Landeskog for Ottawa 2012

None of youLots of you, no doubt, have been wondering why my signature line includes the slogan, 'I support Landeskog 2012!'

Last off-season, I wrote a FanPost in which I examined what I thought would be the market value for Gabriel Landeskog, should the Ottawa Senators have desired to make a trade for him, after the Colorado Avalanche drafted him 2nd overall.

I wrote:

It is possible, of course, that Landeskog does not turn out to be the player he has been projected to become. But supposing he does, would it be worth the Senators trying, eventually, to trade with the Avalanche in order to acquire Landeskog?

I also wrote:

[H]ere is what I think would be the most... likely... return to the Avalanche in exchange for Gabriel Landeskog...: Ottawa receives Gabriel Landeskog and... [a] 2nd-round... draft pick; Colorado receives one of Mika Zibanejad or Matt Puempel or Jakob Silfverberg or Bobby Butler [he was that well-regarded a prospect back then], ... [a] 1st-round... draft pick, and ... [a] 3rd-round... draft pick, and possibly a less highly prized prospect (someone like Colin Greening or Eric Condra).

Well, Gabriel Landeskog now has a full season in the NHL under his belt. Let's see how he looks and whether it's still worth picking him up. (If you skip to the conclusion, you'll see that I say it is; the in-between bits show that my say-so has at least some support.) Join me after the jump! ... What's that you say? FanPosts don't have jumps? Well, whatever, join me anyway!

Basic Stats

courtesy of

Landeskog's basic stats are as follows:

GP Goals Assists Pts PPG GWG +/-
82 (1st) 22 (1st) 30 (3rd) 52 (3rd) 6 (2nd) 5 (1st) +20 (1st)

18:36 (8th) 2:09 (8th) 1:20 (6th)

Hits BkS MsS GvA TkA
219 (1st) 58 (6th) 66 (1st) 35 (3rd) 58 (3rd)

Landeskog was only 3 points behind Ryan O'Reilly for the team lead in points scored; meanwhile, three players weren't far behind him for goals scored. So while not a runaway offensive leader, he was still an undisputed top scorer for the team.

For what it is worth, Landeskog's plus/minus was better than that of second-best plus/minus (that of Ryan Wilson) by +9. By contrast O'Reilly's +/- was -1, and that of the team's second-leading scorer, Paul Statsny, was -8.

Landeskog's shots blocked were highest among forwards. While the NHL's real-time stats are not really accurate, the picture one gets of Landeskog is of a guy willing to play the body and capable of making a wide variety of good plays.

Landeskog's basic stats show that he was consistently an effective first-line player on a young team, not something many other rookies can claim to be.

Landeskog was also tied for points in rookie scoring with Edmonton Oilers rookie Gabriel Nugent-Hopkins, although if either Nugent-Hopkins or the New Jersey Devil's Adam Henrique had been healthier, Landeskog would have been in third place in rookie scoring. In any case having been nominated for the Calder, he is inarguably one of the top rookies of the 2011-2012 season.

Advanced Stats

courtesy of Behind the Net

I'm not proficient in the use of advanced hockey stats, but I appreciate that they are an excellent tool in determining the relative value of a player, and from what I have been able to tell, the advanced stats would confirm the impression we can see from Landeskog's basic stats.

For the purposes of comparing Landeskog to other players, I have filtered out players who played fewer than 30 games in 2011-12. Thus, as you go through my analysis, keep that in mind. Also, unless indicated otherwise, all stats refer to 5v5 play.

Landeskog's advanced stats are as follows:

GP TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi QoC Corsi Rel Corsi On On-Ice Sh% On-Ice Sv% PDO Off Zone Start% Off Zone Finish%
82 (1st) 14.69 (9th) 0.911 (1st) 0.295 (3rd) 15.0 (1st) 13.79 (1st) 7.65 (3rd) .928 (4th) 1004 (2nd) 54.8 (9th) 51.6 (9th)

G/60 A1/60 A2/60 P/60 GF On GF On/60 GF Off/60 GA On GA On/60 GA Off/60 +/- On/60 +/- Off/60
0.75 (5th) 0.40 (11th) 0.60 (1st) 1.74 (4th) 55 (2nd) 2.74 (2nd) 1.86 (19th) 39 (11th) 1.94 (19th) 2.54 (3rd) 0.80 (1st) -0.68 (19th)

No real surprises here, I think. Landeskog's TOI/60 was third among forwards (behind linemates O'Reilly and Statsny).

I'm not going to say much about Corsi. Most significantly, Landeskog outperformed linemates O'Reilly and Statsny in all four Corsi stats but one, Corsi QoC. Statsny's Corsi numbers were, on the whole, much worse (so far as I can tell) than those of either Landeskog or O'Reilly. So Landeskog was probably not just benefitting from playing on a line with the team's top guys - he was himself a crucial contributor to that line's success.

