These Kids Will Be Alright- Part 2

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Last week, I talked about what I expected from the likes of Kyle Okposo, Jeff Tambellini and Blake Comeau. This week I’ll discuss a few other players, who despite a few more years under their belts than the aforementioned above, can still be considered youngsters.

Bruno Gervais

Predicted Stats- three goals, 15 assists, 22 :00 ATOI.

Last season, Gervais averaged 20 minutes a game of ice time and while it looked like he was in the good graces of Ted Nolan most of the time, he never really got a chance to break out of his shell offensively or play big time minutes in close games. Preferring to go with the likes of Brendan Witt and Radek Martinek on defense most of the time in tight contests, I believe Gervais was limited to mop up duty and only got a chance on the powerplay when there were little or no options left. A solid offensive D-man in juniors, I think Gervais can produce a little more than he has been over the past few seasons if given a real opportunity. At times, Gervais has led the rush on offense and seemingly, doesn’t look out of place at all. With a little more work, he can be a solid number four or five D-man that can contribute on both sides of the puck.

Chris Campoli

Predicted Stats- 12 goals, 22 assists.

Another player with a lot of room to grow, Campoli looked like he had it all figured out before a nasty shoulder injury ruined his season in 08. Combining the physical play he’s been getting a reputation for, while developing already good offensive skills, I see Campoli as someone who would look great with Mark Streit on the powerplay at some point in the season. It’s just a matter of staying healthy and in the good graces of the whoever coaches this team in 09, something the youngster has had a few problems with over the past few seasons.

Frans Nielsen

Predicted Stats- 10 goals, 20 assists.

Before Doug Weight was signed, I may have considered bumping his stats up just a little bit. However, on a fourth line with guys like Blake Comeau and Richard Park, I see Nielson playing a crucial role as a sparkplug and someone who can help on the powerplay and the penalty kill. Some may be turned off by his lack of size, but I believe his ability in the face-off circle, combined with his speed and quick release will make him a solid fourth liner and someone Isles fans will love by the end of the season.

Photo by Pete Borriello