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In today's article, we're going to be looking at who I feel was every team's most overrated player this season. Let's get started!
DISCLAIMER = Being overrated does not mean that a player is bad, just that their actual production and player impact does not live up to the hype they are given by their team's fanbase or the general public.
Anaheim Ducks: John Gibson
John Gibson is not who people think he is... and he hasn't been for a very long time. This season, Gibson has a save percentage of .906 (tied for 60th among goalies) and Goals Saved Above Expected count of -3.53 (69th among goalies). While goaltending success is often unpredictable year-to-year, Gibson has had numbers similar to these in 2019-20 and 2020-21 as well. He is the most overrated player in Anaheim and it is not particularly close.
Arizona Coyotes: Jakob Chychrun
Jakob Chychrun reportedly had a trade value equivalent to 2-first round picks and a prospect ahead of this year's Trade Deadline. That in itself overrates Chychrun. Now consider the number of hockey fans who actually wanted their team to acquire Chychrun despite that inflated price. Believe it or not, Jakob Chychrun only has 7 goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 47 games this season. He definitely has the tools to improve on those point totals, but as of now, he's overrated.
Boston Bruins: Linus Ullmark
There are fans across the entire NHL that see Linus Ullmark as the Bruins starting goalie. However, his .912 save percentage is deceiving. Ullmark actually allows 6.68 goals above expected.
Buffalo Sabres: Victor Olofsson
The Sabres really don't have overrated players because nobody cares enough about the Sabres to make someone overrated, but I'd say the closest person they have is probably Victor Olofsson. While Olofsson's point totals look relatively strong (20 goals and 27 assists for 47 points in 69 games), his underlying offensive numbers at even strength are extremely underwhelming and he should be regarded as little more than a strong finisher at this point in his career. Olofsson is also among the worst defensive forwards in the entire NHL according to Evolving Hockey's xG model (46th highest on-ice expected goals against rate).
Calgary Flames: Jacob Markstrom
Markstrom is enjoying a great season with Calgary, but does not deserve the Vezina over Shesterkin like many Flames fans are saying. Wins and shutouts really are not goalie stats. They are team stats. Shesty, Freddie Anderson and Ilya Sorokin are all ahead of Markstrom in GSAx. Shesty, Freddie, Sorokin and Kuemper are all ahead in save percentage.
Carolina Hurricanes: Martin Necas
Martin Necas is one of those mysterious young players who has tons of offensive skill but hasn't found a way to make that skill translate yet. When watching Necas play, people see his flashy hands and stickhandling ability, but are not able to recognize how frequently he actually is able to use those skills to generate quality scoring chances on net. As a result, Necas' impact is pretty overrated across the league (although he still has wicked potential).
By the numbers, Martin Necas was the 40th-worst forward in the NHL at generating quality offensive scoring chances when on the ice this season. He also has the 50th highest on-ice expected goals against rate among NHL forwards this year.
Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane has 91 points (and counting) this season. Patrick Kane is also carried by Alex DeBrincat and is a massive defensive no-show.
When on the ice together, Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat have a 48.08% expected goal share. When Kane is on the ice without DeBrincat, his on-ice expected goal share drops to 43.72%. When DeBrincat is on the ice without Kane, his on-ice expected goal share rises to 50.17%.
I think Alex DeBrincat may be who people think Patrick Kane is.
Colorado Avalanche: Samuel Girard
Samuel Girard had something of a breakout season last year. Since then however, he has struggled mightily. This season, Girard has been held to a mere 27 points on a stacked Colorado Avalanche team. And while he has played the majority of his minutes with one of either Jack or Erik Johnson, his production still does not align with the reputation he has around the league.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Zach Werenski
Zach Werenski is widely regarded as one of the young, premier defencemen in the NHL. He has definitely been overrated this season though. On a Blue Jackets team that has benefited from a wicked shooting bender for the majority of the year, by the numbers, Werenski actually hurts his team's goal scoring (on-ice teammate GF/60 w/o Werenski >>> on-ice teammate GF/60 w/ Werenski).
