So far this season we're all agonizing over be our bottom two LHD while awaiting Sanderson.
We're tearing our hair out trying to choose between a serviceable but limited Holden, the over-the-Hill MDZ, and two undersized d-men who get mashed regularly in the d-zone.
Do people realize we could have a 6-4, 215-pound emerging stud in our top four right now?
I get the distinct sense very few people recognizewe could and should have taken K'Andre Miller in the 2018 draft. Someone actually said on Twitter the other day that this is false.
We had the 22nd pick that year, and we traded it to the Rangers for the 26th and 48th picks, which we used to take JBD and Tychonek.
I guess it seemed clever at the time to take two guys headed for UND, one a lefty and the other a righty, and let one of the elite NCAA teams develop them for free.
I know I'll offend the In-Mann-We-Trust crowd, but this was almost as bad as taking Boucher in the last draft in terms of the Sens' hubristic we-know-something-everyone-else-doesn't approach.
Bob McKenzie's final projection prior to 2018 draft had Miller ranked 24, but he noted that some scouts had him as high as #10. And given his development -- now in his second full year in Rangers' top four -- he appears to be emerging as one of the top 10 picks. Pronman now has him at 14.
Meanwhile, McKenzie -- based on the consensus he draws from his unique access to the NHL scouting community -- had JBD and Tychonek ranked 46th and 50th. I'm not going to do the research but did ANYONE rank JBD as a first-round talent?
Tychonek now appears to be a bust, and JBD is -- last I checked -- on the third pairing in the AHL.
When Coach Mann was asked last week who is closest to being called up to help fix the Sens' D-corps, he only discussed Branny and Thompson. This week he sighed and said JBD is having a tough time adjusting to AHL. He compared him to where Thompson last year. In other words, it will be at LEAST another full AHL year after this one before JBD is ready.
By the end of next year Miller will have completed his third season in Rangers top four.
The response to this is often: "Give him time!"
And: "Remember people dissed the Tkachuk pick? Or Sanderson? Look at all the doubters. In Mann we trust!!!
It is a ridiculous comparison. The scouting consensus had Tkachuk and Sanderson as legit top 10 talents. There was a public debate about whether Sanderson was better than the clearly elite Drysdale. Even the much-criticized Kleven pick wasn't completely off-the-wall -- McKeen's had him ranked exactly where Sens took him.
But in the Boucher and JBD examples, we passed on guys who could be helping our team right now and who also have fantastic career prospects. And instead overreached based on hunches.
We wouldn't need to give Miller and Cole Sillinger (who has the same number of points in NHL as Boucher has at Boston U) years to develop!
Look, I'm excited about this team. Love the young talent.
But I'm frustrated that this team could be shooting for the playoffs this year with proper management.