Thus far in my offseason Eastern Edge columns, we’ve supposedly uncovered the pitfall of drafting Jeff Skinner next season regardless where he signs this summer, and we’ve zeroed in on Anthony Mantha as a must draft. This week, we will continue this discussion with right wingers in the Metro. There were quite a few great seasons in the Metro and a couple of players who I’m excited about for next season.
The graph below highlight RW goal scoring abilities this year in the Metro. The graph can help you visualize where a player falls with regards to their actual goal totals and the difference between actual and expected goals scored (X-Axis), and their individual shooting percentage from this year (Y-Axis). Given that the league average shooting percentage is around 11% you can see if there are any big names on the list that fall in the category of having a below average shooting percentage and room to grow in the actual goals scored. More than anything I think that this graph can find you a couple extra goals and make sure you realizes that 40 goals by one player may mean that they could fall back to 32 next year. Player skill/opportunity is still something to remember – just because Ondrej Palat ends up in quadrant that tends to be a BUY area doesn’t mean he’s a 40-goal scorer. Please note that all the data used to create this graph is for a 5v5 situation and was obtained via Corsica.Hockey.
Andrei Svechnikov – Some games this season Svechnikov put it all together and showed everyone why he was selected second overall in the 2018 Entry Draft; other days he was the 37-point player over an 82-game season. For those who were watching him though – you noticed what force is going to be coming. His 5v5 shot data suggests he was owned a couple more goals, as he matures he should get a couple more minutes of ice time next season and I hope that he’ll find his way onto the top unit with Aho. There is no reason to wait for the fourth year breakout, and wouldn’t you rather be a year early than a year late?
Jordan Eberle – probably chalk this one up to the big game play of his recent playoff run, but man I had been beating the drum of Eberle all year saying his tough string of luck in his IPP can’t continue. What I’m more excited about with Eberle is where he will be playing next season. Without the choke hold of the Barry Trotz defensive unit – can we see Eberle return to 5v5 form and flirt with 200 SOG again? The best part of all of this concocted storyline is that he also looks to be a player that is going to be able to easily produce value on his ADP.
Kyle Palmieri – Last season Palmieri was someone who I couldn’t wait to draft; sadly he didn’t fall as far as I had hoped he would and I didn’t get him on a single team. Here’s the thing about Palmieri: his 55-point pace probably would have been a little better if Taylor Hall didn’t go down in December. His shooting percentage was 12% and right in line with his career norm, if anything slightly depressed. While Palmieri is definitely in the upper area of the graph that I would tend to say is going to not return value next season, my hunch says that we’re still going to see an ADP that could return value for Palmieri. Obviously as a player I’m intrigued with we’ll see more as the rankings start coming out this summer, but don’t write him off because he didn’t produce the 65 points many had hoped he would.
Cam Atkinson – Atkinson was the darling of the first half of the season where he put up 44 points in the first 40 games and then only 27 points in his remaining 40 games. He put up a 71-point pace with almost 300 SOG all but assuring poolies that he will be drafted in the first five round this coming season. It’s worrisome because that value of draft capital is not as stable as one might perceive with Artemi Panarin having one leg out the door, a career high 13.9% shooting percentage, and a relatively large gap in ixGF and actual goals scored. This isn’t to say that Atkinson is going to crash and burn for only 50 points next year; it’s a matter of reflection on the importance of spending your draft capital wisely. Why spend a 5th round pick when a 7th round pick can produce similar dividends with another player?
Patric Hornqvist – It seems like the days of fantasy relevance are all but gone for Hornqvist. He saw a dramatic decrease of 50 SOG in the same amount of games played in 2017-2018 to this season, further extinguishing one of his premier stat categories. Sidney Crosby has not explicitly said it to the media but the rumor is that he would rather not play with Hornqvist. Unfortunately for the Penguins, the four more seasons they have tied up in Hornqvist don’t look as great as they did when they re-signed him last summer.
See you next week for a look at Metro LWs.
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