Realistic Expectations: Jordan Weal

Via Hockey's Future

Via Hockey’s Future

Vinny’s gone. For real, the albatross known as Vincent Lecavalier is gone. And so, while we celebrate the departure of Lecavalier, let’s get to know Jordan Weal.

Via Hockey Reference

Via Hockey Reference

Weal’s over 50% possession in just under 70 minutes of ice time in 10 NHL games. This isn’t bad, but the very limited sample size makes it nearly impossible to draw any reasonable conclusions from this play.

Via Behind the Net

Via Behind the Net

When looking at his chart from Behind the Net, two things jump out that are cause for excitement. First is his Corsi Rel QoC of 1.029, the highest of the King forwards, and his 0.299 Corsi QoC, also the highest among King forwards. So, while his relative possession was low, he did outplay top opponents. The relative possession is a cause for concern, but again, these fluky numbers are more a product of limited sample size than actual talent.

For a better look at talent, we’re better off looking at Weal’s larger samples of WHL and AHL play to draw conclusions.

So, with three full seasons of AHL play and four seasons of WHL play, there is a solid sample size to work with. Earlier this season, Rob Vollman posted updated league translation factors.

During the 14-15 AHL season, including playoffs, Weal had 91 points in 92 games, good for 0.989 points per game. This translates to 0.465 points per game in the NHL, or 38 points per 82 games, which is good for a high end third line center or low end second line center.

Should Weal find himself on his strong side right wing, he’s a second line player in terms of raw scoring. If he’s deployed as a left wing, the position the Flyers need the most help at, he’s still a solid second line scorer based on this AHL projection.

From Weal’s top WHL season, 2011-12, he posted 1.61 points per game, combined regular season and playoffs. This translates to 0.4356 points per game off the Vollman model, or 35 points per 82 games.

With a range of 35-38 points per 82 game season, Weal’s a second line scorer. That is something the Flyers dearly need right now. Given his 2.86 On-Ice SH%, he’s also due for some offensive regression and that means the goals and assists will come.

At a cap hit of $632,500 and pending RFA status, Weal’s a dirt cheap depth option at worst and a second line scorer at best.

Given the Flyers difficulty scoring goals, Weal’s potential is worth the trade, because the salary cap room gained alone makes other moves possible. Hopefully Weal can be the scorer that Sam Gagner and/or Vinny Lecavalier were supposed to be. And if Weal doesn’t factor into the long term plans, but scores decently enough to draw attention, the Flyers still have time before the deadline to flip him again for even more assets.

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