Key Stat: Stephenson played in 67 games this year, eventually earning a full-time spot on the roster after an up-and-down beginning to the season that saw him clear the waiver wire and spend the first few weeks in Hershey. Prior to 2017-18, Stephenson had played a total of 13 games in the NHL over two seasons.
Interesting Stat: After being held without a point through his first series of call-ups, Stephenson had points in three of his first five games this year - including a goal in his first game of 2017-18.
The Good: It didn’t get off to the smoothest of starts, but Stephenson gradually became a key member of the 2017-18 Caps and put together a very respectable first full season for himself. Initially filling in for an injured Andre Burakovsky, he put up six points in his first ten games and earned time on the team’s “second” line alongside T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom. By the end of the year he was averaging close to 12 minutes a night and playing a key role on the penalty kill, and had compiled six goals and 18 points.
Stephenson proved himself to be a useful depth player for the Caps during the regular season, but it was during the playoffs that he really showed off his versatility. When Tom Wilson was suspended in the second round, Stephenson filled in on the top line in a series-clinching Game 6; he was equally as effective on the third and fourth lines, and finished the playoffs with two goals and seven assists en route to his (and the team’s) first Stanley Cup.
The Bad: For all his ability to fill in wherever needed, Stephenson did end up on the wrong side of the puck more often than not, finishing the regular season with the team’s fourth-lowest CF% at even strength.
He also was something of a streaky contributor, following up his initial offensive outburst with long stretches of games without a point; three times this season he was held off the scoresheet for nine or more games in a row.
And while he was capable of filling in on the team’s top-six in the playoffs, the underlying numbers didn’t look so good. In fact, both Oshie and Backstrom - and the two of them together - performed much better without Stephenson on their line (although small sample-size warnings abound). That’s a pretty good sign that his ideal role is probably a bit further down the lineup.
Stephenson’s Season, Game-by-Game (via HockeyViz, explained here):
Stephenson and His Linemates (chart by @muneebalamcu):
Stephenson’s 5v5 Teammates and Competition (via HockeyViz, explained here):
Stephenson’s 5v5 Usage (chart by @muneebalamcu):
Stephenson’s With-or-Without You (via HockeyViz, explained here):
Stephenson’s Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage (chart by @muneebalamcu):
Stephenson’s Player Traits and Performance (chart by @RK_Stimp, data by @ShutdownLine, Tableau here):
The Vote: Rate Stephenson 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: Where do you see Stephenson fitting into the lineup next season? Stephenson has one year remaining on a two-year, $1.3 million contract and will then be an RFA - what kind of deal would you be comfortable with next summer? What would it take for you to give him a “10” next year?
Other Stephenson Season Reviews: Peerless, RMNB
How do you rate Chandler Stephenson’s 2017-18 season?
This poll is closed