Just before the midway point of the 2006-2007 NHL season, Dobberhockey.com staff helped contribute towards the Midseason Guide. Besides insider tips, trade rumors, prospect information and more, there was a breakdown of the player’s current pace as well the projected totals. Now that the 2006-2007 NHL season is over we can tally the stats and compare which players performed above or below their midseason pace.
There is no doubt that this young team will turn things around with all of their talent. Alexander Frolov proved the first half of the season was no fluke. He finished above his mid season pace registering a balanced 35 goals and 36 assists. Anze Kopitar slowed down the second half of the season (-9 points off of his mid season pace). Kopitar does have talent and will continue to develop and get better. The biggest difference maker was Mike Cammalleri. He had a very strong second half finishing with 80 points, that’s +16 points above his mid season pace. Cammalleri will be among the top scoring centers next season.
Brian Rolston had a fantastic start, as did his team. As the second half of the season rolled on, Rolston slowed down. He finished 9 points off his mid season pace. Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik clicked very well the second half of the season. Both finished slightly above pace. Despite health concerns, Gaborik finished with 57 points in 48 games. While Petteri Nummelin finished -10 points off of his midseason pace, one must consider that he played 31 less games than projected. If healthy for a full season, he could reach 40 points.
Of Montreal’s top 10 scorers at mid season, only one of them finished above pace (Michael Ryder: 2 points above pace). There are two noteworthy individuals however; center Tomas Plekanec finished with 47 points (+21 points over his mid season pace of 26 points). Plekanec role was increased with the injury to Chris Higgins. When Higgins did return, he was not scoring at the pace he was prior to the injury. Higgins however, does have some dark-horse potential. The other standout was Andrei Kostitsyn. This youngster scored 11 points in 22 games. He has proven himself to be a solid scorer in the AHL and has the potential to score more than the touted Guillaume Latendresse.
While Alexander Radulov finished with 37 points (-9 points off his mid season pace), there is no doubt that he will be a scoring threat soon. It almost seems as if Nashville never maximized Radulov’s potential until the playoffs. While Steve Sullivan finished with more than a point per game, he only played 57 games. At mid season he was on pace to score 89 points. Sullivan has played 14 seasons in the NHL; only in 2 of those seasons, has he played more than 80 games. He is a band aid boy with major up swing potential. Shea Weber and Ryan Suter should benefit from the recent departure of Kimmo Timonen. Look for them to produce even more next season, especially Weber.
Despite being a defensmen on a defensive minded team, Brian Rafalski finished with 55 points (+6 above his mid season pace). Rafalski is a unrestricted free agent. While there have been rumors regarding Scott Gomez not returning, it will be shocking if Rafalski does not return. Brian Gionta continued to disappoint fantasy ownersa the second half of the season. He finished with 45 points in 62 games (-18 points his mid season pace and a far cry from the prior season’s 89 points). Gionta has too much talent and grit to not rebound next season. One player key to the Devils success throughout the years has been John Madden. He finished +9 points above his midseason pace. Despite getting injured and missing a few games, Madden has always seemed to score at the right time for the Devils.
New York Islanders
Believe it or not Alexei Yashin at mid season was on a pace to score 92 points. He finished with 50 points in 58 games. His contract was recently bought out. He will not be returning to the Islanders and could be a bargain for which ever team he lands up on. Jason Blake also slowed down the second half probably related to the disappearance of Yashin. He finished with 69 points (-20 off his mid season pace of 89 points). The biggest gainer on the Islanders was Trent Hunter. Hunter finished with 35 points (+17 above his mid season pace). Hunter has been inconsistent throughout his career. Marc Andre Bergeron finished with 46 points (+12 above his mid season pace). Please note that since joining the Islanders, Bergeron scored 21 points in 23 games. He provided a much needed threat on the power play. Next season look for him to continue to score at a strong pace.
New York Rangers
While the Rangers had a fantastic second half of the season, their top forwards numbers do not really show it. Their top four scorers (Jaromir Jagr, Michael Nylander, Martin Straka, and Brendan Shanahan) all finished below significantly below mid season pace. However, the slack was picked up by Sean Avery, Ryan Callahan, Karel Rachunek and Marcel Hossa. Defensemen Karel Rachunek finished with 26 points as projected, but did so in only 66 games. Rachunek’s future with the Rangers is unknown with the abundance of young talent. If given the opportunity to shoot more and play more time on the pwer play, Rachunek could put up very good numbers. Marcel Hossa finished +9 points his mid season pace. That jump can be contributed to Martin Straka’s injury and Hossa getting time on the top line. If Hossa gets to play on the top line from the start of next season, he will surprise many people.