In his first game, the thing that impressed me most was his speed. He's got NHL speed - he skates well. For defensemen who don't have that, it's an uphill battle - they have to develop the other things a defenseman needs pretty quickly.
Sure his three goals are all a bit fluky, but what about his assists? I can remember 3 of them already - a great keep in that Elias eventually put home against the Flyers, a pass-shot that Zubrus tipped in against the Leafs, and an excellent cross-ice pass to Rod Pelley that he put home.
In his 31 games, he has only 5 minor penalties. That's not excellent, but it's very good, especially for a rookie just learning the NHL game.
I'll spare you the advanced stats breakdown, just be aware that none of them indicate that his play is somehow a mirage. To me, he's done with the minor leagues, and I think he should be penciled in on the Devils' back pairing next season. It just goes to show that stats aren't everything, especially when it comes to defensemen playing inferior competition in college.
Edited by Triumph, 12 February 2011 - 01:17 PM.