Everything is going right for Alex Chiasson. He’s scored ten goals on just 24 shots this season and proved last night that if you go to the blue paint good things will happen.
There is no denying Chiasson has been an excellent, much needed, addition to the Oilers. I think most of us spent six months this past off-season talking about how desperately the Oilers needed players on value contracts to contribute; they’ve found one in Chiasson.
The big forward’s shooting percentage is currently sitting at 41.6, which is not sustainable but the way he’s scoring his goals is most certainly something that can continue. He has a quick release and shoots the puck with a purpose. He isn’t afraid to go to the front of the net and has quick enough hands to take care of business once the puck arrives.
We know Chiasson is the best bargain on the Oilers right now but what about the rest of the league? He is currently clipping online at $65,000 per goal. I’m going to eliminate all of the players who are currently on their entry-level deals and instead focus on guys, like Chiasson, who are on at least their second contract.
1. Alex Chiasson – Oilers ($65,000 per goal)
When it comes to scoring goals Chiasson is currently the best bargain in the league. The best part about his success is that he hasn’t been riding shotgun with Connor McDavid. Chiasson has played just 7:04 at 5×5 with the Captain so far this season.
2. Anthony Duclair – Blue Jackets ($81,250 per goal)
A fresh start in Columbus appears to be exactly what the doctor ordered for Anthony Duclair. After scoring 20 goals in his first full season Duclair fell out of favour in Arizona. The former third rounder couldn’t gain any traction during a brief stint in Chicago but has been fitting in nicely with the Jackets.
3. Pontus Aberg – Ducks ($108,300 per goal)
This one is interesting because Aberg basically lost his job to Chiasson. Prior to signing the now Oiler to a PTO, I think most people had Aberg pencilled into the lineup. The two are completely different players but Aberg is still finding ways to have success with a Ducks team that has been desperate for offence this season. Good for him. I would have liked to see him get more of a chance offensively in Edmonton but it’s not the end of the world that they let him go.
4. Yanni Gourde – Lightning ($111,000 per goal)
Yanni Gourde, at $1,000,000, is a great bargain but that’s about to change. Gourde has signed a multi-year contract extension that kicks in next season with a cap hit of $5,100,000. I think the $5,100,00 might be a little steep for a Lightning squad that is already dealing with a bit of a cap crunch.
5. Frank Vatrano – Panthers ($132,143 per goal)
Vatrano has proven to be a decent little pick up for the Panthers. Last season Florida sent a 3rd round pick to the Bruins in exchange for the Hockey East product. He’s a goal scorer. He has 32 goals and just 15 assists in 144 career games. He even scored five times in 16 games after the trade last year.
6. Troy Brouwer – Panthers ($141,667 per goal)
I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t expect to see Brouwer on this list. The big fella was halfway through an $18,000,000 deal with the Flames when he was bought out in August. He signed an $850,000 contract with the Panthers and has been able to contribute so far this season.
7. Ryan Hartman – Predators ($145,833 per goal)
This is good news for the Preds considering the price they paid to acquire him. Hartman came to Nashville in a deal that included a first round pick going the other way. The 24-year old has six goals which puts him on pace for a season on the plus side of 20 snipes.
8. Jake Virtanen – Canucks ($156,250 per goal)
The Canucks have shown patience with Jake Virtanen and it’s finally paying off. Now on his second contract, Virtanen has already found the back of the net eight times. His career high is ten goals, a number he will most certainly smash to pieces this season.
DRAKE, KIND OF GREAT?
I should note that Drake Caggiula is also a top 20 bargain among non-entry level deals. Caggiula is currently sitting at $214,286 per goal. In a perfect world Caggiula would be making closer to $1,000,000 than $1,500,000 but his seven goals certainly place him in value contract territory.
So what should we expect from Chiasson the rest of the way this season? A lack of consistency has always been an issue for the former Washinton Capital but so far this year his longest stretch without a point has been three games. That three-game slide was bookended by a pair of three-game point streaks. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t end up with at least 20 goals. Chiasson has proven to be a value contract the Oilers were desperately searching for. Now they just need a couple more.