Although the Bulldogs were unsurprisingly hovering around the .500 mark at
the one-quarter mark of the season, there were quite a few surprises along the
way. Several of the rookies have done better than expected while at the
same time, some of the veterans have been a surprise in that they haven’t
produced much. Here are our first quarter grades for the forwards.
Players must have played in at least 5/19 games to receive a grade.
Charles Hudon: A: I expected Hudon to move into the top six somewhat
quickly because of his hockey sense, something that Sylvain Lefebvre would
quickly appreciate. What I didn’t expect was for him to be a
point-per-game player and leading all rookies in scoring. I’m not sure his
offensive surge is going to be maintained for the rest of the year but he’s
going to have to be considered for a spot with big club soon if he keeps playing
Stats: 19 GP, 6 goals, 14 assists, 20 points, +10 rating, 22 PIMS, 34
Sven Andrighetto: B+: The second year Swiss forward was expected to be
the catalyst of the offence this season and so far, he has mostly lived up to
that. He also has acquitted himself well after being converted to centre
(though he still spends a fair amount of time on both wings). The lone
blemish is that he was a healthy scratch for what was being called a lack
of effort. To Andrighetto’s credit, he has played well since then instead
of taking the one-game benching the wrong way.
Stats: 18 GP, 7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points, +2 rating, 12 PIMS, 57
T.J. Hensick: B: Hensick’s year got off to a poor start with just four
points in the first nine games, only one of which was a goal. Come
November, however, he was a point-per-game player and producing like a
legitimate front liner. He’s a lot like Martin St. Pierre from last year
in that if he isn’t producing, he’s not going to bring much of anything else to
the table. He and Hudon have played well together; if they stay paired up,
Hensick should be able to keep picking up the points.
Stats: 19 GP, 4 goals, 13 assists, 17 points, +1 rating, 2 PIMS, 43
Daniel Carr: B: I was a big fan of his signing as a decent two-way
forward is something that is always worth adding to a prospect pool. Not
surprisingly, Carr has been a little hot-and-cold when it comes to his offence
but his effort in all three zones has led to him seeing a lot of time in the top
six after starting the season in a fourth line role. Nothing fancy but a
quality start for the rookie.
Stats: 19 GP, 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points, +2 rating, 6 PIMS, 34
Gabriel Dumont: B: The captain has had a strong start to the year
while playing in a variety of different roles. He has alternated between
centre and the wing (as a result of several others being switched back and
forth) and as usual, has been a pesky player who can get under the skin of the
opponents. Dumont also deserves some credit for a strong start to the
season on the penalty kill.
Stats: 19 GP, 6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points, +3 rating, 50 PIMS, 57
Jacob de la Rose: B: For an underager making his AHL debut, de la Rose
hasn’t fared too badly. He has played steady minutes in every game and has
seen regular duty on the penalty kill. He hasn’t done much at the
offensive end but no one in the bottom six really has. Expectations should
be kept low for the rookie, the numbers won’t be pretty at the end of the year
but as long as he’s playing regularly, it should still be a good development
Stats: 19 GP, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, even rating, 9 PIMS, 22
Eric Tangradi: B-: Acquired in lieu of retaining salary in the Peter
Budaj trade, Tangradi has been a steady yet unspectacular veteran for the
Bulldogs. His grit and defensive play have been a plus but at the same
time, he has underwhelmed offensively. For a player talking about how it
was good to go to the minors to re-establish himself as more of a two-way
player, the results aren’t there so far.
Stats: 11 GP, 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points, +2 rating, 18 PIMS, 31
Nick Sorkin: B-: As another older rookie (23 years old), it was hoped
that Sorkin would be a regular in the lineup when the season started. That
wasn’t the case in the first quarter of the year as he was a somewhat regular
healthy scratch. When he did play though, Sorkin did bring some positives
as a bottom six forward. With the depth up front rather thin, I expect
we’ll hear more from him as the season progresses.
Stats: 14 GP, 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points, -4 rating, 4 PIMS, 15
Drayson Bowman: C+: Bowman did well enough to earn himself a two-way
deal late in the preseason but he has yet to find the offensive success he had
in past years with Carolina’s farm team. On the plus side, he has played
well in his own end and is a stabilizing presence on a team with a lot of
youngsters. That all said, he’s not getting called up at times for any of
this but rather his cheap contract. That’s his biggest asset to the team.
Stats: 12 GP, 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points, -1 rating, 5 PIMS, 20
Christian Thomas: C: A strong training camp with the big club didn’t
translate to a hot start to the season for the third year winger. To make
matters worse, Thomas missed a good chunk of the early season due to injury.
He should be one of Hamilton’s go-to guys at this stage of his career but once
again, he has been more of a complementary player than anything. If he
wants to get called up, he’ll need to pick things up considerably.
Stats: 13 GP, 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points, -6 rating, 6 PIMS, 29
Jack Nevins: C: I think we all know what his role is supposed to be on
this team – fight. Nevins has done that quite a bit early on. He
also has been able to take a regular shift without being too much of a liability
which is a nice surprise. He won’t be more than a fourth liner moving
forward but at least he won’t be a prototypical five minute a game goon.
Stats: 10 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -4 rating, 44 PIMS, 3
Maxime Macenauer: C: As was the case last year, he was brought in to
be a passable bottom six forward when he does play. Early on, he wasn’t
getting into the lineup with everyone healthy but when he did suit up, he was a
passable bottom six forward. Better still, he isn’t being used in a top
six role like he inexplicably was at times in 2013-14.
Stats: 12 GP, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, +1 rating, 4 PIMS, 20
Jake Dowell: C-: I know he was brought in primarily to be a defensive
centre who is good in the room (and he has done that) but it’s not crazy to hope
that an NHL veteran may contribute something at the offensive end. What he
has provided is underwhelming when you consider a valuable veteran spot is being
used on him.
Stats: 19 GP, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, -2 rating, 20 PIMS, 19
Connor Crisp: D+: After a quality stint on a PTO late last year, it
was expected that Crisp would be a fourth line regular this year. It
hasn’t happened early on and he has struggled to stay in the lineup to the point
where the team is opting to dress seven defencemen ahead of playing him. A
trip to the ECHL would be in his best interest at this time.
Stats: 12 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -2 rating, 50 PIMS, 3
N/A (not enough GP): Michael Bournival, Rene Bourque, Sahir Gill