Player Name/position: Cam Fowler, D
Overall Grade: B
Contract Status: He would have become an RFA at the end of this season had the Ducks not signed him to a 5 year, $20,000,000 contract back in September 2012. He will be a UFA at the end of the 2017-18 season.
2013 Stats: Sodertaljie (Hockey Allsvenskan): 14 GP, 2 G, 5 A, 14 PIM, plus-9, Ducks: 37 GP, 1 G, 10 A, 4 PIM, minus-4
Playoff Stats: 7 GP, 0 G, 3 A, 0 PIM, plus-3.
Offense: For someone whose entire identity as a hockey player is wrapped around his ability to generate offense, one goal (plus 11 assists) seems like a pitiful number. And many of us are still grieving the fact that Fowler probably won't be the next Scott Niedermayer (let's remember that Scotty was a generational talent). But we need some perspective - Fowler had a strong start to the season, but it took him some time to recover after being boarded by Jarret Stoll in a game against the Kings on Feb 2. However, when he finally started scoring, it was significant. His first goal came on April 22nd (in a game against Edmonton), and Fowler had points in four of his last 5 games (1 G, 3 A).
Defense: Fowler's notoriously low plus/minus rating is a sticking point for many of his critics, but he took great strides towards improving that this year, and was plus or even in 26 of 37 appearances. He was also entrusted with significant minutes, averaging 20:26 in ice time per game during the regular season. In the playoffs, his average TOI was 22:44, second behind only Francois Beauchemin. Fowler also blocked 41 shots and recorded19 hits.
Highlight of the Season: Speaking of timely goal scoring: Fowler scored the first goal of the Ducks-Wings series. Re-live it here:
Expectations for Next Year: Fowler has all the tools needed to be a successful defenseman in the NHL. His skating is beautiful (like, Michelle Kwan beautiful), and Bruce Boudreau already trusts him with big minutes. Barring any catastrophic injuries (sorry magumbo), Fowler will definitely score more goals next year. His improved plus minus shows that the defensive aspect of his game is developing as well. Cam's future is very bright.