I know we are past the quarter mark for the season, but its never to late to do some grades on what we’ve seen so far. We’ll be looking at the forwards in this first edition with the defense and goalies coming up later. All players reviewed will have had to have played in a minimum of 10 games to be considered. First we’ll take a look at a few notables.
*Grades weren’t given out by their total points, but rather by what we expect from them vs what they have shown us this year so far*
Claude Giroux – A
You have to start with Claude Giroux when talking about the Philadelphia Flyers and so far this season the 30-year-old left winger has put 11 goals, 27 assist for 38 points in 29 games, averaging 1.31 points per game. Over 82 games, that’s a 106 points, which would be another career year for the then-31-year-old left winger.
Sean Couturier – B+
Coots moved up to the number one center position last year when Giroux moved to left wing. Ever since, Couturier has taken off. This year with 12 goals, 11 assists, and 23 points in 27 games, you hope Couturier can keep it up. However, he has been guilty of making some bone headed passes and turnovers, or having a wide open net and completely missing the opportunity. At this time, he is currently the 2nd line center after coming back from an injury and is with Michael Raffl and Jake Voracek.
James van Riemsdyk – C+
Lets talk about the big free agent signing. After missing 16 games after being injured in the 2nd game of the season, JVR has been… less than stellar. After signing a 5 year, 35 million dollar contract in the off season, 3 goals and 7 points in 13 isn’t horrible, but we expect better from JVR and hopefully being put on on the top line with G will be the kick he needs to get it going.
Nolan Patrick – C
Okay, so maybe he’s in his sophomore slump. Sitting with 5 goals and 10 points in 26 games isn’t what we were expecting out of the former 2nd overall draft pick. At times he has looked lost on the ice, and its understandable he may not be playing with confidence right now. I want the Nolan Patrick back from last year and want him back now.
To keep the article from getting too long, we’ll quickly go through the remaining players and grades.
Scott Laughton (6g-5a-11p) 29 games played – B
Jakub Voracek (8g-16a-24p) 29 games played – B-
Travis Konecny (9g-10a-19p) 29 games played – B-
Wayne Simmonds (10g-4a-14p) 29 games played – C+
Oskar Lindblom – (4g-7a-11p) 29 games played – C+
Dale Weise – (4g-5a-9p) 26 games played – C+
Jordan Weal – (3g-4a-7p) 21 games played – C-
Michael Raffl – (0g-4a-4p) 15 games played – C-
Jori Lehtera (1g-2a-3p) 23 games played – F
By: Mike Bailey (mbailey010)
photo credit: philly.com