Season Grade: Adam Larsson

Many people were jumping on the “Adam Larsson is a bust” train before the season started, and I think it’s safe to say that they should hop off. There will always be people that say Larsson is a bust because he doesn’t put up 40 points or isn’t as flashy as other defensemen, but he has grown into a very, very solid defender.  It’s weird to think, but Larsson is still only 23 years old.  He could still grow as a player and get better.  He helped anchor the top d-pairing with Andy Greene, and all things considering, did a great job.  This was an important season for Larsson, and let’s take a look at it below.

The Numbers

5v5 Numbers

5v5 TOI 5v5 Goals 5v5 Assists 5v5 Points 5v5 G60 5v5 A60 5v5 P60 5v5 Pen D 5v5 CF% 5v5 CF% Rel 5v5 SH%  5v5 ZSO% Rel
1,434.41 1 12 13 0.04 0.5 0.54 -17 44.50% -2.15% 7.71% -24.81%

5v4 Numbers

5v4 TOI 5v4 Goals 5v4 Assists 5v4 Points 5v4 G60 5v4 A60 5v4 P60 5v4 Pen D 5v4 CF% 5v4 CF% Rel 5v4 SH% 5v4 ZSO% Rel
30.79 0 0 0 0 0 0 -3 83.33% -2.66% 50.00% -3.94%

4v5 Numbers

4v5 TOI 4v5 Goals 4v5 Assists 4v5 Points 4v5 G60 4v5 A60 4v5 P60 4v5 Pen D 4v5 CF% 4v5 CF% Rel 4v5 SH% 4v5 ZSO% Rel
280.66 0 1 1 0 0.21 0.21 2 6.94% -10.67% 15.79% -12.74%

All Situations Numbers

All TOI All Goals All Assists All Points All G60 All A60 All P60 All Pen D All CF% All CF% Rel All SH% All ZSO% Rel
1841.92 3 15 18 0.1 0.29 0.49 -19 37.28% -10.29% 9.17% -32.80%

So we can start with the obvious, Adam Larsson doesn’t see that much power play time.  When he does, he starts it in the defensive zone more than most of his teammates.  I don’t think Larsson on the power play would be a terrible idea, and I think it’s something Hynes should look at next year.  Even if it’s just a small increase, I think Larsson can help produce with the man advantage.  Larsson is used way more often on the penalty kill.  Only Andy Greene saw more PK time than Larsson this year.  He was relied on heavily to be a top pairing defensemen for the Devils this year, and his PK time just shows that.  

Larsson’s 5v5 numbers are what I really want to look at.  He didn’t put up many points, which is something I’ll look at later.  What he did do was face the toughest competition each opposing team had to offer.  Considering how often Larsson started in his own zone compared to his teammates, his CF% is pretty great.  His CF% Rel is a -2.15%, which is also crazy considering his usage.  Larsson fared well against the best competition the NHL has to offer, and that’s really encouraging.  His 5v5 numbers next year will be interesting to see.

Some things that weren’t so great for Larsson was his penalty differential and his points total.  Larsson took 19 more penalties than he drew, and that’s not something that’s good for one of your top pairing defensemen.  The point totals are a different story.  Yes, his numbers dropped from last year, where he had 24 points in 64 games, but you have to remember how Larsson is being used.  He is seeing a small amount of power play time and is starting his even strength play in defensive situations.  Still, 18 points is very low, especially for the Devils.  If Larsson could contribute more, I think he’d get some recognition league wide.

Season Grade: B+

I think it’s time the “Larsson is a bust” thought is put to rest.  Larsson showed this year that he can be a defenseman that Hynes can rely on in most situations.  He hasn’t proved himself on the power play, but that could happen with more time.  Larsson helped anchor the Devils best defensive pairing, and it really wasn’t close.  I would trust him in any defensive situation more than I would any of the other Devils defensemen except for Andy Greene, and even that’s close for me.  This was the biggest season of Larsson’s career, and I hope he can build off of it.  I think the B+ is a very fair grade for Larsson.  Hopefully next year he plays well enough to bump that grade up.

