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12 Surprising Players From The First Half Of The NHL Season

from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,

...But the real fun in each season is the unexpected. The rookie emerging from nowhere to make a major impact; the young player whose development accelerates from neutral to turbo-charged; the veteran presumed to be destined for the discard pile who earns major minutes; the injury-prone player now finally healthy and producing at a game-changing level.

Those types of performances have dotted the landscape in the first half of the 2011-12 season; here are a dozen that really stood out.

1. Brian Campbell, D, Florida—Prior to this season, Campbell was regarded as one of the reasons the Blackhawks had to break up their team after winning the Stanley Cup in 2010. When the Hawks were able to trade him to the Panthers this summer, it was seen as a smart salary dump of an aging player who wasn’t going to perform to the level of the $7.1 million he was due through the 2015-16 season.

The move certainly gave the Hawks cap flexibility, but it also gave the Panthers the No. 1 defensemen they needed. All Campbell has done in 41 games is post 30 assists and 33 points, both second among all NHL defenseman. He’s also a plus-2 while playing an average of 26:41 per game, fourth in the entire NHL….

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


NHLJeff's avatar

4. Ray Emery, G, Chicago
Emery not only earned a full-time job, but has worked his way into serious playing time for one of the top teams in the Western Conference. He’s 9-3-2 in 15 games, and before his current two-game losing skid, ran off a streak of six wins in seven gam

I know his numbers look good, but I have watched a few of his games, and he has looked shaky and really seems to be fighting the puck.  He doesn’t look anywhere near the level where he was on the way to the ‘07 finals with Ottawa.  I’m sure the numbers will correct themselves if he doesn’t improve…

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Denver on 01/09/12 at 07:52 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Two words:  Ian White.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 01/10/12 at 02:17 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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