by PuckStopsHere on 04/02/12 at 08:32 PM ET
Cam Fowler of the Anaheim Ducks was one of the higher profile rookies in the NHL last year. As an 18 year old he played a significant role with the Ducks. He showed some offensive prowess scoring 40 points from defence. The problem was he wasn’t much of a defensive player. He had the worst team and zone adjusted Corsi rating in the league last year. Anaheim Duck fans attacked me for pointing out this fact.
Another season has nearly gone by. Cam Fowler will not score as well in his sophomore year. He currently has 29 points on the season. Most alarming his +/- is the second worst in the league at -27.
Last year he finished as a -25, which was a team worst on a playoff team. This season’s Anaheim Ducks are not a playoff team and he looks like he will be a bit worse. The Duck decline was predictable considering they had the worst team Corsi in 2010/11. It was probably a fluke where they made the playoffs. This year they had weaker seasons from most of the Duck core in Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Lubomir Visnovsky and Jonas Hiller. As a result the Ducks as a team fell in the standings. This drop does not reflect in his +/- and Corsi much because Anaheim had poor numbers last season despite a better record.
Fowler is now a -52 in 155 games played. That is the worst +/- of any player in the past two years combined. That isn’t a strong start to a career.
Fowler’s Corsi is improving. He has been the top Anaheim defenceman according to Corsi this season. He is a +78. His +/- looks worse than his Corsi because of a 964 PDO. He has been unlucky this season in terms of the shooting and saves percentages of his teammates.
Cam Fowler has had a tough first two years in the NHL. He was rushed into the league before he was ready by the Anaheim Ducks. While he has offensive skill, his defence is lacking. It is improving but it is still a weakness. This is probably what one would expect from a young player in his position. If he continues to improve he may live up to his expectations as a top draft pick. He probably has been more of a liability than a benefit to the Ducks so far, but it looks like those days are ending. He may yet become an NHL star.
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