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2021-22 Rink Wrap: Lars Eller

From Backstrom to Wilson, we’re taking a look at and grading the 2021-22 season for the players who played a significant role for the Caps during the campaign, with an eye towards 2022-23. Next up, Lars Eller.

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NHL: APR 14 Capitals at Maple Leafs Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Stats:

Regular Season

Playoffs

The Charts:

via The Athletic
via @JFreshHockey
via Evolving-Hockey
via HockeyViz
via HockeyViz

The Key Stat: Let’s go with the fact that Lars committed minor penalties at a rate of 1.34 fouls per 60 minutes of 5v5 ice time, which was only second to Garnet Hathaway and Nic Dowd on the team, and it’s worth noting that both of those guys drew significantly more penalties than Lars’s 0.8/60 to balance it out. It was the highest rate of penalty-taking that Lars has ever put down in a Capitals sweater, and the highest since he took 1.65 minors/60 back in 2013-2014 with the Habs.

The Good: Despite having what felt like a step-back of a campaign in its entirety, Lars Eller did manage to more or less sustain the level of production that he’s been dependable for during his tenure with the Caps. He finished with 31 points, and while at an aggregate level that looks like a drop off from the 38s and 39s that dot the scoring table for him in previous years, he missed 10 games this year. He earned points at a rate 1.61 points/60 at 5v5, which while a modest decline from the previous two seasons, is right around his average as a Capital.

You can also see via the JFresh graphic included above that Lars finished his chances decently well this year. That much is reflected in his 11.83% 5v5 individual shooting percentage, which sits just below T.J Oshie amongst finishing forwards, and right above Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha. Lars did also finish the season strong, notching four goals and four assists in the final month of the season, making it his strongest month of the season.

The Bad: For starters, Eller was rough with the puck, to say the least. According to Natural Stat Trick he led the Caps in giveaway rate, with 2.28 giveaways/60. As stated above, he took more penalties than he has in years, he created fewer rebounds than he ever has as a Cap, had fewer high danger chances than during any other season in his career, had the second-lowest individual shot-attempt rate of his career (only last season was lower), and had the fewest amount of xG since his rookie year, 12 seasons ago. So on an individual basis it would be more than fair to assert that the only reason we’re not screaming from the mountaintop that Lars Eller is washed, is because he put up the second-highest shooting percentage of his career, and also benefitted from the second-highest on-ice shooting percentage of his career.

The Video:

The Discussion: So, are Lars Eller’s best days behind him? Or did the last month of the season indicate that he shook off whatever was hampering him and is ready to resume duty at 3C. Is he even the best option on the roster to hold down the 3C spot next season? And finally, what would it take for you to give Eller a 10 next season?

The Vote: Rate Lars Eller 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.

Poll

How do you rate Lars Eller’s 2021-22 season?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    10
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    9
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    8
    (0 votes)
  • 6%
    7
    (10 votes)
  • 8%
    6
    (13 votes)
  • 27%
    5
    (45 votes)
  • 36%
    4
    (59 votes)
  • 12%
    3
    (21 votes)
  • 5%
    2
    (9 votes)
  • 1%
    1
    (2 votes)
162 votes total Vote Now