|A look in the past to prepare for the future||Tweet|
|Written by Ryan Ma|
|Wednesday, 26 March 2008 17:59|
Many fantasy hockey expert’s have differing theories of how a player develops. Those that were highly touted could end up being just as they were projected and become superstars in the league. While others seem to be completely the opposite and become big-time NHL busts. Generally speaking, we’ll usually know by their “magical” fourth year whether they have true fantasy potential or not. This week we’ll evaluate five players who are in or going into their fourth season with their clubs to see whether or not they truly have developed to their true potential or are they going to become a bust.
He started off his rookie season with 22 points, then 47 in his sophomore season, 62 in his junior year, and projects to finish his graduation year with 63 point this season. His 6’2” and 229 pound frame, seems to be very comparable to Flames Captain, Jarome Iginla, who stands at 6’1” and 205 pounds. They both also play a very similar physical style of hockey, which would certainly assume a similar development curve for Horton as the one experienced by Iggy. Iginla had been a bit healthier than Horton when he starting his NHL career and managed to play in 311 contests, where he garnered 196 points, in the first four years of his NHL career. The fifth year for Iginla was his breakout year where he broke the 70 point plateau and he then managed to tally 96 the next year, the fifth year could very well be Horton’s breakout year as he now added another year of experience under his belt playing with Stephen Weiss and David Booth.
The third player we’ll analyze is the Ukrainian Nikolai Zherdev, who was selected fourth overall in the 2003 NHL entry draft. Zherdev has had a bit of a roller-coaster ride to start his young NHL career. Zherdev has played 276 games for the Blue Jackets so far in the past four years, and has registered 75 goals and 103 assists in those contests. Zherdev’s problem doesn’t seem to be a lack of skill, but seems to be a lack of work ethic or motivation.
This year coach Ken Hitchcock managed to light a fire under Zherdev as he set a new career high in points scored with 58, he should finish the season by breaking the 60 point plateau for the first time in his career this season. Zherdev’s 6’2” and 197 pound frame seems very similar to Alex Mogilny’s frame of 6’0” and 210 pounds. If Zherdev played with as much heart as Mogilny did to start his NHL career with the Sabres, Zherdev would probably be a lot closer to the 318 points that Mogilny put up by his fourth year than he is now.
The Blue Jackets should be revamped next season, as outstanding playmaking prospect Derick Brassard, number two on Dobber’s prospect list, and talented young scoring sensation Jakub Voracek, number eight on Dobber’s prospect list, should be joining the big league party next season. The Jackets also currently have the sixth overall pick in this season’s NHL entry draft and could go with another Russian in Nikita Filatov, if he happens to fall lower in the draft, or Danish prospect Mikkel Boedker would both be great fits for the young up-and-coming Jackets. Zherdev should be in for a big season next year and definitely someone to keep in mind for next season’s draft.