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NHL’s top regression candidates for the 2022-23 season: Rangers’ Chris Kreider leads the way

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The game of hockey, perhaps more than any other game, is subject to a great deal of random variation. The puck bounces in the direction of a certain player, and he has a year of his career. The player is unlucky with the puck and people wonder what happened to him.

The bad news for players who benefit from this randomness, and the good news for players negatively affected by it, is that regression is an unstoppable force. Most people focus on negative regression, but positive regression is just as common.

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Today we’re looking at which players should regress in the 2022-23 season. Some of them have picked up unsustainable pace and should cool down a bit this year. Others, however, are strong candidates for recovery after being bitten by a snake for much of the 2021-22 campaign.

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Here are the top candidates for regression in the upcoming NHL season.

Chris Crider | DV | New York Rangers

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Chris Crider

NEW • LH • 20
Goals52
Assists25
points77

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After failing to score 30 goals in his first nine seasons in the NHL, Kreider scored 52 goals last season at the age of 31. Crider’s insane scoring was fueled by an insanely high power-play percentage. He has always been a powerplay weapon, but last season he led the league with 26 powerplay goals. He landed 66 man advantage shots (that’s an insane number), giving him a 39.39% shooting percentage. In contrast, fellow ranger Mika Zibanejad made 71 powerplay shots in 2021/22 and scored 15 of them. Kreider will continue to score at high speed on the power play, but keeping his shooting percentage just below 40% is next to impossible.

Brendan Gallagher | RV | Montreal Canadiens

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Brendan Gallagher

MON • BW • 11
Goals7
Assists17
points24

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Gallagher could be the epitome of positive regression this season. In the 2021/22 season, Gallagher hit 0.88% of his shots in five-on-five games. This is not a typo. I didn’t mean 8.8%. According to Natural Stat TrickGallagher hit 113 five-on-five shots last season. He scored on one of them. Gallagher is probably not the scorer who scored 30 goals from 2017 to 2019, but certainly not the scorer who scored seven goals last season. If Gallagher’s shooting percentage drops back to a career average of 9.7% – and he stays healthy throughout the season – it’s not hard to imagine him hitting 20 goals in 2022-23.

Matt Duchen | RV | Nashville Predators

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Matt Duchen

NS • S • 95
Goals43
Assists43
points86

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During his first two seasons at Nashville, Duchene failed to live up to expectations, and his contract began to feel like a burden on the franchise’s ankles. Duchene then scored a franchise-record 43 goals in 2021/22. In the process, Duchene’s 18.9% of shots hit the net, much higher than his career shooting percentage of 12.3%. His 16 powerplay goals are nearly double his previous career high of nine. It’s clear that Duchenne has found a groove in head coach John Hines’ system, but it’s still hard to expect another 40-goal season from him. However, at this point in his career, Duchene is still quite capable of scoring around 30 goals.

Phil Kessel | RV | Vegas Golden Knights

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Phil Kessel

LV • PV • 81
Goalseight
Assists44
points52

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The change of scenery alone should give Kessel a good boost. The Golden Knights, even with some obvious flaws, could very well be in a different league than the Arizona Coyotes. There should be a lot more talent around Kessel, and he won’t be asked to do as much. Also take into account the fact that Kessel was just unlucky in the 2021-22 season. He has a career shooting percentage of 10.9% and only shot 4.6% last season. This resulted in him scoring single digit goals for the first time in his 16-year career. If Kessel can get back on track, Vegas will get a lucrative deal for a productive player in depth.

Ryan Hartman | C | Minnesota Wild

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Ryan Hartman

MIN • PV • 38
Goals34
Assists31
points65

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Until the 2021/22 season, Hartman had never scored 20 goals in one season. Last year he pulled out…



Source: www.cbssports.com

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