Chris Brown Probably Not Staying Four Years

Submitted by Brian on July 17th, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Coyotes second-rounder Chris Brown came in for some goalie-running praise yesterday, and today there's an Arizona Republic article that expands on the Michigan-Phoenix connection. The most newsworthy item comes towards the end, where the 'Yotes GM and Brown discuss their mutual plan for his development:

Maloney admits he would "stunned" if Brown spends four years at the collegiate level. …

"He needs some time, I hope it's sooner rather than later, but I'm hesitant to say because none of us can predict what's going to happen, but I don't see him - his game, his drive, I think is more suited to pro hockey than college hockey.

"But it's certainly not going to hurt to give him the practice time the next couple of years, and at one of the best programs in the nation, which is good."

So… two and out, in Phoenix's estimation. For his part, Brown says he's planning on four years… "right now." His quote doesn't sound like a guy who will be around in 2012, though:

The ultimate goal is obviously to get to the Phoenix Coyotes and the NHL, play year by year, talk to the coaching staff on both sides and see what happens," he said.

We are warned, not that a second-rounder leaving after two years is a surprise.

Elsewhere, Canadiens draftee Mac Bennett impressed:

The biggest surprise of scrimmage day was Mac Bennett. The 17-year-old high school player looked extremely comfortable on the ice, with poise to match his older peers.

"I'm pretty calm with the puck. I wasn't expecting to be as calm with it as I was here," said Bennett.

Timmins agrees, saying "Mac looks like he's been here for a couple of development camps. He has a lot of poise and ability for his young age."

I'm still a little jittery about Bennett and the CHL—not because I have any information or anything, just general paranoia. Feeding the paranoia is this article, which I missed when it came out right after the NHL draft:

If Charlie Henry has his way, Michigan recruit Mac Bennett will never play in Ann Arbor. … Henry feels that the young defencemen will develop faster if he skips college and plays for the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

"He has really good offensive skills, but he needs to improve on defence and he can do it with us," said Henry, who is general manager of the Olympiques.

Trevor Timmins, the Canadiens' director of player personnel, said he wouldn't presume to tell a player where he should go, but he did concede that the talent level in the Quebec league is higher.

At least it's the Q, which is something of a shambles relative to the OHL and doesn't have nearly the level of success at recruiting Americans away from collegiate commitments that a few OHL teams do. But if anyone's going to get behind the highly questionable idea that the overall difficulty of playing in the Q is equivalent to college hockey—where the vast bulk of the players are also undrafted but happen to be three or four years older—it's the Canadiens. I'll breathe easier once Bennett is safely in Cedar Rapids.

(HT: Yost Built.)

Comments

Don

July 17th, 2009 at 2:22 PM ^

I don't expect any of the talented hockey recruits to stick around one minute longer than it takes to extract a nice juicy contract from the NHL. Which means all of the coaching that Red and his staff do is to a certain extent wasted, since the junior and senior seasons are when everything that you've learned during your freshman and soph seasons starts to pay off in a big way. They're all using Red in the most transparent way possible; the most talented don't appear to give a shit about getting a degree. That's perhaps natural for a kid, but I wonder what their parents are thinking of, other than the $$$.

I'll be disappointed if I don't get at least a -10 for this. Get off my lawn.

JustGoBlue

July 17th, 2009 at 2:43 PM ^

In just this year and last year we have two first round draft picks (Mitera and Summers) who I'm sure could have easily left for the NHL earlier than they have and were probably even expected to. Admittedly, I think I remember reading somewhere that they are only the 4th and 5th first round draftees to stay for four years...

If you had the choice between making a ton of money starting next year doing what you like or to continue doing something you didn't really care for in order to meet your true goals, which would you choose? They don't even get full scholarships, like football players, so they're paying to do something they don't really care for (though not too much).

They are using Red, in a way, but I'm sure he knew what he was getting into when he started coaching at U-M and he wouldn't still be around 25 years later if he didn't still love it. Unfortunately, a good amount do leave early, but as much as I'd love them to stay I can't fault them for doing something I'm not sure I wouldn't do myself. And to say just Red is used is neglecting the similar attrition that goes on in every college hockey program and college sports in general.

As to parents, whatever they want it ultimately is the kid's choice...

Sparky79

July 17th, 2009 at 10:36 PM ^

Mitera and Summers stayed all four, but that's a rarity these days. Some guys stay because they love it, and yes, they definitely could have left early. But Brown, based on his interviews before and after the draft, seems to have a bit more of the Pacioretty/Palushaj mindset than he does Mitera/Summers. And I'm sure he's already got a "family advisor" in his ear, too.

As for first round draft picks who have stayed all four years, I believe there have only been four... Summers, Mitera, Eric Nystrom, and Jason Botterill.

JustGoBlue

July 18th, 2009 at 1:52 AM ^

I feel like the article I read said Mitera was the 4th, but I can't find it anywhere and my other searching doesn't show any other first-rounders that stuck around (though according to Wiki one signed after his junior year and stayed for his degree and another ended up with a U-M law degree, though it didn't explain how) so I guess my memory just sucks.

Also, I would say 4 in, how long has the draft been going on, 30 years?-is a rarity. 2 of them a decade apart is a rarity, 2 in 2 years would hopefully be part of a trend if we had any first round picks to learn from their example though ideally it can also be picked up by second-rounders. I'm not holding my breath though :-(

I realize that staying 4 years is NOT common, I was just pointing out that it isn't everyone that packs up and leaves after a year or two, just the majority. Hopefully Brown (and Lynch, do we have a timetable on him?) will end up staying 4 years, if not, oh well. Nobody on our side of things is really going to be happy about it, but there really isn't anything we can do beyond wishing him the best. If Yost/Red can't make him stay I'm not sure anything can.

I was really just responding because I was being a dick and trying to disagree with the first guy without flaming him, because he phrased it like a challenge. I also didn't think it was quite fair that he threw everybody in the same boat with the majority, especially since the only 1st round picks I've ever watched at U-M did stick it out and so, of course, they get just about all the player-loyalty I'm going to exhibit.

david from wyoming

July 19th, 2009 at 5:15 PM ^

So what about someone like Jack Johnson? Everyone knew he wouldn't stick around for four years. He was ready for the NHL when he left. Do you think he should have stayed four years, left when he did, or never show up at all?

Personally, if a kid is ready for the NHL, I'm okay with them leaving early. Chad and Kevin weren't ready to play in the NHL after two years so they stayed all four. I don't see how you can have your cake and eat it too in this case.

thethirdcoast

July 17th, 2009 at 3:06 PM ^

...and right now it's unclear if Bettman will be able to finagle a deal that keeps the Yotes in Glendale.

All of which suits me fine. I'd rather see M players get looks from teams closer to A^2 than PHX.

Chuck Harbaugh

July 17th, 2009 at 5:16 PM ^

Please don't call the Coyotes the 'yotes. Out here, only some of the the douchebag local sport radio TV people do that. These are the same people who for a time called the Avalanche "the 'Lanche." With a 24/7 sports cycle, why eliminate syllables to make nonsense words? I can deal with 'canes - the abbreviation is a word. A nice painful Singapore/BDSM word. WTF is a "'yote"?

Signed
a fan of the 'gers, 'ons, 'rines, 'cos

V-Link

July 17th, 2009 at 6:33 PM ^

If Brown stays for 2, Bennett comes in with the uber recruiting class of 2010, and our current Juniors stick it out, mainly Rust,Hag,Cap, I'll be a happy man. That's a helluva team to make a run at the NC with in 2010.