Dallas Stars: Tyler Seguin
The Dallas Stars are in the playoff hunt, but not at all because of Tyler Seguin. Seguin has been poorest defensively (he has the 21st highest expected goals against rate of all NHL forwards), with only 28 even strength points in 77 games to show for his efforts offensively.
Detroit Red Wings: Alex Nedjelkovic
Ned has really fallen off after a strong start to the season. He currently has a -13.04 GSAx.
Edmonton Oilers: Kailer Yamamoto
Kailer Yamamoto has 19 goals and 37 points in 77 games this season. However, he also plays significant minutes with McDavid and Draisaitl and has a ridiculous 17.8 shooting percentage. Seems suspicious.
Turns out, when Yamamoto is on the ice separate from McD and Drai, Edmonton is only responsible for 27.78% of the goals and 45.23% of the expected goals. Something tells me he's not the "elite goal-scoring winger" many Oilers fans think he is.
Florida Panthers: Jonathan Huberdeau
Jonathan Huberdeau should not be a Hart Trophy finalist. While Huberdeau has had a phenomenal season, he does not have to play against other teams' toughest matchups and he is extremely sheltered. The Barkov-Duclair-Verhaeghe line goes up against other teams' best players and allows Huberdeau to dominate and feast against weaker competition.
Shesterkin, Matthews, Gaudreau, McDavid and Kaprizov all belong above Hubey for the Hart, in my opinion.
Los Angeles Kings: Adrian Kempe
Adrian Kempe has been able to put up respectable point totals playing top-line minutes for the Kings this season, but the underlying numbers show that his linemates, Kopitar and Iafallo, actually deserve more of the praise for the line's success than Kempe.
Kempe has really struggled defensively this season. He owns the 33rd highest on-ice expected goals against rate of all NHL forwards this year and his offensive impact is nowhere near good enough to outweigh that kind of liability.
Minnesota Wild: Matt Dumba
Over the years, Matt Dumba has gained a league-wide reputation as a strong puck-moving defenceman, capable of driving play from the point. That has not been the case this season. Through 56 games, Dumba has only 18 even-strength points. Dumba's underlying numbers (both GF/60 and xGF/60) match this lack of points.
Montreal Canadiens: Nick Suzuki
The number of Habs fans who unironically call Nick Suzuki 'The Next Bergeron' is appalling. Suzuki is already and will continue to be a fantastic player in the NHL, but this claim is overrating him beyond belief. I think a RAPM comparison can tell you all you need to know for this one:
Nashville Predators: Roman Josi
Josi is having a phenomenal, phenomenal season and has been incredible for Nashville this year. That being said, a player can perform at an elite level and still be overrated (see my disclaimer at the start of the article).
As far as I am concerned, Roman Josi should without a doubt be a Norris Trophy finalist, but I believe Cale Makar is the clear winner. I will probably make another article and Instagram post specifically about Makar vs Josi so stay tuned!
New Jersey Devils: Tomas Tatar
From his years in Montreal, Tuna Tatar garnered a reputation as an analytic gem and impactful two-way player. He has really struggled in his first year as a Devil this season and I personally don't think enough of the people that were high on him (including myself) realize how much of a drop-off its been.
Tatar has a mere 23 even-strength points in 76 games and his underlying numbers aren't much better, either. Tuna's previous role on the analytically dominant Montreal line (with Gallagher and Danault) simply isn't a role that is available on this current Devils roster.
New York Islanders: Anthony Beauvillier
The Islanders are one of those teams whose players are all pretty accurately rated, but if I had to choose the most overrated player from the Island this season, I would go with Anthony Beauvillier.
Beauvillier has struggled all across the board this season and has underperformed greatly compared to previous years.
New York Rangers: Chris Kreider
There are so many different ways I could go with this explanation but I think I'll just give the numbers. Chris Kreider has 51 goals this year, 26 of them are on the powerplay, 22 of them are even strength and 3 are shorthanded. At even strength, Kreider only outscores his individual expected goal count (ixG) by 0.6.
