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09-11-2012, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Spokane, WA.
Weight: 165 lbs
How Acquired: Selected 157th overall, 2008 NHL draft.
Analysis: After a standout career with Boston College of the NCAA, Atkinson spent most of last season destroying AHL goaltenders, posting an impressive 29 goals in only 51 games. Even more impressive, through 56 AHL games, he has 32 goals. After a late season call-up with the Jackets, Atkinson heads into training camp (whenever that is) as perhaps the most talented right wing in the system - hence my having him penciled in on the team's top line, in spite of the fact that he's only played 27 NHL games. Atkinson is a dynamic goal scorer, with a wicked shot and the ability to find himself in the right place at the right time, able to use his quick release to strike before the opponent even realizes he's there.
Pros: Elite level shot, great hands, shifty skater that doesn't get hit head on often
Cons: Size, not many other tangibles; has to be scoring to be most effective.
Realistic Expectations: While placing him on the top line to start the season is probably a bit hopeful, I don't honestly think there's anyone better for the job than Cam Atkinson at this point. I would make a case for one of Prospal, Dubinsky, or Letestu, but none of them have the finishing ability that Cam does, and with playmakers in Brassard and Foligno on the wing, a pure sniper could do very well. I think he will at least get a look at the start of the year, and will either sink or swim. If he produces anywhere near the pace he was on with Springfield last year, he could be a 40 goal scorer. I don't think that will happen this year, however I do think that he has 40 goal potential at some point in his career, and will be comparable to a guy like Brian Gionta.
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