May 17 2012 02:03PM
Siblings are inevitably compared to one another throughout their lives.
In the sporting world, that's often magnified - usually siblings are the product of the same developmental system, they've probably had the same opportunities growing up and more often then not they play on the same teams together (age dependent, of course).
Markus Granlund is likely to end up in the same sentences as his brother, Mikael, for a long time yet. Markus, the Flames third pick in last year's draft (2nd round, 45th overall), has been dealing with comparisons to his brother for a while now. Everywhere you look, the elder Granlund is mentioned along with him.
But he doesn't see that as a bad thing - and indeed, being compared to the player often talked about as the best non-NHLer (or rather, not-yet-NHLer) on the planet can't be hurting his reputation. At the same time, though, he often talks about how he and Mikael are different players.
"I have my own style, but he's my brother, so of course we learn from each other," Markus said to NHL.com in this interview. From first-hand experience, I can tell you that quote is very true.
|Player||Kent||Justin||WI||Scott||VF||Arik (Not Counted)|
*Reminder - The evaluators were asked to rank players, and we sorted the rankings via a simple point scale-number 15 on each list got one point, while number 1 on each list got 15. The criteria for who was included was pretty simple: players the Flames control who are 23 and under (excluding Mikael Backlund, since he's already a bona fide NHLer).
Even though Granlund is under 6 feet (barely - 5'11) and only 172 pounds (but he just turned 19 a month ago), he plays a style of game that's an odd combination of skill and muck. When the World Juniors were held in Calgary and Edmonton in December/January, I had the chance to see him in action for a couple of games live. Obviously the caveats are in place regarding small sample size, but to me Markus is a straight-up playmaker, almost to a fault.
He has that one second too late syndrome - you know, the thing guys like Alex Tanguay have - where he holds on to the puck in an attempt to make a play when he probably should've just shot instead and ends up killing the chance. Obviously, that is a huge problem, and probably something that will be much more apparent in faster leagues. Various scouting reports say his skating could use some help, but he seemed to move around the ice just fine when I saw him.
He had an excellent season last year, playing with HIFK Helsinki of the SM-liiga where he put up 34 points in 47 games as an 18-year old. The guy is just slick out there, as he also seems to have that uncanny ability where he can avoid contact if he chose to but often instead throws his body around.
I like the way the kid plays, that's for sure... but we'll have to wait until he's done with his military service to see him really up close and personal.
|Player||Kent||Justin||WI||Scott||VF||Arik (NC)||Final Rank|