All you really need to know about Patrik Laine is he does not think Winnipeg gets that cold in winter and he is really good at hockey. Outside of that there is little that has not been said about the rookie phenom. His shot is such a weapon that teams started defending against it specifically, only to realize that he is also a gifted passer. Laine showed himself to be a force to be reckoned with in the NHL.
As you can see, however gifted Laine is he still has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to puck possession. He did improve throughout the season, but he seemed to suffer a steep drop-off when the defence started getting injured. The marked improvement is a really good thing because it happened in season and shows that after he adjusted to the NHL, he was able to quickly
Laine is a player who came in and was able to help the Jets before he truly figured out the NHL. By the middle of the season he had figured out the NHL and was able to do more to help the Jets win by helping the Jets get a keep the puck.
Expectations for Next Season
It would be easy to say that the expectations for Laine next season start with 50 goals. They should not because no one scored 50 goals this year. Instead, the expectations should be focussed on building on his improvements during this past season and his improved possession play. If Laine keeps up the level of results that he had all season combined with his improved play without the puck, the Jets will have a true force to be reckoned with up front. Combining him with Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele could make one of the most dangerous lines the franchise has seen since the Ilya Kovalchuck days.
In keeping expectations reasonable, it would be completely normal for goal totals to go down slightly in his second year, especially if his power play time stays the same. On the other hand, if Laine gets more power play time, those goal totals could easily rise. It all depends on what the coaching staff gives him and how other teams adapt to defending against him. Laine is not going away. He has played against men since he was 16. He is good. He is used to playing at a high level. He can adapt and adjust. All he needs is the opportunity to show everyone all that he can do.