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@Bonin21 wrote:

This has not been a great NHL season for the program. Only three players are averaging more points per game than last year (Wheeler, Vanek, and Schmidt), and only Wheeler’s points per game are higher than his last two seasons.

Five players (Leopold, Helgeson, Ballard, Bickel, and Alt) played at least one game last year and have not played this year. Skjei is the only debut so far.

I wouldn’t go that far. Helgeson, Bickel, and Alt were/are all call-ups, and I’m not sure any of them made their NHL season debut before New Year’s. On the flip side, Schmidt went from a call-up to playing on the pair in Washington, and Skjei appears to be on the verge (trade deadline?) landing a permanent place in the NHL, as well. Add in that Reilly and Rau are likely candidates to make their debuts this season and E.J. is having another potential All-Star season, and I’d say things aren’t quite that bad. Leopold could likely still play if he wanted to, but apparently is happier retired with his family. Ballard’s retirement is bittersweet.