The discussion concerning the acquisition of defender Matt Lashoff on Friday got me thinking. We, as a community, tend to throw around the word "prospect" quite often. But should we? How exactly should we define the term? I've heard players such as Lashoff, Hanson, Mueller, and others called prospects. But it seems like they would be more correctly referred to as "projects". Mueller is an undrafted twenty-two year old left winger whose highest level of play is the German Ice Hockey League. At this stage, I have a hard time describing him as a prospect. Considering his level of play, lack of previous interest from North America, and age, shouldn't he be thought of as a project? What can we really expect from a player who tied for 13th in scoring in perhaps the fourth best league in Europe? And what about Christian Hanson? How do we classify him? He's twenty-four, was an undrafted player out of the NCAA, and his role with the organization is ambiguous at best. Where exactly does he fit?
Here's my question for all of you: Should we differentiate between a "prospect" and a "project"? Is there a point that a player should no longer be considered a prospect, but not yet capped out his potential? Would you consider Christian Hanson or Matt Lashoff, twenty-somethings with AHL/NHL experience but yet to clearly define their niche in the sport, still prospects? I would not. But let's hear what you have to say and why.
Links after the jump.
Yakov dissects the Leafs newest acquisition.
The General deals out more of his top commodity: hope.
Michael Traikos of the National Post examines the predictions of The Hockey News.
LeafsHQ examines the MacArthur deal.
MLHS asking the question for the upcoming season.
Vintage Leaf Memories looks at the suddenly cramped battle for spots on the checking lines.
Missed your post? Throw it in the comments.