(Numbers and statistics via Corsica.hockey and Hockey Reference.  All numbers adjusted for score and venue.)

(Photo courtesy of Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

Season Grade: The Rest of the Forwards

The rest of the forwards will be under one post.  These are guys that either played less than 30 regular season games or were traded away.  Many of them don’t have a big enough sample size to accurately go over their season.  For the prospects that played in a few games (Zacha, Santini, etc.), the grade will reflect the season in their respective league. For the AHL guys, the grade will reflect their time in the AHL as well. With all that being said, let’s get to it!

Lee Stempniak-A

What a year it was for Stempniak.  Stempniak suited up for 63 games this year as a member of the Devils, putting up a surprising 41 points.  He wasn’t a great possession player (45.5 CF%, -2.8 CF% Rel), but he was playing against the best competition.  He was such a revelation for the Devils, putting up much needed offense.  Stempniak was traded at the deadline to the Boston Bruins for a 2017 2nd round pick and a 2016 4th round pick.  That’s a very good return on someone who made the team on a PTO (professional try out).  Stempniak earned an A for his time with the Devils.  Between the offense and the trade return, Stempniak helped the Devils all season.  Look at Stempniak as a potential free agent signing this offseason.

Brian O’Neill-C

The Devils traded for O’Neill last October, sending a conditional 7th round pick to the LA Kings.  The condition, that the Devils sign O’Neill to an NHL Contract for the 2016-17 season was not met, so the pick stays with the Devils.  It was a low-risk move by Shero.  O’Neill was coming off a very strong season in the AHL, putting up 80 points in the regular season and 20 in the playoffs, helping Manchester win the Calder Cup.  Unfortunately, that success didn’t translate to the NHL level.  O’Neill put up 2 points in 22 games with New Jersey.  His C grade comes from his time with Albany, where he put up 32 points in 42 games, as well as 5 points in 9 playoff games.  O’Neill signed with Jokerit of the KHL, and best of luck to him.

Stefan Matteau-D

Matteau’s time with the Devils seemed bad from the start.  Matteau was picked 29th in the 2012 NHL Draft, a pick that many thought the Devils should’ve given up for the Kovy contract.  He would play 17 games with the Devils the next season, which burned a year of his ELC.  He would never really find his footing after that.  It can be argued that the Devils screwed up his development, but Matteau never really proved he could play in the NHL.  Matteau would be traded to the Montreal Canadiens in February for forward Devante Smith-Pelly.  This deal would turn out to be a steal for Shero, as DSP played very well for the Devils.  Matteau gets a D for the season.  He didn’t do much for New Jersey, putting up 1 goal in 20 games, but he was traded for DSP, who could be an interesting piece for the future.

Devante Smith-Pelly-B

Speaking of DSP, his stretch with the Devils was very encouraging.  Originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks, DSP was traded to Montreal for Jiri Sekac, but wouldn’t do much at all.  Before his trade to the Devils, DSP was barely scoring, putting up a measly 12 points in 46 games.  After the trade, DSP put up 13 points in 18 games.  His shooting percentage was extremely high in that 18 game stretch, but that’s still something to be happy about.  You always hear about how a change of scenery can benefit a player, and that could be what happened with DSP.  He’s only 24, and is an RFA, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of deal he will get.  His time with the Devils this season was short, but he earned a B and a look for next year.

Mike Sislo-B

Sislo is a career AHL guy.  He’s played 42 career NHL games and only has 5 points.  His AHL numbers are much better.  Sislo came in second in points for Albany, and played less games than leading scorer Matt Lorito.  His success hasn’t translated to the NHL, though.  He played 18 games this year with New Jersey, putting up 4 points.  Not necessarily horrible, but not something that makes you feel great.  He is the kind of player that can come up to the NHL when needed and not be a complete mess on the ice.  He won’t contribute at the NHL level, but is a great AHL veteran who can help the young A-Devils next year.

