69GP 3G, 18A, 21Pts, -5, 44PM, 1PPG
Amazing that he only missed just a few games from the shattering of his jaw, thanks to Alex Ovechkin’s slapper.
To me – this young man from Colorado College by way of Minnesota – made the most strides of any player on this team. Not just from the offensive or defensive standpoints, but the impression standpoint. To me – the beginning of the season, Jack looked a bit uncomfortable with the puck. This skill was told to be one of his best. As the season progressed, and the comfortability level got more and more improved, you can see that he was not just a young second year NHL player, but he looked like a solid veteran. He almost looked a little Bourque-like.
I think another full year under the belt for Hillen will show the experts that he is ready to be known as a strong 20-25 minute a game player that will handle himself with authority, as well as provide a little offense when it is needed. Can he be a top 4 defensemen for this team for years to come? I really think that he can do that.
As far as a grade, I will give him a B-. A grade that I believe will continue to improve. I think he will need to add about 5-10 extra pounds, and work on his speed. This should make him be a player that will potentially make an impact for this team for the forseeable future.
As you may noticed, I did Jack Hillen and not Brendan Witt. Only because I do not feel that he is a part of the future of this team, that I did not do the review. As far as a grade, I would have to put him as a D. For his ‘warrior mentality’ that kept it away from an F. I would give him an “A” for Super Hero powers, as he battled the GMC Yukon outside the Wachovia Center in Philly earlier in the season. Brendan had a good career, but he is too slow for this NHL, and I just don’t think he is long for the league.
Next to review – #42 – Dylan Reese.