I've followed him for the last three years as he's pyeald for my hometown teams - he changed teams but I changed towns, so I ended up seeing him quite a bit.He was always extremely skilled with an awesome vision and smarts. In the last three years he's developed from an occasionally pouting player who'd take dumb penalties and not play defense into a great team player who never stops trying and, while not especially strong defensively, isn't a liability either.This past season he was probably the best player the league has seen in over ten years. In my mind, Saku Koivu was the last young player to dominate like this. I see a couple of reasons for this: He's added strength, especially to his legs, and when you combine that with his ability to protect the puck he became very hard to knock away from the puck. Also, he moved from center to wing, so he could play a more offensive style and use his shot a bit more in addition to his playmaking ability that helped him to excel at the center position.He has the potential to be a true impact player in the NHL and just might be able to learn on the job. Detroit, while a deep club, is probably a good fit because they aim for puck control and that's one of Leino's strengths.I'm not sold on his ability to make decisions fast enough for the NHL at this time, though. That's why he didn't make the World Championships, he looked a bit lost on a smaller ice surface against NHL competition because of the higher tempo in the pre-tournament games. He'll have to work on that and develop his strength even more to be successful in the NHL. When it comes to skill, vision and systems, he should be all set.
TRpxykqWJ5z // June 09, 2014 / 01:19:25