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't call that elite goal-scoring 🤷!
Ottawa Senators: Josh Norris
Josh Norris is a sniper and has one heck of a shot, but until he learns to create space for himself at even strength, he will not be the true 1C that Sens fans think he is.
Philadelphia Flyers: Ivan Provorov
Another young, highly touted defenceman that has had a hard-go this season is Ivan Provorov. Provorov has 29 points in 76 games this season, and the Flyers are responsible for less than half of the expected goal share when Provy is on the ice.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Jeff Carter
Jeff Carter is one of those strange players who is awful by every analytic model in existence but somehow puts up respectable point totals. Whatever 'success' he is having doesn't seem sustainable in the slightest and that 2-year extension likely won't age as well as Pens fans like to think.
San Jose Sharks: Brent Burns
Brent Burns is not a top defenceman anymore. Offensively, defensively, Burns is mediocre at best in all areas.
Seattle Kraken: Vince Dunn
Similar to Necas, Vince Dunn is a player with a lot of talent that simply hasn't been able to get it going this year. He has been limited to an underwhelming 35 points in 73 games this season.
I'd be willing to bet Seattle's poor system and lack of offensive talent is part of Dunn's struggle however, given some of the hype he has received, he may still be slightly overrated.
St. Louis Blues: Jordan Binnington
The Blues have gotten solid goaltending this season, but not from the goaltender people tend to think. Jordan Binnington's dismal .901 save percentage and -9.15 GSAx count have flown under the radar thanks to Ville Husso's incredible breakout season (.920 save percentage and 16.32 GSAx).
Tampa Bay Lightning: Nikita Kucherov
I don't know if Kuch forgot how to backcheck or what... but his xGA/60 is astoundingly bad: 9th worst among NHL forwards and 13th worst overall.
Toronto Maple Leafs: John Tavares
John Tavares is still an impactful and productive hockey player, but we cannot deny that he is regressing. I know that a lot of Leaf fans still view JT as a top-line calibre center playing on the second-line because of his near point/game pace. However, those point totals are definitely deceiving.
Part of the reason for Tavares' success this season is because a player like William Nylander can be strong where Tavares is weak (and vice versa). JT isn't the fastest skater so Nylander does more in the play-driving and transitional areas of the game, for example. John Tavares' even strength GF% is only 48.9% and his expected goal share playing against 2nd line competition without William Nylander is only 51.70%.
Vancouver Canucks: J.T. Miller
There has been lots of talk about J.T. Miller's potential contract extension and a lot of people seem to think that an 8-year deal with $8-million AAV would be fair for both parties. While Miller has had produced at an incredible pace this season (30 goals and 96 points in 77 games), I can't help but feel this is overrating his impact.
Unlike many of the league's other bonafide goal scorers, J.T. Miller hasn't been able to largely outscore his Individual Expected Goal count (ixG) at even strength which would make me hesitant to commit to him with that type of contract if I was a GM. It isn't sustainable.
Vegas Golden Knights: Alex Pietrangelo
One of the few Golden Knights players who have been healthy all season, Alex Pietrangelo is a player who's regression has quickly made him one of the most overrated players in the entire NHL. This season, Pietrangelo has struggled mightily in his own end, especially with costly turnovers and needless penalties. By the numbers, only 6 defencemen in the entire NHL give up more on-ice quality scoring chances against (xGA/60) than Pietrangelo.
Washington Capitals: Alex Ovechkin
Ovechkin's goal-scoring is historic but his defence is horrendous. 50 goals this year but the 20th worst expected goals against rate among all NHL forwards. Ovi's overall game is criminally overrated, but love him as a player nonetheless.
Winnipeg Jets: Kyle Connor
Kyle Connor has been very similar to Ovi this season except he's scored a few less goals (KC has 45 goals, 89 points) and is even worse defensively. Connor has the 4th worst on-ice expected goals against rate of NHL forwards and the 5th worst of all NHL players.
🏆🔥 How did you find my picks?! Make sure to let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!!! 🔥🏆