Predicting New York Rangers' Biggest Over, Underachievers for 2013-14 Season
The New York Rangers have a very talented roster. There is no doubt, however, that some players will vastly outperform their expectations.
In addition, some players will play well below their talent level and be a disappointment.
Which players will overachieve and which players will underachieve in the 2013-14 season?
Read on to find out.
Underachiever: Derick Brassard
Derick Brassard was wonderful in his short stint with the New York Rangers last season. In 25 games, including the playoffs, Brassard scored seven goals and had 16 assists.
At times, he was the best player on the ice. But expecting him to continue that type of play over a full season is foolish.
His previous career high in goals was 17, in 2010-11. He also added 30 assists that season. Those are fine numbers, to be sure.
But they are not in line with his performance at the end of last season, when he looked like a star.
Brassard will probably notch 50 or so points, but expecting him to produce like a top center is unwise. No matter what he does, it'll be a step down from his performance at the end of last season.
Overachiever: Benoit Pouliot
Benoit Pouliot was drafted fourth overall in 2005. He hasn't quite lived up to that lofty status.
He has, however, put together a nice career. Last season, he scored eight goals and had 12 assists.
In 2011-12, Pouliot scored 16 goals and had 16 assists while playing with the Boston Bruins.
This year, he should be a real asset for the Rangers. He'll start on the third line but will find himself getting second-line minutes.
It would not be a surprise to see Pouliot score over 20 goals and put together a big season.
Underachiever: Rick Nash
Until he delivers a signature playoff moment, Rick Nash will always be considered an underachiever.
He was terrific in the regular season last year, scoring 21 goals in 44 games.
In the postseason, however, he scored just one goal in 12 games.
In his postseason career, Nash has scored just two goals in 16 games.
Nash is by far the best offensive player on the Rangers. If they are to ever win a Stanley Cup, they will need Nash to be a dominant force in the postseason.
Nash will have a big regular season, maybe even notch 40 goals. But if the Rangers make the playoffs, he will need to be better. He has shown nothing in his career that makes fans confident in his ability to be a clutch performer in the postseason.
Because of that, he will be an underachiever.
Overachiever: Mats Zuccarello
If Mats Zuccarello was five inches taller, he would be one of the best players in the NHL.
He's wonderfully skilled, with excellent vision, terrific passing and inspired creativity.
His height, like so many players his size, keeps him from doing more.
That said, Zuccarello did have a fine postseason, notching seven points in 12 contests.
New head coach Alain Vigneault should put him in an attacking role. He'll see plenty of time on the power play and will be given a chance to make things happen.
Look for Zuccarello to have a career year this season.