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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Can Maroon Score 27 Goals Again?

Patrick Maroon has been a professional hockey player for nine seasons. As a 20-year-old rookie he scored 23 goals and 54 points in 80 games with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League. He spent another four seasons in the AHL, before becoming a regular NHLer with the Anaheim Ducks in 2013/2014.

In his third season in the AHL he was benched and then sent home from the Philadephia Phantoms only nine games into the season. He had 5-3-8 and was their leading scorer through nine games, but he had a falling out with the organization. He spent three weeks at home, before being traded to the Anaheim Ducks on November 21st, 2010. He and David Laliberte, who led the Phantoms in scoring at the time, were moved for Danny Syvret and Rob Bordson.

Maroon became a consistent goal scorer in the Ducks’ farm system right away.

He scored 21 goals and 48 points with the Syracuse Crunch in 57 games after the trade.

A year after the trade, Maroon told Travis Hughes, “Sitting out like that, being sent home, it’s a reality check. You look in the mirror and realize what you did and try to fix it.” He didn’t elaborate on what occurred, but he didn’t let it define him as a player.

The following season, 2011/2012, he tallied 32-42-74 in 75 games.

He led the Phantoms in assists, points, penalty minutes (120) and +/- at +17. Kyle Palmieri had 33 goals in 57 games before getting called up to Anaheim. Maroon made his NHL debut early in the season on October 25th in Chicago. He played two nights later in Minnesota, but was sent back down to Syracuse for the rest of the year.

In 2012/2013, the Ducks moved their AHL team to Norfolk. It was the lockout season and Maroon led the team in goals, points and penalty minutes. In 64 games he scored 26-24-50 and added 139 PIMs.

He played 45 games between October 12th and February 10th. He tallied 13-17-30 with 108 PIMs before getting recalled to Anaheim. He played nine games with the Ducks and scored one goal and had two fights. He only averaged 8:42 TOI/game.

He was reassigned to Norfolk. He scored four goals and six points in three games and was recalled again. He played two games, scored a goal and had another fight, but only played 8:20/game. He went back to the AHL for 16 more games and scored 9-5-14 down the stretch. After spending almost a month in the NHL, Maroon didn’t pout when he was sent back. He had 13-7-20 in his final 19 AHL games, with a two-game recall to the Ducks in between.

Norfolk missed the playoffs and Maroon was recalled to Anaheim and played in the final two regular season games. He played 18:18 in their season finale versus Phoenix, had eight shots on net and added an assist. He left a good impression.

He didn’t play for the Ducks in the playoffs — they lost in seven games — but he played his final AHL game on April 21st, 2013 in Providence, and scored a goal.

REGULAR IN THE NHL

Mar 22, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Edmonton Oilers left wing Patrick Maroon (19) and Anaheim Ducks right wing Jared Boll (40) exchange words in the second period during a NHL game at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Maroon become an NHL regular in 2013/2014. He played 62 games with the Ducks, scored 11-18-29 and added 101 PIMs. He suffered a few short-term injuries, and was a healthy scratch numerous times, but he finished the season very well tallying 6-7-13 in the Ducks’ final 15 games. He dressed in all 13 playoff games and scored 2-5-7.

He entered the 2014/2015 season with a lot of confidence and had three points in his first three games, but he sprained his knee in the third game and missed almost three weeks. He moved up and down the lineup all season. He played 838 minutes at 5×5, 400 with Ryan Getzlaf, 289 with Corey Perry, 166 with Nate Thompson, 165 with Tim Jackman, 138 with Kyle Palmieri, 123 with Ryan Kesler, 118 with Rickard Rakell, 85 with Jakob Silfverberg and 82 with Devante Smith-Pelley. He scored 9-25-34, but in the playoffs he was very good, producing 7-4-11 in 16 games.

Maroon looked poised to have a breakout season in 2015/2016, but it didn’t happen. He scored one goal in his first 44 games. He started the season on an 11-game goalless drought, scoring in game 12, but then went 32 more without a goal before scoring his second of the campaign on February 5th versus Arizona. He was traded to the Oilers at the NHL trade deadline, February 29th, for Martin Gernat and a fourth round pick in 2016 (Jack Kopacka).

