Touted as a great skater with a long and smooth side, Siemens also showed a mean streak, willing to drop the gloves with anybody to defend a teammate. He also showed a dependable two-way game that ensured him spots on the Saskatoon Blades power play and penalty kill units.
When the Avalanche did draft him, many saw his selection as a very good one and some thought Siemens could reach the NHL in two to three years, much faster than the average player.
Unfortunately, a lot has changed in a year.
With several departures from the Blades blue line, including current Avalanche defenseman Stefan Elliott, Siemens was looked at to lead the Blades into another promising season. This included being named team captain at the beginning of the year, being entrusted with nearly 30 minutes of ice time per game and being the go-to guy for special teams play.
With the season now more than half over, Siemens has looked like anything but a top prospect on the ice. His season has been riddled with mistake after mistake. He has often looked lost, making bad decisions with the puck (including intercepted outlet passes) and coughing it up in the offensive zone.
Not only is his head not in the game, but he also looks slower than last year and his mean streak has disappeared. It is now rare to see him engage in any physical altercations. This has caused him to be taken off the power play entirely and his ice time has been diminished. Siemens play has slipped so much he has been called out by his coach as well.
Although he is still far from being a bust, Siemens has a lot to prove in the coming months. There may not be any improvement from him until next year. Next season is huge for him and the Blades as they will be hosting the Memorial Cup, giving them a guaranteed spot in the tournament.
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