All right, if we're going to preview next season for Jesse Winchester, we're going to do it from a broader angle than most of these have been. He missed all last season, in case you didn't read MHH at all last year. He was the Avs Great Cliche-Replacing Hope until he got his dome dented in the preseason. Hey fuck you Calgary.
So we're going to exclude Winchester's first season because he only played one game and run down a few things he has and has not done:
- No 20-point seasons (career high is 18, twice)
- One season with more than 11:00/game (2013-14, Florida)
- He has scored shorthanded once, which is one more time than he has on the power play.
- He's never played an 80 game season. He has played 70 twice.
- Every year but one he has seen rather negative OZone% Rel, implying defensive zone usage. Usually it's a large number. While his impacts on shot generation have been unstable (but usually positive), his shot suppression is usually good, combining to peak in 2010-11 with a +12.18 dCorsi/60 for the Senators.
So what do we expect to get from him? Not a prolific scorer, but a guy who is able to flourish with unfavorable usage and move the puck in the right direction. His career has shown consistent bottom-6 (usually 4th-line) ice time, which is what the Avs have to offer.
What does it mean for 2015?
Concussions are weird, man. He just missed a full year of hockey. He may take some time to get it back, and he may not get it back in full, especially as a dude in his 30s who isn't super skilled. But I would bet the House (this middle finger is for you Bob) he's a marked improvement on any 4th line player the Avalanche already employ (maybe not Everberg). His penalty killing should be a welcome addition too. But this is still a 10 minutes guy here, one bad 4th liner doesn't tank an entire season any more than one decent one is its saviour.
That said. Please stay healthy brotha.