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12.03.2018 07:35
As teams prepare for the 2014 NHL Draft, Im digging back into past drafts in an effort to distinguish some value between picks. Antworten

As teams prepare for the 2014 NHL Draft, Im digging back into past drafts in an effort to distinguish some value between picks. Cooper Kupp Jersey . This is an exercise I have undertaken a few times, starting in 2009, and hope that Ive refined my approach a little bit in that time to help paint a better picture. This latest update goes through NHL Drafts from 1990 through 2009, leaving some time for the 2009 picks to establish an NHL career, and assigned a numerical value to each of the players selected, using the following guidelines: 10 - Generational9 - Elite Player8 - First Line, Top Pair D7 - Top Six Forward, Top Four D6 - Top Nine Forward, Top Six D5 - NHL Regular 4 - Fringe NHLer3 - Very Good Minor Leaguer2 - Minor Leaguer, under 50 NHL games1 - 10 or fewer NHL games A few disclaimers:- There is not necessarily an equal talent gap from 10-9-8 as there is from 1-2-3 (and there are far more ones than tens), so the average grades may not be right on target for what the average player at that slot will become but they should be in the ballpark. - Its difficult to properly evaluate players from the most recent drafts, as there is a certain amount of projection still required to determine where their careers are headed, so any evaluations from 2009, in particular, tend to be conservative, making the percentage of players "Ranked 7 or better" lower in some cases. - My focus was on the best four years of a players career, in determining whether production/usage would warrant first line, second line, third line status, but players whose careers were shortened or had a narrow peak could be knocked down a peg. - There are any number of reasons why a player may or may not make it to the NHL, so when I list players under "worst", there could be extenuating circumstances, whether its injury or being stuck as a late first-round pick trying to make a talented team. Even so, Ive removed Alexei Cherepanov (#17 in 2007), Luc Bourdon (#10 in 2005) and Mickey Renaud (fifth-round pick in 2007) from the evaluation as their NHL careers werent established enough before their tragic deaths. Below is my value for draft picks, broken down pick-by-pick for the first round, by 5-pick groups in the second round, 10-pick groups in the third and fourth round, then 15-pick groups in rounds five, six and seven. Included is the average rating for players taken in those slots for the years from 1990-2009, with best and worsts of the group included for all first round picks, then only bests beyond pick No. 30. (How would you like to determine the worst fourth-round picks of all time?). Also included are percentages of those selections that ranked at least as top-six forwards, top four defencemen or starting goaltenders and, by contrast, a percentage that maxed out as fourth-liners, depth defencemen, backup goaltenders (or worse). Then, there is a percentage of players taken in that slot that have played at least 100 NHL games, a relatively low bar to say that someone was an NHL player. For those that are just embarking on their pro careers, I tend to give the benefit of the doubt, so even if Chris Krieder has 89 NHL games, I feel pretty comfortable including him among the group that will play at least 100. Before the numbers, some observations:- There is real value to holding the No. 1 pick and its getting better. While there are slip-ups every so often, they are becoming increasingly rare. The last first overall pick that would have fallen short of being a top-six forward, top four defenceman or starting goaltender would probably be Rick DiPietro. That was in 2000 and while a cautionary tale against drafting a goaltender first overall or signing 15-year contracts, DiPietro was an above average goaltender for about three seasons (2003-2004 through 2006-2007) before injuries derailed his career. - While there is plenty of talk of the Panthers trading out of the No. 1 pick, and they very well could do that, there is an element of risk involved in sliding too far down. Some risk starts to show as early as pick three or four, but outside the top five a team is at least as likely to land a depth player as they are a significant contributor. This becomes particularly interesting when