From his draft year to his post-draft year, his points/game went up. This year, his goals/game is the highest it's been since he turned pro. I think you're getting yourself too wrapped up in his assist totals this year, which appears to be both an outlier and a mirage, givens that he appears to be Finland's best playmaker this far (along with Barkov).
I'm not saying that you have no right to be worried, but I keep hearing from people--not just you--about how concerning his numbers are this year just because he doesn't have many assists. I don't think it's that big a deal.
What is this based on?
And like I said, yes his goals/game is the best it's been since he turned pro, but again, over a 48 game season it equates to one more goal than his draft year. I'm not even looking at assists, I agree with you on goals being the biggest issue. All I'm saying is...yes, it is a small sample size but one goal improvement over 48 games two years later isn't the progression I look for (improved last year and then appearing to have regression a bit from last year to this year).
The upside is still tantilizing and it appears some weaknesses are being rounded out but not quite as much as I would've hoped after 2 years of development.
A bit of a shocker to me that McCabe was named captain of the US squad. But it just makes me all the more excited to see how he performs now that he's been designated as a leader on this team.
I also have a feeling Armia's going to be a treat to watch this year.
Grigorenko's looked great through the first 2 periods, IMO. Beautiful assist on the first goal, and created 2 2-on-1 breaks in a single shift in the 2nd. (Good thing the linesman was napping on that first goal though, because he was offside by a hair.)
Sounds like Grigs didn't get an assist for the winner. He definitely would've received one over here. Oh well. I thought, along with Kucherov, he was Russia's top forward today.
Agreed. Yakupov certainly showed flashes but in the middle portion of the game he was pretty much invisible. I was also impressed by Sigaryov, had never heard of him before but I thought he played a very strong game.
The raw skill in Nichushkin is blatantly obvious, incredibly quick and talented for a guy his size and uses his reach well. Just needs to maintain consistency and he seemed to be noticeable around the perimeter a lot but didn't notice him much in dangerous scoring areas.
Seriously, If he brings the effort and confidence to the NHL, He could be a superstar in the league.
And this game was another one where the team would win without him giving his all so he didn't. Then when the team plays against tougher opponents when his effort is needed, Armia shows up. Doesn't care about winning the scoring title, but does care about winning something as a team and being a big part of that.
If he brings the effort and gets the confidence he will definitely be a guy who you love to have on your team (at least most nights). We can only hope that Armia realizes that he won't have success in the big league with just his talent and doesn't become one of those "what if"-guys.