Claude Julien: Good or Bad developing young players in Boston
posted at 2/16/2011 6:05 PM EST
As people collectively hand wring about this team, and the wild hyperbole continues, this question has repeatedly come up among the haters. Does Claude develop young players?
First, I don't think it's the job of NHL coaches to necessarily "develop" young players. I think it's the job of the coach to take what players he has young and old and get them in a position to win as a team. Obviously when you reach the NHL development doesn't necessarily stop, but in terms of teaching "development" is more an AHL thing.
That being said here are the rookies making their debut or having played less than 20 games prior to Claude's regime, and under age 25.
Hunwick, Kessel, Krejci, Lucic, Nokelainen, Pelletier, Sobotka, Lashoff, Bitz, Boychuk, Karsums, Lehtonen, St. Pierre, Wheeler, Bodnarchuk, Hamill, Larman, Lefebvre, Marchand, McQuaid, Penner, Seguin, Kampfer, Caron, Bartkowski, Arniel
Established Top 6 or Top 4 NHL players on any team: Kessel, Krejci, Lucic, Boychuk, McQuaid
Players who show signs of being Top 6 or Top 4 NHL players but are still young: Kampfer, Caron, Seguin, Marchand
Players who are established bottom 6/bottom pairing guys: Sobotka, Hunwick, Wheeler
Players who are out of the NHL: Nokelainen, Lehtonen, Karsums,
Fringe guys: Penner, Lefebvre, Larman, St. Pierre, Pelletier, Lashoff, Bitz, Bodnarchuk
Players we just don't know about: Hamill, Bartowski, Arniel
Three players have left Boston and have stuck with their new teams (so far). Kessel, Hunwick, Sobotka. The only one who has gotten appreciably better as a player is Sobotka, but he's still a 4th liner at best. Kessel is still the same frustrating player in Toronto as he is here.
All the other players who are no longer under Claude's system are either in the minors, or in Europe.
Every season Claude seems to take a sink or swim approach. Earn responsibility little by little. Some players have thrived (Lucic, Krejci, McQuaid, Marchand). Some players have started out strong, but then plateaued (Wheeler, Hunwick, Kampfer) and others the jury is still out.