Colton Sceviour is one of those home-grown heroes who fans love and fantasy forecasters dismiss: To torture an old ad slogan, with Scevs, the best surprise is usually no surprise.
The right wing from Red Deer, Alberta has been a Star his entire professional life, and it may be easy to forget that 2015-16 was only his second full NHL season. Scevs played 71 games this year, marked by the odd healthy scratch and an injury-related absence in February after a head shot by Dustin Byfuglien.
During that time, he played about 10.03 minutes per game and scored 23 points, divided almost evenly between goals and assists. He finished second among team forwards in shorthanded time on ice per game (1:40) and was a big part of the team's resurgent penalty kill after the trade deadline.
To top it off, he was third among the forward corps with 52 blocked shots and seventh with 71 hits. If you measure a player's value according to the most basic criteria – first, put up points, and second, keep some other bastidge from putting up points – it's easy to see where Sceviour delivered.
He also had some memorable playoffs highlights, scoring goals in Game 3 against both the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues and leading all skaters with five shots on goal during the Game 1 victory in the Western Conference semifinals. His two assists in the Stars' pivotal Game 6 in Scottrade Center were a postseason career high – and came after hard-to-fathom healthy scratches in Games 4 and 5.
11 – goals
+6 – plus-minus
21 – penalty minutes
Sceviour scored new career highs in all these areas during the 2015-16 season.
Sceviour was serviceable up and down the line-up this season, including time on the top line and the power play. He's thoroughly a product of the Stars' system, drafted in the fourth round in 2007 and a pivotal part of the Texas Stars' historic 2014 Calder Cup championship.
For the past two seasons he's also carried one of the smallest cap hits on the NHL team ($650,000). Indeed, it may be that much of his value lies in how he meets (and exceeds) expectations for his pay grade.
Jim Nill could give him two or three years and a comparatively luscious raise (say, Patrick Eaves millionaire-on-paper territory) without unbalancing the team's future salary structure. In return, he would lock down a trustworthy depth player who knows the Stars' system well enough to help hold open the Jamie Benn-Tyler Seguin Stanley Cup window.
Sceviour turned 27 on April 20, and what we're seeing now is probably what we'll get for the duration. The first-team AHL All-Star who earned 11 points in his first 24 NHL games has settled into a fourth-line role – bearing in mind that such roles become pretty fluid in the Stars' fast and aggressive offensive game. As well as he may perform there, the team can expect continued pressure to make more playing time available for younger prospects with higher ceilings such as Jason Dickinson, Devin Shore and Brett Ritchie.
The experience and playoffs sangfroid he brings will at some point have to be balanced with the development needs of the future forwards in Cedar Park. How much money and term can Colton ask for, and how much will the Stars be willing to give him?
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