Player Name: Andrew Cogliano (Left Wing)
Overall Grade: A-
Contract Status: 1 year remaining, $2.39M cap hit; UFA in July 2014.
Playoff Stats: 7GP, 0G, 1A, 1P, minus-3
Offense: Cogliano came over to the Ducks two summers ago and was not much of an offensive contributor despite his presence as a penalty killer. This season Cogliano came up clutch multiple times, notching a goal when the Ducks really needed one to steal a game. This year was Cogs' best in goal production since he tallied 18 in 82 games in both '07-'08 and '08-'09. That production did tail off in the playoffs however, as he was limited to just one point in seven games vs. Detroit.
Defense: Cogliano's penalty-killing and shut-down game was easily his strong-point this season. Teaming up with either Winnik or young speedster Emerson Etem, Cogliano was relied upon to come up big in critical shorthanded and defensive scenarios. His plus-minus tells the story of how well he did all season.
Highlight of the Season: Without question Andrew Cogliano earned the tag of "The Warrior" for his performance in the season series with the Chicago Blackhawks. On February 12, Cogliano scored with under three minutes remaining in regulation to tie the game, moments after his helmet was removed in a scuffle. The goal instantly became the most old-time hockey goal of the year.
Cogs also showed his gritty toughness later in early March by taking a high-stick to the face from Brandon Bollig. Despite four officials on the ice and Cogliano losing two teeth, there was no penalty on the play. And while it looks like this pissed Cogliano off (which it did), Cogs went back to the locker room, spat out the blood and bits of teeth, and came right back out, not even missing a shift.
Expectations for Next Year: Cogliano has still not missed a single game of his NHL career thus far, and I would expect that streak to continue so long as he doesn't lose a leg (let's be honest... we all know he'd still play if he lost an arm). While I loved the jump in production this season, I feel like his performance in the mid-to-late season is a little more like what we're going to see regularly.
I'd love to see him finally break the 20-goal barrier however. And with the divisional structure changing and multiple games against the Phoenix Coyotes... who's to say he can't do it? Likewise, I'd also expect to see him and Emerson Etem paired together on the penalty kill all next year unless one of their games jumps on the fast-track to hell.