The tenth player in our series isn't going to get many panties wet, he's just Colton Gillies.
|"OF COURSE that was legal. It only happened to a Blue Jacket." -ref explanation|
More over the jump...
Since he was drafted, he played in one world junior tournament and spent his ELC shuffling back and forth between the AHL and the NHL. The best statistical stretch of hockey he ever had was his first brief stint with the Aeros, when he went 1G, 7A for 8 its in 11GP. After that, he never had a real home on the ice and eventually the Wild cut him loose.
Todd Richards was familiar with Gillies from having coached the Wild before and probably tipped CBJ brass off to his residual potential when Gillies was put on waivers. He came aboard the rapidly sinking ship January 14 and surprisingly, this one hasn't backfired yet. He fits in fairly well in the dressing room and was a designated 4th liner since he got here. He basically continued his natural trajectory (which the Wild should have figured out before drafting him in the first round), which is fine as long as Howson isn't giving up much to have him on the roster. To be precise, he didn't have to give up players or picks to acquire Gillies and pays him $625,000.00 to be a fourth liner of whom little is expected.
Gillies is big at 6'4", can skate reasonably well and isn't afraid to get rough. The problem is that he's only listed as 208 lbs and really hasn't won any good fights. As a Blue Jacket, he had a decent scrap with some guy named Summers, but if you're 6'4" and can't put the puck in the net... frankly, I expect more dominance in fights. It's bad enough we have to watch Boll fumble the puck all over the ice and then get pummeled when he stands up to noted weasels such as Pat Kaleta, but if you're gonna be taking up space on the bench, please bring something to the party.
Other than not having shown a great deal of toughness, I don't have much criticism to offer. He's a guy who gets 10 minutes of ice a night and isn't a liability. He can lay a hit and is at least willing to drop the gloves. He's kind of like a golf club you get for $5 at good will. If it works out, then great. If the club turns out to be a shank-machine, then throw it in the borrow-bin on your way out and let someone else give it a whirl.
Here are Gillies' stats from Hockeydb:
|2011-12||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||38||2||4||6||25||-4||--||--||--||--||--|
As you can see, there isn't much in his stats to pop your eyeballs out of their sockets. Maybe it's a good sign that he was a -4 on the fourth line of the worst team in the league? Otherwise he's a guy who can be counted upon for a maximum of 5 goals per season at the NHL level.
|"No, actually I don't find your goatee attractive, Jeff. Why do you keep asking me that?"|
Anyway, I suspect this year will bring more of the former. Gillies may be able to stay healthy for a full season and stick in the NHL. The only thing standing in his way is Jared Boll. And Boll usually doesn't hold his ground.
Prediction for Colton Gillies in 2012-2013: 3G, 7A over 70+ GP. Hopefully lots of well-earned PIMs and a positive +/-.
|It helps to play hockey with a stick. Failing that, try to assume a body posture that makes you seem as large as possible.|