Ramblings: Terry’s Torrid Start; Seattle’s Turnaround; Zibanejad’s Struggles – November 11

Michael Clifford

2021-11-11

It has been a remarkable start to the season for Anaheim's Troy Terry, perhaps one of their forgotten prospects. While not a true prospect anymore, really, he has fewer than two seasons of games played and just turned 24 in September. If he could find his trajectory as a prospect again, there could be something here for Anaheim for the long-term.

Well, he has 16 points in 13 games, a surreal feat considering his career-high is 20 points, which he could top by Thanksgiving. Of course, whenever a player has an unbelievable start like this, we need to dig under the hood to see what's going on, and what we can expect moving forward.

What stands out immediately is Terry is shooting 31%. Had he been shooting around 10% (career average of 8.8% heading into this season), he would have three goals instead of nine, and 10 points instead of 16. That is… a massive, massive difference in production. That is from a 57-goal pace to a 19-goal pace, and a 101-point pace to a 63-point pace. Now, it is worth noting that 20 goals and 60 points is still a good season, and a wonderful season for Terry in particular. But it is nowhere close to what he's doing now.

The next part is the assists, of course. If he can maintain a 20-goal, 60-point pace, that's fine. If the assists start to fall off as well, then we're going to have real problems. So, let's look into those seven assists.

At 5-on-5, his assist rate is 1.05 per 60 minutes, on the heels of 1.12 last year and 0.84 the year before. It seems to me that at least at that strength, there isn't a huge regression expected here unless the team really goes cold. It is not his assists at even strength driving the over-inflated totals. What about the power play?

With the man advantage, he's averaging four assists per 60 minutes this year. That is kind of high, but not excessive. Across the league, it's about the 75th percentile in power-play assists. Not excessive, but a bit of a concern considering the team is shooting 26% with the man advantage. Those PP assists might come down a bit, but I don't think they crash. He won't be a massive PP contributor this year, but he'll get to double-digits.

There is obviously a lot of pullback coming for Terry, but most of it is through goals. The bonus here is he's earning a lot more ice time of late, skating over 20 minutes a night over his last six games. Any pullback in rates can be somewhat offset by the raw increase in ice time.

All this is to say no, he most likely won't be a point-per-game player this year. A 60-point player is within reach with his ice time though, so as long as they keep skating him as a first liner, there's no real reason to trade him unless the offer is excessive.

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There has been a lot made of the Rangers' early struggles. Despite the record, it's clear to anyone watching their games that the team is riding a