Maroon flourished in Edmonton. He had 8-6-14 in 16 games with the Oilers to wrap up the 2016 season, and this past year he scored 27-15-42 in 82 games. He has 35 goals in 98 games with Edmonton. In today’s NHL that is excellent goal-scoring production.

In the past two seasons only six left wingers have scored 27+ goals both years.

Alex Ovechkin had 50 in 2016 and 33 in 2017.
Brad Marchand had 37 in 2016 and 39 in 2017.
Max Pacioretty had 30 in 2016 and 35 in 2017.
Filip Forsberg had 33 in 2016 and 31 in 2017.
Artemi Panarin had 30 in 2016 and 31 in 2017.
Jeff Skinner scored 28 in 2016 and 37 in 2017.

Only 18 players in the NHL were able to score 27 or more in each of the past two seasons.

What was even more impressive for Maroon was that 24 of his 27 goals came at EV. His 24 EV goals ranked 17th most in the NHL. Of course, playing with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl helped, but other productive scorers played with McDavid, Milan Lucic and Jordan Eberle, and didn’t have the same success as Maroon. He deserves credit for learning how to play with McDavid and finding the right spots.

Maroon played 729 of his 1156 EV minutes with McDavid this past season, and if he is going to play 63% of his EV time with McDavid again, he can’t afford to take a step back next season.

OFF SEASON IS IMPORTANT

Mar 4, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Patrick Maroon (19) celebrates his third period goal against the Detroit Red Wings at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

He needs to work just as much this off-season as he did last summer and ensure he comes to camp lighter and maybe a bit quicker.

“I can’t take the summer off,” Maroon told me at the exit meetings. “What I did last summer, I’m going to do the exact same thing. If I come in lighter, or I don’t come in lighter it won’t matter. For me, it is about trying to get my body fat down, look in shape and look the part. I know I’m going to do it (train hard and smart) again. I had a career year, and made some good strides in my game. I matured as a person and as a player, so I need the same commitment and hopefully good things continue to happen,” said Maroon.

It is a lot of work and dedication to lose body fat properly, especially for a guy like Maroon, who can put on weight easily. I asked him if this summer might be a bit easier, because he now knows how to go about trimming down properly.

“I’m in better shape now than I was last summer (laughs), so that is a good start. I’m already there and now it is about maintaining it. This is a lifestyle. You have to dedicate yourself to the lifestyle if you want to have a good year or a good career. It is a hard business. A lot of players only play four or five years. I have to find ways to maintain my body and continue to do it. I’m always learning and I know I’m capable of being productive in the season, but in order to do that I need to be dedicated in the off-season so I come to camp in great shape. I have the hockey sense and skill to produce, but I need to get quicker and keep my body in great condition,” Maroon explained.

Maroon has top-six skill. In his only season in the OHL he led the London Knight in scoring with 35 goals and 90 points. The second leading scorer had 62 points.

In the AHL he had four years with 23, 26, 32 and 26 goals. He admitted that in his first few years in the NHL, he wasn’t in good enough condition to be a consistent impact player. He put in the work last summer to shed some weight and it paid off. Now he has to do it again, and if he needs any extra motivation, this is the final year of his contract.

If Maroon scores 27 goals again he could be looking at a $4 million/year contract. He could set himself and his family up for life.

But money is not his main motivator. “This season was so much fun. It was great to see our team improve and to be a main part of it made it more special. Connor and Leon are are top guys, I’ll never be like them, but to win in this league they need support. I believe I can provide that. I proved it this year, and this summer my goal is to prove to everyone last year wasn’t just a fluke. Whether I score 20 goals, 25, 27 or 30, I want to come to camp in great shape and show my teammates I’m committed to winning.”

Scoring 27 goals again would be quite an accomplishment. Very few players in the league score 27 in consecutive seasons, and Maroon’s success won’t just be determined by goals. He can help the team in other ways, but if the Oilers want to keep improving and battle for first place in the Pacific Division, Maroon can’t take a big step backwards.

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  • McMuffin

    The Big Rig, Patty Maroon will have another career year next year. This I have 0 doubt. He is a gamer. Put the foot to the floor and keep on truckin’ Big Rig