Giroux is coming off by far his worst NHL season since he broke out as a star of the league back in 2010-11, as he collected just 58 points -- a nine-point drop from the prior season and his third straight year of decline -- and went minus-15 for a poor Flyers team. The playmaking pivot was still a dangerous power-play weapon, clearing 30 points on special teams for the fourth time in his career. Otherwise, he experienced sharp declines across the board -- in goals (only 14, including just four in the season’s final 47 games), shots (199) and even ice time (19:07) -- that have to be mighty worrying for fantasy owners. At just 29 years old, though, it’s too soon for Giroux to be on the back end of his career. Unless their young players take major steps forward, it doesn't look likely that the Flyers will be a much better team this year, but Giroux still presents a buy-low (or draft-cheap) opportunity for fantasy owners -- he’s too skilled and too proud for this to be the way of things moving forward.
Giroux is the engine that drives the Flyers’ offense, so it’s no surprise that they finished in the league’s bottom third offensively while he posted his worst output in six seasons last year. Don’t get it twisted, 67 points – 27 of those on the power play – would be a very good season for most players, but Giroux came well short of the approximately point-per-game scoring his fantasy owners had enjoyed for the prior five years. His typically incredible power-play output fell from the high 30s in the last three (non-lockout-shortened) seasons to 27 points despite a big jump in ice time on the man advantage. He also offered nearly nothing in the playoffs, notching just a lone assist in six games as the Flyers got downed by Washington in the first round. Now, that’s a lot of negatives, so let’s balance them with some positives. Still just 28, Giroux offers fantasy owners an essentially guaranteed 20 goals with a huge helping of assists on the side, and although he underwent hip and abdomen surgery in the offseason, the star center has been a paragon of durability throughout his career. He makes for a safe draft-day investment and could easily bounce back over 70 points.
Giroux was an elite offensive force once again in 2014-15, racking up 25 goals and 73 points in 81 games. The dazzling playmaker dominated on the power play, leading the NHL with a remarkable 37 power-play points and setting a career high with 14 goals on the man advantage. The 27-year-old has fantastic vision and is one of the best puck distributors in the league, and that's unlikely to change any time soon. While his numbers have fallen slightly since his 93-point season in 2011-12, the top-line center is a fearless playmaker who has formed a perfect 1-2 punch with rising superstar Jakub Voracek – who finished tied for fourth in the NHL scoring race last season. Having scored at least 25 goals in each of his last four full seasons and leading the charge on one of the deadliest power plays in the game, Giroux should be well on his way to another 70-point campaign, though we wouldn't be surprised if he ticked up above the 80-point mark again.
As the saying goes -- to those whom much is given, much is expected. Nowhere does that hold more true than in Philadelphia with Giroux. The Flyers captain is the offensive sparkplug for the team, leading in almost every scoring category. Questions about his linemates will persist throughout training camp, but very few will be raised about him. He may have lost Scott Hartnell in the offseason, but both he and Jakub Voracek will more than likely find success with either Michael Raffl, R.J. Umberger, or whomever is lucky enough to get that job. Giroux is among the best centers in the league and will be drafted by all shrewd general managers very early on.
After a breakout, 93-point season in 2011-12, Giroux calmed down a bit last year. He still amassed a respectable 47 points in 48 games and was among the league leaders in most offensive categories. After signing an eight-year extension in the offseason, he'll look to maintain his elite status. He figures to be a target in the opening rounds of most drafts, but exercise caution -- he underwent surgery on Aug. 15 to repair damage to an extensor tendon on his right index finger that was cut after a golf club shattered and then splintered into his hand on a shot. Tendons are notoriously slow healers and fingers crossed (literally) the injury was restricted to the tendon and not the nearby nerves. While he has begun skating drills, he'll likely miss most of the preseason games.
Giroux is coming off a breakout, career-high 93-point season that saw him become one of the league's premier forwards, registering 65 assists to go with 28 goals. The young and incredibly talented player will be fantasy gold in the 2012-13 season if he can avoid injury. Count on Giroux for another huge season as he is developing into one of the league's best. He underwent surgery on both wrists this past offseason, but all signs point to Giroux being healthy for training camp. Despite playing in just 11 playoff games, Giroux was one of the league's top postseason scorers, to give you an idea of the talent the Hearst, Ontario native possesses. Expect to pull the trigger on Giroux early if you want him on your roster.
Giroux had his breakthrough season with career highs in nearly every category, including goals (25), assists (51), points (76), PIMs (47) and plus-minus (plus-20). And at 23 years of age, it's possible that Giroux still has some sizable upside left to realize. He'll likely center the Flyers' second line behind Daniel Briere this season.
Giroux is the epitome of potential and upside at this point of his career. He understandably went through some cold streaks last year, but he showed everything the talent scouts saw during his hellacious tear through the minor league circuit during the playoffs last season, posting 21 points in 23 games. At just 22-years old heading into the 2010-11 season, it's hard to see Giroux's production go anywhere but up, especially with the talent surrounding him.
After making his NHL debut with a brief two-game run in Philly for the 2007-08 season at 20 years old, Giroux was up for good in late December and he wasted little time flashing the potential that has labeled him one of the top up-and-coming players in the game following his three-year stretch of lighting up junior hockey with 321 points in 187 contests. In 42 games with the Flyers, Giroux tallied 27 points (9 G, 18 A) and did not look the part of a very young rookie, displaying a strong two-way game that is quickly earning him place next to Richards and Carter when the coaching staff talks about the team's elite players. He projects as an eventual top-line winger, but that may happen sooner than later even with a talented group of other young forwards around him. This time around, the Flyers appear willing to move Giroux to center, while giving albatross Daniel Briere a fresh start on the wing.
Giroux played in two games for the Flyers last year after finishing second in the QMJHL with 106 points. He also finished third with a plus-40 rating and recorded 51 points (17 G, 34 A) in 19 QMJHL playoff games. He'll get a shot at making the team and could be a nice sleeper given the enormous potential at the offensive end.
Giroux is a fantastic skater and his speed allows him to be an elite playmaker. This past season with Gatineau of the QMJHL, Giroux had 48 goals and 112 points in just 63 games. He can provide instant offense, something the Flyers are sorely lacking right now. The Flyers would be wise to give Giroux a shot to make the team this season, but it's still possible that he will return to Gatineau for the third straight season.
The speedy first round pick should return to juniors for this upcoming season.
Giroux won the rookie scoring title in the QMJHL with 103 points, which was good enough to put him 11th overall on the scoring list for the entire league. He's shifty with incredible vision, and has a knack for making pinpoint passes to his teammates. Right now, he's a real flyweight (5'11" and 169 lbs) so he's going to have to add some bulk to be able to stand up to the rigors of the NHL. But with his clever abilities, he will give the Flyers a real boost in the speed department.