Everybody tries to grab rookie cards when they open a pack of cards, regardless of how good (or likely to play) the player is. As previously mentioned in the Blog Kickoff Box: “UD Victory 2010-2011″ article, there were five rookie cards inside the UD Victory box that I broke yesterday.
With this “Rookie Breakdown” feature, I’m going to be looking at each player as they stand when I received their rookie card. Oftentimes, I will only look into the careers of players who I don’t know much about.
In this box, the first rookie card to make his way into my collection was Mike Duco, now of the Vancouver Canucks.
In Victory 2010-2011, Duco is listed as playing for the Florida Panthers. However, during the 2011 off-season, he found his way to Vancouver in a whirlwind of second-rate controversy.
Duco, who apparently hated the play of the Canucks during the Stanley Cup Finals, decided to sound off on Twitter – effectively making himself look like an idiot in front of Canuck fans. Little did he know, he’d later sign with the Canucks, and change his tune.
Duco is known as a scrappy player, despite being a bit smaller than the league average. He should eventually make the league, making this card at least a decent pick up. Hockey’s Future gave him a 6.0B, so at least he has a chance to play on either the third or fourth line at some point in his career.
If nothing else, at least Duco can drop players after fights.
Florida prospect Evan Oberg must have crossed paths with Mike Duco on his way from Vancouver. I find it terribly amusing that I got two rookie cards of players wearing jerseys of each other’s teams – despite not being traded for each other.
The difference between the two players, however, is that Oberg still has some work to do in order to make the NHL. He had a lot to overcome, as the Canucks website pointed out: “Just six games into the 2007-08 season, Oberg was competing against a teammate at a 1-on-1 drill during practice when he slammed into the boards feet first and dislocated his fibula, fractured his tibia and tore the ankle on his left leg.”
Despite recovering, he is low on the depth chart in Florida.
The next rookie drawn was Cody Almond – a player I knew very little about.
Early in this 2011-2012 season, Almond has just been called up to fill out the Wild’s roster. He played eight games last season, recording two PIM and three shots.
Regardless of his lack of NHL play, Almond finished the last AHL season with 34 points. One blogger pointed out his solid defensive play and the fact that “he has the goods” to be a great addition to a roster. He’s rated a 6.5B on Hockey’s Future – so he’s bound to meet some sort of potential as an NHL player somewhere over the course of his career.
2009 NCAA Frozen Four All-Tournament Team member Nick Bonino was the lone Anaheim Ducks rookie card to be drawn in this box. According to the card, he scored the game tying goal with 17 seconds left in the championship game for Boston University. He also had an assist in that final minute – showing his potential as a clutch player.
Anaheim must know about his scoring too – as he (and Timo Pielmeier) were acquired from San Jose in exchange for Travis Moen and Kent Huskins. He was recently recalled to Anaheim to help cure their scoring woes.
He may turn into something great eventually, based on previous success at the college level.
Despite being drafted in the fifth round, Larsen is currently the second-highest prospect for the Stars. Playing for the Texas Stars, he is off to a point-per-game pace as a defensemen nine games into the season.
Larsen has the potential to be a great power play quarterback, as he possesses some great vision on the ice and a knack for passing through traffic. While he was expected to challenge for a defensive spot on the Dallas Stars, he still has some weight to gain – as he is just 21.
He seems as if he could be a great pickup for a rookie card, and an even better pickup for the Stars if he lives up to his potential.