As we’ve done in the past, it’s time to evaluate the 2016-17 season on a player-by-player basis. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will grade each player’s contributions to the team this year, including some of their best and worst moments. Then we will give you the platform to give your take.
We’ve got a lot of players to include this year, as the Nashville Predators acquired and called-up many contributors this season. For no particular reason, we will go alphabetical, by last name.
Arvy’s up first!
After coming off an under the radar 2015-2016 campaign, Viktor Arvidsson broke out in 2016-2017 and tied for the lead in goals (31) and points (61) for the Predators. No other player matched his all around, consistent effort this season. Nobody was as relentless on the forecheck and nobody took more punishment, firmly earning him the nickname of “Arvy Hustle.” It was a thing of pure beauty to see Arvidsson streak up the ice to fire a wrister, or to see him battle in front of the net versus a defender twice his size. In all, Arvidsson arguably had the best season of any Nashville Predator.
His baseline scoring stats illustrate how great he was in terms of forward production against the rest of the league. He was a top 25 goal scorer and shot producer and his five shorthanded goals led the league.
When you dig a bit deeper, not only did Arvidsson have an amazing year in terms of the Predators, he had an elite season among all forwards in the NHL.
The REL TM stat measures how much you positively or negatively you affect your teammates when you are on the ice. This stat can be measured across all different categories. When looking at Arvy, we find that we was a top 10 forward in the NHL last season.
Players who played with Arvidsson got more shot opportunities (SF/60), more possession opportunities (CF/60 + FF/60), and were on the ice for more goals (GF/60). The only player to appear in the top 10 of all of these categories was Brad Marchand, both with similar styles of play. In all, Arvidsson was a king of possession, and this gave any teammate he played with a better chance of succeeding, the ultimate sign of a players worth.
When looking at Arvidsson versus the prototype first line winger, we see that he is in the elite category of creating shot opportunities and above par in goal scoring. He’s as good a first line winger as you will find in the league.
While we all know about Arvy’s hustle, it is important not to forget just how skillful he is. In this play against St. Louis, Arvidsson uses his awareness to find the lane, his stick skill to put it between his legs, his speed and agility to maneuver around Jay Bouwmeester, and his strength to hold the defender off, all while wrapping the puck around Jake Allen for the goal.
This is world class talent.
Fresh in our memories, unfortunately, is the brutal Game 5 loss in Pittsburgh during the Stanley Cup Final. What is not forgotten is how Arvidsson just took fellow Swede Carl Hagelin to the shed and beat him like a rented mule.
It is hard to really find a bad moment from Arvidsson this year. But this one certainly has to qualify, as he just gets decked head first into the board but Ducks forward Nick Ritchie who received a game misconduct.
On the bright side, it did lead to some pretty great tweets.
nhl: every letter is earned.— molly murakami (@heymolls) May 23, 2017
viktor arvidsson: ok
nhl: no we didn't mean pic.twitter.com/zKQXdWWX21
Viktor Arvidsson: The Boy Who Lived https://t.co/gkFU2EY338— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) May 23, 2017
Trending Up or Down?
After experiencing the second biggest jump in point totals from the 2015-16 campaign to the 2016-2017, behind only Connor McDavid, Viktor Arvidsson is definitely trending up, towards potential stardom. Predators fans should enjoy more 30 goal seasons from Arvidsson, and at 24, we should be seeing them for a long time to come.
FINAL GRADE: A+
How would you rate Viktor Arvidsson’s 2016-2017 season?
This poll is closed
Really? Lower than a B?