I'm excited to introduce one of my new features for the '09-10 season. Wild fans like to think of Brent Burns as one of the best young defensemen in the game. Unfortunately, for Brent and Wild fans alike, Brent had a rough season last year between switching up to forward for a while and injuries. The result, as you saw in KiPA's fantasy analysis, is that Burnsie's star seems to have fallen ex-Minnesota, anyway.
So I'm going to be putting the microscope on Burns as compared to some of his peers in the "young stud defenseman" category. Namely Mike Green, Shea Weber, Dion Phaneuf and Jay Bouwmeester.
I'm going to be looking at how these young bucks stack up against each other statistically, as the season progresses.
To begin with, here's how they compared last season.
Name, GP, Goals-Assists-Points, League rank (points), Points/gm, +/-
Green 68, 31-42-73, 1st, 1.074, +24
Weber 81, 23-30-53, 8th, 0.654, +1
Phaneuf 80, 11-36-47, 15th, 0.588, -11
Bouwmeester 82, 15-27-72, 23rd, 0.512, -2
Burns 53 8-19-27, 59th. 0.509, -7
Name, PIM, GWG, TOI/Gm, Cap Hit
Green 68, 4, 25:45, $5.25M
Weber 80, 4, 23:58, $4.50M
Phaneuf 100, 4, 26:31, $6.50M
Bouwmeester 68, 2, 26:59, $6.68M
Burns 45, 2, 22:25, $3.55M
Name, Cap hit/GP, Cap hit/point, Cap hit/PwrPlyPt
Green $77.2K, $71.9K, $138.1K
Weber $55.5K, $84.9K, $236.8K
Phaneuf $81.2K, $138.2K, $309.5K
Bouwmeester $81.4K, $159.0K, $278.3K
Burns $66.9K, $131.4K, $253.5K
*Conclusions: Burns, relative to the rest of the group, was definitely an expensive player last season for the Wild. While it's interesting to note that both Phaneuf and Bouwmeester were more expensive than Burns from a cap hit/pts perspective, it should also be noted that Green and Weber really separated themselves from the rest of the group. Now, you can say that Burns had issues with health and switching to forward, Phaneuf just had a down year and Bouwmeester was toiling in Miami, and you'd be right. But, nonetheless, the onus is on Burns, Phaneuf and Bouwmeester to prove they can catch up with Green and Weber at this point.