Prior to the season, we looked at the fact that a player of Galiev’s age and minor-league production to date was unlikely to become a successful NHL player. Galiev did little to challenge what conventional wisdom should tell us, as his zero goals and three assists in 24 games leaves his future as an NHL player in question now as much as ever.
|9.1||time on ice per game|
|52.3||5v5 shot-attempt percentage|
|60.0||5v5 goal percentages|
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows various metrics for the player over the course of the 2015-16 season. A short description of each chart:
Galiev’s puck handling skills and offensive upside are obvious to anyone who has watched him play. He’s quick and he can handle the puck better than the majority of players. His skill set is one that could lead him to be a productive offensive player in the NHL. But that hasn’t happened and Galiev is running out of time.
Twenty-four years old is not young for a player who hasn’t yet established himself as an NHL regular. Yes, there are outliers, but in general 24 is the age of peak productivity for a player. Many players remain effective over a decade after this peak, but few players become productive NHL regular who haven’t done so by the age of 24.
But yet, I hope Galiev is back with the Caps next season. There’s no way in this world he should be penciled in as one of the regular 12 forwards, but for a team looking to inject skill into their bottom six, the Caps could do worse than to keep around Galiev as a backup plan. Despite not denting the twine in 2015-16, Galiev did some things that leave me curious if he could be a contributor if put in the right situation.
Galiev attempted 14.9 shots per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 play. Among Caps forwards, this ranked second to only Alex Ovechkin. Among the 438 forwards who skated 200-plus minutes at 5-on-5 this season, this ranks 66th. While Galiev’s ability to bury more of his chances moving forward remains to be seen, it’s safe to say he wouldn’t continue to shoot zero percent over the long-term if he was given enough playing time. After all, according to Corsica, he ranks fourth among the Caps’ forwards in individual xGoals/60. So, he was a part of some offensive chances, he just didn’t bury them.
But time is running out for Galiev to start burying some chances. Time is running out for him to show that he belongs in the NHL on a regular basis. While I’d still be in favor of Galiev entering camp as the Caps’ 13th or 14th forward, it wouldn’t shock or disappoint me really if they moved on from him this summer.
What’s your take on Galiev? What do you think the future holds for him, both in DC and the NHL in general?
Read more: Japers’ Rink
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