Player Name/position: Patrick Maroon, LW
Overall Grade: B-
Contract Status: $575,000 Salary/Cap Hit, UFA in July 2015
2013 Stats: With Anaheim 13 GP, 2-1-3, 10 PIM, minus-1, 9:47 avg TOI; With Norfolk 64 GP, 26-24-50 led the Ads in goals and points, even plus/minus, 139 PIM
Playoff Stats: None, but now that I think about it maybe he could have counteracted some of Detroit's crease crashing had he made an appearance.
Offense: After training camp I had very low expectations of Patrick Maroon. He was waived before the players even hit the ice on the first day of camp and just looked like he was going through the motions at best. But when he got called up, he showed that he does have some of that power forward ability. Maybe it's from reading of his exploits in Norfolk's amazing yet futile run at the playoffs, or maybe because both of his NHL goals came at crucial moments, but I was surprised to find that he only recorded three points with the Ducks. I know I won't be able to find an example, but I have this weird lingering image of Maroon trying to make an extra move or an extra pass with the puck on his stick right in front of the net more than a few times this season. I'm not sure if it's really true, but in any case a player of his size and skill set can always do with a little simplification, especially in tight.
Defense: I don't really have any feeling for Maroon as a defensive player so I took a look at some of the advanced stats on behind the net. Now, 13 games isn't a whole lot, and I'm no fancystats guru, but the difference between his offensive zones start percentage and offensive zone finish percentage, 63.3% to 44.6% respectively, appears to be disturbingly large. If i'm reading these things correctly (no guarantee) he seems to have been sheltered a bit (-0.89 CorsiRelQoC) and still not turning it into a lot (-8.86 CorsiOn). One more subjective stat that is in his favor is a 5 to zero ratio of takeaways to giveaways according to NHL.com, but considering his forechecking style of play I'd be willing to bet that most of those takeaways were in the offensive zone.
Highlight of the Season: His first NHL goal, in Nashville on Feb. 16, sent the game to overtime (and eventually a shootout win) and gave us this sweet picture of the mob of friends and family he had with him to celebrate. However, his second goal was a perfect representation of everything we want him to be. He won the puck behind the net with a big hit, made a nice pass to Toni Lydman and hung around to tap in the rebound.
He did so much on that play he really should have gotten the goal and the secondary assist.
Expectations for Next Year: Maroon fits into the mold of a player who has potential to contribute while adding the "team toughness" that Bob Murray said he was looking for during the exit interviews. At 25 years of age, he isn't really young or old, but somewhat similar to Peter Holland the Ducks will be looking to Maroon as an inexpensive option to fill out the roster as the cap comes down and the Perry/Getzlaf contracts kick in. So, 2013-14 could be a make or break year for Maroon, he's likely to get a nice long look, but if he can't translate his AHL game to the show he'll probably end up riding buses for years to come.