Monday, January 30, 2017

Cam Atkinson Autographed Card

One of the NHL's leading goal-scorers, Cam Atkinson wasn't on the league's original list of invitees to this year's All-Star Festivities, instead having to wait until Evgeni Malkin desisted with an injury, despite his 24 goals (which puts him on pace for 41 on the year).

All told, the Columbus Blue Jackets superstar scored 3 goals on Sunday, adding 2 assists for 5 total points, tops on the weekend, although former Los Angeles Kings and current Philadelphia Flyers star Wayne Simmonds received the MVP award.

At 27 years old, Atkinson seems to be in his prime, and I think he could be a top producer until the age of 32 or 33, likely with a drop in 2018-19, feeling the pressure of his next contract, which may very well carry double the cap hit he currently takes up ($3.5M).

What he likes to do is hang around right outside the slot on the goalie's right, close to the goal line and wait for a pass; if said pass doesn't come, the Jackets will find a way to get the puck to the net, usually via a shot, where he will enter the slot and look to bury the rebound.

But make no mistake: these aren't "garbage goals", they're sniper goals. He has a terrific wrist shot and a fine snapper that are "so hockey" he could have scored them in any era. He also has some good foot speed that often sees him score on breakaways, too.

I've liked him for a long time, and I think people are finally catching on to what he can do.

Here's one example, wearing the Jackets' blue (home) uniform, on card #135 from Panini's 2013-14 Score set, scoring on the Detroit Red Wings' Jimmy Howard:
He signed it in blue sharpie a year ago, in late January 2016, when his team was in Montréal, adding his jersey number (13) at the end.

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