Oct 4, 2011

Season Preview: Blake Comeau

Blake Comeau

Position: Left Wing/Right Wing
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 205 lbs
Birthdate: February 18th, 1986 (25 years old)
Birthplace: Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada
Acquired: Draft, 2nd round, 47th overall, 2006 NHL Entry Draft

2010-2011 Team: New York Islanders
2010-2011 Stats: 77 GP - 24 G - 22 G - 46 P - 43 PIM
2011-2012 Team: New York Islanders
Team Role: Third Line Wing

Last year: After teetering between lines in Scott Gordon's system from 2008-2010, Comeau really solidified himself as a legitimate NHL player during the 2010-11 season. Comeau started off the season on fire playing with Josh Bailey and P.A. Parenteau, but soon after the revolving door of linemates began. Playing with the likes of Jon Sim, Jesse Joensuu, Rob Schremp, and Jeremy Colliton, Comeau still managed to score 24 goals and assist on 22 more. Despite being inconsistent in his intensity, Comeau proved that he belonged in the NHL as a top-9 player. A restricted free agent after the season, Comeau eventually signed a one-year contract with the Islanders on the night before his arbitration case was scheduled.

Expectations: Comeau will certainly need to show Garth Snow and the Islanders organization that he is worthy of a long-term extension. He'll certainly have an opportunity, seeing as he has played all situations at points during last season. While he will most likely be playing on a like with Josh Bailey and Brian Rolston to start, there is little reason to think that line won't be productive. They should work well together, and the threat of Rolston getting the puck in the slot will enable Comeau to use his puck-handling skills as he will have more time to make decisions. It's certainly not unreasonable to pencil Comeau in for another 20 goal season.

Projections: 73 GP - 22 G - 25 A - 47 P


CH: Comeau really does have a lot to prove, as there have been subtle signs that the team is not as high on him as they once were. Comeau has consistently played with the "B" squad during training camp, and was not signed to a long-term extension while Bailey, John Tavares, Michael Grabner, and Kyle Okposo all signed multi-year deals. The reality is that Comeau may need to assert himself into the Islanders long-term plans by showing high intensity during those weeknight games against Western Conference teams. Once he finds that consistency, the combination of physicality and scoring ability will make him a long-term third line/second line tweener in the league.

AT: With a newly signed $2.5m contract under his belt, Comeau's going to need to prove his consistency this season. He's 25 now and heading towards his prime, and coming off a 24 goal season he's going to need to show that he's more than just a third liner. Carey correctly mentioned that there was a lack of consistency in his intensity and in the fire in his game, but Comeau knows what he has to do now. He's got a heck of a shot, excellent puckhandling ability and is a very strong skater. That on top of the 120 hits he threw last year made him a very underrated player on an Islander offense that is beginning to get stacked. Hopefully we'll see a good year out of Comeau and he'll do even more to earn yet another extension with the Isles.

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