2013-14 Midseason Grades: Forwards

Dallas has just about hit the midseason mark, so now’s as good a time as any to take a look at the players on this team and hand out some grades.


Tyler Seguin

38 GP, 21 G, 20 A, 41 P, +8 rating, 4 PIM, 117 SOG, 5 PPG, 5 PPA, 19:18 TOI/G

We all knew Seguin would be good but I’m not sure anyone expected him to be this good. He’s been the Stars best player so far this year by a wide margin, and he’s on pace to blow away all of his previous career highs in numerous offensive categories.

His vision on the ice has led to some incredible passes and his shot is better than previously thought. His goal against the Canadiens was an absolute thing of beauty. Even better? He’s had no off-ice issues to speak off and has a great rapport with Jamie Benn and Val Nichushkin. His defense is still a work in progress but he’s shown vast improvement in that area and works hard to help out the defense.

He’s in the top 12 in points, top 10 in goals in the league and leads the forwards on this team in ice time per game.

Midseason Grade: A+


Jamie Benn

40 GP, 14 G, 22 A, 36 P, +4 rating, 26 PIM, 130 SOG, 2 PPG, 5 PPA, 18:43 TOI/G

How nice it must be to be Jamie Benn. He’s got the captaincy, a brand new playmaking machine in Seguin and youngsters like Nichushkin and Chiasson lining up on the other wing. Like Seguin, Benn is also heading for new career highs and returning to wing has sparked his game even more. There were some massive defensive issues at the start of the year but it’s been much better in the past month. He and Seguin have taken over games and carried the Stars offense to wins this season.

Midseason Grade: A


Val Nichushkin

39 GP, 8 G, 13 A, 21 P, +14 rating, 6 PIM, 66 SOG, 1 PPG, 1 PPA, 15:20 TOI/G

It was a rough start for Val. Eight points in the first two months was not a good sign for the young Russian. However, things picked up in November and he’s been a tear ever since with 13 points in 16 games. He’s re-introduced himself into the Calder watch.

The crowning moment of his career is still his Christmas video though.

The Olympic break should help prevent from hitting any type of rookie wall and I’m expecting Val to be around 50 points by season’s end. The only issues he has come on the defensive end of the ice.

Midseason Grade: B


Cody Eakin

40 GP, 8 G, 11 A, 19 P, -3 rating, 12 PIM, 70 SOG, 2 PPG, 2 PPA, 17:25 TOI/G

It’s been a good half-year so far for the Ginger Ninja. He’s already hit a career high in goals and is seven away from a new high in assists. He’s been one of the team’s most versatile forwards. He’s second among the forwards on the team in PK time (nine seconds less than Roussel) and also racking up some ample time on the PP. He’s been a solid, constant presence in the lineup and has yet to miss a game in his Stars career.

Midseason Grade: B


Alex Chiasson

38 GP, 8 G, 13 A, 21 P, -12 rating, 26 PIM, 79 SOG, 2 PPG, 5 PPA, 16:28 TOI/G

Chiasson started out this season much like he ended the last, on fire. He scored goals in his first three games and had five goals in the first month. The assists have still been there but he’s been in a major slump since then and has only three goals since the beginning of October. He’s also been part of the top PP unit on the team, a unit that has been pretty terrible this season.

He’s been dealing with the flu lately and has lost 10+ lbs, further derailing a promising start. Here’s to hoping he can regain his game after the break.

Midseason Grade: B-


Erik Cole

40 GP, 10 G, 10 A, 20 P, -5 rating, 8 PIM, 64 SOG, 1 PPG, 3 PPA, 14:28 TOI/G

I’m not sure any Stars fan expected much out of Cole this season. He was ineffective in 28 games last season after the trade and looked to be equally as bad in the first two months of the year, registering just two goals and nine points.

However, something happened when the calendar hit December and Cole has been one of the most consistent forwards on the team ever since. His eight goals for the month tied Seguin for the team lead and his 11 points tied Benn for second place on the team.

He’s been an excellent second line winger, and his value has never been higher with this team. It’s really been kind of shocking.

Midseason Grade: B (Pre-December – C, December – A)


Rich Peverley

39 GP, 5 G, 13 A, 18 P, +2 rating, 11 PIM, 85 SOG, 0 PPP, 16:13 TOI/G

Raptor Jesus was pretty much a throw-in in that Seguin trade but he proved to be a huge addition during the first two months of the season. He played great and was the best player on the ice in a couple of those games. He had a couple of game-winning goals and a game-winner in a shootout against Boston.

His production has tapered off in the past month, but Peverley has still been a n excellent addition. He’s been the best face-off guy on the team and has been valuable all over the ice. Again, he wasn’t exactly brought here to provide a ton of scoring, so his production has been a bonus.

Midseason Grade: B+


Ray Whitney

33 GP, 4 G, 11 A, 15 P, -2 rating, 6 PIM, 67 SOG, 1 PPG, 4 PPA, 15:26 TOI/G

Whitney has been a massive disappointment so far this season. He’s shooting the lowest percentage of his career and didn’t score a goal until game 33 of the season. He’s been incredibly consistent throughout his career so this has been a major bummer.

He’s led the second PP unit and hasn’t produced much at all.

Midseason Grade: C-


Antoine Roussel

40 GP, 8 G, 7 A, 15 P, 0 rating, 103 PIM, 56 SOG, 0 PPP, 12:40 TOI/G

Really, what can you say about Roussel? He’s been all over the ice this season, scoring goals, making plays, being a pest, inciting rage in opposing crowds. He’s done a little of it all so far this season, and he’s been an integral part of this team. Roussel’s 103 PIM’s are actually tops in the NHL and his fights have been full of fury.

The new fan favorite on the team is much more than just a pest though. He leads forwards on the team in PK time and has been a surprise on the offensive side of the ice with his 15 points. His antics against the Blackhawks were incredible but he does need to dial it down a bit at times so this team isn’t always on the PK.

Midseason Grade: B+


Shawn Horcoff

39 GP, 4 G, 8 A, 12 P, 0 rating, 26 PIM, 37 SOG, 2 PPG, 0 PPA, 13:59 TOI/G

Horcoff has had an okay half season so far with Dallas. He was brought in to anchor the depth lines and play the PK. He’s done pretty well on both counts and hasn’t had any “what the hell” moments with the team. He’s shown some flashes of playmaking skill here and there, and hasn’t been a bad addition for what was expected out of him.

Midseason Grade: B-


Ryan Garbutt

33 GP, 7 G, 5 A, 12 P, +1 rating, 45 PIM, 78 SOG, 0 PPP, 12:01 TOI/G

Garbutt has been pretty solid this season. He’s brought some great energy to the depth lines and has been a surprise with his offensive contributions. There have been some stupid penalties now and again, but that happens when you play the way he does.

Midseason Grade: B-


Vernon Fiddler

34 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 P, -1 rating, 18 PIM, 36 SOG, 0 PPP, 12:12 TOI/G

It’s been an awfully quiet season for Fiddler. He’s been lowered on the depth chart because of the additions and it’s largely kept him out of the spotlight this season. He’s still solid in the face-off circle and does plenty of time on the PK but you just don’t hear his name often this year. It’s to be expected as his role changed a little bit but he’s been alright in what’s expected of him.

Midseason Grade: C+