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Behind The Bench: Teddy Purcell

by on 09/21/2011

Vitals

Born: St. John’s, NL, CAN
Birth date: September 8, 1985
Height: 6’2” (188 cm)
Weight: 198 lbs (90 kg)
Position: Right Wing/ Left Wing
Shoots: Rights
NHL Draft: Undrafted
NHL Team: Tampa Bay Lightning
Jersey No.: #16
National Team: Canada
NHL Contract: 12/13
Cap Hit: $2,362,500

History

Purcell was passed on during the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and spent two seasons with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL and dominated in both seasons, posing 67 points in 58 games in 2004-05 and 71 points in 55 games.

The following season Purcell made a huge splash in the NCAA with the University of Maine Black Bears. Purcell led all Hockey East rookies in scoring with 43 points and was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Year. He helped the Black Bears to their second consecutive appearance in the Frozen Four. Purcell was awarded Maine’s Howard Neville Award as the team’s top rookie. For his outstanding season, the Los Angeles Kings signed him as an unrestricted free agent to a one-year contract.

Purcell had a great showing during the Kings’ preseason but was sent down to the AHL to adjust to the pro game. It didn’t take Purcell long to adjust. Purcell led the AHL in scoring for most of the season until he gave up the lead late in the season as he began to receive call ups to the Kings. Despite giving the scoring lead up late in the season, Purcell still lead all AHL rookies in scoring by an enormous margin. Purcell’s first pro season’s status quickly rose to that of a Top 50 prospect.

Purcell spent the 2008-09 season between Manchester and Los Angeles. In 38 AHL games, he tallied 16 goals and 22 points. In 40 NHL games, he tallied 2 goals and 12 points. This point total was modest but his continued development showed progress.

The 2009-10 season was a disappointing season for Purcell. After 41 games with the Kings, where he only tallied 6 points, Purcell was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Jeff Halpern. With a change of scenery, Purcell would tally 9 points in 19 games, exceptionally better compared to the first half of his season.

Purcell flourished under near bench boss, Guy Boucher, he posted career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points and penalty minutes. Purcell played in 81 games for the Lightning and posted 17 goals and 34 assists, good for 51 points and 10 penalty minutes. Purcell continued his great play into the Stanley Cup playoffs where he truly excelled. In 18 games, he recorded 6 goals and 11 assists, for 17 points. Purcell was tied with Alex Burrows, Nathan Horton, Michael Ryder and Joe Thornton in points, all players except Thornton played more games than Purcell.

Talent Analysis

Pros

  • Good size, projectable frame
  • Lots of offensive ability
  • Great shot with a quick release
  • Can score goals and set up linemates
  • Versatile, can play left or right side
  • Adept stick-work and stick handling
  • Great on-ice vision
  • Good speed, good skater
  • Tremendous hockey sense and great poise

Cons

  • Not the best defensively but has continued to improve every year in the league
  • Lacks consistency at the NHL-level
  • Could use his 6’2 frame more to his advantage
  • At times, appears as he has no confidence in himself

Future

Purcell avoided arbitration by signing a two-year $4.75M contract extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning. After a career best season, Purcell and the Lightning are hoping he can reproduce his results.

Purcell is one of the most underrated players in the league, he went undrafted and produced underwhelming numbers at the NHL-level but dominated the AHL-level. He has all the skills necessary to be a good top-6 forward but lacked the confidence to establish himself at the NHL level. With a good season under his belt, hopefully he has finally gained the confidence he needs to start producing at the highest level.

Purcell is expected to produce 50 points next season. Producing above that point total will be depend on Lecavalier staying healthy. If Lecavalier can stay healthy and play 70 or more games next season, Purcell should finish the season between 55-60 points.

NHL Highlights

  • Signed as a unrestricted free agent by the Los Angeles Kings
  • 1st NHL Game Played – January 15th, 2008 vs. Edmonton Oilers (3-1 W)
  • 1st NHL Point – January 24th, 2008 vs. Anaheim Ducks (Assist)
  • 1st NHL Goal – February 15th, 2008 vs. Calgary Flames
  • 1st NHL Assist – January 24th, 2007 vs. Anaheim Ducks
  • 1st NHL Multi-point Game – December 15th, 2008 vs. San Jose Sharks (Goal and an assist)
  • 1st NHL Playoff GP – April 13th, 2011 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (0-3 L)
  • 1st NHL Playoff Point – April 20th, 2011 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (Assist)
  • 1st NHL Playoff Goal – April 25th, 2011 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 1st NHL Playoff Assists – April 20th, 2011 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 1st NHL Playoff Multi-point Game – April 23rd, 2011 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (3 Assists)

Career Highlights

  • 2004-05 USHL Clark Cup Champion
  • 2005-06 USHL Most Assists (52)
  • 2006-07 NCAA (HE) Rookie of the Year
  • 2006-07 NCAA (HE) Most Points by a Rookie (43)
  • 2006-07 Howard Neville Award
  • 2007-08 AHL All-Star Game
  • 2007-08 AHL Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award
  • 2007-08 AHL All-Rookie Team
  • 2008-09 AHL All-Star Game

Career Stats

AHL: 105 GP, 41 G, 80 A, 121 Pts
AHL Playoffs:
4 GP, 0 G, 3 A, 3 Pts
NCAA:
40 GP, 16 G, 27 A, 43 Pts
NHL:
191 GP, 28 G, 57 A, 85 Pts
NHL Playoffs:
18 GP, 6 G, 11 A, 17 Pts
SJHL:
51 GP, 21 G, 25 A, 46 Pts
USHL:
113 GP, 39 G, 99 A, 138 Pts
USHL Playoffs:
19 GP, 8 G, 17 A, 25 Pts

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