Daniel Sedin vs. Pavel Datsyuk

Rick Roos



Daniel Sedin vs. Pavel Datsyuk – and should you count on either to be elite for much longer?



Last week I switched gears by focusing on defensemen for the first time in several months. And I’ll continue to buck my recent trend of young forwards by setting the spotlight this week on two gray hair types – Daniel Sedin and Pavel Datsyuk. Who should you target in one-year leagues, and should you count on either to continue to be elite for much longer? Cage Match starts now!


Career Path and Contract Status


Poolies are well familiar with both Sedin and Datsyuk, who stand, respectively, sixth and eighth in total points among NHLers over the past ten seasons. And although both player start this campaign within 12 total career points of each other (869 points for Datsyuk, 881 for Sedin), they differ somewhat in how they got there.

Sedin struggled in his first four NHL seasons, three times posting only 31-34 points. But since 2005-06 he produced at a scoring pace less than 71 points only once, in 2013-14 with John Tortorella at the helm in Vancouver. Along the way, Sedin had a five season stretch (2006-07 to 2010-11) with point per game production in all but one campaign, although he’s now four seasons removed from his last point per game output.

Perhaps because he was three years older than Sedin upon making his NHL debut, Datsyuk adapted more quickly to the NHL game, enduring only one learning curve season of 35 points in 70 games. Like Sedin, Datsyuk’s most productive stretch of hockey came in the mid to late part of last decade, when Datsyuk twice posted 97 points and had point per game outputs in five seasons out of six. And although Datsyuk has more point per game campaigns compared to Sedin (seven vs. four), he’s also been bit by the injury bug more often, resulting in Datsyuk having played more than 70 regular season games in just half his 12 seasons (versus 12 out of 13 for Sedin). But Datsyuk holds a “what have you done for me lately” advantage, having scored at a 79.5 points per 82 game pace since 2011-12, versus 68.8 for Sedin, although Sedin managed to play 49 more games over the period.

According to Cap Friendly, Datsyuk’s current deal runs through 2016-17 and counts $7.5M against the cap, while Sedin is signed through 2017-18 but has a slightly