Every year there is a guy (or 10) that utterly and completely fails to live up to expectations. Sometimes it is because expectations are too high, and other time, they just stink. Let’s take a quick look at some of the guys who fit the bill this year, and what we can expect moving forward.
Just as a note, I didn’t consider guys who had injury problems, as they’re a bit more random than performance issues. So while Nicklas Backstrom’s 42 point season was disappointing, it was still impressive that he posted that total in 40 games.
While it is accepted among fantasy owners that if you draft Semin you are only going to get 60-70 games, there is also an expectation that he should be able to put up 70-75 points, despite limited playing time. This season, it was not the case. After being on average the 38th player off the board in Yahoo! leagues, Semin posted a dismal 52 points in 75 games. It is ironic that his healthiest season is also one of the worst of his career. We need to wait and see where he ends up this off-season before we make a final judgment, but at the very least his shooting percentage (3% below career average) should improve a few ticks.
Skinner was off to a decent start before getting his bell rung by Andy Sutton on December 7th. After coming back from the concussion, he posted only 20 points in 31 games, and clearly wasn’t quite the same player. As the reigning Calder Trophy winner and 56th overall selection, more was obviously expected. Again it’s tough to judge him based on the stats, but I would recommend treading lightly next season as we have all seen the devastating affects that concussions can have on a young players career.
Clowe was perhaps a victim of overly high expectations this season, as his 62 point 2010-11 performance was well above his usual 82 game production. However, he has suffered from some tough luck this year, and his 8.5% shooting percentage is over 3% off his career average. Hopefully your fellow managers have short memories and you can steal Clowe next year. Expect him to be back in the 50 point range assuming the Sharks don’t blow up their team.
Honourable mention to Matt Duchene, Christian Ehrhoff, Mike Cammalleri, Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy and many more