Wild West: Early Concerns

Grant Campbell

2021-10-18

There have only been a few games so far, but ice time and deployment are two factors that can significantly affect a player's production. I'm going to list a few players who are in potentially reduced roles from what I figured they would be and who I have some concern about their production levels this year already. We never want to overreact to things too early in the season, so just monitor these players and see if circumstances change over the next few weeks.

Vince Dunn – Seattle

Dunn was injured in the second game of the season and missed the Kraken's third game. Aside from his injury, his ice time and power-play deployment are not quite there yet with Mark Giordano in the fold. There was hope that Dunn would be the first unit PP quarterback and get the 20 plus minutes that had eluded him in St. Louis in his first four seasons. Here he is, still in the 16-18 minute range and behind Giordano on the PP. He still has time on his side as Giordano is 38-years old, but temper your expectations this year.

Chris Tanev – Calgary

Tanev had an excellent season last year paired mostly with either Noah Hanifin or Mark Giordano. With Giordano now in Seattle, Tanev is going to miss him quite a bit. Last year at even strength, paired with Giordano the Flames outscored their opponents 17 to four, while their CF% was 59.1. It has only been one game, but Tanev was paired with Nikita Zadorov and it did not go well with two ES goals against while they had a 44.9 CF%. The team might lack the depth to pair Tanev and Hanifin again, but expect a little regression from Tanev this year with his plus/minus and a few analytical stats.

Trevor Zegras – Anaheim

His ice time is not that of a 1st line center at only 13:59 after two games. He is behind Ryan Getzlaf and Benoit-Olivier Groulx in ice time so far. This might suggest that the coaching staff don't quite trust Zegras yet defensively. Once they do, Zegras should be averaging 17-19 minutes per game and should make a run at the Calder. It will be tough for him to produce at a Calder level with 13-15 minutes.

Max Comtois – Anaheim

The pre-season should usually be taken with a grain of salt, except when it extends into the early games of the regular season. Comtois had one point in five pre-season games and s