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.
Even a terrible team could not prevent Antoine Vermette from breaking out.
After years of showing his potential in Ottawa, the general consensus thought Vermette could thrive in a different environment– one that would let him play that number one center role. In the Nation’s capitol, Jason Spezza holds that card and unfortunately the 28-year-old fell behind him on the depth chart. The talent has been there, the kind that makes average fans salivate while watching and crave on their television set.
A deeper league which holds more than two center positions would be safe drafting Vermette. Aside from the inconsistent Derrick Brassard and maybe RJ Umberger the Blue Jackets know they are too weak down the middle to not play the speedy pivot with Rick Nash. He may go through slumps but the Quebec native may be finally reaching his potential. An improvement on his 27 goals and 65 points could almost be expected… after-all someone needs to score in Columbus.