My father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.
Okay, that's enough classic literature. Thanks to Charles Dickens for that one. With the season rapidly approaching, I've examined the Ice Wolves team outlook heading in to camp and three players to watch as they look to make the team. This newest entry in the Pre-Season series focuses on the individual outlook for the Forwards returning and what I think we can reasonably expect from these players to produce.
I will use high science including theoretical physics, cellular/molecular/microbial biology (it's a real thing I know someone with a degree in it) and... okay that sounds like way too much work. How about I take a look at stats from the past couple seasons, factor in ice time along with late season progression and we go from there? Sounds good to me too.
First player up is Aaron Enns.
2009-10: 52 GP - 9 G - 10 A - 19 P - 118 PIM
2010-11: 54 GP - 9 G - 20 A - 29 P - 92 PIM
2011 Playoffs : 17 GP - 2 G - 5 A - 7 P
2011 Anavet Cup: 7 GP - 5 G - 1 A - 6 P
Break it down:
-From Season 1 to Season 2: Minor increase in ice time and two more games results in +10 pts (all assists).
-Season 2 Playoffs: Minor Increase in ice time from regular season results in small increase in points per game.
Enns quietly put together a very solid season last year, especially when you consider where he fit in on the depth chart. He spent the majority of his time on the third line until Nick Keller's arrival had him moving between the second and fourth line. If you look at his point totals; he was the second highest scorer not playing on one of the top two lines consistently. (Rhyse Dieno put up 30 points)
One thing I'll go out and say right now is Enns will be wearing a letter this season. That's not exactly a bold prediction considering he's one of two returning twenty-year olds. I'll go a little further and give Enns a 85% chance of wearing the Captain's 'C' for the Ice Wolves. Right now, the only thing stopping it from being 100% is the arrival of Matt Weisensel who was the Trappers' Captain last season in North Bay. I made a stop in at the rink last night and Enns was already assuming a leadership role and was running drills as players make use of the ice time available before camp opens.
I think La Ronge fans will be pleasantly surprised by Enns' output. He was a well used fourth liner in his first season, and put up ten more points with more ice time this season. What needs to be looked at is his effort in the playoffs. He was getting ice time that was still shy of what he'll likely log this season, and nearly matched his season goal total in less than half the games. Even when he wasn't putting the puck in the net, the playoffs were a coming out party for Enns who garnered the praise of Bob Beatty through the post-season. Enns will likely be a part of the top two lines, so he'll be matched up with some skilled playmakers which will likely boost his goal totals.
Based on Enns' current points progression, conservative predictions could have him at or just shy of 40 points. With the fact he is likely going to see a substantial increase in ice time, including more time on the powerplay to go with playing on a scoring line, 40 becomes a mark I feel he can eclipse, mainly because of an increase in the goal column.
Projected 2011-12 Stat-line: 20 G - 25 A - 45 points