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01-15-2012, 10:31 PM
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R.J. Umberger, C/RW

Umberger might be a bit of a surprise pick here. Heading into this season he has 274 points in 474 games. But 474 games is not a very short time once you're down to pick #2000. On a per-game basis, Umberger is one of the best even strength scorers out there. When comparing him to some other centers who had more points thanks to longer careers, like Adam Creighton, Steven Reinprecht, German Titov, Mike Comrie, or to shorter career guys with nice per-game figures like Todd Elik, Jan Hrdina and Kip Miller, he brings a lot more to the table than they do, and it compensates for his lack of "offensive longevity" compared to them.

Umberger is 6'2" and 220 lbs, can also play the wing, he is highly competitive, responsible in all three zones, gritty, wears the A, and had a really nice 2008 playoff with Philadelphia, with 10 goals (4th in the league) and 15 points (10th in the league). He's having a slow 2012 season, but his 18 points have leapfrogged his career numbers over another 16 undrafted players, and he's getting a lot closer to the top echelon of that list faster than you might think.

Originally Posted by Sports Forecaster 2006-07
made the most of his opportunity, scoring 20 goals and playing a strong two-way game. spent the season alongside Carter, forming an impressive tandem of youth, size and speed.
Originally Posted by Sports Forecaster 2008-09
Bounced back from a nightmarish 2006-07 season to nearly double his points and improve his +/- by 32. His 8-goal performance against Montreal in the second round, countered by a career-low 13 goals in the regular season, suggest Umberger is streaky.

Originally Posted by Sports Forecaster 2009-10
Statistically, Umberger slipped from his 2007-08 career season with Philadelphia, but statistics do not track intangibles. The Ohio state product is a warriod, picking his team up when down with much-needed sandpaper. he scored three og the team's seven playoff goals last spring.
Originally Posted by McKeen's 2001-11
contributed a career-best 55 points and one of the steadier performances for hte jackets last season... strong, multi-purpose forward is a powerful skater with good hands, effective when driving hard to the net and activating his quick, heavy shot... can be a handful 1-on-1 due to prodigious upper body strength and some slick moves... could show better poise and awareness in possession... still prone to dropping his head when handling the puck and setting up his shots... self-driven and fiercely competitive - yet that inner fire doesn't always transfer to the ice... generates intermittent bursts of physical aggression mixed with intensity lapses where he stops moving his feet and watches the game... certainly not lacking in courage or toughness...
Originally Posted by Sports Forecaster 2001-11
a decent hitter and capable in the faceoff circle, he is used on both special teams. A bit over his head on the top line, but as a secondary producer, the versatile forward is sound.

Originally Posted by Hockey Prospectus 2010-11
... defensively, he already blocks more shots than any Blue Jackets forward. He might never live up to the potential of a first rounder, but he'll continue to have a productive career.

Originally Posted by McKeen's 2011-12
delivered a solid performance, contributing in all areas while hitting a career high in points for the second straight year... thrived upon a move to the wing...

Originally Posted by Sports Forecaster 2011-12
may have been the only blue jacket to have met or exceeded expectations... a key player on both special teams and decent on faceoffs, though mosty used on the wings. his importance to the team was reflected in the fact he led all Columbus forwards in ice time.

Originally Posted by Hockey Prospectus 2011-12
despite a gritty, shot-blocking style and a nasty hit from Brad Marchand, he has played in 246 straight games and achieved a career-high 57 points on his way to being named team MVP by blue jackets fans. Umbergar anchors the retooled 2nd line and was called upon to kill penalties and play defensively responsible hockey... Being a good PP option with an ever-increasing ES scoring rate, Umberger is a classic two-way forward like Ryan Kesler.

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