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.
Just look at the blue line in Anaheim.
Lubomir Visnovsky clearly will lead the blue line if he can stay healthy all season but who else would you put out there on the powerplay? Lethal weapons like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan can fill the nets with the best of them but the defense has a gaping hole named Scott Niedermayer.
Outside of Visnovsky, Toni Lydman and maybe Sheldon Brookbank could see powerplay time if Cam Fowler fails to make the roster out of training camp. Fresh off a Memorial Cup win with the Windsor Spitfires and taking home the gold in the World Juniors Hockey Championship, the recent first selection holds the pedigree and his destiny in his own hands. Just days before the draft there were rumors of the Florida Panthers taking him with their third overall pick.
His skill alone could make a player like Brendan Mikkelson, Brett Festerling or even Andy Sutton take a seat on the bench if he can break camp.
Consider this recommendation coming with an asterisk. A quick glance at the rookie defenseman class would show several promising players broke camp and made a fantasy impact. Fowler could be this year’s Michael Del Zotto or Erik Karlsson; probably a bit small to be Tyler Myers.