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About Last Season: Trevor van Riemsdyk Performance Review and Grade

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In the final year of his contract, Trevor van Riemsdyk has completed his role of transitional sixth defenseman for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Carolina Hurricanes v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

Trevor van Riemsdyk 2019-2020 By the Numbers

  • Age: 28
  • NHL Seasons: 6
  • Games Played: 49
  • Scoring: 1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points
  • Average Ice Time: 13:36 ES, 0:02 PP, 1:15 SH

Since being acquired by the Carolina Hurricanes, Trevor van Riemsdyk has essentially been a placeholder in the depth chart. He has played as a very serviceable sixth defenseman but is largely filling a spot until the next defenseman is ready to make the jump from the AHL to the NHL.

The offseason was full of recovery and rehabilitation. He had shoulder surgery for an injury sustained in the second round of the playoffs. The recovery went into October, causing him to miss the first seven games of the season.

Heading in, it was apparent that van Riemsdyk would see a diminished role when the Carolina Hurricanes acquired Joel Edmundson. Van Riemsdyk was cycled in and out of the lineup in favor of Haydn Fleury. He saw consistent time when injuries to Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce forced an all hands-on deck approach from the blue line.

His 49 games played were the lowest of his career since breaking into the league with the Black Hawks in the 2014-2015 season. Even if he played every one of the 14 games remaining, that would make 63 games. That is 10 less than his previous low with the Carolina Hurricanes and his second lowest since being in the NHL full time.

The defenseman struggled throughout the year. He didn’t score his first goal until Feb. 13 and had just eight assists, two of which happened in one game. He only had seven games recording a point. His .16 points per game played rank 24th on the team and is only better than Brady Skjei, Eetu Luostarinen and Brian Gibbons.

Judging van Riemsdyk on points is unfair; he is not on a roster to produce points and show up on the score sheet. He is on the team to play defense and defense only. But looking at his possession stats, it doesn’t get much better.

While his possession is positive at 53.2% Corsi, that ranks sixth out of eight defensemen beating Brett Pesce and Joel Edmundson, who have 52.8% and 50.7% Corsi respectively. However, when you take into consideration offensive zone starts, van Riemsdyk fares much worse.

His 55% offensive zone starts ranks second on the team only behind Jake Gardiner. Pesce and Edmundson have the second least offensive zone starts with 50% and 46.8% respectively. With so many defensive starts, you would expect Pesce and Edmundson to have worse possession and more shots against. Adding zone starts with the fact that he plays minutes less than Pesce and Edmundson per game, van Riemsdyk’s possession stats are much worse than they initially appear.

This also translates to goals for percentage. Despite the offensive starts and positive possession, he only has a 42.59% goals for. This means that only 42.59% of goals scored when he is on the ice is a goal for. This is only better than Jake Gardiner’s 37.21%.

Even though he has struggled a bit in his most recent season, van Riemsdyk served a great role on the Hurricanes, allowing them to keep a solid defensive core together while young talented defensemen are developing. On any other team, a positive possession rate for a third-pairing defenseman would be great, but it just doesn’t work that way with the Corsi-monster Hurricanes.

With the Hurricanes acquiring Brady Skjei and Sami Vatanen, van Riemsdyk may not see any time during any potential playoffs/play-in round. With Hamilton back and Pesce still hurt, the Canes will have eight healthy defensemen which means that van Riemsdyk is likely on the outside looking in.

Looking forward, the Canes have five defensemen signed for at least the next season and Fleury as an RFA. Despite Fleury having arbitration rights, he will be on the team one way or the other. This means that van Riemsdyk’s time with the Hurricanes is ending, and he has likely played his final game in a Canes sweater.

I would have thought that with the acquisition of multiple defensemen, it could have let the Canes trade van Riemsdyk at the deadline, but at the end of the day, he is on an expiring contract and will be able to control his own destiny and choose his next contract. Wherever he goes I will be rooting for him, and hopefully it comes with a bigger pay day than he has gotten as an RFA with the Blackhawks and the Hurricanes.

Poll


Poll

How would you grade Trevor van Riemsdyk’s 2019-20 regular season?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A - Outstanding Performance
    (1 vote)
  • 8%
    B - Above Average Performance
    (12 votes)
  • 52%
    C - Average Performance
    (70 votes)
  • 33%
    D - Below Average Performance
    (45 votes)
  • 4%
    F - Significantly Below Average Performance
    (6 votes)
134 votes total Vote Now