Andrew Ladd won the Stanley Cup in his rookie year with Carolina (05-06). He then won it again this past year with Chicago. After the Cup win, Chicago famously dismantled their roster, sending contributors Ladd, Byfuglien, Eager, and Sopel to Atlanta for scraps and prospects.
Ladd, now 24 years old, with 53 playoff games under his belt, is with his third NHL team, and entering his sixth season in the bigs. Atlanta is a team that has beefed up considerably this offseason, and promises to make an impact in the soft Southeast Division. Ladd, one of the few players in the game today that can even be compared to a power forward, signed a one year deal that is worth a mere $2.35 million, or only $135k more than middle-of-the-road Eric Fehr.
This is a player who is perennially underrated despite always being on a team that suddenly becomes a winner. No, he is not the main reason why these teams win, but there is something to be said for a player whose teams are better when he plays for them.
Carolina finished 03-04 with 76 points. They followed this up by registering 112 points and winning the Cup in Ladd's first year. Chicago acquired Ladd well into the 07-08 season, a year they finished with 88 points. The Hawks followed up these performances with 104 and 112 points (and a Cup), respectively.
This kid is a winner. Just watch. Atlanta may not be winning a Cup anytime soon, but look to Ladd to net 26+ goals and be a cog in turning around a team that should not even exist in the first place.
Ramblings about Burke, coming up in a bit.