Once again it's that time of year here on Defending Big D where we take a look at each player that suited up for 20 or more games this season (and finished the season with the organization) - and take a look back at their season. What was good about it, what wasn't so good, and the lasting impression they left us as we go into summer.
Regular season statistics:
|GP||G||A||Pts||PIMs||+/-||TOI||Corsi Rel||OZ starts|
The 2014/2015 season opened as a tremendous opportunity for Colton Sceviour. Contract issues (Cody Eakin), injuries (Valeri Nichushkin), and ineffectiveness (Ales Hemsky) combined to create a distinct opportunity at the top of the Stars’ lineup. Many fans hoped Sceviour would step into the breach, but instead, watched him wait until December 4th to score his first goal. In many ways, Sceviour enters this off-season in the same place he was last year, which isn’t a good thing for a player on the older end of the prospect spectrum.
The thing is, fans had every reason to be optimistic. For the first two thirds of 2013/2014, Sceviour had absolutely torched the American Hockey League. Playing on the top line for the eventual Calder Cup Champions, Sceviour put up video game numbers: 32 goals, 31 assists, 63 points in just 54 games. The young winger then added 12 points (8 goals, 4 assists) in 26 games at the NHL level as the Stars fought their way back into the playoffs. Sceviour further fanned the flames of optimism with a 16:52, plus-3, one-assist performance in Dallas’ first win of the 2014/2015 season.
Then he barely cracked ten minutes (10:24 versus Pittsburgh), then he was a healthy scratch. During the disaster that was October, Sceviour played more than 15 minutes just as many times as he played fewer than 10 (two of each). It wasn’t an outlier, but instead the start of a season-long trend that saw Sceviour’s ice-time vacillate wildly from game-to-game.
Was it a trust issue? Was it a prolonged recovery from off-season shoulder surgery? Or was it simply the result of having fewer points (3) than scratches (4) through the season’s first three months?
The bottom line is that Colton Sceviour regressed offensively, and in TOI compared to last season. He also saw Big Val get healthy and a pair of younger forwards (Brett Ritchie and Curtis McKenzie) start to stake their own claims as Dallas’ next big offensive threat. It is hard to construct a scenario in which Sceviour is in better shape than he was at this time last year.
He remains a not bad player. His shooting percentage (9.3%) and PDO (99.8) suggest Sceviour was neither lucky nor cursed. Advanced metrics (53.4 CF% / 54.7 FF%) tell us Sceviour was not a glaring liability. If we want to go really weird outlier, Sceviour’s lines created a robust 93 more scoring chances than they surrendered this past season. Maybe an entirely healthy off-season is just the tonic he needs to take the next step.
It’s just hard to see him getting as good a chance as he did this season. While Sceviour spun his wheels, other Stars improved and settled into lineup spots of their own. What would Colton’s training camp have to look like to displace Nichushkin, or Hemsky? What would he have to show to arrest a slide that saw his average ice time drop to 12:34 by season’s end? To properly grade Colton Sceviour we have to look not just at how he played, but also at how that play compared to his level of opportunity. Did Colton Sceviour make the most of 2014/2015?
Vote now: Rate Sceviour on a scale of A to F (A being the best of course) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season.