This is the tenth post in my three paragraph player reviews series. You can read what I’ve previously had to say about Eric Neilson (who was re-signed yesterday!!!!!), Cedric Paquette, and Mike Angelidis by visiting those links, as I won’t be doing any of these “reviews” for them.
Previous players reviewed in this series:
Syracuse Crunch rookie forward Tanner Richard had a disappointing rookie season in the AHL. Richard clocked in at 19 on Raw Charge’s Top 25 Under 25, as at the time of the list’s creation it was expected that Richard would fill the shoes of departing guys like Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat. Unfortunately for Richard and the Crunch, things didn’t exactly work out as planned.
Richard was supposed to be the Crunch’s crafty playmaker, but his 2 goals and 15 assists in 65 games isn’t exactly what fans were hoping for. In quick comparison, Crunch forward Eric Neilson had one goal and forward PC Labrie had two. Neilson played in 35 games; Labrie played in 38. Neither Neilson or Labrie are known for their scoring touches, and certainly not in the way Richard was/is supposed to be known for. It’s concerning to see their goal totals for the season matching with his, especially considering the disparity in games played.
Another area of concern is that Richard’s -10 in the +/- category at the end of the season was the third-lowest on the team among the forwards. As we sometimes joke around here, they close schools for that kind of wind chill. It also took Richard a while to get going this season; four months went by before he scored his first goal. It came on January 25th, 2014.
However, to be fair to Richard, no one beyond the Crunch’s first line particularly excelled this season, at least not until those March signings and trades breathed new life into the team. But fans had certainly hoped for more production from him, especially given the opportunities he had to seize ice time due to injuries and call ups. Hopefully a focused, productive off season will give him a running start for next season. I do think Richard has a lot of talent still to be tapped.