Season one, he started off pretty strong but faded. Once the playoffs rolled around, he was forgotten until he scored the 1st goal in the Game 7 comeback over Boston. Season two, he didn’t seem to improve all that much on the scoreboard. His play was so bad that I labeled him a bust, and he started getting benched. After the demotion, his on-ce play improved drastically. He used his body much more, and the results showed. Then, the playoffs rolled around…
…And he was our most consistent player. He was dominant all over the ice, and he stood out during both series. He didn’t score enough to help us move along, but he didn’t have much support either. But apparently the front office saw enough that they believe he’s ready to take a more prominent role on the team. You don’t get rid of half the roster from a good team without having some sort of plan in place.
So what should we expect from JVR? Well, for one thing, he’d better pick up his scoring a lot. I’m talking at least 80 points. That’s not too much to ask from a 2nd overall pick that should be entering his prime. Hopefully he continued to bulk up like he did last summer, just not to the point that it negatively effects his skating. Since he’ll have a bigger role, we need him on the PK as well. He’s a big body who should be able to hit players entering the zone, and block passing lanes once other teams get set up. His minutes are sure to go up, so he’s got to much more productive.
He’s not a role player anymore. We’re counting on him to be one of the main players on this team. We got rid of some depth, so he needs to step up and be one of the top players. We need to see him control play in the offensive zone on a consistent basis. He’s got to motivate himself the same way that he did in the playoffs. He was one of the players whose emotions weren’t held in check after we got eliminated. That’s good. Use that as feul and it will make him a better player. He’s not the main player on the team, but he is someone that we need to start relying on a lot more. Otherwise, this entire remodeling project will look really bad.
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