by Forechecker on 09/23/08 at 05:39 PM ET
Shea Weber draws the comparisons with Dion Phaneuf, and Ryan Suter gets the star treatment, but nobody contributes more to the success of the Nashville Predators defense corps than Dan Hamhuis, the 25 year-old who enters his 5th NHL season this fall. His regular selections to represent Team Canada at the annual World Championships are a testament to his ability to handle tough assignments and deliver solid two-way play.
Hamhuis’ two main jobs in Nashville are to provide shutdown defensive work in 5-on-5 play and on the penalty kill. Power play opportunities, on the other hand, have come and gone, depending on the makeup of the roster. Note that in 2006-7, his PP time pretty much disappeared:
|Dan Hamhuis Production & Ice Time, Last 3 Seasons|
|GP||EV Pts/60||PP Pts/60||EV TOI/G||PP TOI/G||SH TOI/G|
As we look forward to 2008-9, it would appear that there should be more power play work coming up for Hamhuis, due to the departure of Marek Zidlicky. The other regulars on the point will be Weber, Suter, and Ville Koistinen, and it’s entirely likely that Hamhuis could see 50% more time on the man advantage (3:00/game rather than 2:06) compared to last season. That’s worth a few extra points over the course of a full season, enough to probably lift him back closer to the level of offensive production he enjoyed in the 2005-6 season.
So, for the official Forechecker’s Forecast…
|Forechecker’s Forecast, 2008-9 NHL Regular Season|
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