2011-2012 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Tyler Ennis

BUFFALO NY - JANUARY 18: Tyler Ennis #63 of the Buffalo Sabres reacts after scoring Buffalo's first goal against the Montreal Canadiens at HSBC Arena on January 18 2011 in Buffalo New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

With the 2011-12 Buffalo Sabres ending in disappointment and after a few weeks for us to gather our thoughts, it's time for us to issue our report cards on the season. Over the next few weeks, we'll grade every player that wore a Buffalo Sabres uniform in 2011 and 2012, from Luke Adam to Mike Weber.

Introduction: Tyler Ennis is one of the most intriguing players on the Buffalo Sabres roster heading in to next season. Ennis had a fantastic run at the end of the year offensively, but spent much of the season trying to recover from injury. Most Sabre fans have pinned their hopes for next season on Ennis picking up right where he left off, and evolving into the #1 center - or at least close to it - that the Sabres have been searching for. But can he stay healthy enough, and can his production remain steady enough?

That's a big question that will go a long way in determining whether or not we'll still be watching the Sabres at this time next year.

Key Stat: In his final 30 games of the season, Ennis scored 29 points. Is that a sustainable rate? Probably not, but it shows what he's capable of for extended periods of time. If the diminutive center can approach those lofty numbers for a full season, the Sabres will be in much better shape offensively.

Thumbs Up: Ennis led Buffalo with a team-high +11 rating, and also led players who played in at least half the games this season in shot percentage with an 18.3% clip. He has the fastest hands on the team, which can lead to incredible plays like this. The line of Foligno-Ennis-Stafford was dominant down the stretch thanks to Tyler's quick reflexes and creativity with the puck.

Thumbs Down: Despite his quick hands, Ennis was a dismal 45% in the faceoff circle. Also, despite receiving almost 2 minutes of power play time per game, Ennis had just 4 points. He missed 34 games this season due to two ankle injuries, and injuries have been a big concern for Ennis in his short career.

Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Tyler Ennis on his season according to the expectations you had for him. If he met them, give him a five or a six. If he eclipsed them, aim for a seven or beyond. If he failed to meet them, give him a lower number relating to how poorly he missed the target.

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