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Dahlin - Center vs Defense


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#1 7+6=13

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 04:21 PM

It's me again.  The guy with questions from "left field".  All the responses in my "Center vs Winger" topic were much appreciated.  I think my Dahlin questions are somewhat related.

 

Why isn't a player like Dahlin a center? 

 

What I mean is,  as he's coming up is there a decision made by coaches, his family and he to develop as a defender?  

 

Do you all think that's a decision made by just his skill set alone or for example - best chance to become an NHL'r or the NHL needs defense, etc?  If so, what makes him not a center?  Is it just because he's just too good at defense to not be one?

 

He's got obvious offensive skill and I'm just wondering how you all think he becomes a defender vs a Center - especially with the description you gave me on what a center is vs a winger.

 

As always thanks for the knowledge in advance. 


Edited by 7+6=13, 16 May 2018 - 04:22 PM.


#2 Taro T

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 05:09 PM

It's me again.  The guy with questions from "left field".  All the responses in my "Center vs Winger" topic were much appreciated.  I think my Dahlin questions are somewhat related.
 
Why isn't a player like Dahlin a center? 
 
What I mean is,  as he's coming up is there a decision made by coaches, his family and he to develop as a defender?  
 
Do you all think that's a decision made by just his skill set alone or for example - best chance to become an NHL'r or the NHL needs defense, etc?  If so, what makes him not a center?  Is it just because he's just too good at defense to not be one?
 
He's got obvious offensive skill and I'm just wondering how you all think he becomes a defender vs a Center - especially with the description you gave me on what a center is vs a winger.
 
As always thanks for the knowledge in advance.

There's a lot that goes into it. The probable fact he was a strong backwards skater likely started him down that path. D tend to find a bit more room to get up to speed when starting a rush as well; his coaches early on likely wanted to give him that extra room to be creative. And his probably being able to be nearly as fast going backwards at a young age probably created a lot of turnovers and opportunities for those rushes.

Playing on D, rather than up front also lends itself to a much different perspective & set of responsibilities in the offensive & neutral zones. The D nearly always tries to have the play in front of him & is comfortable in not necessarily leading the rush. Really strong offensive C's have a tendency (at younger ages especially) to be cheating up to the high slot which can cause huge issues in the D zone if that player is expected to play as a D-man.

That he likes to still play physical even though he's noticably skinny for his height (he was noticably thin at the WJC's, which wasn't surprising as he was one of the youngest players in the tourney) would also give coaches assurance to leave him back on D. If he wasn't keen on initiating contact, he'd probably have gotten moved to C at some point to play in more of a Pierre Turgeon style.

#3 North Buffalo

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 05:14 PM

There's a lot that goes into it. The probable fact he was a strong backwards skater likely started him down that path. D tend to find a bit more room to get up to speed when starting a rush as well; his coaches early on likely wanted to give him that extra room to be creative. And his probably being able to be nearly as fast going backwards at a young age probably created a lot of turnovers and opportunities for those rushes.
Playing on D, rather than up front also lends itself to a much different perspective & set of responsibilities in the offensive & neutral zones. The D nearly always tries to have the play in front of him & is comfortable in not necessarily leading the rush. Really strong offensive C's have a tendency (at younger ages especially) to be cheating up to the high slot which can cause huge issues in the D zone if that player is expected to play as a D-man.
That he likes to still play physical even though he's noticably skinny for his height (he was noticably thin at the WJC's, which wasn't surprising as he was one of the youngest players in the tourney) would also give coaches assurance to leave him back on D. If he wasn't keen on initiating contact, he'd probably have gotten moved to C at some point to play in more of a Pierre Turgeon style.

This and he may have just liked it. So all of the above and where he liked playing. Some kids just like playing up and others back. Not sure how much choice he might have had. Some kids are less flexible in where they will play...

#4 We've

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 05:47 PM

It is pretty common in youth hockey to put your best skaters at D.  I'm guessing he enjoyed it so much that he requested to stay there.



#5 French Collection

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 05:51 PM

Top D-men get more ice time than forwards. That is an appeal for some.
Crosby may play 20 minutes while Doughty gets between 25 and 30.

At the minor/youth level though, they probably roll 3 lines and 6 D until there is a need for a goal or a special teams situation. This is more for AAA, AA and A teams.

Some kids want to play a certain position due to a favourite player.

Mastering backwards skating at a young age is often a big factor.

#6 7+6=13

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:27 AM

Thanks everyone



#7 matter2003

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:05 AM

He came from an athletic family, so that likely helped too...his Dad played hockey in what would be like the AHL in Sweden and his Mom was a professional Bandy player(basically soccer on a huge sheet of ice with skates and sticks with big curved blades), so he was probably skating as soon as he was walking.



#8 That Aud Smell

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:31 AM

These "hey - here's a question" threads are good threads.



#9 nfreeman

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:47 AM

These "hey - here's a question" threads are good threads.

 

I was thinking (and about to post) the same thing!



#10 sabills

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:53 AM

Somewhere there was a quote from his family or old coach that said that he was scoring to much on offense when he was really little, so the other teams requested he be put on defense to make it more even. It didn't help. 



#11 pi2000

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 03:26 PM

I started out in mites and squirts as a forward... moved to defense in peewee's and stayed there until college, where I was recruited as a forward because of my size, 5'10 tipping the scales at 165lbs out of high school.   Back then I was too small to play defense no matter how well I could skate or handle the puck.    

 

Anyway, I think it's best to play some of both while you're developing.    You gain a better understanding of the game by experiencing it from a different perspective.    You see things you otherwise may not see if you were playing a different position.   

 

I don't know how Dahlin settled on defense, but some kids just have a knack for it.



#12 PASabreFan

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 04:50 PM

Has anyone ever won a Selke, Richard and Norris in the same season?



#13 dudacek

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:24 PM

Has anyone ever won a Selke, Richard and Norris in the same season?


You forgot Conn Smythe.

#14 Taro T

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:32 PM

Has anyone ever won a Selke, Richard and Norris in the same season?


No. But a player was voted to the AS teams as both a LW & a RW once. :doh:

#15 PASabreFan

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:41 PM

You forgot Conn Smythe.

What year was this? Wow, he must have been real good.



#16 PerreaultForever

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Posted Today, 03:08 AM

Why isn't a player like Dahlin a center? 

 

 

This is a question Phil Housley could probably answer well.



#17 We've

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Posted Today, 07:47 AM

This is a question Phil Housley could probably answer well.

 

Phil played center for parts of several seasons in Buffalo.