Hobbs was a late cut last year and made the World under 17's this past summer. The Tigers have 5 Defenceman who are 19+ yrs, and I guess he wasn't happy playing 3rd line minutes. Their have been some good comments and discussion in the comments section so I have decided to make a post on this.
First I want to say we as fans don't know what he was going through. Their could have been behind the scenes factors; Maybe he wasn't getting along in the dressing room? Maybe he didn't agree with the coaches style of play or they were trying to alter his game?
Maybe he wasn't getting along with the billets? Maybe he was just having a tough time figuring himself out? Their are a lot of external factors we don't know about. Maybe he was just shy and didn't know how to express his thoughts and this is his way of dealing with it. Maybe he is getting bored of hockey and thought a trade would spice things up?
It very well could have been an agent pushing in his ear. Maybe one of his goals is getting drafted and feels like in his current situation he wasn't playing at a level in which that could happen. Can you really blame someone for trying to improve his situation where he wasn't happy? If that is the case I respect his decision.
I hope that he has thought about his decision carefully, because sometimes you don't realize how good you may have it until it is no longer there.
I believe that if he has never had any previous discussions about his situation with the Tigers, I would be extremely disappointed in how he handled it. If that was the case it would be better if he left this season, than perhaps later on where he would have been in a position of being more depended on. Next season he would have been guaranteed top 4, perhaps even top 2 with the turnover on the back-end.
Getting drafted is just the first step. Getting signed is what counts.
Connor Hobbs Future
If his goal is to get drafted this year, is a walk-out really the best option? The Tigers look to have one of the better teams in the league this year. Having a solid supporting cast can help make yourself look good. When you have forwards making themselves available for passing options, it looks a lot better than having no options and getting forced to eat the puck to a turn-over. Scouts are pretty damn smart and can tell the difference of a good player behind good experience, this league is highly scouted.
He will leave a decent hockey situation, with uncertainty as to when he will play next and where he will play next. If he doesn't get dealt until Christmas or January, he won't have had a lot of viewings by scouts and he will have missed a little bit of development time. If you look at the players with less WHL experience they don't get drafted that often, or if they do generally a lower pick.
If the reputation comes out that he never formally talked about being unhappy that could also damage his reputation. At the beginning of the season I would have initially pegged him as a possible 3-5th round pick. With the level of his play this season I would have considered a 6-7th round selection, possibly just a camp invite selection. Connor wasn't playing like he could, and has more potential than what he has been showing.
I'm trying to be impartial here, and being a big Tigers fan that's probably impossible. I think he benefits is if he gets traded, plays first/second line minutes and becomes an integral part of a teams core defense. If he is thrown into a situation where he is eating 2nd line minutes and is playing inconsistent, then this move does nothing for him and could potentially damage his case.
Blessing in Disguise
The Tigers now have a valuable piece to acquire help in any area they feel weak in. With the injury to Eisenschmid their overall scoring depth may need boosting. Matt Staples suddenly has new life and may fit in the picture as a needed defenceman again.