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Sports NHL's best bargain, most improved and under-rated player? How about Zack Kassian?

13:10  19 november  2019
13:10  19 november  2019 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

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Zack Kassian of the Edmonton Oilers could well be the NHL ’ s most under - rated and most improved player , as well as its best bargain veteran, of the 2019-20 season to date. Kassian , 28, ranks 41st overall when it comes to even strength point scoring out of 334 regular NHL forwards

Zack Kassian Overview. More Kassian Pages. Additional Pages for this Player . Player Overview & Base Stats. NHL Standard career statistics.

Zack Kassian wearing a military uniform: Zack Kassian and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers celebrate a second period goal by Kassian during their game against the New York Islanders at the NYCB's LIVE Nassau Coliseum on Oct. 8, 2019 in Uniondale, N.Y.© Emilee Chinn Zack Kassian and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers celebrate a second period goal by Kassian during their game against the New York Islanders at the NYCB's LIVE Nassau Coliseum on Oct. 8, 2019 in Uniondale, N.Y.

Zack Kassian of the Edmonton Oilers could well be the NHL’s most under-rated and most improved player, as well as its best bargain veteran of the 2019-20 season to date.

Kassian, 28, ranks 41st overall when it comes to even strength point scoring out of 334 regular NHL forwards (at least 150 even strength minutes), with 2.68 points per 60, according to Natural Stat Trick .

In this regard, he’s tied with Matt Duchene of Nashville and Jack Eichel of Buffalo, just ahead of Alex Ovechkin and just behind Mathew Barzal.

Edmonton Oilers ground Ducks as Connor McDavid nets hat trick

  Edmonton Oilers ground Ducks as Connor McDavid nets hat trick Leon Draisaitl added four assists in a 6-2 win.Ryan Nugent-Hopkins snuck a shot between John Gibson and the post to break the ice just 1:28 into the game. The Ducks came back three minutes later on a goal by Rickard Rakell. McDavid recorded his 400th career point later in the first, firing a wrist shot under Gibson's pad.

The NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is the basic contract between the National Hockey League ( NHL ) team owners and the NHL Players ' Association (NHLPA), designed to be arrived at through the typical labour-management negotiations of collective bargaining .

Some NHL veterans, such as Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Toews, Corey Perry and Jamie Benn, have Toronto prized rookie Auston Matthews, 19, has already played more games than he played all last “It’ s a tough schedule. But it’ s good for us,” Matthews says. “It’ s a learning lesson for us about how

That’s pretty good company for Kassian, who has never put up 30 points in an NHL season. He had just 26 last year. This year, he’s got 15 points in 22 games, all of his points coming at even strength.

That’s not bad, especially considering Kassian earns $1.95 million per year, while Eichel makes $10 million per year, Ovechkin, $9.5 million, and Duchene, $8.0 million (Barzal is in a different value category, as he’s in the last year of his Entry Level Contract).

Kassian’s status as an NHL bargain extends to his acquisition cost. Former Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli got a steal of a deal, acquiring the player in 2015-16 for the small price of then AHL goalie Ben Scrivens, who quickly washed out of the NHL.

Of course, other less heralded and relatively inexpensive players are also near the top of the NHL to date when it comes to even strength scoring, including Nick Bonino, 3.24 points per 60, Philip Danault, 3.12, Martin Necas, 3.02, Jared McCann, 2.97 Domink Kahun, 2.81, Jean Gabriel Pageau, 2.77, Andrei Burakovsky, 2.79, and Sam Lafferty, 2.76. A few of these players are also strong checkers and penalty killers. Then there’s also all the under-rated defencemen and goalies, too.

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But in the real NHL , this is magnified. This is why Hall wasn’t used to get Subban – the Oilers couldn’t do that. Bottom line: if a deal confuses the hell out of you, it’ s because you are under -valuing the cap I hear nothing but good things, and many players end up staying there and settling down after

And none of the others have the huge benefit of playing with Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.

Kassian’s X Factor

But Kassian brings an element to the game that few others possess.

Along with his scoring, Kassian is a Baba Yaga-class winger, a rare and true NHL power forward. He’s an utterly fearsome player, a hard hitter who also has that “X” factor, where opposing players never quite know what nasty thing he might attempt.

He once killed a man with a pencil.

Or, at least, he’s thrown some brutal, hellacious and intimidating hits in recent years, including on Brenden Dillon and Logan Couture in the 2017 playoffs and against Nathan MacKinnon this past week.

