Which Ranger is most likely to have a breakout season?
Simple question. Which Ranger do you think is most likely to have a breakout season. A lot of it depends on how much ice time each player gets, so take that into account when making your choice.
My answer is Dubinsky. He followed up a solid rookie campaign with an excellent playoff performance. I think he comes in strong and finishes with something like 25g, 35a, 60pts. This is under the condition that he plays on one of the top 2 lines and someone like Fritsche (or Anisimov ) plays 3rd line center moving Drury to the wing. If he plays 3rd line center those numbers will be deflated a bit.
I wanna say Staal, but you gotta realize he's still the youngest of this group. So a more realistic choice would be Dawes. If gets consistent top 6 minutes, and doesn't put up 45-55pts, it would be a disappointment.
Also, in some regards I think Dubinsky already had his breakout season. now he just has to build upon that, and if he only slightly improves from last years offensive numbers, that's a fine accomplishment.
I voted for Dawes, but it totally depends on ice time and lines.
Dubinsky put up 14-26-40 in 82 games. About 0.5 ppg playing perhaps 60 games with Jagr and Straka on wings.
Dawes put up 14-15-29 in 62 games. Also about 0.5 ppg playing mostly with Drury I believe, although it did change a lot.
Regarding ice time in 08/09: I'm positive that Dawes will be one of our top 6 wingers and get corresponding regular ice time. I'm not so sure Dubinsky will get as much regular ice time. PP time, hard to predict, but I'd think they'll get similar time.
Regarding lines: Again, Dawes is without a doubt our second best LW offensively (unless you are gonna move a center to wing). So Dawes will get good linemates - quite likely Drury and Callahan or someone. Dubinsky may be left on the third line with lesser linemates - and not someone of the caliber of Jagr. Who knows though, Dubinsky and Zherdev may thrive together and Zherdev could match Jagr's 71 points from last year.
In summary, I think the odds are that Dawes gets more ice time and better linemates than Dubinsky. I'd be thrilled if Dawes got about 60 points, and I think that is actually a reasonable number for him to shoot for. Dubinsky had a stellar rookie year, and got 40 points. I'd be thrilled if he got 50 this year, and I think that would be tough for him to get that, let alone more than that.
Lastly, I think Dawes has more pure offensive talent, although Dubinsky does bring more intangibles. But offensive points will be the decider in who we consider to have a "breakout" year. (And not say, Dubinsky's hitting, or leadership, or perhaps PK play)
I see a lot of people going for Zherdev. I really didn't want to include Zherdev in this poll because he's already had a couple of seasons around 60pts. But if by breakout you mean upwards of 80-90pts., then yeah, i agree with that seeing as it his closer to his potential ceiling. In that case I probably should have included him as a separate option.