The truest real talk I could ever speak: The 2015-16 season was the season in which Evgeny Kuznetsov became a star in the NHL.
|17.4||time on ice per game|
|53.5||5v5 shot-attempt percentage|
|58.9||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:
Goodness, what a season for Kuzy. He kept the organization and their fans waiting years for his NHL arrival. When he finally came, he was good, but not overwhelming. And then, in the 2015 playoffs, something clicked. Kuznetosv started to grow from a good, young player with a lot of potential to a bona fide star in the best hockey league in the world.
In 2015-16, he continued that next step he started in the spring of 2015 and established himself as a star.
Let’s go over some of the Kuzy greatness from this past season:
Not bad. Not bad at all.
Heading into the season, Kuznetsov’s career possession numbers were concerning to some and puzzling to others, but regardless generally not considered a positive. He did a lot in 2015-16 to alleviate any possession-related concerns. With a 52.0 percent adjusted shot attempt percentage, Kuznetsov ranked sixth among all Caps skaters. As his 20-game rolling average shows (courtesy of Corsica), Kuznetsov was a very sexy possession player from January on.
Alright, let’s talk about his playoff performance. I’ve already put forth my argument as to why I don’t think Kuznetsov played as badly as his offensive totals suggest. I’m also not going to allow a small handful of games have a huge impact on what I think of a player.
Would it have been nice to have seen him light up the score sheet in the playoffs? Of course. Does his postseason point total need some context, such as the unsustainably low on-ice shooting percentage? Yes. Should we totally excuse his lack of production? Probably not.
But, regardless of what you think of his paltry postseason production, it shouldn’t take away from the fact that Kuznetsov is a star in this league and a huge part of the Caps future.
And now… Jokes.
Thanks for all the jokes, Evgeny.
What did you think of Kuznesov’s season? If he puts together another season like 2015-16, will he considered the Caps top offensive player?
Read more: Japers’ Rink
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