IMAGE PROPERTY OF KIM SMITH
One of the “grit” guys that every team needs, Colton Sceviour is coming off a somewhat disappointing season for the Florida Panthers. Or was it? If you look at the previous two seasons with the Panthers, the hardworking winger had his least productive season in 2018-2019, however that was likely due to the fact that he was limited to 59 games due to an upper body injury. He complied 15 points last season, after two consecutive years of 24 points each (while playing 80 and 76 games), most of his ice time was on the 4th line. Although you do remember that there was that rare moment the previous season when the Panther’s coaching staff gave him some top line minutes. Brain cramps happen with every coaching staff, and I’m sure coach Q will have at least one (probably not).
Had he played a full season, it’s very possible that his point production would have been higher, and his overall contributions would have been more meaningful. Because of the lack of success last year, his contributions and value may be overlooked.
Sceviour has one more season left on a very cap friendly contract that will pay him $1.2 million dollars. Economically a very good contract for a player that is responsible defensively, hard working, and makes very few mistakes. His value comes in being trusted for those important moments in the game where you insert that particular player to either take a faceoff, be a defensive specialist, or to make sure that the late game/period decisions on the ice are smart ones. He is also a very valuable penalty killing specialist.
Every team needs a player like this and Sceviour is no different. He’s not at all flashy, but has just enough sandpaper in his game to make a small physical contribution. He had 89 hits last season, and only gave the puck up 24 times. However he does have to improve his faceoff percentage. 35.5% is not acceptable at all even for your 4th line center, but especially for one of your penalty killers. If you’re going to be a center and a defensive specialist, that part of your game has to be better.
Barring a trade the fourth line for the Panthers will have Sceviour, and if resigned (hopefully) Troy Brouwer to make up two thirds of it. The final spot is likely to have Juho Lammikko, who appeared in 40 games last season. That’s not a terrible 4th line at all. You know what you’re getting with both Seviour and Brouwer, and Lammikko should see improvement from his NHL experience last season.
Final grace: C
Sceviour has some good qualities that every team needs. However he needs to be injury free, and if center is going to be his main position, he must get better at the faceoff dot. If the trend continues as in the past where he’ll be counted on for those defensive moments, he’ll need to win more faceoffs, especially if he’s taking them while on the power play. His contract as was mentioned is extremely friendly and he’s only 30 years old, which means that if he has a better point production season, it’s possible that he can return following this year. That wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.
Don’t expect flash, or highlight goals. Expect good, solid and responsible play from a role player that can play an important part of a teams’ success.
Thanks for reading.
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