Who's this guy?
Born: Feb 9th, 1990, in Newmarket Ontario.
What'd he do?
Darren Archibald played in 16 games for the Canucks this past season, scoring 1 goal, and adding 2 assists in his time with the big team. He gained some small status as one of "Tort's kind of guys", earning praise from the now departed coach for his straight ahead style and simple game.
So, was he any good?
Now, that is the question, isn't it ? You can check his meager advanced stats over those 16 games here ( and the always useful ExtraSkater.com ) for yourself, but I am not going to really touch on his advanced stats effectiveness for one reason. He played a total of 124.7 minutes in the past season. I just don't think the sample size is big enough to judge him one way or another. He played decently in a 4th line role, and didn't look horrible when he was bumped up the lineup on occasion. Darren Archibald plays a simple game. Skate. Hit. Repeat. He did have 10 goals and 22 points in 59 games in Utica, for what that is worth.
Archie had 30 hits in his 16 games, so there is that. When you look at that ExtraSkater link, you see, in the individual games, that he had really good ones vs Dallas and Anaheim, for what that is worth. For the record ( and I don't usually agree with them ), I agree with the projections from The Hockey News here. He is a project with some upside, and can be good in front of the net, in particular.
So, was he any good?
Well, the man can do this.... ( it is from the AHL, and yes, that is Tom Sestito's brother he is feeding them to )
His first NHL goal ( from 6" in front of the net, of course )
If you can do this, you are going to get a chance in the NHL....no matter WHAT! What. A. Hit.
Impressive, but what did we hate?
Again, I point you to the just 16 games of NHL experience, but, like most young players trying to crack an NHL lineup, Archibald has to be more consistent. Unlike the Horvats and Jensens of the world, Archie does not have a high draft status to define him. He will have to continue to excel at the things that have gotten him this far. See the man, hit the man. Put that NHL size in front of the net and be hard to move. There may be a place for the man in the NHL. His 102 PIM in the AHL points to his ability to protect his teammates on the ice. Actually playing the game a little bit, could put him ahead of your standard facepuncher.
So, what now then?
He was signed to a two way deal that paid him 660 K in the NHL, and is an RFA ( because he simply has not played enough NHL games yet ) this year. I will make it up to the new GM and staff to decide on his future with this team, but something tells me that he would get, maybe, one more chance if it is not here...
I liked him, myself. I usually have a soft spot for long shots and guys that make it by the dint of their hard work and limited skill. I do think there is more to see with the guy though, and see a ceiling somewhere along the lines of a Tim Jackman or a Tom Sestito. Actually, a bit better than TommyBoy. I think that Archie can be a bit more than a facepuncher. The new regime may decide on getting a guy like, say, Tim Jackman, for the 4th line role next year. But, perhaps, with some coaching, and sanding of the rough edges off, he is in the organization already !