Entering the 2013-2014 season, there were expectations as to what kind of season Kyle Palmieri could have for the Ducks. The lockout-season was his first as a regular at the NHL level, and he responded by scoring 10 goals and 21 points in 42 games and playing very well for the Ducks with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. He also had a very good playoff run in 2013, where he was tied at the top in goals, tied for third in points, and led the club in +/-.
This past regular season, however, was a mixed bag of sorts. Palmieri increased his totals across the stat sheet, including goals, assists, points, +/-, and PIM. However, with the glut of young wingers that the Ducks had, Palmieri eventually had his role reduced from the top-six to the bottom-six, and even was made a healthy scratch numerous times to close out the season.
In the playoffs, things were not much better. Palmieri was scratched for four straight games (the last two against Dallas and first two against Los Angeles), and in the nine games he did play, he played over 13 minutes just once. He did score three goals again, but it was clear that Bruce Boudreau was looking for more from Palmieri.
The Ducks need young wingers to step up and fill in the gaps on the top-six. Kyle Palmieri is definitely capable of doing so, but he must continue to keep taking steps forward. Here, we take a look at what Palmieri can bring to a game and what he needs to work on in order to improve.