Most underrated player on the Washington Capitals?
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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our choices for most underrated player on the Washington Capitals.
A lot of physical defenders tend to be overvalued. I don’t think that’s the case with Dillon; he is legitimately a defensive ace.
From 2018-20 he ranked 1st or 2nd on San Jose’s blueline in almost every key defensive metric. They have several big ticket all-stars so, even in decline, that’s no small feat.
Dillon’s defensive prowess translated immediately to Washington. Among their six most used defenders in 5v5 time on ice per game, Dillon ranks 1st in suppressing scoring chances and expected goals.
I think he is rock solid in his own zone and he’s generally not somebody who garners much fanfare.
Most underrated player on the Caps is Richard Panik. I've seen Panik on all three of the teams I follow the most (Toronto, Arizona, Washington) and I've become a fan of his over time. He once scored 22 goals in a season, and while no one is ever going to give him a top of PP or top 6 time, I think he adds a nice offensive element to the bottom of the lineup while being a nice fit for those roles when called upon.
I think he's the kind of player who = like Rielly Smith = might have really excelled if he had ever gotten on an expansion team that would play him higher in the lineup than his reputation demanded. He usually puts up solid numbers and this year the Capitals scored an insane +16 (65%) 5v5 goals when he was on the ice.
Sure, that's a little luck-driven, but its still really good. Panik is in his SIXTH STRAIGHT season where his team wins when he is on the ice. His team almost always wins the shots, scoring chances, expected goals battle when he's on the ice and I think he's one of the league's most underrated players.
numbers via naturalstattrick.com
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