|2009 - Andreas Nodl||10||0||1||1||-2||0||0||8||1:00||8:55||2||0.0|
Nodl is a perplexing player. He was drafted as a scorer after putting up 59 points in 58 USHL games. He then scored 90 points in 80 NCAA games, only to score 1 goal (5 points) in 48 NHL games. In all, most people would consider the former second-round pick a bust and write him off.
But I (and a few members here) have a soft spot for Nodl. As the resident stats nerd, it's tough to find redeeming qualities, especially when looking above. He played terrible competition, didn't score, and allowed a lot of goals against. While that sounds (and looks) bad, Nodl starts in the defensive zone and pushes the play forward (Fenwick and Corsi). It's tough to fault a player like that.
In addition to the small sample-size effect ballooning his GAON/60, Flyers goaltenders had a 0.879 save percentage while he was on the ice. As a point of reference, the worst save percentage in the NHL last year (Vesa Toskala) was 0.880. You can argue that Nodl is partially responsible for his goalie's save percentage, but coupled with the small sample-size, it'd be tough to convince anyone that Nodl is really that bad defensively.
If you weren't convinced of that, look no further than his playoff performance: 1.52 GAON/60 with a 20% offensive zone start. It even warranted Peter Laviolette saying Nodl "played a great game" at one point.
The problem is that Nodl's game is now one best suited to a fourth-line role, with a possibility of filling in on the third line. This isn't a negative, but when Darroll Powe and Ian Laperriere are ahead of you on the depth chart, it becomes a hindrance. At this point, all Nodl needs is a chance at the NHL level. It's unlikely he gets it in Philadelphia without an injury, since this is his final year.
Maybe he doesn't warrant another chance, and his 38 games two years ago don't exactly scream deserving, but Nodl's game has changed since then. Now, he's a penalty-killing specialist, someone who throws his weight around in the corner, and someone who has skating ability. He clearly still has skill - 34 points in the AHL last year - but he only projects to 19 NHL points in an 82-game season (using Gabe Desjardins' NHL Equivalencies), or about 1 point less than Powe's production last year.
So until Nodl finds his scoring touch (if ever), he will likely only be an injury fill-in for the Flyers.