Patrik Elias-B

I refuse to believe this season was the end of Patrik’s Devils career.  Elias only suited up for 16 games this year, and had two different stints on the IR because of his knee.  He had surgery on his knee in May, and it’s still unknown what his future will hold.  He did score at a 0.50 PPG pace, which isn’t bad at all for someone his age.  There’s a real possibility that Elias does retire, and that this was his last year with the Devils.  I hope that he can come back next year for a proper send off, but only time will tell.  It’s hard to give him a grade because of the injuries, but I’m going to go off the board and give him an B, if only for the great ending to the season, and potentially to his amazing career.

Blake Pietila-C

Blake didn’t have the strongest season points wise for the Albany Devils.  His 17 points in 58 games wasn’t anything special, but he did put up 6 points in 8 playoff games.  It was also his first full pro season, so he could do better in a bigger role next season.  He did manage to suit up for 7 games in the NHL this year.  He also had 2 points in those 7 games.  It was a nice cup of coffee for the young forward.  He has time to grow and become a potential bottom 6 guy for the Devils.  Next season will be very important for Blake, and I think he’s someone to keep an eye out in Albany.

Jim O’Brien-C

A former 1st round pick, O’Brien never found much success in the NHL.  He has 12 points in 67 career NHL games.  He suited up for 4 NHL games this year, producing 0 points.  He, like Sislo, is an AHL guy who can come up when needed for a few games.  Also like Sislo, he is a solid AHL veteran and can help the younger guys in Albany.  He did put up 38 points in 56 games for Albany, and had 5 points in 6 playoff games.  He had an average season, earning a C.

Paul Thompson-D

Thompson’s most notable contribution to the Devils this season was being apart of the Marc Savard trade.  He had a very solid season for Albany in 2014-15, putting up 33 goals and 55 points in 73 games.  He wouldn’t repeat the success this year, though.  His goal totals dipped to 13, and his points total dipped to 35.  His PIMs also went up.  He put up 4 points in 10 playoff games for Albany.  He played in 3 NHL games this year, and didn’t have any points.  He is someone that can be replaced in Albany, and the future 2nd round pick he helped bring in could be very useful for the Devils.

Pavel Zacha-A

It was a great year for Zacha.  He spent most of it in the OHL with Sarnia, but got to play in one NHL game and play with Albany for a bit.  He did have some injuries, but they don’t look like anything super serious.  He had 64 points in 51 games in the OHL, and had a huge playoff, scoring 13 points in 7 games.  He played in the Devils final game of the season, putting up 2 assists.  He also got to play with Patrik Elias, which was a big deal for the kid.  He went down to Albany and had 3 points in 3 games before the playoffs.  He had 3 points in 5 playoff games, but missed the remainder of the season with an injury.  Zacha made big strides this year, and he’s someone to look at during camp this year.  I think he could make the Devils out of camp, but time will tell. 

Miles Wood-B

Wood played the majority of the season as a freshman at Boston College.  He was a bit old for a freshman, but it was still his first year in college hockey, and he contributed in a big way.  He was fifth on BC for total scoring with 35 points in 37 games, which is great for Wood.  He was rewarded for his solid season with a contract, and suited up for the last Devils game of the season.  He didn’t score, but didn’t look too out of place.  He ended the year playing for USA at the World Championship, playing in 10 games and scoring 1 goal.  He will probably spend next season in Albany, but a solid camp could see him start in New Jersey.

(Numbers and Statistics via Hockey Reference and Elite Prospects)

 

Season Grade: Jiri Tlusty

I had some high expectations for Tlusty when he was brought in by Ray Shero.  I knew that he wasn’t going to put up a ton of points, but I thought he’d be a decent 3rd line forward who could chip in some offense.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  It was a rough season for Tlusty.  He wasn’t an offensive threat, and would miss more than half the season with injuries.  Let’s look at his season below.

