Cam Fowler would come to training camp in Anaheim later that summer and impress the coaching staff enough to earn himself a spot on the opening night roster as a fresh faced 18-year-old. His offensive instincts and smooth skating would keep him in Anaheim beyond the first ten games of the season, and indeed for the entire year – a year in which he’d play 76 games and score 40 points (10g, 30a), good for tenth among all rookies league-wide and second among rookie defenseman, behind only Kevin Shattenkirk’s 43 points.
However, Fowler would also finish the season with an ugly-looking -25 rating on the season – a statistic that looks bad no matter how fervently one argues the merit (or lack thereof) of the plus/minus metric in rating a player’s on-ice contributions.
Coming in to his sophomore campaign in 2011-12, Fowler was told to simplify his game – focus on being sound defensively, which will eventually allow the offense to come. In reality, Fowler appeared to regress pretty drastically. He finished the 2011-12 season with 29 points (5g, 24a) and an even worse -28 rating.