I usually use this Wednesday space to chat about rookies and the race for the Calder Trophy. Today, however, I wanted take a step back and take a quick look at how last year's top freshmen are making out as sophomores.
As we know, a player's second season -- in any sport -- can be a tough one. Some guys haven't been impacted by the dreaded "sophomore jinx," while others seem like they've fallen victim. Here's an update on 10 standouts from the rookie class of 2009-10.
Tyler Myers, D, Buffalo Sabres
2009-10: 82 games, 11-37-48, plus-13, 22:44 ATOI
2010-11: 47-6-15-21, minus-11, 22:32
Last season's Calder Trophy winner has faced more adversity this year. The free agent departure of Myers' veteran D partner Henrik Tallinder has had a negative impact on both players. The lanky 6-foot-8 defender had a tough start to the season, piling up an ugly minus-12 rating in his first 13 games. To his credit, he found his bearings after that. In his last 34 games, he's a more manageable plus-1. The big guy will celebrate his 21st birthday on Tuesday.
Matt Duchene, C, Colorado Avalanche
2009-10: 81-24-31-55, plus-1, 17:43
2010-11: 49-19-25-44, plus-3, 18:56
Colorado's speedy pivot, a Calder nominee last year, is making excellent progress in season two. Barring injury, Duchene easily will surpass his freshman offensive totals. He's on pace to crack the 30-goals and 70-point plateaus. That's nice work for a kid who just turned 20 on Jan. 16. He'll be looking to lead the Avs to a second straight playoff berth in the wild West.