Position: Left Wing
Weight: 209 lbs.
2014-15 team: Buffalo
Acquired: Traded from the LA Kings along with Hudson Fasching for Brayden McNabb, Jonathan Parker and two second round pick
Last year's ranking: 16
It's fair to say that there is no one that is more polorizing on this list since his addition than Nic Deslauriers. Is he nothing more than a replacement level fourth liner? Does he have a nice combo of grinding and bottom six scoring ability? Is he really more valuable than the team's mid-level prospects? The answer to these questions really depends on who you ask.
Deslauriers had his first full NHL season in 2014-15, playing in every game and finishing ninth on the team in scoring. At points he was asked to take on a greater role than a fourth liner, mostly due to injury and a lack of talent on the roster.
He's the type of player that fans often like. Scrappy, willing to stand up for a teammate, and if he puts in a couple goals than that's just a bonus. However, his advanced stats aren't pretty, which is very evident on his Hero Chart. He's below the fourth line level in impact on linemates' Corsi for and against.
Forward is still a bit new to Deslauriers, but it should always be noted he was converted from defense because he didn't really play defense very well. He's now been in his new position for a couple of years now, and we've likely seen his ceiling now at age 24. Is he a great player? No, but he could replace players like Patrick Kaleta and Cody McCormick. You know his role won't be groundbreaking, but he likely has a spot on the roster for at least the next few years.