Geek of the Week: The Long-Awaited Emergence of Christian Dvorak

Logan Doyle

2021-02-14

Christian Dvorak quickly became a Dobber Darling. He was touted one of the best second-round picks of the draft and a real sleeper to outperform his draft position. To put it in context, forum members posed questions such as, "Who would you rather have, Christian Dvorak or Kyle Connor?" Today, it seems a glaringly obvious choice. But in 2015 and into 2016, it wasn't always unanimous.

In April 2016 Dvorak was ranked as the number five prospect with Connor right behind him at six. You can see for yourself here.  Folks were pretty split, often taking Connor in points only pools and preferring Dvorak in multi-cat pools. His monster post-draft year with the London Knights 52-69-121 in 59 games really lit a fire under fantasy owners. There's something extra flashy about a highly-touted prospect coming out of London in the OHL.

Well, like most prospects out of the Arizona Coyotes system it seems, owners that drank the Kool-Aid enjoyed the sugar rush but ended up with a wicked stomach ache. So far.

It's really hard to believe Dvorak was drafted almost seven seasons ago. He had two huge seasons with London in the OHL before joining the Coyotes full time in 2016-17. He had a promising rookie season with 15-18-33 points. This held the hype that had build on him to this point. With a 17% shooting percentage (SH%) and only 88 shots (SOG) something would need to give the following year. Even though he played 78 games he averaged barely over 1.1 shots per game. If he was going to improve on his rookie season, he would either need to validate that slightly inflated SH% or significantly improve his SOG totals.

Well, regression came to his SH%, it dropped to 9.9. His SOG totals almost doubled to 151. The diverging stats led to a second 15 goal season and only a small bump in overall production to 37 points. He saw incremental increase in ice time (+:49) and similarly small increase to power play time (:23).

A lot of owners and fans alike expected a jump in production going into his third season, 2018-19. They couldn't have been more disappointed. He missed most of the year due to injury. This was no small injury – he suffered a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery.  He recovered enough to return for the last 20 games of