As everyone surely knows by now, Hamilton’s offence has been led by Charles
Hudon for most of the season. There are, however, a few other Bulldog
forwards who have quietly provided some quality production while on the flip
side, there are some who have greatly disappointed so far. Our second
quarter grades conclude with a look at the forwards.
Players must have played in at least 5/19 games to receive a grade.
Charles Hudon: A-: Hudon’s offensive pace quietly slipped a bit over
the last few weeks but that was to be expected given that he was unlikely to
keep up his near point-per-game numbers and that teams were really starting to
key in on him defensively. How he reacts to the tighter checking should
provide a good barometer for his short-term NHL readiness.
Stats: 19 GP, 5 goals, 9 assists, 14 points, -6 rating, 18 PIMS, 44
Daniel Carr: B+: Slowly but surely is a good way to describe Carr’s
progress so far. After being a bottom six player in the early going, he
now finds himself in the top six and even seeing some time with the powerplay.
He has done this without sacrificing his defensive game either which is a big
bonus. Don’t be surprised to see him get a look with the big club before
the year is out if this continues.
Stats: 19 GP, 3 goals, 7 assists, 10 points, +1 rating, 6 PIMS, 45
T.J. Hensick: B: Despite having quite a few different linemates over
the last little while, Hensick’s production has been pretty steady throughout.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t bring a whole lot else to the table in terms of
two-way play but after last year’s disaster with Martin St. Pierre, a veteran
scorer simply living up to his offensive expectations is still quite good.
Stats: 19 GP, 5 goals, 8 assists, 13 points, even rating, 2 PIMS, 46
Drayson Bowman: B: It’s safe to say that he has underwhelmed relative
to expectations this season. However, I think those expectations may have
been a bit too high. He wasn’t brought in to be more than a second liner
with the Bulldogs; Bowman has never shown that type of offensive upside in his
AHL stints with Carolina. That all said, he can certainly be better in the
Stats: 16 GP, 4 goals, 5 assists, 9 points, +3 rating, 16 PIMS, 40
Gabriel Dumont: B-: The captain was underwhelming up until recently
(most of which came past the cutoff date for this column). Defensively,
Dumont is still sound and he is as much of a pest as ever but the lack of
consistent progression in his offensive game is concerning in this, his fifth
full-time AHL season. A strong second half is needed to get back on the
NHL call-up radar.
Stats: 16 GP, 1 goal, 6 assists, 7 points, -4 rating, 4 PIMS, 34 shots
Jacob de la Rose: C+: No doubt, the lack of offence isn’t good but as
an underage player, I’m not too concerned about that. He still is seeing
regular ice time (usually on the third line but lately de la Rose has been in
the top six since the WJC’s) and is a very important part of the penalty kill.
I expect he’ll have a bigger impact in the second half of the season.
Stats: 11 GP, 2 goals, 0 assists, 2 points, even rating, 0 PIMS, 16
Christian Thomas: C+: After going through what we thought was a
sophomore slump, it was hoped that Thomas could become a somewhat-decent top
liner for Hamilton this year. That hasn’t happened yet after a second
quarter that was as equally mediocre as the first. At some point, a scorer
has to score and he needs to do a lot more of that in the coming weeks.
Stats: 16 GP, 5 goals, 2 assists, 7 points, -4 rating, 4 PIMS, 44
Jake Dowell: C: Dowell has been a decent safety net inside the bottom
six for Sylvain Lefebvre. He brings little upside to the table but has
been reliable defensively. It’s worth noting that he has shifted to wing
quite a bit to allow de la Rose to stay at centre. It’s not the best use
for a veteran slot (each team gets to dress six ‘veterans’ in a game) but he has
Stats: 19 GP, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, -6 rating, 16 PIMS, 22
Eric Tangradi: C: As we all saw, his stints with the Habs were nothing
to get excited about. That same description applies to his time with
Hamilton. Yes, Tangradi has been an effective two-way forward but given
his salary and veteran status, he needs to be more than a guy who fits in well
on the third line and in his brief time this past quarter, he wasn’t.
Stats: 7 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, -1 rating, 14 PIMS, 27 shots
Maxime Macenauer: C: Last year, Macenauer was used in an offensive
role far too often and even though his numbers were adequate, they were far from
good. This year, he’s in a better role and while his scoring numbers are
down, he has been a much more effective player. His defensive play is what
makes him useful to the Bulldogs and that part of his game is going strong.
Stats: 18 GP, 3 goals, 0 assists, 3 points, +2 rating, 8 PIMS, 17
Nick Sorkin: C: Things were looking up after a decent start to the
season but Sorkin has stagnated recently. He finds himself mired in the
bottom six as a result of playing inconsistently which has caused his overall
game to suffer. As injured players start coming back in the weeks to come,
Sorkin will find himself fighting to stay in the lineup unless he can turn it
Stats: 19 GP, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, +1 rating, 0 PIMS, 30 shots
Jack Nevins: C-: If the Habs decide that they’d like to carry a goon
down the road, they have one in the system in Nevins. He certainly can
fight but he also has shown that he can play a little more than just 4-6 minutes
a night, even spending a bit of time on the third line though his non-fighting
skills leave something to be desired. Unfortunately for him, he’s now
likely to miss the next month or so with an upper body injury so don’t expect
anything from him in the third quarter of the year.
Stats: 19 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -3 rating, 35 PIMS, 8
Connor Crisp: C-: On the plus side, his offensive line no longer reads
as all zeroes across the board. On the down side, that’s about Crisp’s
only positive over the last little while. He struggled to stay in the
lineup and when he did play, it was nothing more than depth minutes. Now,
he’s out with an injury. Suffice it to say, it has been a year to forget
Stats: 9 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, -1 rating, 41 PIMS, 4 shots
Shane Bakker: D: I don’t quite understand why management wanted to
sign him as an injury replacement. He wasn’t playing well in Wheeling when
he signed and quite frankly, he hasn’t played well with the Bulldogs either.
Bakker is the definition of fringe organizational depth and hopefully will be
released as players return to the lineup.
Stats: 8 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, even rating, 16 PIMS, 1
N/A (not enough GP): Sven Andrighetto, Michael Bournival