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USING NUMBERS TO LOOK AT THE NHL'S FUTURE STARS
*2nd year eligible
Quebec – F Vladimir Tkachev (2015*), F Dmytro Timashov (2015)
Rimouski – F Frederik Gauthier (Maple Leafs)
Final score: 4-0 Rimouski.
Vladimir Tkachev started the game playing on Antony Duclair’s line but moved to Dmytro Timashov’s line in the 2nd period. As a result they had similar zone start numbers. Both are good through the neutral zone and generally far well in possession in the games I track so starting them outside of the offensive zone isn’t a cause for concern.
Rimouski was the better team and carried play for most of the night so as a whole the team had a lot of offensive zone starts. Still, Frederik Gauthier was spoon fed as many defensive zone starts as he could handle. He played primarily against the Tkachev-Duclair line early on, and shifted his focus to the Tkachev-Timashov duo when they were put together.
Tkachev made good of his only entry attempt in this game. For the most part he’d carry the puck up through the neutral zone and dish it off to someone else before gaining the line.
Timashov was very good through the neutral zone. He’s a good skater and he possesses excellent hands which allowed him to elude defenders if he was challenged.
Gauthier was surprisingly good through the neutral zone. He’s not a burner and doesn’t ooze puck skills but he used his big, strong frame to power through contact and stick checks when necessary. I don’t see him as a dominant NZ guy but he was good in that aspect during this game.
Tkachev didn’t get on the scoresheet but he was excellent in this game. His speed made him very tough to contain, and he was creating chances almost every time he touched the ice. It’s pretty hard to defend a guy when he’s setting up teammates while laying on the ice.
Timashov was in the same boat as Tkachev. He didn’t get on the scoresheet but he was still quite good in this game. When you can drive play at a near 60% clip despite starting more shifts in the defensive zone than offensive zone you’re doing something right.
Gauthier played the best game I’ve seen from him in the Memorial Cup. His possession numbers won’t ‘wow’ anyone but when you factor in he was spoon fed defensive zone starts and was perfect through the neutral zone it’s hard not to be impressed.
If you use or share this data, please cite this blog as the resource. Thanks!