March 1 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Stefan Elliott (46) skates with the puck during the first period of the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
2011 Cap Hit: 900K
2012 Status: Signed for two more seasons, then he's a RFA
Lauded offensive defensemen Stefan Elliott, the WHL's all-time leading scorer among defensemen, finally made his NHL debut this past season when he was called up from the Lake Erie Monsters about a month into the season. Elliott made a big splash scoring the game winner in his first game on November 26th versus Edmonton, and then notching points in his first 3 games with the Avs. But as his time with the big club wore on, Elliott's offensive output and all-around play suffered from inconsistency and youngster miscues. The rookie's worst stretch came between late January and early March where he went scoreless for 9 games, was a healthy scratch, and eventually got shipped back to the Monsters to get some paying time as opposed to nacho time.
Elliott would finish with 13 points in 39 games in his inaugural NHL season. While that total is neither eye-popping nor tear-jerking, it was created in spurts. Elliot seemed to score in back-to-back games, only to fall silent for a dozen games, then score a couple points back-to-back again, then go cold yet again. That kind of scoring is indicative of his streaky rookie play. For what it's worth, Stefan was 1 of only 3 Avalanche defensemen with a positive +/- (Ryan Wilson +11 & Shane O'Brien +2 were the others).
Stefan's season shouldn't be considered a disappointment as his promising early play did enable General Manager Greg Sherman to clear the logjam along the blueline and move Kyle Quincey for Steve Downie. Elliott also showed enough skill and ability to suggest that his ceiling is as high as expected. He gained a lot of quality experience in both leagues in his first season as a pro, and will continue to develop and iron out the wrinkles in his game. Hopefully his stretch in Lake Erie did well to both improve his game and whet his appetite for the NHL.
Cheryl's Take on Elliott: I like Barrie more betterer.
2012 Outlook: Stefan Elliott fared better in the AHL, scoring 14 points in just 30 games. With a little more seasoning, confidence, and consistency, Stefan should be able to put up similar numbers in the NHL. With his wicked wrister and heavy offensive upside, the Avalanche need him to fill the scoring void (left my John-Michael Liles) on the blueline in 2012-2013. Elliott will have tough competition though as fellow '09 draftee Tyson Barrie (taken just after Elliott with the Avs' 3rd pick in 2009) crept ahead of him on the depth chart late in the season. Depending on what the Avs do with their bevy of unsigned defensemen, Elliott may find himself starting the season in Lake Erie again.
STEFAN ELLIOTT'S 2011-2012 NHL STATS
|with Avs ||GP||G||A||P||+/-||PIM||PPG||SHG||GWG||GTG||SOG||PCT|
|2012 - Stefan Elliott||39||4||9||13||2||8||0||0||1||0||84||4.8|
STEFAN ELLIOTT'S 2011-2012 AHL STATS
|with Monsters ||GP||G||A||P||+/-||PIM||PPG||SHG||GWG||GTG||SOG||PCT|
|2012 - Stefan Elliott||30||5
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