Most likely to Succeed is our newest series which points out one player from every team and explains why that player is poised to increase their point totals. While some teams may have more than one player likely to breakout and some none, we will focus on the ones who actually should improve with a full healthy season. File this article under a sleeper-type but sleepers would not be called that if people saw them coming.
With Tim Kennedy out of the picture, Tyler Ennis can now take some of those valuable minutes and provide some of his lethal scoring.
Despite his diminutive stature, the former first round pick put up an impressive nine points in 10 regular season games and four points in six playoff games making us wonder why the Sabres kept him on the farm when the big club desperately needed scoring.
Something will need to give to allow Ennis to play as a top two center, or maybe last year’s early playoff exit to a Division Rival would be enough to allow Lindy Ruff to slot him on a wing slot alongside Derek Roy or Tim Connolly. Either option looks good for a budding young scorer and Connolly won’t be winning any iron man awards anytime soon.
If Ennis can play a a level similar to every stop he made last season, he will succeed at the NHL level. His 65 points in 69 games led all Portland Pirates not named Mark Mancari– just scary numbers for a 19-year-old. Consider him at a similar level as Jordan Eberle but without the International bragging rights. In fact, the two were considered very similarl during their draft years and were selected pretty close to each other.
Keep an eye out for all 5’9″ of Ennis this next season, he could prove more doubters wrong; as he has done his entire career.