Much has been written about the luckiest break the Dallas Stars have gotten in at least the past three years: winning the No. 3 Overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery. The prospect it gave them — Miro Heiskanen — has spent his 2017-2018 season in Finland justifying both his lofty draft position and the near-deafening buzz that now surrounds him.
The full picture has just become much sharper. Former DBD’er Josh Lile, now writing at Mooterati, has recently discovered a well-kept secret — you can get fancy stats for the Liiga. And Heiskanen’s fancy stats are eye-popping, as Josh relates with images generated by Finnish numbers whiz Simo Teperi (in the style of Micah Blake McCurdy):
We knew Heiskanen got first-pairing ice time, but it really sticks out when the visual aspect is added. The fact that his even-strength goal scoring and primary assists per hour each individually made him score at the rate of a first-pairing defender is something I didn’t realize.
His point totals could have been even better. Miro’s IFK teammates only shot 4% with him on the ice. Bump that up a little and the assists will be racked up quickly.
A heat map provides a visualization of how good Heiskanen is at the D side of his job:
Teams just don’t get shots against IFK with Miro on the ice. The only red that shows up is on the fringes of the left face-off circle outside of the prime scoring area. The left wing probably [bears] more responsibility for that than Heiskanen anyway given how tidy the area in front of the net looks.
And this isn’t nearly all. Check it out. [Mooterati]
Mark Stepneski catches you up with Mattias Janmark as he wrecks house at the IIHF World Championship. Marky earned a goal and two assists as Sweden blanked Austria 7-0 in yesterday’s action.
Elsewhere, the Stars have announced that a free, all-day country music festival will be part of their NHL Draft Fan Fest next month.
Around the League(s): DEFCON 1 Edition
With no game and only one semifinal team yet to be determined, last night was the eye of the 2018 Stanley Cup hurricane.
Enjoy the Central-on-Central violence in moderation.
Now that we’ve all confronted, seriously, the fact that the Vegas Golden Knights could win it all, Greg Wyshynski assesses the backlash – and whether the haters have a point.
And now that the Boston Bruins are out of the playoffs, Brad Marchand can see that what he did was wrong – and that he might tire of his reputation sooner rather than later.
The #Phantoms win the longest game in AHL history, as Alex Krushelnyski scored at 6:48 of the fifth overtime to give the #Phantoms a 3-1 series lead over Charlotte. Alex Lyon made 94 — yes, 94 — saves in the win. RECAP: https://t.co/bvWio8iTEQ #FlyersTalk pic.twitter.com/TflLBSqju2— Kevin Durso (@Kevin_Durso) May 10, 2018
In non-playoffs news, Jim Matheson reports that Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is actively shopping the team’s No. 10 pick. Jeff Chapman wonders whether Chiarelli will last another season.
(Also, someone get the Oilers’ No. 10 pick, because you just know he’ll turn out to be a Top 25 scorer. You know it.)
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars are one game away from the 2018 Calder Cup Western Conference finals. Brian Flynn earned two assists and Mike McKenna posted his third playoffs shutout in last night’s 2-0 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners.
Flynn became the first player to hit double digits in assists in this year’s AHL playoffs. The team could close the deal on Friday night in H-E-B Center.
Brian Flynn discusses his two assists in tonight's Game 4 win against the Tucson Roadrunners. pic.twitter.com/nfL5o5WPzh— x - Texas Stars (@TexasStars) May 10, 2018
The T-Stars’ overtime win on Monday redefined slapstick on this goal, starring Flynn, Roope Hintz and the
Keystone Kops Roadrunners’ backcheck.
Teammates colliding! A puck to the face! So much happened on this Texas Stars goal last night - https://t.co/e4phOMbYlD— Sean Leahy (@Sean_Leahy) May 8, 2018
When Snoop Dogg explains line changes, he doesn’t waste words. Enjoy.