Alex Ovechkin’s son’s favorite player, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, came out of nowhere to become a real contributor to the Caps.
|11.6||time on ice per game|
|53.6||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage|
|52.9||5-on-5 expected goal percentage|
|+2||5-on-5 goal differential|
For on-ice percentages, 50 percent means even: both teams possess the puck evenly. Higher is better, lower is worse.
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows how the player has impacted play when on the ice. At the top of the image is the team’s offense (even strength at left, power play at right) and at bottom is the team’s defense (with penalty kill at bottom right). In each case, red/orange blobs mean teams shoot for more from that location on the ice, and blue/purple means less. In general, a good player should have red/orange blobs near the opponent’s net at top, and blue/purple bobs near their own team’s net at bottom. The distributions in middle show how the player compares to league average at individual finishing, setting up teammates to score, and taking and drawing penalties.
About this player card: This image from Evolving Hockey shows an overview of the player across different parts of their game. At top right are the players percentile rank (1 is worst; 100 best), overall and on offense and defense separately. Higher numbers are in blue. Below are the player’s contributions in different compartments of the game using the goals-above-replacement or GAR metric. Higher numbers (again in blue) mean the player adds value compared to an average AHL call-up player.
What does it say about the 2022-23 Capitals that Nicolas Aube-Kubel, a waiver wire pickup selected out of desperation, became one of their most dynamic players?
Now let’s not go overboard. NAK is what you think he is: a physical, bottom-six, pest-type player, but he’s got way more offense than you’d expect for that role. Aube-Kubel’s 14.2 individual shot-attempts per hour ranked second on the Caps, behind only Ovechkin. His speed gave Washington a rush threat that they sorely lacked all year, especially after Hathaway left.
He has a penalty problem — taking minors at a higher rate than everyone except Wilson and Hathaway, but at $1.2 million he’s a positive-impact player. You could do way, way worse on your bottom line. Just, like, make sure he’s on your bottom line.
Fourth line next season is NAK + Dowd + ???
This article would not be possible with HockeyViz, Evolving Hockey, Natural Stat Trick, and All Three Zones. Please consider joining us in supporting them. For people interested in learning more from those resources, we recently published video walkthroughs.
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.