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Brandon McMillan had a stellar end to his 2010-11 season. There was no reason that shouldn't carry over to 2011-12. Well, it didn't and he's likely found a permanent home in Norfolk, at least while he's a Duck.
Name: Brandon McMillan
Hometown: Richmond, BC, Canada
Draft Story: 3rd round, 85th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
How did he become a Duck?: Drafted. He signed his ELC in 2010 with the.
Where did the Ducks send him for the lockout?: The Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.
2011-2012 League & Team: The Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League.
Other hockey ventures: Last time McMillan played in international Hockey was 2009 in the WJC. In addition to his time in Syracuse, he did get called up last season for a total of 25 games for the Ducks in the NHL.
Key Stats Last Season: In the prior season, McMillan split time between the Ducks and the Crunch with mixed results. In 25 games with the Ducks McMillan tallied 4 points (all assists) and 20 PIM. In fairness to McMillan, all 25 games were under the Randy Carlyle regime; he was averaging only 11:12 TOI. When on the ice, McMillan had an Andrew Cogliano-esque horrid 34.3% FO percentage and was minus-10. After his disappointing stint with the Ducks, McMillan was sent to the AHL for the rest of the season. In 55 games with the Crunch, McMillan put up 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists), plus-5, and 36 PIMs. While these were a marked improvement from his numbers in the NHL, they still were less than what most fans expected after McMillan's stint with the Ducks in 2010-2011.
Scout's Take: From Hockey's Future, "Another very fast skater selected by the Ducks, McMillan is not known for his scoring, but for his solid two-way play, his speed, his aggressive forechecking, and his leadership. McMillan projects as a third liner, but players with his speed, leadership, and work ethic are very valuable in the NHL. McMillan competes hard for loose pucks and plays a very smart hockey game, choosing the safe play rather than trying to do too much."
Is he a Work-in-progress, Future trade-bait, or a Keeper?: Trade-bait. It might hurt fans who fell in love love with McMillan's performance just a season ago, but he is quickly becoming a one hit wonder. B-Mac might regain his form, but with so many more talented forwards to compete with, its hard to imagine McMillan getting another shot with the Ducks. Also keep in mind that McMillan never saw ice time with Bruce Boudreau behind the bench.
Should we be excited?: Not really. On a scale of 1 to 5, I'd say he's a 2. If all goes well he's just back to the decent third line guy we saw in 2010-2011. And that's only if everything thing goes right for him.
[Ed. Note: In our Fantasy Preview for SBN, I put him as my sleeper pick for goal scoring in 2011-12. I'm an idiot.]