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The 2010-11 season was full of ups and downs for Max Pacioretty. At the beginning of the year, he was quoted as saying he'd prefer to stay in Hamilton if he couldn't be a top-6 forward in the NHL. Eventually, he got to play that role with the Habs and played well before suffering a season ending injury vs Boston. Now that he's healthy and likely to spend the full year in the NHL, how might 2011-12 play out for the former 1st rounder?
2010-11Pacioretty got off to a blistering pace in Hamilton as he produced at over a point-per-game pace for the first couple of months before getting a full-time recall to the Habs. He got off to a bit of a slow start with Montreal but picked it up in late January. Prior to his injury vs Boston, he had picked up 17 points in his previous 19 games. Unfortunately, he was unable to recover quick enough to play in the postseason.
Season Stats: 37 GP, 14 goals, 10 assists, -1, 39 PIMS, 7 PPG, 2 GWG, 112 shots, 15:53 TOI
Per-82 game averages
(Since Pacioretty is still too young to really look at 5-year trends, here are his career numbers averaged out over an 82-game season.)
AHL (82 career games played):
2011-12 RolePacioretty's best play came when he skated alongside Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta and there is a good chance that he will once again play with those veterans when the puck drops on the 2011-12 campaign. There is some interchangeability on the left wing though with the addition of Erik Cole and the dual-wing flexibility of Andrei Kostitsyn and Mike Cammalleri so Pacioretty could see some time in the bottom-6. Pacioretty was proficient on the powerplay last season (7/14 goals were with the man advantage) and he'll have every opportunity to improve those numbers next season.
Projected StatsAs is the case with any player coming back from a lengthy injury, there are concerns about if he'll return to his previous effectiveness; that concern is magnified given the concussion he had. That should scare some fantasy owners away from snapping him up too early. Don't reach for him as your 2nd line winger unless you're convinced he'll simply return to the form he was at least season but if you can get him in the mid rounds as a 3rd liner, you'll have done well for yourself.
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- Fantasy Focus: Erik Cole posted by Norman Szcyrek