Ramblings: Some stats on Cernak, Dahlin, Hronek, and Dunn – April 10

Michael Clifford

2020-04-10

For anyone looking for more information from around the sports world, as it relates to COVID-19 and the impact on players, the business, or whatever else, TSN – a major sports network in Canada – is starting an In Depth series that focuses solely on how this is affecting various aspects of the sports world. I know a lot of people would rather not see it or listen to it, so I'll just post the link here rather than post the entire video itself.

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Our own Alex MacLean has been churning out the excellent 'Capped' columns here at Dobber Hockey, and his last couple have focused on the impending Seattle expansion. Readers can check out those articles as well as his previous work here.

I'm bringing up those columns for personal reasons, though. More specifically, one name that stuck out to me when Alex was discussing Eastern Conference teams: Erik Cernak. I think Cernak could be one of the top multi-cat defence options in the league in a couple years. Allow me to explain.

Through his brief career, which has spanned just 125 regular season games through his age-22 season, he's played a shade over 19 minutes a night (19:05 actually). In his time in the NHL, he ranks inside the top-third of the NHL by individual shot attempts generated. He's just under 1.9 shots per game with this rate, meaning if he does find himself in Seattle a couple years from now, and hopefully playing 21-22 minutes a night, he'll easily pass 2.0 shots per game, kind of a benchmark for defencemen.

The shot-blocking component of Cernak's arsenal isn't as stout as the shooting, but it's not nothing, either. His shot blocking rates at all strengths are about the middle of the league over these last two years, but significantly better on the penalty kill. As long as he keeps getting those PK minutes when (IF) he's in Seattle, there's no reason to think he won't sit around 125 blocks year after year.

And then there are the hits, and boy does he hit. Over the last couple ye