The Numbers

5v5 Numbers

5v5 TOI 5v5 Goals 5v5 Assists 5v5 Points 5v5 G60 5v5 A60 5v5 P60 5v5 Pen D 5v5 CF% 5v5 CF% Rel 5v5 SH%  5v5 ZSO% Rel
355.78 1 1 2 0.17 0.17 0.34 1 47.42% 0.89% 4.00% -6.46%

5v4 Numbers

5v4 TOI 5v4 Goals 5v4 Assists 5v4 Points 5v4 G60 5v4 A60 5v4 P60 5v4 Pen D 5v4 CF% 5v4 CF% Rel 5v4 SH% 5v4 ZSO% Rel
25.54 1 0 1 2.35 0 2.35 2 76.92% 13.99% 13.33% -14.31%

4v5 Numbers

4v5 TOI 4v5 Goals 4v5 Assists 4v5 Points 4v5 G60 4v5 A60 4v5 P60 4v5 Pen D 4v5 CF% 4v5 CF% Rel 4v5 SH% 4v5 ZSO% Rel
16.32 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 20.00% 7.50% 0.00% 19.08%

All Situations Numbers

All TOI All Goals All Assists All Points All G60 All A60 All P60 All Pen D All CF% All CF% Rel All SH% All ZSO% Rel
410.17 2 2 4 0.29 0.29 0.59 6 47.37% 0.35% 5.85% -5.03%

First thing that stands out is the lack of offense from Tlusty.  4 points in 30 games isn’t anything that makes you want Tlusty back next year.  He didn’t play much on the power play because he couldn’t produce at 5v5.  He didn’t play on the penalty kill because he defensive play wasn’t anything special.  He only put up 2 even strength points this season.  There were depth players that were much better options than Tlusty.  If I could describe Tlusty’s presence this year, it would be that he was just around.  

If there was one thing to be happy with, it’s that his possession numbers were positive relative to the rest of the team.  That spreads across very situation he was put in as well.  Now, the Devils were a very bad possession team, so it’s not like he was making a huge difference, but still.  Tlusty also drew more penalties than he took, and if you’ve been reading these season grades, you can see how that helps the Devils.  Besides that, it was a pretty forgettable season from Tlusty.

Season Grade: F

I understand what Shero was doing when he brought in Tlusty.  He had the chance to be a solid 3rd line guy, but it never happened.  Guys like Tyler Kennedy, Lee Stempniak, and Jacob Josefson were much better options for the Devils.  Tlusty also took up spots that could’ve been filled by players like Reid Boucher or Joseph Blandisi.  Like many players on the Devils, Tlusty will be a UFA this offseason.  I highly doubt he is brought back.  He missed way too much time with injuries, and his wrist surgery could impact his already small scoring numbers.  It was a low risk signing that just happened to have no reward.  Tlusty didn’t even come close to meeting the expectations of many people, and didn’t do anything to earn more than an F this season. 

(Numbers and statistics via Corsica.hockey and Hockey Reference)

(Photo courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Season Grade: Tuomo Ruutu

This is probably going to be the shortest season grade post, at least for the forwards.  Ruutu suited up for 33 games this season and had 1 point.  Ruutu also made $5,000,000 last season.  $5,000,000. 1 point.  33 games.  It was bad, and that’s a nice way of putting it.  Ruutu was often a healthy scratch, which was smart by Hynes.  Let’s take a look at Ruutu’s 2015-16 season below. 

The Numbers

5v5 Numbers

5v5 TOI 5v5 Goals 5v5 Assists 5v5 Points 5v5 G60 5v5 A60 5v5 P60 5v5 Pen D 5v5 CF% 5v5 CF% Rel 5v5 SH%  5v5 ZSO% Rel
355.45 0 1 1 0 0.17 0.17 -6 45.91% 1.39% 3.91% -5.58%

5v4 Numbers

5v4 TOI 5v4 Goals 5v4 Assists 5v4 Points 5v4 G60 5v4 A60 5v4 P60 5v4 Pen D 5v4 CF% 5v4 CF% Rel 5v4 SH% 5v4 ZSO% Rel
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

4v5 Numbers

4v5 TOI 4v5 Goals 4v5 Assists 4v5 Points 4v5 G60 4v5 A60 4v5 P60 4v5 Pen D 4v5 CF% 4v5 CF% Rel 4v5 SH% 4v5 ZSO% Rel
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

All Situations Numbers

All TOI All Goals All Assists All Points All G60 All A60 All P60 All Pen D All CF% All CF% Rel All SH% All ZSO% Rel
379.25 0 1 1 0 0.16 0.16 -10 45.20% 0.23% 3.85% -4.69%

Let’s get right to it.  The only real positive things to say about Ruutu’s season was that he wasn’t a black hole possession wise during 5v5 play.  Relative to the rest of the team, he started in the defensive zone pretty often.  He was also a positive possession player relative to the rest of the team.  

