Every Thursday I am going to focus on an individual player and give a quick analysis on how that player is playing so far this season. For the first week I am going to focus on the struggling sniper Thomas Vanek.
As of today, Vanek sits 5th on the team with 8 points and tied second on the team with 4 goals along with Drew Stafford, Tim Connolly, Tyler Myers and Jordan Leopold. So far this season the Sabres have struggled to score goals and Vanek isn’t offering any help. Vanek is typically the leading goal scorer on the Sabres, but he is struggling to find twine and frustration is mounting.
Vanek was drafted out of the University of Minnesota in 2003 and was the 5th overall pick. He was touted for his natural goal scoring ability and quickly showed his talent when he first started with the Rochester Americans in 2004-2005 . As a rookie for the Americans, Vanek tallied 42 goals in 74 games. His goal production led him to being the top rookie goal scorer in the AHL. His scoring prowess was definitely impressive. After a respectable first year with Sabres, Vanek managed to tally his first 40 goal season in the 2006-2007 season with 43 and again in the 2008-2009 season with 40.
There is no doubt that Vanek has the ability to score goals and score a lot of them, but lack of effort has been a big issue. Many have accused Vanek of being lazy in his backchecking and showing absolutely no effort when digging in the corners. Vanek isn’t a player that possesses extreme speed, but he is blessed with a deadly shot, good hands and a big body that allows him to dominate the front of the net.
Vanek’s consistency has been an issue as well. After scoring 3 goals in 2 games, Vanek has just 1 assist in 6 games. Hopefully we can see Vanek turn it around before too long. Again, there is no doubt that Thomas has the ability to score goals, the question is whether or not he wants to.