We're just two editions into Ask Adam, but already it's safe to say we've got less space for questions than the volume of e-mails that come in. So if you haven't seen your inquiry addressed, don't fret. It may just take us a couple weeks to get to it.
On with the show:
I've got three questions for you. First of all, is Joffrey Lupul the real deal Â– and by that I mean, is he gonna be a 30 to 40 goal scorer? Secondly, which five players who are not in the NHL this year Â– and are less than two years away from making it to the big league Â– will be NHL-caliber snipers? Finally, after looking at lots of players from many different leagues for drafting in my hockey pool, I'm not sure which junior league produces the most NHL-level goal-scorers. Which league do you think is the best?
- Yan Thibodeau, Montreal
Three questions, eh? I've gotta start charging more. Here goes:
1. Yes, Joffrey Lupul is the real deal. He had 28 goals playing the wing on Anaheim's second line last season, and he'll likely play on Edmonton's top line all season. All at the tender age of 23. I'd put him down for at least 35 this year, and the next decade after that.
2. I'm no prospects expert, so I asked someone who is: THN's Senior Special Sections Editor Brian Costello. Here are his picks, in no real order: Alexander Radulov, Nashville; Bobby Ryan, Anaheim; Robbie Schremp, Edmonton; Jonathan Toews, Chicago; and David Bolland, Chicago.
3. As a general rule, the top scorers in junior hockey come out of the Quebec Major Junior League. That doesn't mean they'll necessarily do the same kind of offensive damage in the NHL (see Daigle, Alexandre). But the QMJHL definitely stresses goal-scoring more than any league on the continent.
A quick question for you: Why don't hockey players get annual flu shots?
Every year, it seems as though every NHL team goes through at least one stretch in which the flu virus is tearing through the team. I've long thought that if teams would simply give flu shots to their entire rosters, these flu outbreaks would cease. Do you have any insights on this?
- Dan McKeever
Most teams do provide flu shots to NHLers. The Nashville Predators, for example, offer their players Â– and players' wives Â– the option of taking a shot just prior to flu season. It's not mandatory that they do, which may explain why outbreaks still happen. And also why the team whirlpool isn't nearly the communal gathering place it once was.
What happened to your 2 Minutes In The Box feature for The Hockey News? I picked up a copy the other day and found it has magically disappeared. Did the crew decide to scrap it, or was it solely your decision?
- Morgan Mckay, Brantford, Ont.
The 2 Minutes feature can still be found in the magazine, except for rare occasions such as our season-opener and draft preview editions. But after my bosses dealt me to the online division Â– sadly, for Alek Stojanov and future considerations Â– the responsibility was handed off to the very capable Ryan Kennedy.
Ryan is great with creative questions and non-creative athletes, so be sure to keep an eye out for his work.
As a Ducks fan, I was wondering your take on: Are we too top heavy with big names? With Selanne, Pronger, Niedermayer, Giguere, etc., do we have to get the extra-large mirror in the locker room?
Seems to me, the three times the Ducks managed to get to playoffs Â– and get past the first round Â– was when we had 1 or 2 big-shots with a mix of veteran muckers/grinders with plenty of collective playoff experience, and rookies so scared of getting embarrassed on US/Canadian primetime TV they couldn't help but skate like their hair was on fire.
Too many chiefs and not enough Indians?
- Jay Glossbrenner, San Clemente, Calif.
I think the Ducks will be fine. In terms of payroll and swagger, these aren't exactly the New York Yankees we're talking about. Niedermayer, Selanne and Pronger are three of the lowest-maintenance stars in the game, while Giguere (no prima donna either) may not be around by season's end.
As well, coach Randy Carlyle has a few seasoned veterans (Ian Moran, Todd Marchant, Todd Fedoruk) who can provide the sandpaper most elite teams require to succeed.
They're not my pick to win a championship (um, I chose Calgary), but they'll be in the Cup race come spring.
Ask Adam appears every Friday only on The Hockey News.com. To send us your question or comment, click HERE.