Ramblings: Vatrano and Chiarot Traded; Hertl Signs; Robert Thomas’s Breakout; Frost and Puljujärvi – March 17

Michael Clifford

2022-03-17

There has been some heating of the trading hot stove of late, particularly over in Colorado. It wouldn't be long before the rest of the playoff teams started getting things going of their own, and the New York Rangers did exactly that. They had gutted their right-wing depth over the years by trading Pavel Buchnevich and letting Jesper Fast walk. The idea was that Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafrenière would be ready for the top-6 roles by now, which, they seem to be turning the corner. But they wanted more help and got it in the form of Frank Vatrano. Full deal here:

You can get Alex's take here.

The first thing that stands out to me about Vatrano's profile is he's not a playmaker, as Alex pointed out quite clearly. According to some data from Corey Sznajder's tracking projects, it's been a couple years now with well-below-average shot-assists and high-danger assist rates, as well as zone entries via passes. Once he gets the puck, he carries it or shoots it. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. He will, presumably, go to a line with Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin. Those guys are both very good with entries via passes and high-danger assists, so Vatrano doesn't need to do that kind of heavy lifting. Rather, he can focus on what got him to the NHL in the first place: his shot. According to HockeyViz, he has a 3% impact on finishing, which puts him near the 90th percentile in the league.

This is great news for him, fantasy-wise. He won't get top power-play minutes without injury (or some crazy change), but he was skating under 12 minutes a night of late for Florida, largely in their bottom-6. Conversely, Dryden Hunt is currently skati