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WTE: Devin Setoguchi

Can a new contract with the Flames re-ignite Devon Setoguchi?

Derek Leung

In the last WTE, we talked about Joe Colborne and his breakout year. Well, now let's move onto newly acquired right winger Devin Setoguchi. He signed a one year deal worth $750,000 with Calgary this off-season after the Jets chose not to resign him because of a dismal year. After not being able to live up to expectations of his 30-goal season, he fell out of favour with the Sharks. Seto later played for the Minnesota Wild and Winnipeg Jets, with both teams being unsuccessful in trying to rekindle the fire he once had.

At Flames fitness testing Setoguchi talked to the Calgary Herald about wanting to getting back into his killer instinct.

"That killer mentality, that killer instinct I used to have. It’s something I might have lost the last couple years. Sometimes you need to get to the bottom of the barrel before you realize this could be it for you. My game wasn’t ready to go. I wasn’t in the best physical condition. On top of it all, I had a not-so-good start and it was just a downward spiral. There was a lot of negativity that crept into my mind and my game. That’s kind of where I realized, this summer coming into free agency, that it’s going to be tough to get a job unless you change the way you are and become more of a professional. I’m excited to be ready to go, the start of Day 1, as opposed to working from behind. It’s the best I’ve felt in years and hopefully it transfers over on the ice."

-Devin Setoguchi at fitness testing

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What has he done?

I think the better question is, "What hasn't he done?" After his career year with the Sharks in which he scored 31 goals and 65 points, he's went from first line all the way down to the third and fourth lines of the Jets and at one point, even a healthy scratch.

He's got a pretty good shot, slick hands and smooth skating so if he plays with a playmaking center (possibly Backlund), he may end up surprising everyone and leave Winnipeg shaking their heads. Although playing with an elite center in Joe Thornton did contribute to his success in San Jose, Setoguchi was never on pace for less than 40 points except last season and his rookie season.

To score, or not to score, that is the question

Unfortunately, that's exactly how Seto's been playing for the past few years. He'll be good and show flashes of brilliance in a handful games and look completely look lost in the next stretch of games. This was apparently one of his biggest problems last year with the Jets, he would be lights out one game but disappear the next.

The problem may have been anything from his chemistry with the other guys to off-ice distractions. He still wasn't the most consistent player in the past with the Wild or the Sharks, but with the Jets it was what held him back.

What does he bring to the table?

Expect Setoguchi to be a power-play specialist and be a decent replacement for Cammaleri, who we lost to free agency this year. He's got an amazing shot, another aspect he can replace Cammaleri in, and smooth skating that is sure to be prized on the ice with all the truculence we have. Should we expect him to get 30 goals and 60 points again? Absolutely not, but we should expect a considerable improvement in performance given all the opportunities he has here in Calgary, but only if he can get Hartley to trust him first. I like to see him as a Hudler/Cammaleri lite.

Seto's situation going into the season will be similar to Colborne, as in he'll be given a top six role as well as powerplay time associated with it. After the first 10-15 games of the season, he'll either show signs of improvement or go down the same path as last season. At this point in Setoguchi's career, it really is do or die for him this season.

2013-2014 Statistics: GP 75 G 11 A 16 P 27 +/- -7 PIM 22 PPG 2 SHG 0

2014-2015 Projected Statistics: GP 80 G 21 A 20 P 41 +/- -11 PIM 20 PPG 5 SHG 0

Long story short, he is projected to get better stats this season with the teammates and the opportunities he'll be granted in Calgary. My predictions may seem crazy as not everyone can get nine more goals in a bounce back season with a team that finished 27th the season before, but if all goes well the projected stats won't be too far off.

Thanks for reading this WTE on Devin Setoguchi and here is the last WTE on Joe Colborne in case you missed it. Let me know what you thought in the comments and who you think should be next.