Yesterday we took a look at our award winner for the biggest breakout in the assists. Teddy Purcell took home the prize in a very, very tight race.
We'll continue our 'show' with the presentation of our version of the Maurice Richard Memorial Trophy. Goals are the sexiest fantasy stat our there and when it comes down to it, we want the guys that light the lamp. So the Richard Trophy is is presented to the player with the biggest breakout in goals scored. We're not just looking for the league leader but somebody who surprised us with a sniping breakout season.
The nominees are....
Milan Lucic (9 to 30 goals an increase of 21)
After ppg's of .35 .58, and .40 last year it was tough to project what Lucic would do this season (we said only 36 points). He never even scored more than 30 goals in junior so the 30+32=62 season was a tough one to see coming. If the goals weren't enough we also like his plus-28 and 121 PIM's.
Matt D`Agostini (2 to 21 goals an increase of 19)
He was picked in the sixth round pick in 2005 and put up only 14 goals and 25 points in 101 NHL games before this season. Did anybody expect this guy to be a fantasy asset this season? He had some decent AHL numbers, but he was looking like a third liner at best. He worked his way up the Blues lineup (thanks to a few key injuries) and made his PT count. He just missed a breakout in points (46 points) but his 21 goals definitely deserve mention.
Drew Stafford (14 to 31 goals an increase of 17)
Stafford topped 30 goals for the first time in his career but the mental thing is he did it in only 62 games, as injuries shortened his fine season. Projected those totals over a full year and you'd get an incredible 41 goals. Is Stafford a 40 goal scorer? I don't know, but he put together a crazy 3/4 of a season.
Ryan Kesler (25 to 41 goals an increase of 16)
The three time 20-something goal scorer took a huge leap forward as he potted 41, good for fourth in the league. This increase in sniper skills made owners completely forget about his decrease in PIMs (dropped from 104 to 66).
Sergei Kostitsyn (7 to 23 goals an increase of 16)
Kostitsyn started out his NHL career with a .52 ppg in 52 games. He followed that up with just .41 and .38 in two short seasons before Montreal got rid of him. To say his first season in Nashville was a successful one is an understatement. His 23 goals in 77 games was just one short of his NHL total before this year... in more than twice as many games.
Yet again, a very tough call. The award goes to....
He had the biggest increase of the nominees and he would have been drafted late (probably for some PIM help). He ended up giving owners one of the true five tool guys in the league. Five tool guys are a rare bird.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know via the poll or comments.