Cage Match Tournament 2018 – Breakout Players (Week 2)

Rick Roos


Welcome to the second of what will be at least three Summer Cage Match Tournaments on breakout skaters. By your votes last week, Mitch Marner is the player who, despite never having previously scored over 75 points (or above a 75-point full season pace), is most likely to produce at a point-per-game level or better during this upcoming season.

Cage Match Tournament #2 – Breakout Tier 2 Forwards

The week it’s time to focus on second-tier forwards (i.e., those who have a career best of 55-65 points (or a 55-65 point scoring pace)), to vote on which will improve upon his/their career best by at least ten points in this upcoming season. The 14 choices (15, counting the “none of the above” choice) are listed below – once again in alphabetical order – along with their previous career high in single-season scoring.

Voting Rules and Guidelines

Like last week, you can vote for as many or as few players as you want – just be sure every player you’re voting for is someone you realistically see as someone who’ll finish ten or more points beyond his previous career best in scoring or scoring pace. A difference from last week is Band-Aid Boy status and injury history are very key, since unless a player suits up for enough games it’s much less likely he’ll be able to best his previous career high by ten.

Beyond that, and as also was the case last week, make sure to vote with your head more so than your heart. That means you should mainly bear in mind objective factors which will affect a player’s scoring, like his contract status, likelihood of being traded during the season, and individual/team situation. Of course you can still use instinct and hunches; but keep in mind your fellow Dobberites will look at the results for crowdsourced fantasy guidance, so don’t – for example – vote for someone for “good karma” simply because he’s on your team or not for someone else because he’s on the squad of your chief rival. The idea is to enjoy yourself, but also have the results be meaningful.

Once again voting will take place in the Dobberhockey forums. I’ll put a direct link at the bottom of the column. Now without further ado, here are your voting choices (in alphabetical order):

Kyle Connor (Previous career high scoring pace = 61 points)

At age 21, Connor was given keys to the Winnipeg offensive castle, with a regular spot on the top line and PP1. He showed he belonged and not only never had a prolonged poor stretch (posting double digit points each quarter) but saved his best for last, with 19 points in his final 23 regular season games (albeit only 10 in 17 playoff contests). Entering 2018-19 Connor’s “spot” still looks to be his to lose; the question is whether he’ll get better from here (and, if so, when), stay at t