a team at the top might consider moving down to take the likes of William Nylander or Nikolaj Ehlers, skilled players with high upside, but maybe they come with a little more risk and thats the downside part of the calculation when looking further down the board. - Another point to consider about the top pick is whether it will get used on Barrie Colts defenceman Aaron Ekblad. There is more risk involved when taking defencemen at the top of the draft, but the difference isnt such that defenceman ought to be ignored altogether. Fair to question whether Ekblad has a high enough ceiling or whether his relative success in junior is predicated on a size and strength advantage that should diminish in the pros, but he shouldnt be eliminated from consideration merely because he plays defence. Teams could have taken Chris Pronger or Drew Doughty at the top of the draft and ended up quite satisfied with their selections. See the positional breakdown for the top of the draft here: Forwards in First 5 PicksAverage Rating: 7.22Ranked 7 or better: 74.2%Ranked 5 or worse: 12.9%At Least 100 NHL Games (or very likely): 95.2% Defencemen in First 5 PicksAverage Rating: 6.82Ranked 7 or better: 66.7%Ranked 5 or worse: 12.1%At Least 100 NHL Games (or very likely): 100.0% Goaltenders in First 5 PicksAverage Rating: 7.30Ranked 7 or better: 80.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 0.0%At Least 100 NHL Games (or very likely): 100.0% - What is notable is that, aside from the super small sample of goaltenders taken in the top five (Roberto Luongo, DiPietro, Kari Lehtonen, Marc-Andre Fleury, Carey Price), which is a relatively successful group, the rest of the goaltending picks in the first round are a serious roll of the dice. Even though he has nothing to do with those numbers, maybe that could affect the appeal of Thatcher Demko, the top goaltending prospect. Forwards in First 30 PicksAverage Rating: 4.96Best: Jaromir Jagr, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin. Ranked 7 or better: 32.7%Ranked 5 or worse: 50.1%At Least 100 NHL Games (or very likely): 73.5% Defencemen in First 30 PicksAverage Rating: 4.71Best: Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, Drew Doughty, Erik Karlsson. Ranked 7 or better: 29.9%Ranked 5 or worse: 53.7%At Least 100 NHL Games (or very likely): 70.6% Goaltenders in First 30 PicksAverage Rating: 4.11Best: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, Tuukka Rask. Ranked 7 or better: 27.2%Ranked 5 or worse: 61.4%At Least 100 NHL Games (or very likely): 50.0% - The 15th pick has been some inexplicable wasteland, the lowest-rated pick of the first 29 and that includes having Erik Karlsson taken there by the Ottawa Senators in 2008. Only 40% of 15th picks played 100 games in the NHL, so best of luck, Detroit. - Beyond the first round, there is better than a 34.0% chance that a second-round pick (31-60) plays 100 NHL games. This falls to about 29.3% of third-round (61-90) picks, 19.3% in the fourth round (91-120), 14.7% in the fifth round (121-150), 15.5% in the sixth round (151-180) and 9.2% in the seventh round (181-210). A neat trick to have sixth-round picks slightly more successful than fifth-round picks, but that speaks to the randomness at play by that point in the draft. Land a Pavel Datsyuk or Andrei Markov or Brian Campbell at that stage and it affects the value. - While I enjoy the draft as much as anyone, and its always interesting to see how teams approach talent acquisition, hopefully these numbers indicate the uncertainty of the process. There are very few sure things on draft day. PICK VALUES No. 1Average Rating: 7.88Best: Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin.Worst: Alexandre Daigle, Patrik Stefan, Rick DiPietro.Ranked 7 or better: 85.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 5.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 100.0% No. 2Average Rating: 7.78Best: Evgeni Malkin, Chris Pronger, Daniel Sedin, Drew Doughty.Worst: Andrei Zyuzin, Pat Falloon.Ranked 7 or better: 90.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 0.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 100.0% No. 3Average Rating: 7.00Best: Scott Niedermayer, Henrik Sedin, Jonathan Toews.Worst: Alexandre Svitov, Aki Berg, Cam Barker.Ranked 7 or better: 80.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 15.