After playing only 18 games under Lindy Ruff last season, Ken Hitchcock gave Remi Elie not only a chance but more consistency in the young player’s season this year. This was something a young player like Elie desperately needed if he wants to continue to progress to being an NHL regular, and not just another body that gets sent up and down between the AHL and NHL consistently.
Elie only played in a handful of games for Dallas last season, mainly in the backside of the season from March to April, while he spent most of his time with the Texas Stars down in the AHL. Luckily for Elie, this season it has been a completely different story with the new leader back in town. He played in all but 10 games this season, partly due to Hitchcock’s approval of the style of player that Elie has become. Not only does Hitchcock love those players that get down and gritty with hustle on both ends of the ice, but he seemed to use Elie as a statement to the rest of the team that they needed to give it their all every second on every shift.
This mentality turned in favor for Elie, as this let him continually develop his skills at the top level. He shared both bottom and top line duties throughout the season in what was a carousel of different lines each night. He started towards the bottom lines at the beginning of the season and progressed to sharing top line duties at times. This transition is proof that hard work will and does pay off. At many times throughout the season, it was as if he was the only one giving effort and hustle on the ice when things seemed sluggish for the Stars. That is why Hitchcock kept on moving him up, because he had simply earned it compared to the effort shown by most others.
The season was marked by a lot of improvement for Elie, as he nearly doubled his stats in almost every category from this year to last. He recorded 14 points this season, six goals, and eight assists, compared to seven points last season with just one goal. Elie isn't a known goal scorer when on the ice, but you can count on him to be there for the rebound or to race down and gather the puck to generate more scoring chances. To me, that’s the big thing to help to generate those scoring chances. Elie’s speed and grit allowed him to get down the ice and corral the puck as a way to generate more scoring chances. Unfortunately for the Stars, the offense just wouldn’t click for most of the season when he dished it out.
His hits and blocked shots increased from 30 and 11 respectively in his prior season to 101 hits and 20 blocked shots this season, while his time on ice increased significantly as well. Physicality is a key trait for Elie and it showed this season in his hits totals. He simply makes his presence known when opposing players may take him for granted as he is not yet a defensive big name.
The stats don’t leap out at you, but it’s the potential at many times that have flashed this year and his hard work makes him a player to emulate. Coaches love Elie for his dedication and he is starting to prove that he can skate with top guys night in and night out by simply out-hustling them. This is a trait that coaches absolutely want because once the potential is reached, he has both the skill and the hard work to be an NHL regular.
This season, he was a spark in a rather dull lineup at times this season, while giving the Stars something they desperately needed — someone that would put in the work and not take anything for granted. The potential for Elie flashes and the future looks bright if he can continue to find his footing within this league.
Like I said, Remi Elie is a product of hard work and development, and this season was a season that saw just that for Elie. He is a young player that gained much needed experience this season and will look to improve come next season if he is continually developed — and not just washed away like many other young guys (cough, cough, Julius Honka, but that’s a different story for a different day).
Now the question is — how do y’all think Remi Elie did this season?
Grading Remi Elie’s 17-18 Season
This poll is closed
A - Stats aren’t everything and c’mon the flow should get him an A anyway
B - He played well this season and improved, while struggles were to be expected
C - He contributed as a young bottom line winger should
D - He should have stayed down in Cedar Park for another season to develop
F - I didn’t see much, if any potential from him this season and he needs to be an AHL regular instead