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Draft Guide

Kesler back on track

by Corey Abbott
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

 

Hits

 

NHL hit leader Matt Martin added to his league-leading total of 334 with 19 body checks in four games. He is the only player with more than 300 hits this season and he has surpassed that mark in each of the last three years. Luke Schenn was right behind Martin with 18 hits in four appearances. He sits sixth among all defensemen with 192 hits in 61 games this year between Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Schenn also was credited with 10 blocks and four assists last week. Cal Clutterbuck added to the Islanders hit parade with 18 in four outings. He ranks sixth in the NHL with 263 hits in 68 games. Greg Pateryn hasn't played much for Montreal this campaign, but he racked up 17 hits and six blocks in four outings last week. He has compiled 81 hits in 29 appearances in 2015-16.

 

Blocks

 

Calvin de Haan returned to action last week from a lower-body injury and led all skaters with 17 blocks over four contests. He also had seven hits and a minus-4 rating. De Haan sits ninth in the NHL with 162 blocks in 61 games this season. Brooks Orpik registered 15 blocks and 12 hits in three matches. The scoring he enjoyed when he returned from a lengthy absence from a lower-body injury has dried up, as he hasn't earned a point in 11 straight games, but his real-time stats have continued to pour in. Orpik has amassed 95 hits and 79 blocks in 31 appearances this year. Simon Despres turned aside 13 shots in four outings. He also picked up eight hits, one assist and a plus-2 rating. Despres has averaged 2.0 hits per game this season and 2.1 blocks per game. Tomas Plekanec and Frans Nielsen co-led all forwards with eight blocks apiece last week. Nielsen is tied for first among all forwards with 80 blocks this campaign, while Plekanec leads the Canadiens forward group with 44 stops.

 

Draws

 

Ryan Kesler won a league-leading 58 draws and lost only 31 puck drops in four contests. He was 60 percent or better on three occasions and against New Jersey on Mar. 14 he won 19 of 23 faceoffs. Kesler has won 58.9 percent of the 1,481 faceoffs he has taken this season.  He also added three goals and three assists.  Kesler had a slow start to the season, but he has been rolling offensively since the New Year.  Sean Monahan was excellent on the dot last week with 54 victories and 44 losses in four outings. He was better than 55 percent in the circles in three of those matches, with his best performance coming against Montreal when he won 14 of 21 puck drops. He ranks sixth in the league with 1,558 faceoffs this year and he has won 50.8 percent of them. Anze Kopitar was the only other pivot to top 50 faceoff wins last week. He won 51 of the 92 draws he took in four games. Kopitar has been strong this season with 816 wins on 1,543 faceoffs for a 52.9 winning percentage. Paul Stastny won 65.7 percent of his 70 puck drops last week. He posted 46 wins in three appearances, including 19 in a match versus Calgary on Mar. 14.

Corey Abbott

Corey Abbott is an Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @CoreAbbott.