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 100.0% No. 4Average Rating: 6.13Best: Paul Kariya, Roberto Luongo, Nicklas Backstrom.Worst: Alexandre Volchkov, Jason Bonsignore, Pavel Brendl.Ranked 7 or better: 50.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 30.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 85.0% No. 5Average Rating: 6.68Best: Jaromir Jagr, Thomas Vanek, Phil Kessel, Carey Price.Worst: Ric Jackman, Stanislav Chistov.Ranked 7 or better: 55.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 10.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 85.0% No. 6Average Rating: 5.25Best: Peter Forsberg, Ryan Smyth, Oliver Ekman-Larsson.Worst: Scott Scissons, Brian Finley, Daniel Tkaczuk.Ranked 7 or better: 45.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 45.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 80.0% No. 7Average Rating: 5.40Best: Jason Arnott, Shane Doan, Ryan Suter.Worst: Ryan Sittler, Alek Stojanov, Lars Jonsson.Ranked 7 or better: 35.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 40.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 90.0% No. 8Average Rating: 4.75Best: Derian Hatcher, Richard Matvichuk, Braydon Coburn.Worst: Scott Glennie, Terry Ryan, Jonathan Aitken, Alexandre Picard, Zach Hamill.Ranked 7 or better: 20.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 45.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 75.0% No. 9Average Rating: 5.03Best: Dion Phaneuf, Logan Couture, Kyle McLaren.Worst: Brent Krahn, Petr Taticek, Brian Lee.Ranked 7 or better: 25.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 55.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 85.0% No. 10Average Rating: 4.68Best: Nik Antropov, Radek Dvorak, Cody Hodgson, Jocelyn Thibault.Worst: Boris Valabik, Mikhail Yakubov, Brad Ference.Ranked 7 or better: 0.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 63.2%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 80.0% No. 11Average Rating: 5.15Best: Jarome Iginla, Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter.Worst: Kyle Beach, Lauri Tukonen, Jeff Heerema, David Cooper.Ranked 7 or better: 35.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 45.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 70.0% No. 12Average Rating: 5.08Best: Marian Hossa, Dan Hamhuis, Ryan McDonagh.Worst: Teemu Riihijarvi, Hugh Jessiman, A.J. Thelen.Ranked 7 or better: 40.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 50.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 70.0% No. 13Average Rating: 5.10Best: Alexander Semin, Ales Hemsky.Worst: Michael Henrich, Marek Zagrapan, Michael Stewart, Joe Hulbig.Ranked 7 or better: 40.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 40.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 70.0% No. 14Average Rating: 5.05Best: Sergei Gonchar, Brent Seabrook.Worst: Sasha Pokulok, Michel Riesen.Ranked 7 or better: 30.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 35.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 80.0% No. 15Average Rating: 3.10Best: Erik Karlsson, Alex Kovalev.Worst: Matt Zultek, Scott Kelman, Artem Kryukov, Igor Knyazev, Jesse Niinimaki.Ranked 7 or better: 20.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 80.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 40.0% No. 16Average Rating: 3.68Best: Markus Naslund, Martin Biron, R.J. Umberger.Worst: Nick Stajduhar, Mario Larocque, Alex Bourret.Ranked 7 or better: 15.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 75.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 60.0% No. 17Average Rating: 4.26Best: Zach Parise, Barret Jackman, Martin Hanzal.Worst: Scott Allison, Brent Bilodeau, Brad Church, Alexei Mikhnov.Ranked 7 or better: 21.1%Ranked 5 or worse: 57.9%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 60.0% No. 18Average Rating: 4.20Best: Glen Murray, Petr Sykora, Brooks Orpik, Jason Smith.Worst: Jesper Mattsson, Jens Karlsson, Chet Pickard.Ranked 7 or better: 20.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 65.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 75.0% No. 19Average Rating: 4.13Best: Ryan Getzlaf, Keith Tkachuk, Martin Straka.Worst: Mark Mitera, Niklas Sundblad, Jakub Koreis.Ranked 7 or better: 25.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 70.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 40.0% No. 20Average Rating: 4.53Best: Martin Brodeur, Alexander Frolov, Brent Burns.Worst: David Fischer, Angelo Esposito.Ranked 7 or better: 25.