think is helping him at this point but can appreciate that it will make him a more complete player eventually. He’s a beauty.
- What do the numbers say? Nice CorsiRel, good zone start/finish (+0.8%) and he showed glimpses of offensive brilliance despite a poor 5×5/60 points per game (1.36).
- His offense trails Hall, Eberle and Omark. Yes, but he didn’t play a feature role until Omark arrived and then they had Gagner at center and that line bled profusely after being put together in December. I think it hurt all three players (MP, Gagner, Omark).
- Great. You’re smarter than Renney. Well that’s certainly untrue. However, there’s evidence that the trio just didn’t mesh (hey, it happens) and I suspect coach Renney will find better chemistry with more options. Remember, those three got together after the injuries started flushing the season.
- Who should he play with? I’d suggest Omark and Belanger would be a nice place to start, then Horcoff and Omark as a fallback selection.
- You said he wasn’t a good match with Omark. No, I said that trio didn’t work.
- Please explain. Allow me to link to an excellent Zona article which goes a long way to explaining his season. Very slow start, and then a strong finish with the Denver boot that was playing on that specific line.
- It’s confusing. Yes, but Zona explains it well. He was dead in the water games 1-20, improved markedly through the season but “with or without you” points to Sam/Magnus not being a match.
- How does that happen? Same reason Gretzky-to-Kurri worked so well. Chemistry. We’re going to be talking about chemistry for the next several seasons. All of these kids need to pair up and find their way, or risk being left behind.
- Will Paajarvi be a scorer? Don’t know.
- What? Depends on his role. If Paajarvi finds chem with Hall and RNH then he’ll have some big offensive seasons. If he and Lander turn into forecheckers from hell then it’s a two-way role.
- Why are you so unsure? It would appear that this young man has a wide range of skills and that the team has exceptional options offensively that are of a similar age. It is his own bad dumb luck (and our good fortune) that he is so versatile.
- Okay. Where do you GUESS he’ll be? A solid 2-way winger who can score 25 goals like clockwork while doing a lot of little things to help his team win.
- Solid defensively? He used to be a defenseman. That’s why he cheats so much. He’s a backwards forward but an absolute beauty. Roger Neilson would have made him into Craig Ramsay.