Home > Season Recap > The 2010-2011 Player Review Best Of The Rest: Offense

The 2010-2011 Player Review Best Of The Rest: Offense

Zharkov finally scored the first goal of his NHL career this season. Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Throughout the offseason, The Devils’ Den will break down the 2010-2011 Devils season. Many of those breakdowns revolved around individual player performances. We broke down all players who skated in at least 40 games, because they contributed to over half the games (and outcomes) this season. In the next few days, we’ll look at “The Best of the Rest,” breaking down other players who skated in less than 40 games. Today, we’ll look at the remaining offensive players.

Throughout the course of a season, teams will count on players to fill in games. The New Jersey Devils were no different. Nine different offensive players skated in less than half of the Devils’ games this season. Some were fourth-liner fill ins, and others were rookies who couldn’t find a consistent spot. One was even a team’s cornerstone who missed significant time due to injury.

We’ll take a look at all of them, in order of games played. And here we go:

Vladimir Zharkov – 38 GP, 4 points (2 G, 2 A)

After playing 40 games last season with New Jersey, Zharkov once again got his opportunity in the NHL this season. He spent most of his time playing on the third and fourth lines. He almost exclusively played during even strength situations, pulling down a minus-0.59 rating. He only helped produce eight goals this season, and the team’s offensive numbers improved with him off the ice. He provided little value, recording a minus-0.2 GVT.

I believe the numbers unnecessarily belittle Vharkov’s effort. We finally saw some offense, as Zharkov managed to score his first two NHL goals. He’ll never be a big scorer, but I believe he’ll hang around as a solid third or fourth line player.

Tim Sestito – 36 GP, 2 Points (2 A)

Sestito helped fill the fourth-line center role early this season. The seven-year pro filled in well, but couldn’t really contribute offensively. He helped produce just three goals, assisting on two of them. The team expectedly played much better offensively with him off the ice. He didn’t really help much defensively either, with the shots against per 60 improving with him on the bench.

Predictably, Sestito didn’t finish with a positive GVT. His minus-1.3 rating ranked him in the bottom three of all players. He could probably be replaced by a rookie next year, and the organization may go that way. His cap hit wasn’t large this season (just $500,000), so he could also be brought back on a low cost, one-year deal.

Jacob Josefson – 28 GP, 10 Points (3 G, 7 A)

Josefson entered the pre-season as one of the most talked about rookies in camp. Everyone knew the organization would closely watch the development of their young Swede. After watching him this season, they can only be excited about his future in a Devils sweater.

Josefson recorded a plus-1.42 rating, fourth-highest among all skaters. He helped create offense (2.08 goals for per 60 on-ice) and prevent it (1.31 goals against per 60 on-ice). Those numbers both worsened when he was on the bench. Surprisingly, the GVT ratings put him at a minus-0.3. It’s not terrible, but it shows an area he must improve.

Josefson earned high praise from Jacques Lemaire, who doesn’t easily praise rookies. Look for him to stay in the lineup next season and keep developing into a solid center.

 

 

 

 

Vasyunov made some noise in his callup, even playing with the top line for a few games. Photo Credit: Mike Stobel/Getty Images

Alexander Vasyunov – 18 GP, 5 Points (1 G, 4 A)

Vasyunov was among a score of rookies to make their NHL debut this season. Unlike most of them, he had the chance to play on the team’s top line. That had an immediate impact, as he totaled four points in six games during a mid-November streak.

Vasyunov helped generate some offense, but it wasn’t a great push. The team averaged just 1.77 goals for per 60 with him on, and 1.69 per 60 with him off. The other numbers all point to an average offensive performance. He posted a plus-0.6 GVT, not a terrible number in limited time. It’s still a limited offensive sample size, but he performed well in his callup. We’ll see if he can finally stick with the team next season.

Zach Parise – 13 GP, 6 Points (3 G, 3 A)

We all know the ability Parise brings to the table. This season, he missed 65 games after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus. I won’t even bother to bring up his offensive numbers from this season. We’ll be covering him the entire summer, since he entered the offseason a restricted free agent. If he wasn’t injured, he wouldn’t be on this list.

Stephen Gionta – 12 GP, 0 Points

Do you remember Gionta’s stay in the NHL? Other than his game against the Montreal Canadiens, when he played his older brother, Gionta was a flash in the pan. He finished second-to-last with a minus-1.21 rating, and averaged 0 points per 60. He didn’t help generate offense or prevent the other team from scoring. Remarkably, he finished with a minus-0.5 GVT. It would seem that number should be much lower.

Gionta didn’t really bring anything to the table, and couldn’t get himself off the fourth line. He’s under team control for one more season, but I’d be surprised to see him in New Jersey next year.

Bradley Mills – 4 GP, 1 Point (1 G)

Mills had his cup of coffee, but made it count. His one goal came in the team’s 5-3 defeat of the Chicago Blackhawks on November 3, losing game-winning goal status late in the third period. His four games aren’t really indicative of any future performance. Behind the Net’s numbers favored him, but it’s a small sample size to buy into. He was a 27-year old rookie last year, so his outlook might not be too bright.

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond – 2 GP, 0 Points

“PL3” became a fan favorite for dropping the gloves and becoming the team’s protector. But he served in a redundant role. The team already had David Clarkson to do that, and he has offensive talent. We all wanted to embrace PL3, but then he went and took a stupid instigator penalty against the Washington Capitals. The cheap play earned him a one-game suspension and an immediate demotion to the minors. I don’t know if we’ll see him back on the team, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t see another game in a Devils sweater.

Adam Henrique – 1 GP, 0 Points

Henrique barely had time to let his pads dry before his NHL experience ended. He played in the final game of the season, and finished plus-1. Henrique wasn’t expected to produce much this season, his first in the Devils organization. But he’s put up big numbers in the OHL, and the team expects him to replicate that success in the NHL. Look for him to threaten for a roster spot next season.

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  1. July 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm

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