2014 Stats: 82 GP, 15G+14A=29P, 14:36 TOI/GP, 14 PIM
Reasoning: Andrew "Iron Man" Cogliano has become the pinnacle of consistency during the four seasons he has spent with the Anaheim Ducks. At age 28, Cogs still has the excellent skating abilities, reliable defensive instincts, and an undeniable energy which he continues to provide for his team. Time will tell when he starts to slow down or if he still has more potential to reach, however for the time being, I'd count Cogs as trending neither up nor down, but staying reliably even.
2014 Stats: [with the NY Rangers] 82GP, 17G + 18A = 35P, 15:14TOI/GP, 46 PIM
Reasoning: This is a difficult one to predict because he is a new face in a new city, a new system, surrounded by a new team. Push comes to shove I'm just hoping this 27-year-old Swede stays as electric and dominant as he was in the playoffs last season. Perhaps chemistry with fellow countryman, Jakob Silfverberg, will prove invaluable, but only time will tell. For that reason I am not going to label Hagelin as trending positively, negatively or even, I'm just pleading the fifth.
2014 Stats: 71 GP, 9G+25A=34P, 14:16 TOI/GP, 82 PIM
Reasoning: The main reason for Patrick Maroon to be labelled as trending downward is because every sign points to him not playing alongside Corey Perry and/or Ryan Getzlaf for the foreseeable future. Considering the twins really pushed Maroon to grow and improve quicker so as not to be the weak link of that trio, any other linemates will allow Maroon to settle back as a bruiser, focused on taking the body rather than scoring goals or making plays.
2014 Stats: 19 GP, 2G+5A=7 P, 12:56 TOI/GP, 4 PIM
Reasoning: When Anaheim first traded for Jiri Sekac, all anyone could focus on was his speed, fluidity, and how talented of a skater he was. Seeing Sekac in the preseason happenings has shown that he hit the gym this off season, and he hit it hard. He appears stronger, adding the physical aspects of the game to his repertoire, and he didn't lose any of that gorgeous skating technique that he brought with him from Montreal. I'm eager to see who Sekac plays with considering he landed a spot opposite of Corey Perry for part of the preseason, and that could really encourage more improvement and upward trending from the young Czech winger.
2014 Stats: 32GP, 11G + 11A = 22P, 6 PIM
Reasoning: I'll take this moment to remind everyone that Grant Besse never actually played in the preseason, and if he was at the Training Camp Events then maybe I missed him, but I don't think he played much if at all. Probably not a good sign for a kid hoping to make it to the NHL one day, but who knows, maybe he was kept out of the action for other undisclosed reasons, so for that I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and an even rating.
2014 Stats: 54 GP, 5G+5A=10P, 75 PIM
Reasoning: For a player that stood out immensely at last seasons rookie camp, I pretty much expected Joseph Cramarossa to already be leveling off in terms of his apparent potential. That's clearly not the case. This physical bruiser-type forward has improved in his skating abilities and his puck handling which only bodes well for his future. I still don't think the NHL is necessarily in his future, but for now he's still proving that he has more room for improvement and if just for the AHL that is promising.
2014 Stats: 58 GP, 15G + 25A = 40P, 46 PIM
Reasoning: Considering Max Friberg was specifically pointed out by Coach Bruce Bourdreau as having a strong training camp, I'd absolutely throw his name with the other "upward trending" left wings. Friberg strengthened up, and shows serious potential especially in fights for possession along the boards. He is a good skater with strong and smart instincts, and as long as he continues to grow and improve he has a serious shot of making the NHL lineup in the near future.
2014 Stats: 67 GP, 21G + 24A = 35P, 46 PIM
Reasoning: So let's follow up this trending downward with a question mark considering it's pretty difficult to say how his growth is progressing considering he was injured and didn't play all of training camp. Then again maybe injury is enough to say he's trending downward since injury prone players are never as desirable as the durable healthy ones. That's pretty much all there is to comment on considering the limited visibility of Kenton Helgesen this off-season.
2014 Stats: 51 GP, 9G + 17A = 26P, 43 PIM
Reasoning: I can safely say I adored Kerdiles last season, especially in the rookie game against San Jose, but his improvement seems to be plateauing a little bit and it's too little too soon. Still pulling for this left winger to find a new level to hit this season, but realistically his scoring talent won't be enough to earn him an NHL spot so he needs to keep fine tuning the physical aspect of his game and finding ways of being that villainous agitator opponents love to hate. However, if his growth tapers off where it is now I don't expect him to make the Ducks squad for a long while if ever.
2014 Stats: 72 GP, 14G + 7A = 21P, 42 PIM
Reasoning: For a player that excels in more of a two-way game than on one half of the ice or the other, it does get a bit difficult to measure growth. Laganiere has definitely gotten stronger, and more responsible on the defensive side of the ice, and he isn't a winger who is expected to score a ton so he's doing his job well for the AHL squad. He could potentially break into the NHL ranks as a gritty defensively-focused forward however I don't expect that to happen soon if ever.
2014 Stats: 59GP, 23G + 27A = 50P, 110 PIM
Reasoning: I am officially at a loss. Mark the day, I can't think of anything to say. Writer's block is getting the best of me, or maybe Bryan Moore just didn't stand out in the pre-season events. That could be either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you approach it. On one hand I never saw a huge mistake and instantly affiliated it with his name, but I also never really saw him dazzle or demand any positive attention either. Maybe he's just one of those fly-under-the-radar kind of players, in which case I'll let you decide.
2014 Stats: [total during 2014-15 season with Peterborough Petes andSault Ste. Marie Greyhounds] 48 GP, 29 G + 33 A = 62 P, 113 PIM
Reasoning: It seriously feels like every single time we get to see Nick Ritchie play he is just getting better and stronger than he already was, and at 19-years-old, that's one heck of a feat. He's got a big body that he uses well to protect the puck, and clearly fit's Anaheim's mold. As long as he keeps trending upward this talented youngster will surely get his chance in the big leagues soon enough.
2014 Stats: 60GP, 18G + 26A = 44P, 78 PIM
Reasoning: Considering Harry Zolnierczyk was once considered a shoe-in as a fourth line high-energy player and an obvious choice for a call up when injuries opened up a space, I'd say things have trended downward for the 28-year-old. This big bodied winger has made a pretty steady home for himself with the AHL squad. I think his NHL career is pretty much a closed chapter and because of that progression he has earned his downward trend.