Monday, September 15, 2008

Eric Nystrom

Unlike Dustin Boyd, we can't put up a photo of Eric Nystrom playing in the World Junior Championship; Nystrom played for Team USA, but that was in 2003 (the relevance of that photo is certainly waining) and besides, google images doesn't seem to have any copies of a photo of Nystrom in Team USA digs if any in fact exist.

Another difference between Nystrom and Boyd is that at 25, I think we can safely assume Nystrom has finished his growing pains. What we now see is what we're going to see for the rest of his career.

Not that what we see now is all bad. I think Nystrom has carved himself out a nice little niche as a 4th line energy guy - he crashes, he bangs, he cycles. He must be used sparingly though.

Nystrom isn't really in the red in any categories (good) but he certainly isn't in the green (bad). One thing that moderately concerns me but I haven't really discussed among any other player is Nystrom's corsi number - it's worse than any other player on the team. Now to my eye there is a lot of running around on Calgary when Nystrom is on the ice, and there are a lot of shots against. Certainly the corsi number supports that idea.

I think though if you put Nystrom out there with some half decent defensive guys he could be ok. His GAON/60 really isn't that bad, its certainly not as bad as the corsi number would suggest, so maybe the shot totals are up but the shot quality is down. There's hope anyway.

Projection: 4th line
Key Stat: 3rd ranked forward GAON/60.

edit: I would be negligent to forget to include Kent's take on Nystrom from back in August which is better than my own.


Kent W. said...

I too was actually somewhat surprised by Nystrom's defensive numbers - they weren't that bad, considering.

But you're right, his corsi # is atrocious. That has something to do with who he played with, of course, but also has to do with the fact that he has the offensive instincts of a houseplant. You can see panic in his eyes and a hesitation in his movements whenever the puck comes anywhere near him in the good end of the rink.

therealdeal said...

He doesn't need to be able to put the puck into the net often to be effective as a 4th liner though. We need him to be able to use his size to cycle the puck down low; if he can do that with a moderate degree of success he'll have proven his worth on the team.

Kent W. said...

Ehh - anyone whose ceiling is the 4th line probably isn't that useful. Unless he develops his defensive game enough to become a real checker ("3rd line") I see him as eminently replaceable.

therealdeal said...

I'm not saying he's not replaceable; I'm simply saying that as of now he is at least a fring NHLer with enough skills to keep him in the NHL and who could solidify that position by improving in some areas.

Kent W. said...

Fair enough.

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