After yet another disappointing season in which the Hamilton Bulldogs failed to meet expectations and ended up missing the postseason, there were at least a few positives to take away.
One of them was the play of rookie forward Sven Andrighetto.
It came as no surprise when Bulldogs head coach Sylvain Lefebvre praised his rookie at season's end and summed up Andrighetto's season as a "bright spot" for the team.
After making the roster out of training camp, the Zurich, Switzerland native went from being an unknown in the eyes of many throughout the league, to finding a regular home on the stats sheet.
Andrighetto's 44 points (17 goals, 27 assists) ranked second in team scoring and was good for 15th in AHL rookie scoring. His accomplishments also earned him the PMA Top Rookie Award, voted by local Hamilton media.
With a lethal combination of both speed and skill, it became evident from the start of the 'Dogs 2013-2014 season that Andrighetto would become somewhat of a secret weapon for Hamilton.
Now heading into his second professional season, Andrighetto is aware that his play has garnered attention and that opposing teams will now be more prepared.
"When I come back next year, everyone knows me," said Andrighetto at season's end. "I've got to improve and get better, people expect something from me."
"This year I didn't really have pressure because it was my first year," said Andrighetto. "It will be different next year, that's for sure."
It's a safe bet that Andrighetto will force the Montreal Canadiens' brass to give him a long, hard look once training camp rolls around.
Regardless of how well the 21-year-old performs at camp, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin may have no choice but to keep Andrighetto with the Bulldogs to start the the 2014-2015 season.
With veterans Martin St.Pierre, Mike Blunden, and Louis Leblanc moving on, the team will be looking to get some much-needed production from their youth.
Wherever Andrighetto ends up starting the season, he may have a little added motivation after not being selected to represent his native Switzerland at both the Olympics and World Hockey Championships this year.
At the Bulldogs' locker clean out back in April, Hamilton's top rookie seemed disappointed when discussing the Swiss national team. Andrighetto admitted that there had been very little contact throughout the year.
If there is one thing that Andrighetto has proven since turning pro, it's that he thrives being the underdog and makes the most of his opportunities.