Last season, one of my favorite call-ups from Charlotte was Jerome Samson. He didn't score a goal in the 23 games he played in, but he was effective at getting shots on goal and creating scoring chances. I felt that he would be effective in a depth role and would eventually get on the scoresheet if he continued to do the same things he did last year. Samson didn't make the team out of camp and wasn't called up until mid-January but he made an immediate impact by scoring his first NHL goal in his season debut against the Philadelphia Flyers. After that game, Samson struggled to stay in the lineup and was sent down for good in early-March. I was a little disappointed but not entirely surprised because it is hard to keep a guy in the lineup if he's getting top-six minutes but can't score.
The reason why I liked Samson so much last season is because he showed the ability to be effective offensively even if the wasn't scoring, and this team desperately needed forwards who could drive the play. Samson wasn't nearly as good in that department this season and that coupled with his inability to produce points made it tough for him to stay in the NHL. At the AHL level, Samson is a pure goal scorer and a very effective offensive player but he has still yet to translate that into NHL success and at 24, it is tough to say that he will ever turn into a goal-scorer at this level.
I think that Samson has a future in the NHL but he seems to work best as a depth forward or a third-liner because he can at least be someone who can help drive puck possession and create energy. Unfortunately, I don't think he will make it in the NHL on the Hurricanes because what they need is a goal-scoring winger. This team has enough players similar to him and he could end up being an odd-man out this off-season if he can't find his scoring touch. He was actually given top-six minutes in Carolina this season but didn't produce much with them and Kirk Muller wasn't going to keep him on the team to be a fourth liner. That isn't going to work for Samson or Charlotte so he was better off finishing the year in Charlotte.
Sixteen games isn't the best sample size to go by, but we're going to take a closer look at the year that was for Samson and see how he might have been less effective at driving the play than his strong corsi relative rating suggests.