Claude Giroux : Super Star in the NHL

The Philadelphia Flyers are off to a great start this season. A huge part of that is because of the play from center Claude Giroux. As of now, Claude is tied for 2nd in the league with 22 points(11 G, 11A). Those numbers alone show he is a complete offensive player. He can score goals himself and has the vision to set his wingers up for goals. He is great on the power play and the PK, though I don’t think the Flyers want their star player laying down to block too many shots anymore. Over the summer the Flyers traded away Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, which clearly shows that they have confidence in Claude to lead this team to the Cup. The question remains, is Claude Giroux one of the top 15 forwards in the NHL?

In my opinion, yes he is. There are not many players in the NHL that I would take over him. He is younger than most of the guys that we see at the top of the leader boards in points year after year. Guys like Joe Thornton, Jarome Iginla and the Sedin twins can still play the game at the highest level, but they are in their early to mid 30’s and Claude is only 23 years old. I would put him right up there with any player in the league. The only guys that come to mind that are in a leauge of their own are Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. However, with Crosby’s concusion issues and Ovechkins sub-par last season, Claude might be at the top of the mountain come the end of this season. He plays the game like Peter Forsberg did back in his day. He isn’t quite as big as Pete, which makes it harder for him to throw those big hits like Forsberg did, but everything else about his game is the same. He has a better goal scoring touch than Pete did and his vision looks to be just as good as Forsberg’s.

Claude Giroux plays the game a lot like Jonathan Toews does. He has just as much talent and heart that Toews does. Toews already has a Stanley cup and an Olmypic gold medal. If Claude Giroux can bring the Flyers the same accomplishments that Toews have brought to the Blackhawks, then Philadelphia will be one happy city. He has done so much already while playing as a third line center behind Richards and Carter. Now that they are gone, he has the opportunity to be on a line with the best wingers the Flyers can put him with. Most notably, James van Riemsdyk and future Hall of famer, Jaromir Jagr.

When the time comes for Chris Pronger to retire, there is no doubt in my mind that Giroux will be wearing the “C” in Philadelphia. The Flyers have not had a young player like this in a long time. Bobby Clark, Brian Propp and Eric Lindros are three of the biggest names in Flyers history as offensive super stars. Claude Giroux will be added to that list over the next few years.

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