#79 / Right Wing
Height: 6’1” | Weight: 217 | Born: April 20, 1992
Birthplace: Swan River, Manitoba, CAN | Acquired: Trade, June 2018 (from Calgary)
Assets: Has good size and plenty of agitating qualities that can take opponents off their game. Can produce some points and is adept at grinding in the corners. Will also drop the gloves.
Flaws: Injuries are already an issue here, so he must become more durable in order to maximize NHL production. Also needs to avoid taking bad penalties that can hinder his team.
Career Potential: Agitating winger with a little upside.
Why You Should Know Who He Is: Ferland spent the first four years of his NHL career in the Western Conference with the Calgary Flames. While there he registered 89 points (42 goals) across 350 contests, good for a hair above 0.25 PPG. Since last offseason’s trade to Carolina, however, Ferland set new career highs in PPG (0.56) and assists (23). His forty points this season were good enough for fourth among Hurricanes skaters. He sees time on the power play and picked up six goals with the man advantage this season. His 13 power play points were also a career best number.
Ferland is a large body that is disruptive on the ice. He plays with fearlessness that affords him opportunities to do damage with the puck. He plays the game with an edge that looks an awful lot like Tom Wilson in a smaller package. Ferland can and will make himself the center of attention when necessary. He is also a streaky scorer, having tallied goals in back-to-back games four different times this season. including one streak of four straight games with a goal.
How the Caps Can Stop Him: The Capitals must make life difficult for Ferland by limiting his time with the puck. He netted 17 goals this season with a shot that is quick, hard, and effective from distance. To minimize his offensive contributions Washington will need to remain less than a stick length away and apply pressure liberally. Ferland shot the puck more than ever this season (156 shots) and posted a 10.9 S%. Ferland is capable of finding space in the offensive zone and with his strong shot he will get chances that Braden Holtby must flag down.
In seven career contests against the Capitals Ferland has a single goal and assist on his resume, so there’s no track record of success against Washington’s defense or Holtby. Additionally, in 13 career postseason games Ferland has five points (3 goals), so there’s no evidence that he elevates his game during the second season. Ferland plays in T.J. Oshie’s spot on Carolina’s power play (mirrored for his left hand shot) so Washington will need to prevent pucks from getting to his stick cleanly in the slot. If the Capitals’ penalty killers can keep Ferland covered without collapsing too much they should be able to thwart the Hurricanes’ 20th ranked power play. Succeeding there would go a long way towards keeping Ferland quiet throughout the series.