He didn’t play much time on the power play or penalty kill.  He isn’t a great defensive player, so the penalty kill makes sense.  He clearly wasn’t a great offensive threat this season, so no power play time also makes sense.  Ruutu also had some injury problems this season.  He missed some time with a fractured foot, and it just fell apart from that point.  There’s really not much else to say about Ruutu.

Season Grade: F

If I could give lower than an F, I probably would.  Ruutu was bad last season, plain and simple.  His 1 point in 33 games for a player making $5,000,000 is unacceptable.  He also had some dumb moments, specifically when he was fined $5,000 for slew-footing Matt Cullen.  Thankfully, the Ruutu experiment should over (for the love of God, please let the Ruutu experiment be over).  I can’t see any scenario where Shero re-signs Ruutu.  He brings nothing to the team, and he shouldn’t be back next year.  Ruutu’s time with the Devils was forgettable.  The trade to bring him in was confusing, and he didn’t do much to garner praise.  At this point, I’m thankful it’s (hopefully) over.  

(Numbers and statistics via Corsica.hockey and Hockey Reference)

(Photo Courtesy of the National Hockey League)

Season Grade: Reid Boucher

It was a big year for Boucher.  After a few years of inconsistent play in both the NHL and AHL, Boucher found his stride.  He split time between New Jersey (39 games) and Albany (34 games), putting up decent stat lines at both levels.  Reid also contributed for the A-Devils in the Calder Cup Playoffs.  Some Devils fans have unrealistic expectations for Boucher, but this year was a great year for him and his development.  Let’s take a Boucher’s season below.

The Numbers

5v5 Numbers

5v5 TOI 5v5 Goals 5v5 Assists 5v5 Points 5v5 G60 5v5 A60 5v5 P60 5v5 Pen D 5v5 CF% 5v5 CF% Rel 5v5 SH%  5v5 ZSO% Rel
466.26 6 6 12 0.77 0.77 1.54 -1 43.42% -1.59% 6.95% 3.61%

5v4 Numbers

5v4 TOI 5v4 Goals 5v4 Assists 5v4 Points 5v4 G60 5v4 A60 5v4 P60 5v4 Pen D 5v4 CF% 5v4 CF% Rel 5v4 SH% 5v4 ZSO% Rel
75.53 2 4 6 1.59 2.38 3.18 -1 88.00% 1.87% 16.39% 1.90%

4v5 Numbers

4v5 TOI 4v5 Goals 4v5 Assists 4v5 Points 4v5 G60 4v5 A60 4v5 P60 4v5 Pen D 4v5 CF% 4v5 CF% Rel 4v5 SH% 4v5 ZSO% Rel
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

All Situations Numbers

All TOI All Goals All Assists All Points All G60 All A60 All P60 All Pen D All CF% All CF% Rel All SH% All SZO% Rel
554.89 8 11 19 0.87 1.19 2.05 2 48.85% 3.56% 9.56% 7.21%

Boucher did spend time in Albany, where he put up 32 points in 34 games, which was good for a 0.94 point per game average.  His 19 goals was tied for second on Albany, and his 32 points was good for fifth.  All of the players in front of him had at least 20 more games played.  He lead the A-Devs in playoff scoring with 10 points in 11 games.  He was easily Albany’s best player when he was there.

His time in New Jersey was decent.  He scored at a 0.49 point per game pace with the Devils.  He isn’t the best possession player as you can see from his CF% and CF% Rel at even strengths.  His zone starts relative to the rest of the team was positive.  I think it’s safe to say that Boucher isn’t a defensive wizard.  He doesn’t receive any penalty kill time because of this.  Where Boucher is going to make his living will be on the power play.  His 6 5v4 points in limited minutes was pretty good, and his shot can be lethal on the power play if put in the right position.  I don’t think Boucher will ever be a possession monster on the ice, but can put up points if put in the right situations.

