Who's going to be the breakout player this season? Any surprises out of camp? What about let downs?
Breakout: Barrie. I think he puts up 50+ points.
Surprises out of camp: Hishon. I think he makes Roy keep him and consider using him on the 3rd line with Mitchell and Briere. I also think a defensive prospect makes Roy consider keeping him up: my two guesses are Siemens or Gersten.
Let down: O’Reilly. I think he dips to 20-25 goals. Still is stellar defensively and still puts up 60-70 points, but he’s not the leading scorer. I think Landy leads the team in goals.
I think Holden is the most likely to be a letdown, especially offensively. His shooting % was Tanguay good last year, but as long as he continues to work on defense, I think he'll remain just fine overall even if his goals for takes a dip. I'm also optimistic about Redmond and hope he really helps bolster our 3rd pairing. Surprise out of camp? I think it might be Hishon. I'm not sure what role he'll fit into on the roster, but I bet he'll be there opening night.
Breakout players: I gotta follow my heart and go with Hishon. I think I called him out last year... and the year before... but he's really, finally, looking like the player that I was expecting him to be when I first started looking at him. If he can get some D on him, he'll be a good fill-in for a top 6 role, and he'll be fine rocking out as a bottom-6er. I think that Redmond is going to do well this year, too... I expect that some contingent of our D will get hurt, and Red will be the first guy called up (if he doesn't just make the team out of camp).
Surprises: Where the hell did Tomas Vincour come from? I mean, I know the story, but I didn't expect him to step it up in camp like he has. I think he will get significant playing time, and puts those skilled hands to work. Seeing Ryan Wilson stepping back into his comfort zone was surprising, even tho I was hoping he would make it there. I think that he can keep it up, and move back into rotation. Also, I think that Brad Stuart is going to surprise people this year. I think he'll be steady, durable, and put up pretty good numbers.
Disappointments: Nick Holden is going to be a downgrade this year. I mean, he'll be fine, which makes him better than Guenin, but I don't think we are going to see the kind of production out of him that we did last year with Redmond, Wilson, and Stuart more in the mix. Cody McLeod is going to continue to look a little out of place... not that he'll be an anchor on whatever line he's on, but by the end of the season, I'm going to look back on it and wish that Cody Mac had done better. Also (and I'm furiously knocking on wood and hoping I'm wrong), I think that I'll be disappointed in Alex Tanguay. But only because I have a bad feeling that he's going to get hurt again, and I'll have to spend a lot of the season wishing he was out there making plays.
If the Avs give him a chance, put my money on Joey Hishon making an impact.
Breakout - The bottom 6. They will go from a black hole to a pleasant surprise this year and allow the top 6 and defense to be much more efficient and productive.
Surprise - Lake Erie will produce callups that actively help the club win games. Seriously, that's what they're there for.
Disappointment - Other than those that we already know are going to disappoint? Tough call, I have a feeling it's going to be Tanguay but I hope I'm wrong.
I think Gabe Landeskog is going to have the best season of his career. This is the first time that Landeskog has worked with a truly offensive center (he's spent his whole career with two way guys in Stastny and O'Reilly). When we drafted Landeskog many pegged Jarome Iginla as the guy we wanted Landeskog to emulate, well now he's got a chance to learn from the Hall of Famer up close and I think it will make a big difference for his career.
I don't know if we can be let down by Daniel Briere since so few of us have expectations for the new Avalanche winger, but I just don't see him having a lot of success in the much tougher Western Conference. Also in this category is Nick Holden, but only on the offensive side of the puck. I think Holden's defensive game will grow and he'll be a better all-around player this season, but there's no way he scores near as many goals this season.
-Breakout player: Zach Redmond
-Camp surprise: Jesse Winchester
-Letdowns: Stefan Elliott, Ryan Wilson
Breakout player: Joey Hishon. He may not make the roster out of camp, but once that inevitable top-9 injury hits, he'll be called up and will stick. For the record, I also think that Landeskog, Duchene and MacKinnon will all have career years, so you could say they'll be breakout players, too.
Camp surprise: Zach Redmond. I've heard way too many good things about this kid to overlook him, and I think he's going to be this year's Holden.
Biggest Disappointment: Ryan Wilson. It's going to break my heart to watch, but he's just not going to get "it" back.