Eastern Edge: Buy Low on Alex Ovechkin, Sell High on Nick Suzuki, and Other Trade Candidates

Brennan Des

2022-11-22

In this week's Eastern Edge, we'll highlight a couple of players you may be able to acquire at a discounted rate, as well as a few players you may want to trade away.

Buy Low

Sam Reinhart

With eight points in 19 games, Reinhart is on pace for just 35 points this season – a far cry from the 82 he tallied last year. It's interesting that his scoring pace is so much lower than last season, considering he's averaging two more minutes of ice time. Although he may be playing more difficult minutes than he played last year, he's also seeing more time beside elite talent (i.e., Aleksander Barkov), so you'd expect more offense than we've seen from him so far. Reinhart's 5v5 on-ice shooting percentage – the percentage of shots that Florida has scored on while he's on the ice at even strength – sits at a shockingly low 3.3% (via NaturalStatTrick). Based on what we've seen from him previously, I'd expect that number to be around 8-10%. I think it's fair to project some positive regression as the season progresses. 

Alex Ovechkin

The 37-year-old winger is off to a modest start by his standards, pacing for 70 points. That's a significant step below last year's 96-point-pace. I think most have given up the belief that Ovi will ever fall victim to age-related decline, and I don't think that's what we're seeing here. In fact, the underlying numbers seem to suggest that Ovi's production could improve going forward. His on-ice shooting percentage at 5v5 currently sits at 5.4%, which is about half of what it's been in recent years. In addition, the Capitals have 14 expected goals at 5v5 while Ovechkin's on the ice, but they've only actually scored eight goals. That indicates the process has been good, even though the results haven't been as favourable. More often than not, when the process is good over a large sample, production follows. As a result, I think these last three quarters of the season could feature more offense from Ovi than we've seen in the first quarter.  

Sell High

Nick Suzuki

The Canadiens' captain has had an excellent start to the season, tallying 23 points in 18 games – wh