hockey superstar, is making a name for himself in the ranks of the
National Hockey League. It will only be after several years in the
league that those comparisons will start to diminish.
continues to create excitement on the ice with his talent and
ability…talents that many saw him use to his full capacity while playing
in the Compuware system and with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL.
Nashville Predators assistant coach Brent Peterson. “He’s only
20-years-old, he’s still learning the game, and yet we’ve thrown him
into the lineup every night and he’s handled it well.”
but the tools are there.
matures,” says Peterson, a former Detroit Red Wing, who played with the
Wings back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, before Legwand was even
born. “He’s a Modano-style player, with terrific skills and he’s done
as much as we want him to.”
been a big part of the climb for Legwand, who has 9 goals and 23 assists
for 32 points in 64 games so far this season for the Predators.
game and you realize it’s all about total team effort,” he remarks, as
the Predators make a late-season push for the playoffs.
crazy Metro Detroit area. “It was good growing up in the big hockey
city…very exciting,” he says. He even still keeps up with his old team,
the Whalers, who speak very fondly of him.
Plymouth Whalers, who coached Legwand when he played Bantams for
Compuware in the Tier II system, says Legwand’s speed and vision could
not be matched.
his skating ability, his size and speed, there was no doubt in our minds
what he could do for us, the Whalers and even beyond.”
Peterson, compare the youngster to…you guessed it, Mike Modano. But,
it’s extremely high praise, considering what Modano accomplished, both
in Michigan youth hockey and in the NHL with the Dallas Stars.
says DeBoer. “He was a 50-goal scorer, an MVP as a rookie, and that’s
the first time in a couple decades that that has happened.”
Modano-the path to greatness.
Predators’ Peterson says it really goes back to the way Legwand was used
to playing at the junior level.
doing,” says Peterson. “Back in juniors you basically give a guy like
David the puck and let him go.”
more consistent. Offensive and defensive continuity, combined inside a
player, is something Legwand knows too that he must continue to improve
says Legwand, the Predators very first draft selection in franchise
history and the very first first-rounder to play for Nashville. “I’m
trying to become more solid in my own zone, mainly become a better
is not intimidated playing against some of the greatest stars’ in the
game, like Peter Forsberg of Colorado, Steve Yzerman of the Red Wings or
even Modano. Legwand handles the idea of playing against those
giants-giants that he certainly looks up to-as just other players on the
ice whom he has to play against.
It’s not like you look over your shoulder and say, ‘Wow, there’s Steve
opened his eyes from day one and is the impetus for him to improve.
he says. “It doesn’t come right away, but eventually you get there,”
says the budding superstar, drawing comparisons with himself to stars
such as former Soo Greyhounds’ star Joe Thornton (now with the Boston
Bruins) and even Modano.
in Michigan, that helped him get to this point and will propel him
lot of those levels,” says Legwand. “I even keep up with some of my old
forget who helped him along. And we won’t forget how good he really is.