I guess the conclusion you could draw is that we don't have the same calibre of hockey mind as someone like, say, Anders Forsberg (which, obviously, I don't). Although even then it's conceivable that maybe he isn't really that special and there are plenty of other teams with Swedish scouts who see the same talent but don't have the same sway with their GMs. Of course that doesn't explain us passing on Paajarvi and then Edmonton taking him.
The thing is there are always players every year who step up out of nowhere or who fall off the map. It's hard to predict for us fans because we can only go by what we see and read. There are so many reasons for a change of performance:
-some personal, off-ice issue (like Redden's mother passing away or Luke Richardson's daughter)
-a great summer of training or a lazy summer (like Doughty's last year, apparently)
-injuries and willingness to play through them
-meshing or playing poorly with new team-mates
-unforeseen locker room issues, by me anyway (I didn't anticipate the extent of Philly's re-design)
-a change of coach and/or system
-a feud with the coach (like, apparently, all of the Avs and Joe Sacco)
-other teams "getting the book" on a certain player
-players who have above average or unexpected amounts of dedication towards improving their game
We don't usually know about these things.
And with prospects, if you see someone who isn't ridiculously small and has a high level of talent, you're always going to think they have a chance to be a good/great player in the NHL. I went overboard with guys like MPS and Hedman because they were showing such great promise a year+ before their draft years. At that point, largely because of their talent and early-blooming physical maturity, you're so impressed by their ability to make plays against men that you don't necessarily see flaws in their hockey IQ or other areas of their games. You assume that they'll adjust and their learning curves will continue at that pace.
Anyway, although it's disappointing when things don't work out the unpredictability of hockey is what makes it exciting IMO. And it means that fans always have a reason to hope.
So I stick by my mistakes. I
wasn't talking out of my ***.