Two-way ace

Kassian scores many of this points because he’s fortunate enough to play with McDavid and Draisaitl but he’s earning those minutes with his ferocity, solid two-way play and strong skating, finishing and passing. He’s got the skills to hang with two of the games most skilled players. He’s playing a complete game and generally minus many of the issues that plagued him in the past, such as bad penalties, d-zone turnovers and inconsistent effort.

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  McDavid, Draisaitl combine for 11 points in Oilers' win over Avalanche McDavid, Draisaitl combine for 11 points in Oilers' win over AvalancheRyan Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and Zack Kassian also scored for the Oilers (13-6-2), who have won three of their last four games.

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An omnibus bill that changes how four large public sector pension plans are controlled should be paused until the auditor general can study the implications, the president of the Alberta NHL ’ s best bargain , most improved and under - rated player ? How about Zack Kassian ? | Edmonton Journal.

At the Cult of Hockey we track the major contributions a player makes to even strength Grade A chances, as well as his major mistakes on Grade A chances against. By this standard, Kassian is crushing it, keeping up step-for-step with his two superstar linemates. a screenshot of a cell phone© Provided by PostMedia Digital

Future Contract?

It’s too early to think deeply about Kassian’s future contract, even as he’s a UFA this summer.

Remember, last year at this time last year he was in then coach Todd McLellan’s dog house to some extent. He certainly wasn’t getting major minutes with McDavid. His name was coming up in trade talks and I doubt there would have been a huge outcry from fans if he’d been moved for a draft pick or two. Many fans were arguing he was an overpaid fourth liner at $1.95 million per and they doubted there was much of a marekt for Kassian. Many doubted he’d have any real success with McDavid and Draisaitl this year.

For 2017-19, Kassian ranked just 333 out of 450 for even strength scoring. In our Cult of Hockey performance rankings, he ranked 25th out of 25 Oilers players at the start of November 2018, mainly because his even strength play was so weak and he was never much good on the penalty kill, where his inability to read the play and get into passing and shooting lanes was a killer.

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  Oilers spark memories of glory days on back of McDavid’s historic night Oilers spark memories of glory days on back of McDavid’s historic nightThen the Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will pop up on the screen, and there, at the edge of the screen, or joining in the celebration, will be Kassian. His grandkids will cheer.

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Edmonton tough guy Zack Kassian won’t have a disciplinary hearing for his match penalty late in Kassian was give the match and a two-minute roughing minor following a retaliatory crosscheck on 1 through whatever, we weren’t playing good enough. I don’t know how many games we managed to

But by April 7, 2019, for the final segment of the year, Kassian worked his way up to fourth overall in Edmonton’s performance rankings. Teaming up in the spring of 2019 on a line with McDavid, Kassian found his motivation, his purpose and his game.

The Oilers have the entire 2019-20 season to evaluate Kassian for contract purposes. It might be an idea to try to sign him sooner than later, but it’s also a risky bet signing up long term a power forward who will be 30 next year.

The best bet would be to get him on a three or four year contract. Can he keep up his consistent play? Can he keep putting points on the board? Can he stick with it on defence game in, game out?

It’s possible that like Patrick Maroon and Alex Chiasson before him, Kassian’s market value will be lower than expected for a tough player with his level of scoring, as teams are evidently reluctant to pay for the added production that comes with playing with McDavid and Draisaitl.

If Kassian can keep up this level of play, though, it’s hard to imagine he won’t strike it rich on his next deal. Fellow fast-skating bruiser Tom Wilson of Washington got a six-year deal at $5.17 million per year, though Wilson’s contract takes him through his prime years in his late 20s, not into the more iffy value proposition years of the early 30s.

It’s time for Leon Draisaitl to receive the recognition he deserves

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The Oilers signed winger Zack Kassian to a Kassian has overcome personal turmoil and a hockey career in doubt to become a nightly contributor on the Oilers - but his story doesn't end with this contract signing. "That just shows how passionate the city of Edmonton is. If you work hard and play hard

Home Forums NHL Western Conference Pacific Division Edmonton Oilers. Player Discussion Zack Kassian . That Kassian loves Maroon and the two are friends is interesting to me. Connor was at Big Rigs place in STL as well . That suggests other than he' s not well liked.

So we’ll see.

For now, Kassian’s NHL coming out party is a treat for Oilers fans. Indeed, it turns out that Kassian has become everything the Oilers hoped they had found when they signed Milan Lucic in July 2016, but at one third the contract price.

a close up of a logo© Provided by PostMedia Digital At the Cult of Hockey

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