Season Grade: B

This was an extremely encouraging season for Boucher.  He was able to score consistently for the Albany Devils, both in the regular season and playoffs.  Boucher also made a good impression while he was with New Jersey.  His scoring numbers make me excited for his future.  I think there’s a great chance Boucher spends most of his time in New Jersey next season.  This season was a great season for him to build off of.  I don’t think he will be a 25 goal scorer or anything like that next season, but I also don’t think 18-20 is out of the question.  For a team like the Devils, that’s big.  I’m excited for Boucher’s future, and I think he can finally stick with the Devils for good.

(Numbers and statistics via Corsica.hockey and Hockey Reference)

(Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Kozub/Getty Images)

Season Grade: Joseph Blandisi

This was Joseph Blandisi’s first pro season.  After dominating the OHL in 2014-15, Blandisi jumped to Albany, where he would put up very good numbers for a first year pro.  His play in Albany would warrant a call-up in December, but he would go back and forth between the Devils and A-Devs until February.  He would remain with the team until the end of the season, eventually joining the A-Devs for their playoff run.  It was an interesting first year for Blandisi, so let’s take a look below.  

The Numbers

5v5 Numbers

5v5 TOI 5v5 Goals 5v5 Assists 5v5 Points 5v5 G60 5v5 A60 5v5 P60 5v5 Pen D 5v5 CF% 5v5 CF% Rel 5v5 SH%  5v5 ZSO% Rel
521.41 1 9 10 0.12 1.04 1.15 -5 45.31% 0.23% 6.93% 2.03%

5v4 Numbers

5v4 TOI 5v4 Goals 5v4 Assists 5v4 Points 5v4 G60 5v4 A60 5v4 P60 5v4 Pen D 5v4 CF% 5v4 CF% Rel 5v4 SH% 5v4 ZSO% Rel
86 4 2 6 2.79 1.4 4.19 -2 88.11% -0.85% 20.29% 3.32%

4v5 Numbers

4v5 TOI 4v5 Goals 4v5 Assists 4v5 Points 4v5 G60 4v5 A60 4v5 P60 4v5 Pen D 4v5 CF% 4v5 CF% Rel 4v5 SH% 4v5 ZSO% Rel
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

All Situations Numbers

All TOI All Goals All Assists All Points All G60 All A60 All P60 All Pen D All CF% All CF% Rel All SH% All ZSO% Rel
635.31 5 12 17 0.47 1.13 1.61 -9 51.67% 6.56% 9.82% 15.68%

It was a very encouraging season for the rookie.  His 17 points weren’t spectacular, but he did play only half a season.  His possession numbers were also encouraging for 21 year old kid.  Hynes gave Blandisi favorable zone starts at even strength, which was a good thing.  His CorsiRel% wasn’t a huge number, but it’s better than having a negative number.  Hynes used Blandisi very well in his 41 games.  He barely saw any penalty kill time, and that was smart as he isn’t a defensive specialist.  His power play numbers were encouraging.  86 minutes isn’t that much, but compare that to his 5v5 numbers and you can see it’s a pretty big difference.  

Some bad things about his season was his penalty differential.  His -9 in all situations sucks, as he should be drawing more penalties than he takes.  He’s always had a high amount of PIM, though.  He put up more PIMs in his 27 AHL games than he did in his 41 NHL games, so that’s encouraging.  What’s not encouraging is that Blandisi is already pegged as a diver.  That’s not an unwarranted claim, either.  There was this hilarious one in February, and then this one a week later.  Obviously it’s funny to look back at, but it’s not funny that Blandisi will have the attention of the refs next year.  I understanding wanting to draw calls, and everyone does it, but his attempts were just bad.

One last thing to look at for Blandisi is his zone start percentage in all situations.  Blandisi started way more shifts in the offensive zone than the defensive zone, which could impact his positive Corsi numbers.  

