Name: Alexander Wennberg, #10
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Age: 22, born 9/22/94
Height/Weight: 6 ft 1 in/ 197 lbs
What he has going for him:
With Boone Jenner most likely going back to the wing to open the season, this places Wennberg as the number two center on the Jackets. Going into his third NHL season, I have him pegged as my breakout player for the club in the new season. All of the intangibles are there, and he is by far the best on the roster when playing without the puck. Only took one minor penalty last season (hooking) in a win against the Carolina Hurricanes. I look for him to crack the 55 point mark this season and perhaps push 60.
What he has going against him:
Wennberg has two very clear shortcomings from his play last year. He has to win more faceoff opportunities and he needs to shoot. the. puck. I understand that European centers are more pass oriented, but I have never seen someone (with what looks like a very legit shot) pass up so many chances. Only thing that holds him back from breaking out is a potential benching or ice time demotion as Torts was clearly frustrated with this last season.
Prediction for this season:
Wennberg continues to be the guy that is always in the right position without the puck. I think he finally start firing at the net and, while I don’t think he will be dominant in the faceoff circle, I expect some improvement there too.
’16-’17 Jackets Rant stat line prediction: Goals: 19, Assists: 40, Total Points: 59