Can Someone Please Win A Faceoff? aka Introducing The Centers

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from the AJC. Surprised they even covered the team.

Bryan Little

Age: 23

Drafted: 2006 1st round (12th overall) by Atlanta

Last amateur team: Barrie (OHL)

Cap number: $2,383,333

Kind of like Byfuglien on the defensive side, Little gets some cushy minutes (55.2% ozone starts) and has really taken advantage, with .76 goals per 60 minutes, tied for 1st among regular Winnipeg centers. He also played the 2nd toughest competition of any Winnipeg center and had a very nice CorsiRel of 10.1. He also played quite a bit on the penalty kill. He’s not an RFA until 2013-14, so he is a nice low cost guy at center, and perhaps a guy to build around in the future if his development continues. His lone drawback seems to be his faceoff percentage (46.3%), which, as you’ll see, is a theme.

Nik Antropov

Age: 31

Drafted: 1998 1st round (10th overall) by Toronto

Last team: Moscow Dynamo

Cap number: $4,062,500

Both his CrsOn (-6.16) and CrsRel (-6.1) were bad, though his ozone starts were under 50%. Still, a poor Corsi while facing roughly average QualComp (-.001) is disappointing, as is his faceoff percentage (48.7%). We have to put up with him for two more years unless he gets hot for half a season and can be moved to a contender.

Alexander Burmistrov

Age: 19

Drafted: 2010 1st round (8th overall) by Atlanta

Last amateur team: Barrie (OHL)

Cap Number: $1.5 million

He was protected  in that he had the 2nd easiest opponents at even strength, and he had a 55.6% O-zone start%. But he also played quite a bit on the penalty kill, and was one of their more effective penalty killers at that. He also drew more penalties than any Winnipeg center, and didn’t take that many. Again his big blight is in the faceoff dot, where he won just 41% of his draws.

Jim Slater

Age: 29

Drafted: 2002 1st round (30th overall) by Atlanta

Last amateur team: Michigan State (CCHA)

Cap number:$1 million

He only played 36 games last year, and though he didn’t play tremendously, he had tough minutes (43.4% O-zone start%) while playing only slightly below average QualComp. He also wins faceoffs, praise the lord. He won 61.5% of his draws last year so hopefully the coaching staff will be able to take advantage of that a bit.

Prospects!

Patrice Cormier – The captain of Canada’s 2010 WJC team that lost in the gold medal game to the United States, Cormier can play both on the power play and penalty kill, and has shown the ability to win a lot of faceoffs.

Ben Maxwell – He has been a decent goal scorer in the AHL (though not great) and is 23 already. Meh.

Eric O’ Dell – Has played four years in the OHL, so yikes. Probably should have gone to get his college degree at St. Cloud State like he committed to doing.

Daultan Leveille – He is a very good skater, but was tied for 4th in scoring on a bad Michigan State team. They’ll be bad again this year, but Leveille will be expected to improve immensely.

John Albert – Was 3rd in goals for the Ohio State Buckeyes last year as a Senior. The one time I saw him play I was impressed, and maybe he can develop into a decent 3rd liner.

Jesse Martin – He’s not really a prospect anymore due to this incident, but I am including him anyways because it would be an awesome story if he could recover and make it to the NHL, even for just a cup of coffee.

thanks to CapGeek for the cap numbers

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