Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 11/1/11

In recent years, defensemen have been making quicker jumps to the NHL than in the past. Anaheim Ducks blue-liner Cam Fowler is one of them. Despite the current numbers, the Fowler hasn’t missed a beat in his sophomore campaign thus far.

Fowler has two assists and a minus-3 rating through 11 games. On the surface, those numbers don’t impress. After his 40-point output last season, some may even suggest the 19-year-old could be falling into a sophomore slump – but don’t tell his coach that.

“He’s been dominant in games with his skating and puck-moving ability,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “The minus tag that is attached to his statistics right now would lead people to believe that, but in no way, shape, or form has he shown any sort of slump, from our perspective as a coaching staff.”

Fowler added, “I feel confident with the way I’m playing. The coaching staff has put more responsibility on me this year. That’s all that really matters to me – it’s the coaching staff and my teammates have confidence in me. I wish my offensive output was a bit more right now, but I don’t think that’s a tribute to bad play at all.”

Last season, the Windsor, Ont., native surprised many people by cracking the Ducks roster out of training camp (especially after being considered a top-five pick and falling to 12th in the first round of the 2010 Entry Draft). On top of his impressive production as a rookie, he logged 22-plus minutes a night. Fowler’s minus-25 rating proved he had bumps along the way, but wasn’t a fair assessment of his play.

“He came in last year and didn’t look out of place by any means,” forward Bobby Ryan said. “He’s very mature for his age. On the ice he can take control of a game, and that’s a tough thing to ask of a 19-year-old in this league. He’s wise and poised beyond his years.”

Defenseman Toni Lydman added, “He plays like he has more experience than he actually does.”

Fowler, who is averaging over 25 minutes of ice time per night, says he feels more comfortable in his second season.

“Last year I never got a chance to sit down and think what I was doing. It all happens so fast,” he said. “This year I’ve come in with more confidence with a season and playoffs under my belt.”

Fowler says major tournaments such as the Memorial Cup and World Junior Championships helped him in his transition to the NHL last season.

“Those were big tournaments for me,” he said. “Playing internationally, you get to play against the best players in the world. It’s high pressure situations that you’re put in in those tournaments. That’s what playoff hockey is like – it’s always high pressure and high intensity. I’m able to reach back to some of those games and look at how I prepared myself and carry that over.”

Fowler also mentioned that it didn’t truly set in that he was in the NHL until after last spring’s postseason when the Ducks were knocked out of the first round.

“I got to go home and spend some time with my family and talk about everything, because it all just happened so fast – getting drafted, rookie camp, then playing (in the NHL),” he said. “Now I feel I belong; not that I didn’t last year, but I just never had a chance to sit down and let it sink in.”

Coming out of Windsor of the OHL, Fowler carried the reputation of primarily being an offensive-minded defenseman. With 2010-11 defenseman points leader Lubomir Visnovsky as his teammate, Fowler has a good mentor.

“He’s always a guy I can go to,” Fowler said of Visnovsky. “The thing with Lubo is he keeps to himself and is a quiet guy, but we have formed a good relationship. We get some time playing on the power play together. He shares that similar offensive style, so he’s someone I’m always talking to.”

Bobby Ryan has been impressed with Fowler’s offensive capabilities in the year-plus they’ve been playing together.

“His game is on another level. He’s very poised and intelligent with the puck,” Ryan said of Fowler. “He makes the right decisions, knowing when to jump (in the play) or hold off. It makes him deceptive because he finds his way into those tough areas.

“He’s a confident kid, and that translates on the ice. He’s taking that leap of maturity this year as a player.”

Photo credit: Getty Images
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Blake Griffin opts out of contract to become free agent

Report: Wolves targeting Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, other point guards in free agency

Conor McGregor’s coach says tentative plans include a return to UFC in 2017

Report: Mets open for business on the trade market

Markelle Fultz believes the Sixers are already a playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jimmy Butler’s attitude toward Fred Hoiberg made players ‘uncomfortable’

St. Louis Cardinals to hold first LGBTQ Pride Night

John Mara: Extending Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t team’s No. 1 priority

Mike Trout reportedly wanted to sign ‘lifetime deal’ with Angels

Blackhawks, Blue Jackets swap Artemi Panarin, Brandon Saad

Matt Forte expected to be ‘offensive workhorse’ for Jets?

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker