Last week, I took a
shot at naming the top 10 disappointing players of 2019-20. As I mentioned at the time, it was a much more difficult task
than normal, as my original list had 55 names.
To make sure I could
include more players, I decided to break it down into two groupings. Last week,
I looked at veterans, but this week, I wanted to focus on the younger players.
To clarify, I am looking at those who have played four seasons or less in the
If you prefer to remain
positive and look at the glass as half-full, instead of thinking of these
players as disappointments, you might want to consider this a list of players
to target in keeper leagues. Their value will be down quite a bit from last
summer and this would be a good time to inquire about the price of some of
10. Lias Andersson
At times, it almost
feels like the Rangers' coaching staff don't want to rebuild as it seems like
it takes a long time for young players to be put in a position to succeed. This
season, it feels as if everything that could go wrong for Andersson did go
wrong. In 17 games with the Rangers, he had one point while averaging less than
10 minutes of ice time a night (with his most frequent linemates being Michael
Haley and Greg
McKegg). Andersson asked to be traded, sat out for what he called a
mental-health break, and also played in both the AHL and SHL.
After a disappointing
rookie season in 2018-19, many were hoping that Mittelstadt could take the next
step under a new head coach in Buffalo with Ralph Kreuger. That obviously didn't
happen, and not only did Mittelstadt see a small decrease in ice time, but he
was also sent to the AHL in December, where he spent the rest of the season
until all the leagues were suspended. In 31 games with the Sabres, Mittelstadt
had nine points and 34 shots, but 25 points in 36 AHL games.
No one was expecting a
huge increase in production, but Kotkaniemi's drop-off was truly astonishing.
He went from 34 points in 79 games as a rookie last year to eight points in 36.
By the start of February, he was sent to the AHL, where he had 13 points in 13
games before missing the rest of the season with a spleen injury. Kotkaniemi is
expected to be a top centre for Montreal in the future, but his first couple of
seasons in the league have been a disappointment and has many questioning his
future as a top-six player.
7. Ryan Donato
Donato seemed to be in
a perfect situation last offseason after he was traded to Minnesota. He saw a
significant increase in ice time (averaging 15:33 of ice time and 1:56 on the
power-play while having great chemistry with Eric Staal