Fifteen years later, Peter Forsberg has retired. Fifteen years later, the Flyers may have found the next Foppa.
Philadelphia's rookie Claude Giroux has impressed just about everyone that has seen him play this season, including his own team.
It's not just the media and fans (including myself) making the premature comparison to Forsberg, one of his former teammates and current Flyer Simon Gagne has even said that Giroux reminds him of Forsberg.
Before you start crucifying me as a homer and my opinion is biased, comparing the two is the extreme, and I know that.
At the same time, the comparison fits. Giroux has many of the skills that Forsberg had, the keen hockey sense, the great vision, the excellent playmaking ability and like Forsberg, Giroux can help in the other end as well.
In 33 games played this year, Giroux has scored four goals and racked up 15 helpers. Those aren't fantastic numbers per say, but that are impressive for a rookie in only 33 games.
Among rookie forwards, he ranks 24th in points but he has one less point than the third pick of the 2007 NHL Draft Kyle Turris and he ranks eighth with a plus-10 rating.
John Stevens changed up the lines once again on Mar. 20 for the game against the Buffalo Sabres, and took Mike Richards—team's best player—off the top line and switched him with Giroux.
Richards now centers Joffrey Lupul and Daniel Carcillo.
Since being promoted to the top line, Giroux has four points in five games and the top line has produced five goals and seven assists.
The skill set is there, the vision, the playmaking ability and the hockey sense, it's just a matter of time before Claude Giroux becomes a superstar and if Chris Therien is correct, he'll a top-five player in the league.
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