In terms of points scoring, Landeskog was one of the most effective players over the course of the season. Two of the four players ahead of him played only 32 and 35 games, and another, Jamie McGinn, played only 17 games for the Avs (although his G/60 only playing for the Avalanche is an incredible 1.68). With respect to P/60, two of the players ahead of him were McGinn (17 GP for the Avs), and Steve Downie (20 GP for the Avs).

Downie was first overall for Team GF On-ice/60, so it may well be the case that no other player on the Avs was a scoring threat to the extent that Landeskog was. What is most impressive that Landeskog's Team GA On-ice/60 was achieved with twice as much TOI/60 as that of Cody McCleod (whose GA On/60 was the lowest), and against much better competition. (By contrast, linemate Paul Statsny's GA On/60 was 2.79, among the team's worst.) Landeskog's ranking for Team GA Off-ice/60 was highest among forwards. So, as a whole, the Avs allowed many more goals when Landeskog wasn't playing than when he was.

From what we have here, it is evident that Landeskog was one of the most important players on the Avalanche last season, a remarkable feat for a rookie. Incidentally, Landeskog outperformed his Calder co-nominees in several advanced stats, which would at least suggest that he should receive the Calder: he was much more important to his team's success in 5v5 play than either Henrique or Nugent-Hopkins were, so far as I can determine.

Landeskog and the Ottawa Senators

If Landeskog had had the same stats as a Senator last season as he did as an Avalanche, he would have been:

  • 5th on team scoring (including 4th for goals scored and for ppg scored)
  • tied for 1st for gwg
  • 2nd for +/-
  • 9th for TOI/G
  • 6th for PP TOI/G and 11th for SH TOI/G
  • 2nd for hits, 8th for blocked shots (behind, interestingly, Erik Karlsson)
  • 6th for missed shots, 8th for giveaways, and 3rd for takeaways
  • 1st for Corsi Rel QoC and Corsi QoC (it is worth nothing that no Ottawa Senator had a Corsi QoC above 0, the best was Daniel Alfredsson's at -0.263)
  • 1st for Corsi Rel and 2nd for Corsi On
  • 18th for On-ice Sh% and tied for 6th in On-ice Sv%
  • 7th for G/60, and tied for 5th for P/60
  • 5th for GF On, 10th for GF On/60, and 1st for GF Off/60
  • 11th for GA On, 17th for GA On/60, and 6th for GA Off/60
  • 4th for +/- On/60, and lowest for +/- Off/60

Now, obviously, had Landeskog actually played for the Senators, several of those stats would be different. No doubt his points scoring would have been at least a bit higher, but so would have been his various goals against stats. His Corsi QoC would have been much lower. Exactly what his stats would have been as a Senator is, of course, impossible to say. But it is not unreasonable to suppose that he would have been a key contributor on a top line for the Senators in much the same way as he was for the Avalanche. His current stats show that he would have been effective playing the '200-foot game' advocated by Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean.


Based on this analysis, I believe the Ottawa Senators would do well to target Gabriel Landeskog in a trade, perhaps around the draft. Why?

  • Landeskog would be an upgrade as a top-six player compared to nearly every other current Senators player and certainly every other Sens prospect, if only in the sense that he is a 'proven' prospect with a full season under his belt, compared to most of the unproven prospects the Sens have now.
  • His trade value in the forseeable future is only going to be higher. The window for acquiring Landeskog at a reasonable, though still relatively high, cost, will be closed before too long, especially if he remains consistently good. (Indeed, consistency seems to be one of Landeskog's strong points, so far as it goes, in that at least at the level of basic stats he has translated his high level of play from Swedish and OHL junior to the NHL without missing a beat).
  • Along those lines, the cost to the Senators in a trade for Landeskog, compared to what he would bring to the team in return, is not likely to be too high. What is more, as a rookie, Landeskog is a long-term investment for the Senators. His ELC lasts for another two seasons, and he would be an RFA (and Sens property) for another 4 years.
  • As part of the deal, a first-round pick is likely to be more valuable to the Avalanche since they don't have one this season, thanks to the Varlamov trade. While the Sens would surely not be able to get the deal done with 'only' the 1st-rounder, the other pieces would not have to be nearly so costly than if the Avs had still retained their own first-round pick.

As far as I can see, Landeskog is a 'can't-miss' player, and based on Colorado GM Greg Sherman's trade history, could, at least potentially, be had for less than he's worth (yet the Avs might after all decide, and fairly so, that no trade is worth giving him up), although the price would undoubtedly be high. However, as the stats show, Landeskog is worth most any price you could care to name. And that is why I SUPPORT LANDESKOG 2012!

This FanPost was written by a member of the Silver Seven community, and does not necessarily reflect the beliefs or opinions of the site managers, editors, or Sports Blogs Nation, Inc.

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