Frozen Pool Forensics: Viktor Arvidsson

by Cam Robinson on June 2, 2017

 

It seems as if every season there is a player or two that sneaks up to surprise the hockey world and land a plum job next to talented players and produce fantasy-worthy results. Now, whether this player actually came out of nowhere or was forecasted to have legitimate upside due to some numbers that don’t jump off the page is a debate that we’ll leave to the analytics vs ‘traditional hockey people’ to battle over.

This season, Viktor Arvidsson was that player. After the 2015-16 campaign, many in that stats world saw Arvidsson as a prime breakout player. Despite his size, he found a way to generate a ton of shots in a limited amount of ice time, which is always a great indicator of future success.

This week on Frozen Pool Forensics, we’ll look at the Nashville winger’s build up, breakout season and forecast his future.

 

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There is literally no better time to be a small, skilled hockey player than now. Virtually every previous generation held a strong bias towards size and strength and consequently, a plethora of wildly talented smaller players strung out their career in Europe or the minor leagues – never being given a true opportunity to shine on the brightest stage.

For Viktor Arvidsson, his opportunity came in the form of 56 contests with the Predators in 2015-16 where he saw just over 12 minutes a night from the bottom six with little to no power play time. He managed a modest eight goals and 16 points during that stretch but his 139 shots on net – good for an average of 2.5 per contest, was a tantalizing window into what could be.

 

On top of the terrific shot production from a limited deployment setting was his 5.8 percent personal conversion rate which was clearly in line for a bump.

 

 

The 24-year-old Swede has always been a shooter and carried that moniker over with him from the SHL and the AHL. Some were on to him before others.

This is back in September of last year:

 

 

Heading into this most recent campaign, there appeared to be an opening in the top-six forward group in which Arvidsson could work towards. If he could prove capable of handling some increased minutes, would his shot production maintain and would that inevitably lead to further production?

It sure seemed reasonable.

With sky-high expectations for Nashville after an offseason that included the arrival of P.K. Subban and the expected developmental improvements from young stars, Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg; Arvidsson found a way to become a fixture on the Predators’ top line and first power-play unit after the team fought through a sluggish start.

He made sure to make the most of his opportunity.

 

Top 10 Point Producers – Nashville

Rank

Name

Pos

Age

Yrs

Team

GR

GP

EV

PP

SH

Pts/G

TOI

PTS/60

Points

1

ARVIDSSON,VIKTOR

L

24

0

NSH

 

80

45

9

7

0.76

17:09

2.7

61

2

JOHANSEN,RYAN

C

24

3

NSH

 

82

37

23

1

0.74

18:50

2.4

61

3

FORSBERG,FILIP

L

22

2

NSH

 

82

46

9

3

0.71

18:31

2.3

58

4

JOSI,ROMAN

D

26

3

NSH

 

72

30

18

1

0.68

25:04

1.6

49

5

FISHER,MIKE

C

36

14

NSH

 

72

25

17

0

0.58

16:37

2.1

42

6

NEAL,JAMES

L

29

6

NSH

 

70

28

13

0

0.59

17:42

2.0

41

7

SUBBAN,P.K.

D

28

5

NSH

 

66

23

16

1

0.61

24:24

1.5

40

8

ELLIS,RYAN

D

26

3

NSH

 

71

24

11

3

0.54

23:57

1.3

38

9

WILSON,COLIN

C

27

5

NSH

 

70

28

7

0

0.50

14:57

2.0

35

10

JARNKROK,CALLE

C

25

0

NSH

 

81

24

4

3

0.38

15:44

1.5

31

 

 

Holding an outright lead or share of the team lead for goals, points, points per game, shorthanded tallies, shots on goal and points per 60 minutes is incredibly impressive for any player let alone a 5-foot-9 sophomore who was taken in the fourth round back in 2012.

The former Skellefteå AIK star accomplished these feats on the back of some pretty sustainable numbers, as well. He converted on 12.6 percent of his 246 personal shots (3.1 per contest) and his teammates clicked in on 9.57 percent of their even-strength opportunities with him on the ice. Both are reasonable results for a skilled player receiving top deployment.

Arvidsson’s 22 even-strength goals and 45 even-strength points were second on the team to only Filip Forsberg’s 25 goals and 46 points. Those 45 even strength points were good for 27th overall in the league.

 

Even Strength Line Combinations

Freq

Line Combination

65.9%

ARVIDSSON,VIKTOR – FORSBERG,FILIP – JOHANSEN,RYAN

18.5%

ARVIDSSON,VIKTOR – JOHANSEN,RYAN – NEAL,JAMES

6%

ARVIDSSON,VIKTOR – RIBEIRO,MIKE – SMITH,CRAIG

5.1%

ARVIDSSON,VIKTOR – FISHER,MIKE – WILSON,COLIN

4.5%

ARVIDSSON,VIKTOR – JOHANSEN,RYAN – SMITH,CRAIG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing nearly 90 percent of his even-strength shifts (88.9) next to Johansen cannot be understated. The two have come together to form a dynamic duo, and with Forsberg on the other wing, that top line looks set for the foreseeable future.

Advanced Stats

Year

PDO

5 on 5 SH%

Off. Zone Start %

PTS/60

IPP

2016-17

1012

9.57

55.75

2.7

70.1

2015-16

955

5.32

51.28

1.4

72.7

2014-15

1003

4

54

0.0

72.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This spring has borne witness to a handful of young players who have vaulted up the fantasy rankings for next season. Jake Guentzel, Leon Draisaitl, Johansen… and while Arvidsson has been noticeable on the ice and a catalyst at times, his two goals and just 2.3 shots per contest in the 18 playoff games thus far is mildly underwhelming.

We as fantasy managers can use that to potentially gain value on draft day. Do your competitors see the 31-goal, 61-point campaign as a fluke and translate his 0.61 point-per-game output in the playoffs as a more likely indicator for future success? Great! Let them.

He’s clicking on just 4.2 percent of his shots this playoff run – way below his usual conversion rate and has now been without his running-mate in Johansen for several contests. This dip in production can be chalked up to poor luck and loss of familiarity.

The pedigree, shot generation, deployment and results are all there for Arvidsson to consistently produce as a top-50 fantasy asset with a shot eye at rising even higher.

Target him while you can.

 

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Thanks for reading and as always, feel free to follow me on Twitter @CrazyJoeDavola3 where I often give unsolicited fantasy advice that I’m sure at least someone is listening too.