To me, this has been a great year. We have been competitive in most games, and they have been pretty entertaining to watch. We don't have depth, nor do any rebuidling teams, so injuries have crushed us. I don't have the stats, but I'd bet that in the games that we have had both Tanev and Edler in the lineup, our PPG would put us comfortably in the playoff picture. No excuse, but this roster is pretty good when healthy. We will likely add Hughes and Joulevi to our D depth which will go a long way.
In terms of the young guys
Ep- Better than anyone could hope. He is a franchise player.
Horvat- Continuing to grow as a leader and will set a new career high for points this week. Could get 60.
Boeser- I don't think his play has been great, but is still producing. A healthy offseason will be huge. His wrist and hip injuries have impacted him big time this year.
Virtanen- Has had a very good season. I expect him to take another step next year. Has been dominant at times, and has had very few bad games.
Gaudette- Will be a key piece for us. I love his game and think he will be a great 3rd line centre
Leivo- he is a steal. Could be a great 3rd line 25 goal winger with size.
Stetcher- He has been great this year. Maybe the most improved player on the team other than Markstrom.
Hutton- See above. Maybe not as big an improvement, but huge growth year.
Goldobin- Has had a ton of opportunities and fallen flat. I'd trade him for a pick at the draft.
Demko- Has been put in some difficult games, but hasn't been very good. Not super worried, but he has not stood out in a good away as of yet.
Motte- Has shown flashes, but really is a replaceable player who disappears for long stretches.
Hughes- Was very hyped coming into the year and has backed it up so far
Woo- Might be our best prospect after Hughes
Brisebois- Has earned a good hard look at camp next year. May make guys like Biega and Pouliott disposable.
Madden- Still has a long way to go, but has looked very promising for a 3rd round pick
Rathbone- see above, played well above what you'd expect for a 4th rounder
Joulevi- Maybe by myself here, but I thought he was very good in Utica to start the year. I still expect him to be in our top 4 by xmas. Injuries have slowed his progress, but he is still a legit prospect.
Lockwood- Will likely sign this year. Had a very good year at Michigan. Again, projects well for a 3rd rounder.
MacEwen- Very good season in Utica. Could be a guys top watch at camp next year. Has great size and some grit.
DiPietro- had a great CHL season, and played well for Team Canada. When was the last time we had a team canada starting goalie?
-Lind- Pretty rough start to his pro career. I get he's a rookie, but 3 goals in 44 games is not what was expected.
-Brasard/Eliot- Strong stats as overagers, but will have to take huge steps to make the Comets.
-Gadjovich- I'd rather have Torts. He has had a really rough season.
-Chatfield- Though he was going to be much better this year. Is closer to the ECHL than the NHL.
All in all, we took positive strides with our young guys this year. I really expected us to hang around for a while this year and fall off when injuries hit. That is exactly what happened. We were in a playoff spot not too long ago, before Edler and Tanev went down. We replaced the Sedins production, which was a huge question mark. We have Hughes, and hopefully our 1st round pick this year as a+ prospects, and a bunch of B, B+ guys who could go either way. I think we will land a big time player this year. I really think Panarin comes here on a very expensive long term deal. I do think there is hope that we make the playoffs next year.