Most Disappointing Players of the 1st Half
Aleksander Barkov, C, Florida Panthers
Sophomore slumps are real, and they have been real for quite some time now. The latest victim to this is second overall pick from 2013 from the Panthers, Aleksander Barkov. In his rookie year last season, he posted good numbers, nothing spectacular but still solid for a young player. He had eight goals and 24 points in 54 games, while only notching ten penalty minutes. This year, he has three goals and nine points in 30 games, and although still young, this is a disappointing year for Barkov when he was expected to progress more. His ceiling remains high, however, and if he bounces back the Panthers can become and even scarier team.
Patrick Berglund, C, St. Louis Blues
After signing a shiny new three year extension this offseason, it was hoped that Berglund could break out of his post-lockout slump. That has not been the case, although he has picked it up a little over the past week, scoring two goals in two games, whereas he had scored two goals in 23 games prior. Berglund set a career high with 52 points in 2011-2012, but has only hit the 30 point mark once since then. This year he has six goals and 15 points in 42 games, which is not good enough, especially not on the Blues.
Mike Smith, G, Arizona Coyotes
11 months ago Mike Smith got a spot on Team Canada for the Olympics, but now, he has struggled to keep his starting job over Devan Dubnyk. Although Dubnyk was just traded to Minnesota, Smith still lost the job to him in his worst season ever, which is not helping the Coyotes’ situation. Smith is 7-17-2 this year, with a 3.52 goals against average and a .885 save percentage. Smith has only started in 27 games this year, well on pace for a career low. Hopefully for the Coyotes’ sake he throws this season in the trash and gets back into things next October.
Alex Semin, RW, Carolina Hurricanes
Alex Semin makes seven million dollars. Alex Semin has eight points this season. To say Semin has been a disappointment this year (like the Hurricanes overall) is an understatement. Although only playing in 25 games, eight points is not near good enough for a player of his caliber.
Evgeny Kuznetsov, C/RW, Washington Capitals
The good thing about this pick is Kuznetsov, like Barkov, is still very young at 22 years old. Kuznetsov had a lot of hype around him when he came over from the KHL last year, and he put up 9 points in 17 games. This year, he only has 15 points in 40 games, and has seen fourth line duties at times. This could also be attributed to Barry Trotz’s system, and he should turn it around at any time on this good of a team. He remains one of Washington’s top prospects.