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: P.A. Parenteau – The Avalanche had such a poor year, that it was tough to come up with a guy whose performance would slide. Parenteau scored at a pace that would have had him with a career high with over 70 points, and with Nathan MacKinnon expected to step in and a full year from Ryan O’Reilly, Parenteau’s ice time and quality of minutes might shrink a bit and put him back in the 60-65 point range, which is still not bad at all.
Ladders: Gabriel Landeskog – Perhaps thrusting the captaincy on the 2nd year player was a little too much to handle, but Landeskog suffered a sophomore slump. He is too solid all-around to let that continue for another season, so the former rookie of the year could be expected to regain the status that made him the second overall pick in 2011.