On Tuesday the Capitals claimed Dmitrij Jaskin off waivers from the St. Louis Blues. The Caps lost Travis Boyd to long-term injured reserve and Tom Wilson to a twenty-game suspension, so Jaskin is a smart pick-up. Jaskin brings a defensive-minded skill set that the Capitals have not had in recent seasons.
The 25-year-old could become a mainstay in the bottom six, as early as Thursday against the Penguins.
Jaskin had a career year playing on the Blues’ third-line last season. He tallied a career-high six goals and eleven assists in seventy-six games. Jaskin logged 13 minutes a game while playing exclusively in the bottom six. However, Jaskin reportedly asked for a trade because he wanted increased minutes.
Jaskin has driven play whenever he has stepped on the ice since his debut in 2012-2013 at the age of 19. Jaskin’s team has controlled 53.9 percent of shot attempts at five-on-five over his career. During the 2017-18 season, Jaskin’s team owned 52.9 percent of shot attempts at five-on-five, and he also had an expected goals percentage of 54.7.
|Time on Ice||901|
|Shot attempt %||52.9|
|Expected goal %||54.7|
|Zone start ratio||41.3|
Jaskin is what some Capitals fans thought Jay Beagle was: a shutdown defensive forward. He suppresses shots about as well as any forward in the league as he conceded only 44.2 percent of shot attempts per sixty minutes on ice, which is in the ninety-third percentile for NHL forwards. The Blues controlled 1.2 percent more shots when Jaskin was on the ice versus off, which is better than every bottom-six forward on the Capitals not named Andre Burakovsky (5 percent more shots when on versus off).
Jaskin also had a plus-one wins above replacement, which means he contributed one more win to the team than a replacement-level player. One of his weaknesses is his lack of scoring ability where Jaskin only contributes 0.7 primary points per hour, but this flaw is mostly mitigated by his tendency to not concede goals. He performed much better than the average NHL forward in every defensive category.
Via SKATR Solo Tool
The Capitals need their bottom six forwards to be stronger this season. The fourth line of Jay Beagle, Chandler Stephenson, and Devante Smith-Pelly controlled fewer than 39.7 percent of shot attempts when they were on the ice. The Blues controlled more shot attempts and scored more goals when he was on the ice.
With Brett Connolly slotted on the first line for the duration of Tom Wilson’s suspension, Jaskin could slide in alongside Lars Eller and Andre Burakovsky. The Eller, Burakovsky, Connolly line had a stellar 2016-17 season, followed by a subpar 2017-18 season, and Jaskin could help the line dominate games at the start of the season.
When the Capitals get healthier and Tom Wilson finishes his suspension, Jaskin is still the best option the Capitals have for their fourth line. Look for him to play on a line with any combination of Nic Dowd, Chandler Stephenson, and Devante Smith-Pelly. Jaskin is an exciting addition with a lot of upside.
Headline photo: Scott Rovak/NHL
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