2011-2012 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Derek Whitmore
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.
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Introduction: Rochester native Derek Whitmore made his Sabres debut on 12/20/11, and played a total of two games without registering a point while averaging 12:31 ice time. The left winger was one of the scoring leaders on the Sabres' farm team the Rochester Amerks, ending the regular season with 28 G & 16A in 75 games, before enduring a miserable 3-game playoffs run where he had no points and was a team-low -5.
At 5'10' 190lbs, Whitmore is another one of the numerous forwards in that size range that the Sabres seem to have stockpiled over the last few years. He will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, and it will remain to be seen if his four years of solid offensive numbers in the AHL will be enough to get him signed up again by the Sabres, or if he will garner interest from other NHL, AHL or even KHL teams.
Key Stat: Whitmore led the Amerks in various offensive categories, with 28 goals (8 PPG) on 241 shots on goal being the highlights. The powerplay goals definitely catch the eye, especially when considering the Sabres' sickly offensive special teams performance (16th this season).
Thumbs Up: Given another opportunity, the left winger could meet with some of the same success that Luke Adam did when playing pivot for Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville. The offensive tools are there, they just might need some more honing at the higher level.
Thumbs Down: At 27, it is possible that Whitmore has hit his ceiling and will not get higher than a bottom six, injury fodder type of player.
Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Derek Whitmore 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.
On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, how would you rate Derek Whitmore for his 2011-12 season?