When you consider the speed of his skating (tied with Kane), and speed of his slapper (just behind Buff), he's the most "raw" talented player we have.
If you watched the skills competition, I think it was clear that he probably was the most talented player. He actually let up really early in the fastest skater event so he probably would have beat Kane, he had the 3rd hardest shot behind Byfuglien and then Thorburn, and he was good in the puck control relay. However doing those things outside of the game is entirely different than doing them in the game. Stapleton is really small and unlike the small players that have managed to stick in this league, like Fleury and St Louis, he doesn't have the scrappy side to his game. I think it's a matter of both physical strength and willingness to get hit.
I think he gives us some versatility in the sense that we can alter our 4th line to match the opponent. Putting him in against a team like Carolina gives us the extra option on the PP and for the 5min or so that the 4th line gets he's a bit of a scoring threat. Against Boston he was scratched because he's just too small. He deserves credit for being able to be benched for several games at a time and then step back in to the lineup without looking out of place.
However doing those things outside of the game is entirely different than doing them in the game.
That's exactly where he needs to excel if he wants to move up. Making better decisions, going to the greasy spots, and taking shots instead of trying to be fancy.
Stapleton is really small and unlike the small players that have managed to stick in this league, like Fleury and St Louis, he doesn't have the scrappy side to his game. I think it's a matter of both physical strength and willingness to get hit.
In addition I would mention that he is one of the more accurate passers on the team and a very sound positional player.....he is good on the back check.
As has been pointed out his biggest challenges are size and confidence. Not much you can do about size but I feel his confidence is beginning to grow slowly and with that we are seeing some of his offensive skills.
Definatley trending in a positive direction and the lazer on the PP was timely and really sweet.....I also thought he had a presence all night assisting on puck battles on the boards and emerging with the puck a couple of times...drawing a penalty and playing well within the system.
Tim is another guy thats beginning to change some opinions and his improved play is making the coaching staff look smart. Nobody will confuse him with a top 6 forward but as Sipowiz said "he is a very good utility player" and perfect for the 12th or 13th forward IMHO