1)Have his added weight and strength improve his boardplay, puck protection, and physical game.
2)More consistent shot accuracy. He was getting better as the year went on. He has a laserbeam but hes got to control it.
3)PP time. We simply wont convert on the man advantage if there isnt a threat down low. Forcing the play to the point is not the answer. Guys like Galch and Eller would vastly improve our PP via puck control. Plus I want to see him blast one-timers from the half boards
People put too much emphasis on stats when his progression into a possible franchise center is dependent on him developing specific skills.
I hope he gets a chance to play significant time at center and progresses into a competent faceoff guy. The most important aspect of his game that needs to continue to improve is his assertiveness with the puck. He defers too quickly to his linemates and doesn't break down defenders enough. He was better in this regard as the season went on but he definitely needs to build upon this progression. The reason that he was completely ineffective on the PP was because he would simply make a quick obvious pass as soon as he received the puck. He needs to be more of a threat from the sideboards much in the same sense that Kovalev was. In order to do this he will have to continue to build upon his board play and puck protection skills.
His reluctance to assert himself last season wasn't due to a lack of confidence but rather a habit of deferring to senior teammates. Hopefully he feels a little more like he belongs in the league and takes the initiative to be a difference maker as opposed to being afraid to make a mistake. I have no doubt that this transformation will take place.......just hope that it is sooner than later because I can see him really breaking out as soon as next season.
The physical skillset progression will happen naturally and it is definitely developing well. It is his belief that it is his time in conjunction with physical maturity that will launch his career into the next level. If he can immediately build on the way that he finished last season we should be in for a fun ride.
I'd be happy to see him continue his development. It seems to be working with what they are doing. They will work him in at center.
I think we will begin to see him improve at an even greater rate as we move threw the season as he now knows what to expect.