Projecting Higgins

Chris Higgins got off to a relatively slow start. Not many guys that produced at his level at 22-24 scored as little as he did in the AHL at 20 (.72ppg, or .32ppg NHLE). His 21 y.o. AHL season was even worse (.67ppg, .29ppg NHLE), but that happened in the 2004-05 lockout year when the AHL was stacked.

Looking for comparisons, I focused on Higgins' 22, 23, and 24 year old seasons.

Points don't tell the whole story with any player, even less so with a guy like Higgins. For that reason I tried to pick some guys whose contributions go beyond scoring: Peca, York and Sturm. Like Higgins, responsible players and fine skaters. He's behind Peca but a fair bit ahead of Sturm's ppg.

Higgins has been used in more of a scoring role for the last couple of seasons (including some good PP time) so we might as well throw in Deadmarsh, Parrish and Dumont. Stylistically there aren't a whole lot of similarities there but goals are goals, right?

Dawe is a warning.

Lehtinen makes the other comparisons obsolete. His numbers are spot on, and then there is Gainey's famous endorsement:

"[Higgins] has talent on top of having discipline. He has a good sense of the game. He can play in all the major situations and in that sense, he reminds me of Lehtinen."

He's never going to line up next to a player like Modano so Higgins' numbers may never have quite the Selke trophy glint of Lehtinen's. But he looks like he has the tools to be that kind of player.

Dallas won the Cup in Lehtinen's 25 y.o. season.


Anonymous olibou said...

So, is he a LW or a Center?

5/07/2008 1:04 a.m.  
Blogger Jeff J said...

Good question.

With Chipchura on the way and SKost a natural centre too, I'm *guessing* LW.

5/07/2008 1:00 p.m.  

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