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Most underused forward in the NHL?

November 27, 2018, 11:17 AM ET [17 Comments]
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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our thoughts on the most underused forwards in the NHL.

Todd Cordell

Andrei Svechnikov.

The Carolina Hurricanes have a bit of a problem scoring. They rank 27th in 5v5 goals and 25th in goals per 60 during that game state. While they pile up shots and chances in bunches, they don't have many natural finishers. That's what makes Svechnikov's usage so surprising.

He leads the Hurricanes in chances and high-danger chances per 60. He's 2nd in terms of shots. His scoring rate (.93 goals/60) is higher than the likes of Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand, Artemi Panarin, Anze Kopitar, Ilya Kovalchuk, Rickard Rakell and William Karlsson, among many others. He has a ton of pedigree and he is producing. Why not give him more opportunity?

Sean Maloughney

Going to take the Oilers route on this one and talk about Jesse Puljujarvi. The Oilers have failed Puljujarvi since 2016. As an 18-year-old who barely spoke English, Puljujarvi had to also adapt to the North American game.

In his first pro season, Puljujarvi clearly was not ready for the NHL. The team kept him up for 42 games but he only appeared in 28 having been healthy scratched the rest. The team sent him down after 42 games which eliminated a year of UFA eligibility for the team. The following year Jesse started in the AHL and was quickly called up. He went 12-8-20 in 65 games.

This season Puljujarvi started with the offensive black hole that was Milan Lucic, and was bounced around the lineup. His one goal came when he received some minutes with Connor McDavid. McLellan had Puljujarvi on the fourth line until he was finally sent back to the AHL. He put up four points in four games before the team decided to yank him back to the NHL..... only to be placed on the fourth line once more.

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