Atlanta Thrasher defenseman Zach Bogosian did not have the best sophomore season in 2009-10.
In fact he may have had one of the worst given his huge potential.
Zach Bogosian entered the NHL as a first-round draft choice and proceeded to live up to his press clippings by making the major leagues as a 19-year-old and displaying flashes of brilliance playing the second most difficult position on an hockey team (next to a goaltender).
As a defenseman not only did Bogosian have to quickly learn his own team's offensive and defensive systems but he also had to adapt to players like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin speeding down his side of the ice.
In his rookie year, despite an injury that kept him from playing the entire 82 game schedule, Bogosian performed above expectations delivering hard body checks and even producing a two-goal game toward the end of the season.
He proved to be unafraid to take on league tough guys like Donald Brashear (traded to Thrashers from New York) and displayed his considerable offensive abilities more and more as the season progressed.
He ended the season with a plus rating. His overall performance was impressive for a rookie defenseman and especially for a newbie playing on the Atlanta Thrashers blue line.
In his second year, Bogosian emerged from training camp with expectations by many hockey watchers that he would shatter all of the previous offensive marks set by past Thrasher defenders.
After a torrid start in which Bogosian led the NHL in goals by a defenseman his offensive production and overall play seemed to falter.
After the season was over, it was disclosed by the Thrashers organization that Bogosian’s hand was injured affecting his shot and puck handling.
Some would quickly describe Bogosian’s experiences as an excellent example of the sophomore jinx.
Other notable players who have experienced the sophomore jinx in recent history have been Guy Lafleur, Jarome Iginla, Jeff Carter, Jordan Staal, Brian Leetch, and Mike Richards .
Carolina Goaltender Cam Ward experienced problems playing up to his Stanley Cup winning standards the next year. Even Alex Ovechkin did not have the kind of season expected of him in his second year.
The sophomore jinx is real to some players. Patrick Roy,and Teemu Selanne also experienced its affects.
The fact is players do bounce back. The burden of higher expectations and increased responsibility contribute to performance issues in a player's second year in the NHL.