Over the course of the next month, Konopkaesque will review each player who suited up for the Wild this season, with a few exceptions. 1) They had to play at least ten games during the season and/or playoffs (sorry, Brett Bulmer, Carson McMillan and John Curry) and 2) they had to finish the season as part of the organization, which ironically excludes the man for whom this blog is named, among others.
So, without further blathering, here’s today’s subject:
Marko Scandella, D, Age 24
Remaining contract (per capgeek): $1.02 million (RFA in 2015)
Games: 76 (Regular Season) 13 (Playoffs)
Goals: 3 (Regular Season) 2 (Playoffs)
Assists: 14 (Regular Season) 1 (Playoffs)
+/-: +10 (Regular Season) +4 (Playoffs)
PIM: 20 (Regular Season) 0 (Playoffs)
ATOI: 18:49 (Regular Season) 21:28 (Playoffs)
What Did He Do?: Finally answered any question about what he can become in the NHL. Scandella has gone, in five seasons, from top prospect to young player with promise, to overmatched young player on a mediocre team, to missing person, to stalwart second-pair defenseman.
While Scandella’s resurrection actually began in the playoff series against Chicago, when he played almost as many games in that series (five) as he had in the 2013 season (six), but he came of age this year. Finally, everything seemed to break right for Scandella. He was in the proper role, playing against competition he could handle, and with a regular partner (usually Jonas Brodin). Even the injury bug struck Scandella in a fortuitous manner. He lasted one shift against Tampa Bay on February 4, when his right leg buckled under him in the opening minute of the game. The subsequent month missed was mostly chewed up by the olympic break, costing Scandella a measly six games in the process. In another year, it would have been a devastating disruption to a season that was just beginning to gain steam. Instead it served as a recharge before the stretch run, when Scandella played his best hockey.
What to Expect if You’re Expecting: It’s possible that Scandella has more in him offensively. After all, he did finish with more points this season than his previous three seasons (totaling 89 games) combined. Even if Scandella has reached his ceiling, and no significant offensive bump occurs, Scandella is a perfect complimentary player. Expect Scandella to be a fixture on the second pair for years to come.
Trade Prospects?: We’ll go back to the Chuck Fletcher drunkeness metric for this one. I doubt it would take as much, so we’ll go Ted Kennedy. Too soon?
Season Highlight: Empty net goals are not highlights, unless of course you up the degree of difficulty and shoot from 190 feet: