Patrick Russell just completed his first season in the NHL.
As a rookie, he played in 45 games chipping in five assists as a fourth-liner and he left a lot to be desired. I’m not sure where the infatuation comes from the Oilers and playing Russell.
He played 11:22 a night and was a buzzsaw. He’s hard on the forecheck and quick to get back into his own zone, but he never appeared to do much with it. Thinking back he hasn’t been a player that’s even really stood out to me.
His raw analytics at 5v5 were… bad. He had a 46.58 CF%, a 31.03 GF% and while his xGF% of 52.19 suggests that he should’ve had better luck, he didn’t. A PDO of 95.6 could be to blame for that.
Nonetheless, while he doesn’t pass the eye test nor the raw numbers test, his isolated impacts in the defensive zone were very strong. He contributed defence at a nine percent better pace than league average.
That’s a really good number even taking into consideration he was playing against bad competition. The truth, however, is that he didn’t translate that into much of anything. His goals for number was very bad.
So what exactly does he bring to the Oilers? The coaching staff seems to love him and his attitude which is great, but how far will that get him?
Russell is on the Oilers hub roster and I’m curious to see how much he plays. Chicago’s poor bottom-six could provide him a chance to get some great action, but I don’t see him being any sort of an impact player.
In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him not play at all. He didn’t draw into the lineup after the NHL trade deadline when Tyler Ennis and Andreas Athanasiou were acquired.
At the very least, he might be able to provide a few minutes of energy a night if he’s drawn into the lineup.
On Twitter: @zjlaing