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    Default Predictions for 18-19 Bounce Back Players

    I think it's time to inject a little optimism around here.

    This year we got huge bounce back seasons from both Kopitar and Brown, as well as a full healthy year for Quick. And there were different reasons for those, unique to each case.

    Now, of course, that doesn't happen every year. But I have a feeling that there are some good candidates for a big career turnaround next season. I'll start with two of the admittedly more "outside" choices, and leave the obvious ones for others to discuss.


    Dion Phaneuf - what you got with Phaneuf was a player rejuvenated mentally, but physically not quite up to speed when he came to the Kings. Dion could be motivated to train harder than he ever has this summer, because he's finally on a decent team (a team with some pride and culture), in the city where he wants to be. I'm looking for him to come into camp the leanest he's ever been, and use that extra half step to play at the level he showed at times he's capable of. His hockey IQ and creativity with the puck are much higher than advertised, and you can see how he compensates for his lack of foot speed. I think he'll embrace the challenge to up his pace next season.

    Tobias Rieder - another guy who arrived mid-season not quite ready for the unique demands of playing for LA. I think he comes in next fall a little stronger, a little more ready to battle on the walls, and maybe understanding where he can etch out a role for himself. Line combos were all over the map from February on, and Toby never was able to establish chemistry with anyone on the roster. (For a similar example of a player who looked like a total bust acquisition and is now having a breakthrough, see Boedker with San Jose.) It would be pretty dumb to walk away from the speed and skill of a player like Rieder at this exact time and place. (Edit: although I just saw what it will take to give him a qualifying offer - close to $2.5k - so that may be cost prohibitive, we'll see)
    Last edited by Goon Squad; May 3rd, 2018 at 04:29 PM.

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