As a rookie during the 2011-2012 season, Gabriel Landeskog burst onto the scene for the Colorado Avalanche. He saw an increased role as the season wore on, and quickly established himself as one of the game’s brightest young stars. The 2013 campaign, however, wasn’t as kind to the Swedish product.
Landeskog’s production took a gigantic step backwards in 2013, but it wasn’t entirely his fault. Concussion issues early on set him back to start the year, and he went on to play in only 36 games. He finished with only 17 points, and was never able really to get on track at any point during the season.
His rookie season indicates big things for Landeskog. The former second overall pick posted 52 points, appearing in all 82 during the ’11-’12 season. He scored 22 goals, was a plus-20, and played the physical game as well, finishing with well over 200 hits on the year. He flashed star potential.
But with the disappointment that was his 2013 season, what should the expectation be for Landeskog heading into the new year? Should we expect him to return to that rookie form and then some, perhaps reaching that star level? Or should we expect another 50-point season, setting him up for the real breakout in 2014-15?
Landeskog isn’t going to be a 90 or 100-point player. But with his skill set, which includes a good size and a willingness to get down in the dirty areas, in addition to his offensive talent, he’s capable of putting up 70 or so regularly. That should be the expectation for him heading into 2013-14.
The new season will bring about a healthy Landeskog. He started to put up points with a bit more regularity towards the end of the season. Combine that, with the fact that the team around him will be healthier, and he could be headed for his breakout season in 2013-14.