Colorado Avalanche Blogger Roundtable Day 8: Gabriel Landeskog

 

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Three players have scored 50 points as a rookie in an Avalanche uniform: Paul Stastny (78), Matt Duchene (55) and Alex Tanguay (51). Will Gabriel Landeskog become the fourth? What sort of season do you expect from him?

First of all, I somehow borked the question as two other rookies scored 50 points with the Avs (can you guess?). But the meat of the question remains and I was pleasantly surprised that there weren't a lot of outrageous claims in the responses. I think everyone had a very level-headed response with reasonable expectations. In other words, not very blogger-like.

Stephen Crociata, Mile High Sticking and SBNation New York: Gabriel Landeskog will have experts say "I knew he was good, but this good?" I expect Landeskog to be the 4th Avs rookie to score over 50 pts.

Derek Bell, Mile High Hockey: 35 goals, 32 assists for 67 points

David from Slovakia, Eurolanche: I am really surprised by predictions and expectations from the scouts about Landeskog rookie season. He has to be smart player - everybody talks about that. But personally, I really do not know what I should think about it and what should I expect. First of all, he is European and you remember that Colorado has only a few successful European players in the 21st century. In spite of that I expect traditional 50 points from him.

Jaye Horbay, Mile High Sticking: I expect nothing less than 100 points and 2 Calder trophies. That's right, TWO. Okay, seriously though, I don't think at 18 he can be the ‘power forward' that we all project him to be, especially coming straight from the OHL. I think if you throw him with the right line mates, he's got the tools and skill for at least a good 45-60 points, depending if he gets PP time.

Angélique Murray, Colorado Avalanche Prospects, Mile High Hockey & Chicks Who Give A Puck: Gabriel Landeskog is described as the most NHL ready player from the 2011 NHL draft class. I believe the Avs will give him plenty of opportunities to succeed. He should be a consistent fixture on the top two lines and will receive a fair amount of time on the power play. Barring injury, misuse, or time for adjustment to the professional level, a 50 point freshman campaign is not out of the question.

Nic Zamora, Avaholics Anonymous: I expect 50 points out of Landeskog. They've been hyping him up as the most NHL ready prospect in this year's draft class so I believe that his game should be able to translate to the NHL. I don't think the 30 goal mark will be there like with Jeff Skinner in Carolina last season but I could see maybe a 25/25 type of year for him.

Mike Verminski, Put It On Ice: Absolutely. Landeskog will have more points than Duchene and Tanguay, but not as many as Stastny did. He will have a great year similar to the year Duchene had his rookie season. I think Landeskog will have a better year because he has better players to play with.

Brett Shumway, Mile High Hockey: Given top six minutes, Landeskog better score 50 points or I'll be forced to burn all my shirtless drawings of him. I'll do it!! I SWEAR!!!!!

A lot of people pegged him more in the still-respectable 40-point range.

Mike @ MHH, Mile High Hockey: No, 40 points and a couple of healthy scratches (this is Sacco we're talking about).

Austin Snow, Avs Chill Zone: No, he won't. He'll get dang close, though. I think he'll start with a bang and then taper off a bit, before coming on again down the stretch. I think the middle of the season will be spent trying to find who he has the best chemistry with.

Mike Chambers, Denver Post: Not sure. He's probably more ready than Duchene and O'Reilly were two years ago at age 18, so Landeskog has a good chance to be real good right away.

Sandie Gauthier, Mile High Hockey: No I don't think he will.  I like Landeskog. I've seen him play a few games, and I found him to be quite visible during those games.  What I saw I liked, he is a guy who isn't afraid to throw his body around, or if he is afraid he doesn't let that stop him. He also has fantastic vision. He'll do well, but I don't think he'll get the 50 point mark this year.

David Driscoll-Carignan, Mile High Hockey: If you look at the 2nd forward taken in the last few drafts (top 5 picks only), you have Taylor Seguin (22 pts), Duchene (55), JVR (35), Jonathan Toews (54) and Bobby Ryan (10 points in 23 games). Evgeni Malkin had 85, but I don't think anyone is comparing Landy to Malkin. I think 50 might be stretching it; I say 46 which could put him in Calder contention.

Several people pointed out that his production will greatly depend on who he plays with

Ryan Boulding, The Avalanche Guild: If Gabriel Landeskog stays healthy, on a productive line, and can primarily focus on what he does best, then I can see him joining the ranks of the outstanding players listed above. It is important to note that, despite being considered NHL-ready by many scouts, Landeskog has really only played two full seasons of professional hockey. Stastny had two years in the USHL and two years in the WCHA, which was easily the most dominant conference in NCAA division I hockey at the time. Duchene had one year in the OMHA and two years playing in the OHL under his belt and was considered an NHL risk when he started. Tanguay had three years in the QMJHL before making the leap into the NHL and he only had 51 points his rookie season.

The point is that it seems like players who have a longer chance to develop - Stastny - will be able to adapt more rapidly to the highest, most competitive level of their sport. While this isn't a given rule, it is worth considering. Landeskog will certainly be successful and I think he will break 50 if he remains in perfect health and develops a rapport with consistent linemates.

Cheryl Bradley, Mile High Hockey & Avalanche Breakaway: Man, this is a hard one. So much of this depends on what line Landeskog ends up and who his linemates are. Assuming that a first- or second-line left winger is not added to the roster and the rookie plays on a line with Paul Stastny and David Jones, I think he will come close to the 50 point mark though he won't actually reach it. I'm thinking 46 points perhaps. His presence on that line will be critical to the performances of Stastny and Jones. He's going to draw attention and wreak havoc in front of the net and in the corners. That style of play will certainly create opportunities for him; however, his true value will be in the space and time he creates for his linemates.

Aaron Musick, HockeyBuzz: The problem with predicting production from rookie wingers is it relies a lot upon their center. Landeskog could be put on a line with Duchene or Stastny and get 55 points and then again he could be put on a line with Ryan O'Reilly and scrape by with 30. There's also the unknown if Landeskog can handle the bigger and stronger players in the NHL. He was a man among boys in the CHL but now he might be a boy against men. He's not a scorer or playmaker, he's a power forward and if he cannot handle the defensemen in the league, points will be hard to come by.

Andi D, Mile High Hockey: I actually think Landeskog can hit the 50pt mark.  The kid can flat out score.  His goals may not be pretty, but he gets them in the net.  Next year, he'll probably be playing with Stastny or Duchene, both of whom are amazing playmakers and could really benefit from having someone like Landeskog parked in front of the goalie and banging in the rebounds.  There have been some questions raised about how Landeskog's game will translate to the NHL, but from what I've seen, even if the playing field has been leveled as far as size is concerned, he still has quick hands and a knack for finding the holes in a goalie's defense.  I expect to see him as a Top 6 LW, and I expect to hear "Rebound by Landeskog - GOALLLLLL!!!!!" from Mike Haynes around 25-30 times this year. 

Geoff Rosenthal, The Avs Factor: Playing with either Stastny or Duchene? Landeskog shouldn't have a problem hitting 50 points, especially if he's as NHL ready as all the scouts have said. For once, the Avalanche have someone who is BIG and hopefully won't get injured immediately after puck drop.

There were only a couple predicting lower than 40 points, not that there's anything wrong at all with a 35-point rookie season

Adrian Dater, Denver Post: I doubt it. I'm forecasting something like a 14-24-38 season for him.

That certainly would be pretty good for a rookie, but I don't see 50 points. That said, he's got every opportunity in the world to get a top-6 job with this team this year, so I wouldn't die of shock if he ended up making it to 50.

Matt Muzia, SBN Denver: I think 35-40 points this season is optimistic for Landeskog. I have never been high on the pick, and I have concerns about his transition to the size and pace of the NHL. He'll have the advantage of playing with a top center who can create opportunities for him, but there will be plenty of growing pains.

AJ Haefele, Mile High Hockey: No. I've said a few times I think his season will be closer to that of Tyler Seguin's last year. I've started to back off that a bit simply because Landy is likely to be playing more often and with more talented guys than Seguin was on Boston's bottom 6 last season. He'll likely also be given plenty of PP time to shine but anybody expecting a big season from him I think is going to be disappointed. If we get 40 points out of him, we should be thrilled. I think a 30-35 point season is a reasonable goal.

I'm not going to do the math here, but it seems like the average of all the responses is smack dab in the mid-to-upper 40s. I think most people would be perfectly happy with that. Tomorrow, we're going to find out who else is going to have a big year for the Avalanche.

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