Even though this season was a story of failure, that doesn’t mean everyone failed. A lot of people didn’t do their job. Mattias Janmark was the other guy.
It’s kind of silly to call Janmark’s season a “career year.” He finished only five points more than he did his rookie season with 34 points and just one goal shy of 20 with more games played. Before the season began, he wasn’t supposed to play at all. Diagnosed with osteochondritis dissecans last season, it was hard to predict how he’d look after being given the green light. Eighty-one games later and he’s now a Bill Masteron candidate.
Janmark’s contribution was missed, and just in case you don’t read these articles all the way through, here’s the “tl;dr” version of this player grade post:
Per Natural Stat Trick, in addition to being the fourth best forward in points, Janmark was top four on the team in rush attempts (with seven), and top eight in rebounds created. He was also top five in individual high-danger shot attempts for, and was the overall great game-faced package of secondary scoring Dallas sorely missed all season.
With overt speed and two-way ability, there’s no reason to think that the soon-to-be RFA won’t get a nice(-ish) bonus.
Other than the lines of Radulov-Benn-Seguin and Roussel-Faksa-Pitlick, no other trio came close to sniffing their time on ice (633 and 501 minutes, respectively). However, the second-most effective trio in terms of shot attempt differential was Janmark with Jason Spezza and Alexander Radulov, who managed enough clock change to make a difference throughout the season. Although, Janmark spent more time with Spezza and Devin Shore (his most common linemate) — a trio with a much lower expected goals for percentage, at 49.49 percent compared to 52 percent with Spezza and Radulov.
Janmark’s chemistry with Spezza has always been a known commodity, but with Spezza’s struggles (and usage), there was little opportunity to reunite them.
It’s worth discussing Janmark in conjunction with Spezza precisely because they’ve been critical to Dallas’ secondary scoring during Janmark’s healthy seasons. With Spezza’s ability waning, where will that put Janmark next season?
Janmark with Spezza and Radulov can still be a thing in the future. If it’s not, do we get to see Janmark with Radek Faksa? Seems like Faksa excels when he has speed and skill — as opposed to just grinders and go-harders — as he did with Aleš Hemský. For what my two cents are worth, I’d like to see their chemistry explored. Contrary to conventional wisdom, I’d argue that Janmark is the most versatile player on the team.
Whatever the case, it was great to have Janmark back. And it’s good to know Janmark has some quality hockey left in him against all odds.
Grading Mattias Janmark’s 2017-2018 Season
This poll is closed
A - He’s actual secondary scoring on a team that doesn’t have any
B - Why was Janmark taken away from Spezza and Radulov again?
C - He’s past his peak production window, and won’t get much better
D - I can see why 30 points is impressive for a forward when the rest don’t impress
F - Are his game faces really that funny to you goobers? We suck again!