Capped: Analyzing Players Skating In The Cup Final, Like Nichushkin And Hagel

Jamie Molloy

2022-06-23

Good day everybody, where last week was my first week back, I have to say thank you to everybody who contacted me and sent me words of encouragement! With the fourth game having been played last night, whether it is the result that you were looking for, we are finally seeing some good hockey in the playoffs; this is what a Final should be. The best teams battling it out and trying to find a way to dig deeper and hit that next level at a time when it matters the most.

Much like last week, I plan on touching on some players that are playing in the Cup Final that are worth noting for next season! Again, I won't be touching on players like Victor Hedman, Brayden Point, Cale Makar, and Gabriel Landeskog because we all know those types of players will retain their value going into next season.

With the NHL regular season ending, Fantrax doesn't have the roster percentages showing currently so I will be omitting them for the foreseeable future! The positions listed for each player come from the official website of the NHL. With the contract years, I will be listing any UFA/RFA as just that and specifying what type of FA they are. Anybody who has a contract guaranteed for next season, I will be listing the number of years left that as if we have started next season. Sam Reinhart for example has 3 years remaining as of this moment, the remainder of this season, and then 2 more after this one.

Cap data from Cap Friendly.

#1) Valeri Nichushkin – RW – Colorado Avalanche

Contract: UFA this summer
Roster Percentages: 49.8% ESPN, 49% Yahoo

GamesGoalsAssistsShotsPowerplayShorthandedHitsBlocksFaceoff %TOI
6225271809289270%19:02


Nichushkin has probably been one of the bigger surprises this season when it comes to pure production on the offensive side. With 52 points in 62 games (0.84 points-per-game), he had a career-high in that area, his previous career high was 34 points across 79 games (0.43 points-per-game) and that came back in his rookie season back in the 2013-2014 season. This may have been a player that went undrafted in your league, and someone managed to scoop him up off free agency part way through the year. The Avalanche have a lot of decisions to make this summer as they have a lot of expiring contracts. Some players would include: Lehkonen, Burakovsky, Kadri, and Nichushkin (there are others expiring but none are major players). With MacKinnon due for a salary increase next summer, Joe Sakic has to figure out how he wants to assemble the roster with that in mind. A player like Nichushkin who quietly came close to a point-per-game season, along with posting nearly 3 shots per game, 1.43 h