Progression Of Kulemin and Why He'll Be a Franchise Player

Josh LawrenceContributor IMarch 30, 2010

ATLANTA - MARCH 25:  Phil Kessel #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his goal against the Atlanta Thrashers with Nikolai Kulemin #41 at Philips Arena on March 25, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Nikolai Kulemin #41 on the ice #1 in our hearts

              By the end of last season people were criticizing Kulemin because they thought he should have produced more goals. That was true again this season after a weak training camp and up until the latter half of this season. He has developed into a point per gamer player, almost never turns the puck over and is second in the league for lowest penalty ratio. That is penalties drawn vs penalties taken, he has 8 penalties recieved and over 20 penalties drawn. He is also better defensivley than some of their defense core.

Not Pointing any fingers *Jeff Finger*

            He is Undoubtedly the most complete player on the Maple Leafs arguably the NHL. I would even go as far to as nominating him for the Frank J. Selke Trophy. so far this season he has 16 goals and 20 assists and has on a number of occasions has bailed the defence of their mistakes.

           Since Being given Ponikarovsky's job on the first line he has thrived into a hard-working grinder/power-forward/sniper/playmaker. He has an 11.9 shooting percentage. thats 1.4 percent more than Kessel's 10.5 and 1.7 less than Ovechkin's 13.6% that's more than every 1 in ten shots going in.

           Who knows a lot of players come out with a boom in the off-season lets hope the same happens to him.

Why do I think he'll be a franchise player? Because he's from a foreign country and is just getting comfortable with the english language, he is also just getting settled in toronto and will not likely want to be moved unless the crowd starts to boo him every night



Josh Lawrence