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 60.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 70.0% No. 21Average Rating: 4.63Best: Saku Koivu, Tuukka Rask.Worst: Libor Polasek, Evgeny Ryabchikov, Anton Gustafsson.Ranked 7 or better: 20.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 55.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 70.0% No. 22Average Rating: 3.83Best: Claude Giroux, Simon Gagne, Max Pacioretty, Jordan Eberle.Worst: Curtis Bowen, Jeff Brown, Nikos Tselios.Ranked 7 or better: 20.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 70.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 60.0% No. 23Average Rating: 4.68Best: Ray Whitney, Todd Bertuzzi, Ryan Kesler.Worst: Mikka Elomo, Craig Hillier, Tyler Cuma.Ranked 7 or better: 35.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 55.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 70.0% No. 24Average Rating: 4.43Best: Mike Richards, Alexander Steen, Daniel Briere.Worst: Dennis Persson, Eric Lecompte, Luca CeredaRanked 7 or better: 25.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 60.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 70.0% No. 25Average Rating: 3.95Best: Brenden Morrow, Cam Ward, Patrik Berglund.Worst: Mikhail Kuleshov, Patrick White, Eric Lavigne, Chad Penney.Ranked 7 or better: 15.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 70.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 70.0% No. 26Average Rating: 4.10Best: Zigmund Palffy, Martin Havlat, David Perron, Cory Schneider.Worst: Nicolas Perreault, Kevin Grimes, Martin Vagner.Ranked 7 or better: 20.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 55.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 60.0% No. 27Average Rating: 3.95Best: Scott Gomez, Steve Staios, Boris Mironov, John Carlson.Worst: Ari Ahonen, Mike Morris, Philippe Paradis.Ranked 7 or better: 20.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 65.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 65.0% No. 28Average Rating: 3.70Best: Corey Perry, Justin Williams, Matt Niskanen.Worst: Brandy Semchuk, Adrian Foster, Jonas Johansson, Nick Petrecki.Ranked 7 or better: 15.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 70.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 50.0% No. 29Average Rating: 3.50Best: Niklas Kronwall, Mike Green.Worst: Chris Gotziaman, Brian Wesenberg, Daultan Leveille.Ranked 7 or better: 10.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 80.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 40.0% No. 30Average Rating: 2.70Best: Sandis Ozolinsh, Jim Slater, David Steckel, Deron Quint.Worst: Rod Pasma, Andy Rogers, Nick Ross.Ranked 7 or better: 5.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 95.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 35.0% No. 31-35Average Rating: 2.83Best: Doug Weight, James Neal, Marc-Edouard Vlasic.Ranked 7 or better: 13.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 84.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 34.0% No. 36-40Average Rating: 2.84Best: Geoff Sanderson, Jozef Stumpel, Bryan McCabe, Brendan Morrison, Jarret Stoll.Ranked 7 or better: 10.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 82.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 34.0% No. 41-45Average Rating: 3.02Best: Patrice Bergeron, P.K. Subban, Paul Stastny.Ranked 7 or better: 11.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 75.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 41.0% No. 46-50Average Rating: 2.69Best: Shea Weber, Milan Lucic, Mike Cammalleri.Ranked 7 or better: 12.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 81.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 32.0% No. 51-55Average Rating: 2.71Best: Patrik Elias, Duncan Keith, Jason Pominville.Ranked 7 or better: 10.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 82.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 33.0% No. 56-60Average Rating: 2.32Best: Zdeno Chara, Michael Nylander, Brandon Dubinsky.Ranked 7 or better: 5.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 89.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 29.0% No. 61-70Average Rating: 2.45Best: Brad Richards, David Krejci, David Backes, Kris Letang.Ranked 7 or better: 5.5%Ranked 5 or worse: 88.