Alex Plante is having a very nice start to his season. For a guy who battled injuries and forces real or imagined in the manager’s office a year ago, Plante’s having a terrific beginning to this year on all fronts.
Even more amazing is that the season started with a trade request and it looked like the Oilers first rounder would be sitting out many games again this season.
Since that would be a disaster based on how much time was missed a year ago, Plante and the Oilers should be very happy that it all worked out with the Hitmen.
Plante as a prospect has taken a beating from fans since his draft day. I’ve read some things that are not factual, implying Plante was a “reach pick” along the lines of Jesse Niinimaki. For the record, Plante was safely inside the first round on the Redline and ISS lists.
Another thing about Plante that is misguided is the idea that he’s been inconsistent offensively. The big “spike” season came when he was used heavily on the powerplay. Here are the EV stats (with points-per-game) for Alexandre Plante:
- 05-06EV: 54gp, 1-3-4 .074
- 06-07EV: 58gp, 2-9-11 .190
- 07-08EV: 16gp, 1-1-2 .125
- 08-09EV: 13gp, 1-5-6 .462
Plante went 6-21-27 with the man advantage in his draft year (.466 ppg) and so far this year he’s 1-2-3 (.231) with the man advantage. Anyone who wants to check my math (probably a good idea) can find the information on the fairly user-friendly WHL site. If my math is correct, Plante is posting some exceptional EV numbers and should be a strong candidate for AHL employment in that gifted Springfield backfield one year from now.
Plante’s having a good season so far, out of the shadow of last season’s injuries. I think he’s been a tough prospect to follow (Alzner was the vaunt, and despite being 9 months younger and clearly not in the Alzner league he was compared to his D partner and that’s a tough comp) but this season Alex Plante is posting numbers that will get noticed.