The large decline of Devin Setoguchi

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On July 5, 2013 the Winnipeg Jets traded a second round draft pick for Devin Setoguchi. Jets fans were excited and it seemed as though the large void at right wing had been filled. It appeared as though Devin Setoguchi could the perfect player to help Evander Kane on the Jets second line. But as the 2013-2014 season has come to a close, Setoguchi has not lived up to expectations, disappointing Jets fans and management. During the year, Setoguchi has not been the scoring weapon he was brought in to be. Instead, he has been a bottom 6 forward who is invisible on the ice.

Scouting Report

Setoguchi, a former 30 goal scorer, plays a one dimensional game. He puts the puck in the net and throughout his career he has shown his ability to do so. When you play a limited type of game like he does, you need to be very good at what you do best. And as of late, Setoguchi has not. His hockey IQ is very poor, especially his defensive play. His work ethic is poor and he does not seem very engaged in games. His ability to score and produce without elite linemates is non-existent. In his prime he was a good complementary player but otherwise he becomes a floater and an irrelevant piece to a team. After scoring 31 goals in the 2008-2009 season with the San Jose Sharks, Setoguchi’s production has substantially decreased.

2008-2009 season
65 points ( 31G &34A) in 81 games

2009-2010
36 points ( 20G & 16A) in 70 games

2010-2011
41 points (22G & 19A) in 72 games

2011-2012
36 points (19G & 17A) in 69 games

2012-2013
27 points (13G & 14A) in 48 games

2013-2014 (Thus Far)
27 Points (11G & 16A)

The decline in production did not waver the Jets management in their belief in Setoguchi. So the Jets decided to give up a second round pick for his services. Now, as the season comes to an end and the trade deadline has already passed, it seems as though Kevin Cheveldyaoff has wasted a second overall pick.

Why Did the Jets Not Trade Devin Setoguchi?

Kevin Cheveldayoff has not been active in first three NHL trade deadlines. He has been hesitant to trade expiring UFA’s for draft picks. He has been criticized for this because it contradicts the plan of drafting and developing. To draft and develop, the more picks the better. Its most likely that the Jets won’t be resigning Setoguchi after this season, so why didn’t Kevin Chevldayoff pull the trigger on a deal that would try to heal the wound left by the poor play of Setoguchi? The Jets gave away a second round pick for Setoguchi so it would be important for them to get something in return. Maybe the reason Cheveldayoff didn’t make a deal was simply because nobody wanted Setoguchi.

Think about it, if you look at the numbers it’s obvious to see that Setoguchi has not been a 30 goal scorer caliber player for a while. So why would anyone want to give up a draft pick for Setoguchi? Maybe he could provide depth for a team that’s making a run for the Cup? Realistically how much better would Setoguchi be on another team? It doesn’t seem like he would make that much more of an impact that a team would be willing to give up a draft pick for him. Actually, the question really should be, why did Kevin Cheveldyaoff give up that much up for Setoguchi in the first place? Couldn’t there have been better options than Setoguchi at a cheaper price? Thankfully for the Jets, the surprising success of Michael Frolik has made up for the poor season of Devin Setoguchi. If Frolik did not exceed expectations like he did this year, the Jets would really be in trouble at Right Wing and they would have found themselves back at square one where they were at the beginning of the season.

As shown in this article, the Setoguchi experiment was a bust. But the question is, who should fill his spot next year on right wing? Tweet me at @officialjetfuel and tell me what you think

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A High School Student who loves the game of hockey but especially the Winnipeg Jets, you can follow me on twitter at @officialjetfuel.

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