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 37.5% No. 71-80Average Rating: 2.32Best: Jonathan Quick, Alexei Zhamnov, Chris Drury, Vinny Prospal.Ranked 7 or better: 8.5%Ranked 5 or worse: 83.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 26.5% No. 81-90Average Rating: 2.16Best: Sergei Zubov, Milan Hejduk.Ranked 7 or better: 6.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 89.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 24.0% No. 91-100Average Rating: 2.10Best: Marc Savard, Patrick Sharp, Alexander Edler, Johan Franzen.Ranked 7 or better: 3.5%Ranked 5 or worse: 90.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 24.5% No. 101-110Average Rating: 1.85Best: Keith Yandle, Christian Ehrhoff, Niklas Hjalmarsson.Ranked 7 or better: 3.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 94.5%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 19.5% No. 111-120Average Rating: 1.68Best: Miikka Kiprusoff, Lubomir Visnovsky, Miroslav Satan.Ranked 7 or better: 4.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 94.5%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 14.0% No. 121-135Average Rating: 1.85Best: Daniel Alfredsson, Jamie Benn, Marty Turco.Ranked 7 or better: 4.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 92.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 16.0% No. 136-150Average Rating: 1.64Best: Ryan Miller, Andrei Kovalenko, Bryce Salvador.Ranked 7 or better: 2.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 94.3%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 13.4% No. 151-165Average Rating: 1.78Best: Peter Bondra, Brian Campbell, Andrei Markov, James Wisniewski.Ranked 7 or better: 5.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 92.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 15.0% No. 166-180Average Rating: 1.74Best: Pavel Datsyuk, Andrew Brunette, Marek Zidlicky.Ranked 7 or better: 2.3%Ranked 5 or worse: 94.0%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 16.0% No. 181-195Average Rating: 1.54Best: Martin Erat, Filip Kuba, Jussi Jokinen.Ranked 7 or better: 2.0%Ranked 5 or worse: 96.3%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 10.3% No. 196-210Average Rating: 1.49Best: Henrik Lundqvist, Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Kaberle.Ranked 7 or better: 2.3%Ranked 5 or worse: 96.3%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 8.0% No. 211+Average Rating: 1.61Best: Tim Thomas, Tomas Vokoun, Pavol Demitra, Kimmo Timonen, Pekka Rinne.Ranked 7 or better: 3.2%Ranked 5 or worse: 94.6%At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 12.0% Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Rob Havenstein Jersey . Various media outlets, including the Detroit Free Press, indicate a deal is close, while USA Today cited an unidentified person directly involved with the negotiations as saying the pact is for two years. Zach Laskey Jersey . -- Mixed martial arts fighter Cristiane Justino Santos has been suspended and fined for testing positive for steroids. http://www.authenticramsfansclub.com/Black-Friday-Maurice-Alexander-Jersey/ . Halak did not get the start in the Washington Capitals Tuesday night game against the St.The new Barclays Premier League season gets underway on Saturday and prior to the first kick, TSN.ca presents a week long look at some of the teams and stories that will shape the up coming campaign. Our first stop is Stamford Bridge where after a third place finish in 2013/14, Jose Mourinho and Chelsea are locked and reloaded for another shot at the title. Manager: Jose Mourinho Last Season: 25-7-6 (third in Premier League) Notable Additions: Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Didier Drogba (Galatasaray), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Mario Pasalic (Hajduk Split). Notable Subtractions: Demba Ba (Besitkas), Ashley Cole (Roma), Samuel Etoo (released), Frank Lampard (New York FC), David Luiz (Paris St-Germain) That was Then: The story of 2013-14 for Chelsea was told not in what they did, but rather what they were unable to do. The Blues were strong against the best teams in the Premiership, losing just once to the top seven opposing clubs all season long and even earning impressive road victories against the two teams that would finish ahead of them in the standings: Liverpool and Manchester City. They even went into the final two weeks of fixtures with a mathematical shot at the title. What went wrong was the teams inability to earn wins over decidedly lesser competition. Of