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2016-17 Rink Wrap: Dmitry Orlov

From Alzner to Winnik, we're taking a look at and grading the 2016-17 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2017-18. Next up, Dmitry Orlov.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Japers' Rink Player Card (click for a hi-res version; data via, and Cap Friendly):

Orlov's Season, Game-by-Game (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Orlov and His Defense Partners (chart by @muneebalamcu):

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Orlov's 5v5 Teammates and Competition (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Orlov's 5v5 Usage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Orlov's With-or-Without You (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Orlov's Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Orlov's Last Five(ish)

Seasons (via

Orlov’s Goals Against Replacement (GAR) Components (chart by @ChartingHockey, data by @DTMAboutHeart, explained here, Tableau here):

Orlov's HERO Chart (via Own The Puck):

Key Stat: Dmitry Orlov improved the shot attempt for percentage of every single teammate he played at least 100 minutes with at five-on-five, except for Andre Burakovsky and Brooks Orpik.

Interesting Stat: Despite Orlov’s physical play, this was the second-straight season he participated in all 82 games.

The Good: The 2016-17 season essentially served as the coming out party for Orlov. After playing a large role on Team Russia’s blue line in the World Cup, Orlov’s stellar international play translated well within the Capitals organization. Teaming up with Matt Niskanen, the two formed the shutdown duo the team needed, and it ended up being one of the top defensive pairings in the NHL.

Orlov also was an exemplary model of what a defenseman can look like in today’s modern NHL. Orlov frequently jumped up in the offensive play, which was deadly from the left side. For the Capitals, the defenseman lined up on the right side of the pairing generally facilitated the offensive play (think Niskanen, John Carlson and Nate Schmidt). But Orlov provided a different outlet, and it translated in a career-high 33 points this season. Orlov also showed a tremendous amount of maturity in his defensive zone, frequently breaking up odd man rushes. Perhaps even more impressive, Orlov knew when it was appropriate to throw his weight around (take a look at that video below).

The Bad: Despite his ability to jump into the offensive play, Orlov’s offensive tendencies didn’t translate into an outstanding amount of offense, especially in the goal scoring department. Orlov did set a career high in total points, but despite finishing the year with 125 total shots, 35 more than he took just the previous season, Orlov finished with just six goals, two fewer than his 2015-16 total. That’s largely due to a below-average 4.8 shoot percentage, the fourth-lowest shooting percentage on the team among defensemen, ranking 73rd in the NHL among defensemen with at least 50 games played.

And despite his outstanding defensive play this season, Orlov was not trusted on the penalty kill. Orlov played just 19:48 minutes on the penalty kill, just 6:58 more minutes than Taylor Chorney. That was the second-lowest penalty kill time Orlov has played in the last four seasons. Though this may not be entirely his fault, as it is clearly a coaching decision, one could expect a top-pairing defenseman to play a prominent role on the penalty kill.

The Video:

The Vote: Rate Orlov below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.

The Discussion: Has Orlov become the most important defenseman on the Capitals? Does Orlov have even more to offer? What would it take for you to give him a "10" next year?


How do you rate Dmitry Orlov’s 2016-17 season?

This poll is closed

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147 votes total Vote Now