Jesse wrote:I watched him play as 21 year old in the USHL where he put up inflated point totals because he was older than the majority of the players in the lineup. So I "know" a few things about him. That's a hard lesson I had to learn from watching Casey Pierro-Zabotel assault the WHL as an overage player.
Considering I've spent the last eight years paying pretty close attention to the junior hockey scene in order to come out with a yearly draft ranking I can be proud of, I'm fairly certain I can say that I'm aware of how player development works and how difficult it can be to get into the lineup at a young age. So your broad brush painting of how I view depth is laughable at best.
I know for a fact that Megna's deficiencies defensively are on video and are the reason the Penguins haven't given him an extended look in the lineup. There's a pedigree discussion to be had here that seems to be lost in the declaration of my lack of understanding. Pedigree is something that isn't developed at the NHL level. If it were, high-risk players like Landon Ferraro would be all over the NHL by now. If pedigree and skill set weren't important there would be no need for a yearly draft ranking. You think there's no difference between a guy like Ben Hanowski and a guy like Connor McDavid? That's not to say that guys can't magically turn around and become something great. Examples have already been provided in this thread. That also doesn't mean it happens with regularity.
He's gotten better in some extremely key areas, which has been acknowledged by Bill Guerin.
I'll say it again since you completely missed by point: this team has drafted poorly and has no legitimate forward depth in the system.
I've already said, in this very thread, that Megna is a hard worker and that's his best asset. Could he fill in for the bottom six? Yes. Is he going to suddenly explode offensively and take the world by storm? Probably not. Is he a dime a dozen guy? Yes. Does having him in the system suddenly make the Penguins ignoring an extremely important need okay? No.
I wouldn't complain for one second if our fourth line put up an aggregate of 15 points per season as long as they were able to keep the puck out of the defensive zone, change up momentum in-game, and draw a few penalties.
I honestly don't care how long you've watched him in Junior or how closely you pay attention to the Junior hockey. I'm watching what he's doing NOW. Megna has his shortcomings, yes, but to think he can't get better is silly. He's done more in a short period of time than other players in his role on very deep teams. I don't care if he's a dime a dozen. If you can get 20 to 25 points out of a 4th line player I'm in! You can balance out a line like that with better defensive players.
His defensive shortcomings aren't THAT bad. They can be improved upon. If he's a dime a dozen, then I'd rather spend the lowest amount possible on a player like Megna than the money teams like LA spend on their 4th line players and distribute that little extra elsewhere.