The 2010-2011 Player Review: Mattias Tedenby
Throughout the offseason, The Devils’ Den will break down the 2010-2011 Devils season. We’ll cover the big team stories, but also offer a breakdown of individual player performances. In today’s review, we focus on Mattias Tedenby.
For the past few seasons, many New Jersey Devils fans heard about a short right-winger with unlimited scoring potential. Mattias Tedenby, known to many as one of the two great Swedes in the organization, finally got his chance with the Devils this season. In his first full season, we saw the Devils’ future on full display.
Tedenby immediately showed off his offensive potential, scoring a goal in only his second career game. He continued his strong play, converting his first career penalty shot against Braden Holtby and the Capitals on November 22. It continued throughout the month, with him collecting six points in November. John MacLean put him on the second line, where he drew rave reviews from Jason Arnott and Patrik Elias. But it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine for the young Swede.
When Jacques Lemaire took over the team, Tedenby couldn’t crack the lineup. Already struggling to score, Lemaire decided to scratch him for six straight games. The right-winger needed to improve his play, including his defense, to crack the lineup. When he finally returned, on January 17 against the New York Islanders, he made his presence felt, scoring the game-winning goal.
It was a rollercoaster season for Tedenby. At times he flashed his offensive potential, but he seemed to disappear at times. He couldn’t consistently produce offense, and he rotated between the third and fourth lines. It was only his first year playing hockey in North America, so to expect him to produce like Jeff Skinner would be irrational. All in all, it was a solid debut for the Devils’ rookie.
Tedenby At Even Strength
Playing on the bottom two lines for most of the season didn’t get Tedenby much ice time. He only averaged 12:32 minutes per game, the lowest among rookies with at least 40 games played. Despite not playing much, he managed to produce 1.38 points per 60 and record a plus-0.87 rating. It helped that his quality of teammates (plus-0.069) were better than the quality of his competition (minus-0.032).
While at even strength, Tedenby became a solid offensive weapon. The Devils averaged 2.07 goals for per 60 (21 total), third among rookie skaters with at least 40 games played. He posted that number despite playing on the third and fourth lines, a testament to that offensive potential. Off the ice, the goals for per 60 dropped to 1.76. Shots for per 60 followed a similar pattern. With Tedenby on the ice, New Jersey averaged 27.1 shots per 60. Off the ice, that number dropped to 24.7.
Tedenby’s defensive improvements, coupled with his position in the lineup, helped him finish with positive even strength defensive numbers. While on the ice, teams averaged 1.77 goals against per 60 and 24.5 shots against per 60. The goal numbers rose with him off the ice. Goals against per 60 climbed to 2.34, giving Tedenby a negative off-ice plus/minus rating of minus-0.58. The shot numbers dipped slightly to 22.8 per 60.
A look at the Corsi numbers further prove Tedenby’s solid play. Tedenby’s 5.81 rating put him among the top ten of skaters with 50 or more games played. That rating dropped to 3.91 with him off the ice. Tedenby helped his team produce offense, creating almost two more shots per shift while spending less than 13 minutes a game on the ice. It’s exciting to see him produce in limited minutes. Hopefully that production will continue to rise when he gains a more important role on the ice.
Tedenby On The Powerplay
Tedenby became a powerplay cog under MacLean, and he earned his way onto the man advantage under Lemaire. His play was neither spectacular or terrible. He turned in a pretty average performance. His average time on ice was 1.86, with him playing with the second unit. Tedenby once again excelled in limited time, averaging 2.78 points per 60. His average ranked high despite playing with teammates ranked lower than the competition he faced (minus-0.468 for teammates, plus-0.468 for opponents). He couldn’t turn in a positive ranking, finishing the season with a minus-0.63 powerplay rating.
Tedenby’s production was solid, but the team actually excelled with him off the ice. On the ice, he helped the Devils average 5.00 goals for per 60. The team also put up 40 shots per 60 with him out there. The numbers improved slightly with him off, going to 5.27 goals per 60 and 48.6 shots per 60.
The Corsi numbers wrap this up nicely. On the ice, Tedenby recorded a 73.33 Corsi. That number ranked low among powerplay skaters with 50 games played, but still beat out Andy Greene. Off the ice, that number shot to 88.53. Tedenby never hurt the Devils on the powerplay, and lead all rookie skaters with five powerplay points. He never excelled at it either. In many ways, he became a solid powerplay player, one who could go out and play well. As he continues to develop we should see those numbers rise, but right now he provides quality minutes along that second unit.
Tedenby scratched the surface of his potential this season. He sat near the top of every statistical category for rookies. He led them in points (22), finished second in goals (eight) and first in assists (14). Those numbers beat out Nick Palmieri, who played on the top line for an entire season while Tedenby shuffled around the entire lineup. For a guy to do all that and learn a new style under Lemaire speaks highly of his overall hockey smarts.
We’ve been waiting a few years for both Tedenby and Jacob Josefson to strut their stuff in New Jersey. I even speculated as to whether or not they’d contribute this season. They both lived up to limited expectations. Josefson earned high praise from Lemaire, something difficult for a rookie to accomplish. Tedenby worked diligently to correct the flaws in his defensive game, one of the knocks of several scouts. Both left us wanting more and seem ready to deliver on their potential.
I had the opportunity to interview Tedenby while writing a story for Inside Hockey. His stall in the locker room is among veterans like Elias and Brian Rolston, capable scorers who also play good two-way hockey. The placement might be coincidence, but also could be a calculated move by a veteran coach. To continue developing, he’ll need to lean on those older players for help during the season. In talking to him, he admitted as much, crediting them for helping him improve.
It’s a testament to his ability and potential that Tedenby played 58 games, more than any other rookie. His GVT checked in at plus-1.2, a solid yet unspectacular rating for the right-winger. That number sums up his season nicely. Tedenby excited the fans with his scoring touch and finishing abilities, but also needed to improve his game. Last season was the first big step for him, and with a year of NHL experience under his belt, I think we can bet he’ll be even better next season.