By Jan Levine, RotoWire
Special to Yahoo Sports
This week's article starts a series of three columns in which we'll look at this season's biggest disappointments, followed next week by surprises and then closing out with an early look at next season's top-12 picks.
Disappointments come in many shapes and forms: High selections that don't pan out, players expected to take a step forward who end up regressing or those who generally fail to meet the bar.
Andrew Copp, C, DET
Copp signed a five-year, $28.13 million contract with the Red Wings last July to serve as a veteran presence on a young team. Associated with that was the hope/expectation that the production he normally displayed in Winnipeg and then in New York after the trade deadline last season would carry forward. Copp has had a decent year with eight goals and 30 assists in 70 games, but those numbers are a far cry from last season's output, making his 2021-22 campaign look increasingly like an outlier.
Cole Sillinger, C, CLM
Sillinger, selected No. 12 overall by Columbus in the 2021 Draft, made the Blue Jackets as an 18-year-old last season. He finished the year with 16 goals and 31 points in 79 games, raising hopes that this season might result in a significant uplift in production. Au contraire mon frère, as Sillinger has just three goals and 11 points in 64 appearances this season, including three points with the man advantage. He had a 45-game stretch where he failed to light the lamp and was shifted down to the third line. The future is still bright, but it may take a few years for him to reach his potential.
Bryan Rust, RW, PIT
We knew last season's 24 goals and 58 points in 60 games were a bit of fool's gold for Rust, who picked the perfect time to explode heading into free agency. Pittsburgh signed Rust to a six-year, $30.75 million contract extension last May to keep him in the black-and-gold. That deal locked Rust into a top-six role and key spot on the man-advantage for at least the first part of his contract. With 15 goals and 23 assists in 69 games, Rust has produced more in line with his career norms, disappointing those who bet on last year being the start of increased production.
Trevor Moore, LW, LA
Moore has been limited to just 48 games due to a pair of injuries that landed him on injured reserve. Unfortunately, his production while active has lagged, as he has just eight goals and 15 assists. Like Rust, this decline comes after a career season, as the California native posted 17 goals, 48 points, 202 shots on goal, and a plus-20 rating in 81 games. Los Angeles signed Moore to a five-year, $21 million contract extension last December and we'll give him a little bit of a mulligan due to injuries. But that's just a one-time pass; next season will be more telling.
Seth Jarvis, RW, CAR
Maybe our expectations for Jarvis were overinflated based on his performance last season and the role he was expected to fill this year. Drafted 13th overall in 2020, Jarvis played so well in training camp last season that he forced Carolina to carry him on the active roster. He finished last season with 17 goals and 40 points in 68 games and opened this season in the top six. He's retained that spot, and his 13 tallies and 20 helpers aren't horrific production, but his performance is clearly not in line with what those who drafted him early in redraft leagues were expecting. Look for him to take a step forward next season.
MacKenzie Weegar D, CGY
Both players acquired in the Matthew Tkachuk deal, Jonathan Huberdeau and Weegar, have had extremely disappointing seasons. Last year, Weegar posted career-best marks in goals (8), assists (36), points (44), plus-minus rating (plus-40) and shots on goal (203) with the Panthers. With one year left on his contract, Calgary signed Weegar to an eight-year, $50 million extension last October. He has suffered through a brutal campaign, posting just three goals and 22 helpers in 71 games, though he recently has shown signs of life.
Evan Bouchard, D, EDM
Bouchard entered the season with a major up arrow as there was some hope that he could take over as the Oilers' top blueliner. The presence of Tyson Barrie quickly put a kibosh to that notion, but Bouchard did little to show that he deserved the spot anyway. Bouchard continue to tread water until Barrie was dealt to Nashville for Mattias Ekholm. Since that deal, Bouchard has a goal and seven assists in nine games, so if perchance he's still available in your league, grab him now.
Jordan Binnington, G, STL
Binnington spent most of last season stuck behind Ville Husso in net for the Blues. He played in just 37 games, posting an 18-14-4 record, a 3.13 GAA and a .901 save percentage. He was better in the playoffs (4-1-0 record, 1.75 GAA in five games) before a knee injury ended his season. With Husso gone to Detroit and Binnington coming off a strong postseason before the injury, there was some hope that he was primed for a solid fantasy campaign. Unfortunately, his season has been like a roller coaster, with little consistency save for him being inconsistent.
Jonathan Quick, G, LV
Quick has seen a bump in his production and performance following his trade to Las Vegas, but his numbers while in Los Angeles left a lot to be desired. He went 11-13-4 with a 3.50 goals-against average and .876 save percentage for the Kings, a far cry from the 23-13-9 record, a 2.59 GAA and a .910 save percentage he posted last season. Nonetheless, Quick is putting the finishing touches on a Hall of Fame career and could come back next season to reach the 400-win mark in net.
Others include Anton Lundell, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Johansen, Jonathan Huberdeau, Evan Rodrigues, Joel Farabee, Anthony Mantha, Yegor Sharangovich, Tyler Bertuzzi, Lucas Raymond, Neal Pionk, Damon Severson, Jeff Petry, Moritz Seider, Jack Campbell, Jacob Markstrom, Spencer Knight and Thatcher Demko.