January 02 2014 02:25PM
A couple of standout performances have vaulted two players up the charts this month. We’ll review those players and more in our December NHLE update - hit the jump.
Johnny Gaudreau’s monster of a season continues. This past weekend, he had 5 points in just over 25 minutes of ice time. There aren’t enough plaudits to describe the amount of damage he’s doing to the NCAA.
Sean Monahan’s production has fallen off of a cliff when compared to the first month of the season. A little bit of that dip can be attributed to his foot injury - he just took his walking boot off yesterday - but most of it is directly resulting in his play being, for lack of a better word, awful. By most of the advanced metrics he’s had his head bashed a little more than usual in the past few weeks, and it’s shown on the eye test as well. His recent demotion to the fourth line is deserved. I think he’ll improve marginally but this is the type of play that comes from 19 year-olds: it’s not just Monahan specifically. Expect the rest of the year to look like this.
Emilé Poirier netted a hat trick last week to bring his totals back into elite territory. If the Flames expect him to be a top-line winger, they’ll be happy to know he’s tracking that way.
Sven Baertschi hasn’t had the luck go his way since being sent down to Abbotsford. He has just one goal in 5 games - but he’s also produced 15 shots in that time. If we get into February and he still isn’t scoring, that is when we can start to freak out, but for right now he’s fine and he’s where he should have spent all of last year. I don’t understand the want to rush skill players.
Morgan Klimchuk has spent most of his time since the last NHLE update with the World Junior camps but he’s also had a couple of nagging injuries preventing him from getting into the line-up. Same deal with Coda Gordon, without the World Junior aspect.
Markus Granlund has been deadly in Abbotsford thus far. His shooting percentage is likely unsustainable but I don’t expect his eventual regression to have a huge impact on his NHLE.
Mike Ferland and Max Reinhart are both hitting their stride. Ferland’s SH% is still a wee bit high, while Reinhart’s SH% is a still a wee bit low. Reinhart is producing an insane amount of shots - almost three per game.
Mark Jankowski increased his shots marginally month-over-month to about 1.9 per game. That’s still not good enough and he’s still shooting at 21%. However, he still isn’t getting assists, so I’m going to chalk up about 30% of his low point total to luck.
Keegan Kanzig scored 2 points in one game this month. Yeah, I know. His overall total is still, uh, disappointing.
Tyler Wotherspoon’s numerous nagging injuries have prevented him from really picking up any steam the last month or so. He’s only played 5 games since the end of November.
John Gilmour’s season has hit the regression line after his nice start. Providence as a whole were due for some regression (not scoring much + superb goaltending = temporary results). He’s still doing well for a 7th rounder, even considering his over-age status in this year’s draft.
Brett Kulak has been keeping up his PPG pace. The Giants’ leading scorer is 20, so his offensive dominance is probably helped along a little by the people he’s playing against. Regardless, the Flames might have found another NHL defenseman in the draft’s later rounds.
Eric Roy is still scoring at a good pace. I didn’t know Roy was 6’3 - his skating ability is even more impressive now. Keep a watch for this guy. You'll also notice that Rushan Rafikov has gotten a bit of a bump - I went back and tried to make a better translation factor for the MHL and got .249.
Last month’s prediction is a push since Janko didn’t get to the shot total I had hoped for. Thus, I’m 0-1-1 on the season. This month’s prediction is relating to Sven Baertschi - he’ll get back to the 35 point mark by this time next month.