the teams last nine matches, four were against teams that spent considerable time in the relegation zone. Of those matches, they were only able to earn a victory over last-place Cardiff City, and that in the final week of the season. Losses to Sunderland and Crystal Palace and a draw to Norwich City left them with just four points from four matches and – along with a loss to Aston Villa – sunk their chances of making up ground, despite Liverpool letting them back in the race with an embarrassing draw of their own. The positives for the Blues included staying atop the table for nearly two months, a 6-0 thrashing of Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, where they would lose just once all year. As far as Europe goes, Chelsea looked good to advance to a second Champions League Final in three years, taking a 0-0 scoreline back to the Bridge against Atletico Madrid in the semifinal. Disaster would strike there, as well, with the Blues watching three goals bulge their net in the return leg, despite Fernando Torres giving them an early advantage. But a close strike from Adrian equalized and the match was put away when Samuel Etoo fouled Diego Costa, setting up the penalty that would truly put the match away. The team was further hampered by a shoulder injury to keeper Petr Cech in the first leg of the semi, forcing them to rely on Australian back-up Mark Schwarzer. This is Now: So much has changed at the Bridge. One of the greatest players in the clubs history - some might argue the greeatest – has moved on. Alec Ogletree Jersey. Frank Lampard has taken his club record 211 goals and packed up for a move to the MLS in 2015 with the brand-spanking-new New York FC. Following the paths of David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Jermain Defoe before him, Lampard is looking for a fresh start in North America and to lend his celebrity to building the credibility of the league. However, as one all-time great exits another is set to return. (Photo: The Canadian Press) After two years in relative exile with Shenhua Shanghai and Galatasaray, Didier Drogba will once again be donning the Chelsea blue. This move will doubtlessly appeal to the sentiment of the fan base, but the man they are welcoming back is not the same that triumphantly left the club after leading them to a first-ever Champions League title in 2012. Now 36, Drogba put up 15 goals with his Turkish club last season and was a talisman for the Ivorians at the World Cup, seemingly altering the outcomes of games by stepping on the pitch. However, he is no longer a realistic option to be relied upon for 90 minutes. He may provide the leadership that will be left vacant, but expectations should be tempered. The other huge off-season addition is the man that played such a huge role in their Champions League tragedy: Diego Costa. The 25-year-old had a disappointing end to his last campaign, leaving just eight minutes into the Champions Final with a hamstring injury. His year would get worse with Spains early exit from the World Cup, after winning just once in the group stage. (Photo: The Canadian Press) Still, the former Atletico man scored 27 goals last season. That was good enough for third in La Ligas scoring table and just one behind Lionel Messi. When you add that to the man who finished third in La Liga assists – his countryman Cesc Fabregas – the Chelsea attack could be outright fearsome this season. The two should add a proven punch to the young and exciting offence that already boasts the likes of Oscar (22), Eden Hazard (23) and Andre Schuerrle (23) in midfield. How Oscar – along with the likes of Willian and Ramires – bounce back from this summers disappointment in Brazil will be another sideline story to watch. Gone, though, from that group is imposing defender David Luiz. He bolted for Paris Saint-Germain for an incredible 50 million quid. Theres been a lot of change in the group, so it will be interesting to see what Mourinho does with them and whether hes able to avoid the harmful, preventable losses that derailed 2013-14 season. Can "The Special One" be "The Creative One" and get this group firing early and often? Burning Question: With Lampard and Ashley Cole gone and John Terry aging, who steps in to be the future of English football at Stamford Bridge? Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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