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Thrashers Historic Depth Charts: Offensive Forwards

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As part of the 10th Anniversary of the Thrashers I'm doing a series of posts which show the evolution of the roster over time. Yesterday, I looked at the defensemen and today it is top six (i.e. scoring) forwards. One thing that really jumps out is the stability the Thrashers have had at LW with Kovalchuk and Kozlov holding those two roster spots. Kovalchuk is already gone and Kozlov is next after being scratched numerous times this season. "The team, it is a-changing."

 

Season LW min C min RW min LW min C min RW
2000 Emerson 1111 Ferraro 1308 Brunette 1272 Stapleton 1072 Buchberger 1111 Garpenlov 1118
2001 Audette 1298 Ferraro 1483 Brunette 1306 Domenichelli 903 Guolla 924 Kallio 911
2002 Kovalchuk 1205 Ferraro 975 Heatley 1630 Domenichelli 593 Hrkac 1398 Kallio 884
2003 Kovalchuk 1575 Savard 1130 Heatley 1690 Kozlov 1580 Hrkac 1287 McEachern 887
2004 Kovalchuk 1918 Savard 1004 Heatley 646 Kozlov 1545 Robitaille 1094 McEachern 1658
2005
2006 Kovalchuk 1745 Savard 1681 Mellanby 952 Kozlov 1457 Holik 1121 Hossa 1735
2007 Kovalchuk 1765 Ruccin 862 Mellanby 946 Kozlov 1659 Holik 1306 Hossa 1777
2008 Kovalchuk 1698 White 1363 Recchi 974 Kozlov 1306 Holik 1309 Hossa 1315
2009 Kovalchuk 1722 Williams 659 Christensen 670 Kozlov 1413 White 1480 Little 1336
2010 Kovalchuk 1089 Antropov 1036 Afinogenov 1041 Kozlov 802 White 838 Little 903
2011 Kane Antropov ??? Berfors White Little

 

The next table shows the points scored by each of the top six forwards. Pre-lockout the Thrashers 2nd line was generally pathetic--posting scoring numbers that compare to a 3rd line on most other NHL teams. Another thing that jumps out is the rank inconsistency of most players. Kozlov swings from 80 to 41 points then back to 76 points. So often you see fans assume that a good year by a particular player will carry over to the next season, but most of the time a career year is followed by a return to average (warning: Nik Antropov is having a career season this year).

Season LW Pts C Pts RW Pts LW Pts C Pts RW Pts
2000 Emerson 33 Ferraro 44 Brunette 50 Stapleton 22 Buchberger 17 Garpenlov 16
2001 Audette 71 Ferraro 76 Brunette 59 Domenichelli 27 Guolla 28 Kallio 27
2002 Kovalchuk 51 Ferraro 27 Heatley 67 Domenichelli 19 Hrkac 44 Kallio 22
2003 Kovalchuk 67 Savard 47 Heatley 89 Kozlov 70 Hrkac 26 McEachern 26
2004 Kovalchuk 87 Savard 52 Heatley 25 Kozlov 52 Robitaille 37 McEachern 55
2005
2006 Kovalchuk 98 Savard 97 Mellanby 34 Kozlov 71 Holik 33 Hossa 92
2007 Kovalchuk 76 Rucchin 21 Mellanby 36 Kozlov 80 Holik 29 Hossa 100
2008 Kovalchuk 87 White 37 Recchi 40 Kozlov 41 Holik 34 Hossa 56
2009 Kovalchuk 97 Williams 18 Christensen 19 Kozlov 76 White 73 Little 51
2010 Kovalchuk 58 Antropov 45 Afinogenov 45 Kozlov 24 White 21 Little 23
2011 Kane Antropov ???? Berfors White Little

 

And now for the really ugly chart. Plus/minus is not a good measure of "defense" but it is a good measure of who is "dominating" whom at Even Strength. Ferraro got absolutely destroyed at ES in those early seasons, his big contribution came on the Power Play. For all his faults Kallio managed to limit the damage at ES. Hossa and Kozlov are the only two players to have back-to-back plus seasons for the Thrashers among the top six forwards. Kovalchuk didn't have a plus season until the very last year of his career with the Thrashers (he should thank Antropov for that too). He was a minus every year he played with Marc Savard. Kovalchuk was elite on the PP, but not a big difference maker at ES.

 

Season LW +/- C +/- RW +/- LW +/- C +/- RW +/-
2000 Emerson -24 Ferraro -33 Brunette -32 Stapleton -29 Buchberger -34 Garpenlov -30
2001 Audette -3 Ferraro -11 Brunette -5 Domenichelli -9 Guolla -6 Kallio -3
2002 Kovalchuk -19 Ferraro -32 Heatley -19 Domenichelli -18 Hrkac -12 Kallio -8
2003 Kovalchuk -24 Savard -11 Heatley -8 Kozlov -10 Hrkac -16 McEachern -27
2004 Kovalchuk -10 Savard -8 Heatley -8 Kozlov -12 Robitaille -12 McEachern 5
2005
2006 Kovalchuk -6 Savard 7 Mellanby 5 Kozlov 14 Holik -6 Hossa 17
2007 Kovalchuk -2 Ruccin -4 Mellanby -9 Kozlov 9 Holik -3 Hossa 18
2008 Kovalchuk -12 White -12 Recchi -16 Kozlov -10 Holik -14 Hossa -14
2009 Kovalchuk -12 Williams -9 Christensen -7 Kozlov -14 White -9 Little -5
2010 Kovalchuk 1 Antropov 16 Afinogenov -9 Kozlov -16 White -17 Little -7
2011 Kane Antropov ???? Berfors White Little

 

Conclusion: Next up checking forwards.