Goldipucks and the Three Skaters: Charlie McAvoy, Aaron Ekblad & Morgan Rielly

Rick Roos

2022-07-06

Welcome back to Goldipucks and the Three Skaters, a play on words of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story. Instead of there being three bowls of porridge though, I cover three skaters and declare one too hot (i.e., doing unsustainably better than he should), another too cold (i.e., doing unsustainably worse), and a third “just right” (i.e., producing where he should be). In addition, I also assign each a rating of 1-10, indicating how hot (rated 7-10, where 10 is the most unsustainably hot), cold (rated 1-4, where 1 is the most unsustainably cold), or “just right” (rated 4-7, where 5.5 is the most “just right”) he is.

We might be in the midst of the brief lull between the end of the playoffs and the beginning of free agency, but now is as important of a time as any to look at the stats of players whose roles aren't likely to be impacted by moves their teams make this offseason. With that in mind, three "top dog" rearguards are being covered this month: Morgan Rielly, Aaron Ekblad, and Charlie McAvoy. Before reading any further, think to yourself which of the three had a 2021-22 output that was too hot, whose was too cold, and whose was just right, then see if you nailed all of your guesses.

Morgan Rielly (82 games, 10G, 58A, 221 SOG, 23 PPPts, 23:44 TOI, 2:54 PP, 67.1% PP%)

For a while it was looking like Rielly, a former fifth overall pick, might disappoint, due to only once besting a 30 point scoring rate in his first four seasons. But then he rose to a 57 point pace in 2017-18 before spiking to a 72 point pace in 2018-19. Just when it looked like he'd cemented his place among top producing #1 d-men though, he slumped to 47 and 52 point paces in his next two seasons. But he was back in more elite territory for 2021-22, finishing with 68 points. Can we expect Rielly to