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Position: D
Shoots: Right
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 225
Birth Date: 1/19/1982
Birth Country: USA (West Islip)
Year Drafted: 2001
Round Drafted: 1
Overall Choice: 7
Salary 2003/04: $1,130,000.00

HW 2004 Mid-Season Scouting Report

Big, bruising, and developing slowly into a nasty defender. From the beginning the surprise with Komi were his abilities on the puck, but it’s his play off the puck that had him drafted so high. Make no mistake, he’s going to take some time to fully develop, but I think in the end, it’ll all be worth it.

Each time he takes to the ice there are small improvements in his game and this is thanks to the hard work (and his work ethic) that he does with Rick Green. His positional game is coming around and he’s caught flat-footed and out of position less and less. He’s also learning to effectively angle his man into the boards and, once there, consistently win the battles. As for sheer strength, he’s got it, he just has to use it a little more effectively in front of the net. And of course, now and again, we get the chance to see him severely punish someone with a massive hit.

On the other hand, his passing has been a revelation. He makes effective tape-to-tape passes and launches counters adeptly. Of course, he’s still adapting to the speed of the NHL game and as such holds on to the puck a little long at times, but this is one of the things he’s been working on and recent games has seen improvements. His shot is superb, whether wrist (which I love that he takes since it’s quicker and far more accurate) and his low and hard slap shot which for a youngster is surprisingly accurate.

Once he puts it all together, not this season but probably mid-next year, and then develops it all, he’s going to be a scary defender. When you add to his raw abilities his team game and that work ethic which is much talked about, you can see his future with the Habs is bright indeed. Toss in his composure and obvious leadership abilities and he’s future captain material.