Over the next few days, I will be looking at each team n the NHL and identifying a couple of players in particular that fit into one of two categories based on the once popular kids game, Chutes and Ladders. The players in the “chutes” category will be players who exceeded expectations last season, and will have a difficult time avoiding a slide in the coming season. The “ladder” category will consist of players who are ready to climb a level in their play and step up a notch.
Chutes: Torey Krug – The sweetheart of the Bruins’ playoff run, Krug came out of nowhere and put up surprising offensive numbers when he got into the lineup through necessity. Krug will be hard pressed to repeat the success over the grind of an 82 game regular season, and expectations might be more than he can live up to.
Ladders: Dougie Hamilton – He was overshadowed by Krug in the playoffs, and perhaps was a disappointment in his rookie season. Hamilton has the size and the pedigree to be a success in the NHL, and his rather uninspiring freshman year should be put behind him. He will be given more prime opportunities with the departure of Andrew Ference.