With the season now over after a return to the playoffs and the Western Conference Finals, we're looking back at each player who wore the Indian Head sweater for the 08-09 Season and grading their performance. We now move on to the odd man out in the playoffs and Wii enthusiast, Colin Fraser.
#46 / Center / Chicago Blackhawks
Jan 28, 1985
Contract Status - RFA - '08-'09 Cap Hit: $500K
|2008 - Colin Fraser||81||6||11||17||3||55||0||1||0||0||67||9.0|
The Good: Fraser came into camp at the beginning of last year likely headed for another season of platooning between Rockford and the big club, and ended up making the team both by earning a spot, but also due to cap constraints as well. He ended up contributing meaningful shifts at both ends of the ice, centering the 4th line for all but one game of the 82-game regular season. His 17 points and a +3 are more than anyone can ask for from a 4th line center. Often pivoting Burish and Eager, the three as a unit provided energy and physicality when called upon. Frazz was also a part of the penalty kill unit, and showed a willingness to get his body in front of shots when covering point men on the PK. During his limited action in the playoffs, he did not look out of place with the level of competition, and was a factor in the Game 5 heartbreaker in Detroit logging key minutes, and even had a couple of prime scoring chances.
The Bad: I can't really say much bad about a guy that next to nothing was expected from (unless that someone is Matt Walker), and contributed the way he did. While he has very little offensive polish, he is certainly not a liability in any zone of the ice by fourth line standards. However, Fraser could stand to drastically improve his faceoff numbers, as he finished the year at a 47.8% clip. He also could probably increase his strength a bit as well, if this indeed is going to be the niche he carves for himself in the league.
Playoff Beard Strenght: Once again, Western Canada keeps it proud, with Fraser sporting a full red beard, despite his minimal playing time in the playoffs.
Nicknames: Frazz, Frazzle Dazzle, Mario
Related Photoshops: None from us, but Puck Daddy juxtaposes two images one would have never thought to be related prior to this playoff year.
The Grade: Based on expectations and his role on the fourth line, I'm willing to give Colin Fraser an A for the season. As I stated above, at no point was he a liability on the ice, and he centered arguably the most effective fourth line in the league, which has a ripple effect through the lineup when a coach can roll through all of his forwards regularly. Yes, his faceoffs need work, but if he continues to improve, there's no reason he could not develop into a Phalsson-esque shutdown centerman in his own right. What say you?