Season Grade: C

Blandisi had a solid season for New Jersey and Albany, but there were some things to watch for in the future.  The embellishment calls are one thing, but it’s also disappointing that he had only 5 points in his last 23 games with New Jersey.  He had 12 in his first 18 games.  He also only put up 4 points in 11 playoff games with Albany.  He slowed down once the season progressed.  That can be attributed to his first pro season, but it would’ve been nice to see some more consistency. There’s no denying that the kid has skill, though.  His between the legs goal against the Flyers is still something awesome to watch.  He had a solid rookie season, and we can only hope that he builds off of next year.    

(Numbers and Statistics via Corsica.hockey and Hockey Reference)

(Photo Courtesy of Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports) 

Season Grade: Bobby Farnham

Farnham became a fan favorite this year.  Farnham was dubbed “Wild Thing” by Devils fans this year, and it was a pretty accurate nickname.  Farnham played a very aggressive, sometimes too aggressive style of play this year.  He was primarily used as a 4th line enforcer type, not seeing much time on the power play or penalty kill.  He managed to chip in some goals this season, which was unexpected.  Let’s take a look at Farnham’s season below.

The Numbers

5v5 Numbers

5v5 TOI 5v5 Goals 5v5 Assists 5v5 Points 5v5 G60 5v5 A60 5v5 P60 5v5 Pen D 5v5 CF% 5v5 CF% Rel 5v5 SH%  5v5 ZSO% Rel
471.81 8 2 10 1.02 0.25 1.27 -3 44.25% -1.37% 6.78% -3.22%

5v4 Numbers

5v4 TOI 5v4 Goals 5v4 Assists 5v4 Points 5v4 G60 5v4 A60 5v4 P60 5v4 Pen D 5v4 CF% 5v4 CF% Rel 5v4 SH% 5v4 ZSO% Rel
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A NA N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

4v5 Numbers

4v5 TOI 4v5 Goals 4v5 Assists 4v5 Points 4v5 G60 4v5 A60 4v5 P60 4v5 Pen D 4v5 CF% 4v5 CF% Rel 4v5 SH% 4v5 ZSO% Rel
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

All Situations Numbers

All TOI All Goals All Assists All Points All G60 All A60 All P60 All Pen D All CF% All CF% Rel All SH% All ZSO% Rel
493.3 8 2 10 0.97 0.24 1.22 -17 43.35% -2.90% 6.78% -3.48%

As I said above, Farnham didn’t see much special teams time.  Hynes made the right situation there.  Farnham isn’t an extremely skilled player, and he’s not someone I would want to see on the power play or penalty kill.  His sample size special teams was so small that it wasn’t enough to truly gauge his impact, thus the N/A.  His even strength (5v5) numbers weren’t very great this year.  He did score 8 goals, which was nice to see, but his possession numbers weren’t any special.  Like most of the Devils, he didn’t get great zone starts.  His CF% numbers were pretty bad, especially relative to the rest of the team.  

His all situations numbers were also pretty meh in terms of possession.  The Devils were a better team when he wasn’t on the ice, and his teammates were better playing away from him.  His penalty differential was also pretty bad.  He took 17 more penalties than he drew, and came in second in PIM with 92.  That’s second to Jordin Tootoo, who also played 12 more games than Farnham.  He also had some nasty hits this year.  Some were questionable, but then there were some like this hit on Dmitrij Jaskins.  It was a dumb, stupid, and unnecessary hit.  Farnham would receive a 4 game suspension for it.  He would also get fined for embellishment during the season.

Season Grade: D

Farnham had some bright spots this season, but not enough to get above a D.  He did put up 8 goals, which is big for a team that can’t score.  But his reckless play and actions this year were also very bad, and outweigh his 8 goals.  The hit on Jaskins was bush league, and getting fined for embellishment is embarrassing for him and the team.  Wild Thing plays on the wild side for sure, and it came back to haunt him many times during the season. With that being said, I think there’s a decent chance the Devils re-sign Farnham.  He’s nothing more than a depth winger, but I could see the Devils liking his style of play when they go against rival teams.  It was an interesting first year for Farnham, and it will be interesting to see what his future with the Devils holds. 

(Numbers and Statistics via Corsica.hockey and Hockey Reference)

(Photo courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)