Blog Entry

QOTD 6/20/09 Breakout Player 2009-2010

Posted on: June 20, 2009 12:52 am
Which NHL player on your favorite team do you think will be have a breakout year in 2009-2010? Every year, we see players come out of nowhere and put up big numbers.  Since its the offseason, I thought it would be fun to try and guess who it will be next year.

My pick is Tylers Kennedy.  This (or is it last?) season he put up 15 goals, 20 assists, and 35 points.  That is decent, but I can see him getting 25 goals, 5z+ points next season.   That is if he can stay healthy.  In the 2007-2008 season, he started off great and looked like he was going to be a top 6 foreward.  Then he caught mononucleosis, lost a lot of weight and never fully recovered.  In 2008-2009, he was starting to come along again until he sprained his knee and missed 14 games.  It took him a while to get fully healthy, and once he was he was a force on the ice.  A full year of him with Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke could mean big numbers for Kennedy.

How about yours?  And in my next QOTD entry, I will be asking about the biggest 09-10 bust/down year.


Since: May 13, 2009
Posted on: June 23, 2009 8:23 am

QOTD 6/20/09 Breakout Player 2009-2010

As a Red Wings fan, I see Jiri Hudler having a break out year. He had 23 goals and 57 points, while only averaging a little over 13 minutes a game. He is a restricted free agent this summer, and I see a team making a move for him. This year he was paid $1.05 million. I can see a team offering him $1.5-2 million, and making a first or second liner. The Wings won't be able to match the offer, beause of salary cap problems, and will be happy with the draft pick compensation. I think that if Hudler gets 16-18 minutes a game, he could be a 75-85 point scorer.

Since: Mar 18, 2008
Posted on: June 21, 2009 2:15 am

QOTD 6/20/09 Breakout Player 2009-2010

Easily my vote goes to Marc Edouard Vlasic.  One of the most interesting things I noticed as he was paired with blake this last season, was that between the two, Vlasic looked hands down like the experienced veteran over blake.  That's impressive from a 22 year old in just his third NHL season.  The stats are just a fraction of the story behind vlasic, he's got the 36 points and a +15, but what's more impressive is the fact that you never notice him.  At first thought that sounds like a bad thing, until you start watching him and realize that the reason you don't notice him is because he never makes a mistake!  What's really impressive is that when you really break down the sharks' scoring, you start to notice a trend that half of our goals come from setting up in the offensive zone off of Vlasic's stick.

But this isn't just a post about why he's good, this is a post about why he will be a breakout player.  Obviously I've watched his whole career.  His rookie season was all defensive, playing it safe, and getting down the fundamentals.  The next season he really got those fundamentals cemented, and quickly became the teams most reliable d-man, and the coaching staff noticed, putting him on the ice for more minutes than anyone else on the team.  This season, Vlasic started taking the next step, testing the waters on the offensive end of things.  Blake already says he's possibly the most fundamentally sound defenseman he's ever seen, and Doug Wilson said he's the best young blueliner he's seen in 30 years.  Vlasic just started testing his offensive capabilities for the first time in his career, and he did it without sacrificing any of his defensive instincts, next season, expect him to do more than just "test" his offensive side.

Vlasic has make massive improvements going into each season of his career, including his rookie season when he came to training camp far better than anyone thought he'd be, I'm just waiting to see what kind of player he is when next season roles around.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: June 20, 2009 1:01 pm

QOTD 6/20/09 Breakout Player 2009-2010

At this point I would gladly take any Ranger having a breakout year. They all play like old men for the most part haha

But in all seriousness, I think Brandon Dubinsky will emerge and possibly be a top 6 forward by the end of the season. In the series against Washington, he was arguably the most consistent player they had. Every game, you could look at the best line, and 9 times out of 10 he would be on that line. His effort and desire rubs off on everyone, and he seems to know what to say better than the captains on the team. He kills penalties, plays physical, and is ready to break out. If he shoots the puck a bit more, he'll score 15-20 goals. I'm hoping he breaks out because they desperately need someone to step up haha

Since: May 13, 2007
Posted on: June 20, 2009 3:13 am

QOTD 6/20/09 Breakout Player 2009-2010

Claude Giroux, without a doubt. The guy had a great "rookie" campaign (I say "rookie" because he played 2 games for us in 2007-08) and led the team in points in the playoffs. He has great vision and I compare him to a less physical Mike Richards. I think it is going to be him, Briere and Powe on the 3rd line, which will be a helluva 3rd line. Briere has the experience, and Giroux and Powe have the youth to really be something special. I'm sure you saw the kid in game 3 against your boys, where he made Gonchar and Scuderi (I think, maybe it was Orpik or someone else though) look silly and set Simon Gagne up for a shortie.

I expect big things from our top 3 guys, Gags, Richards and Carter, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Giroux be among the top 3 in scoring for us next season.

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