Edmonton Oilers player review and 2021-22 preview: William Lagesson

Welcome to the 2020-21 season review and 2021-22 season preview player-by-player! In this, and other articles, I’ll be, well, reviewing the Edmonton Oilers 2020-21 season and previewing the 2021-22 season. You can read about the analytics behind my analysis here.

William Lagesson, or Billy Legs, as he’s sometimes referred to as, did not look like a rookie in his first stint in the NHL. That is, if you ignore his numbers.

Lagesson got into 19 games of NHL action last year playing 14:09 — an impressive number for a rookie. He appeared strong and stout. Good in his own zone and strong in front of the net, Lagesson had a good first pass, too.

But when you peel back the layers, his underlying numbers tell a different story. In those 19 games at 5×5, the Oilers controlled 40.53 percent of the shot attempts, 50 percent of the goals scored and 39.39 percent of the expected goal share with an abnormally high 105.9 PDO.

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Yes, his goal share was good, but that’s inflated due to a very high 13.64 on-ice shooting percentage. His expected goals for was just 5.61.

Lagesson took a lot of defensive assignments with Adam Larsson his most common defensive partner and that could explain some of his struggles, too. We can’t put a ton of weight into Lagesson’s numbers due to that sample size, but what we can tell is he has the tools to be a solid, stay-at-home defenceman.

He has the size in a 6’2, 215 lb. frame to fill that role and it’s one he will likely be able to grow into. Will he be an everyday player for the Oilers this season? Probably not, but he definitely has the chance to fill in much like he did last season.

At 25-years-old he’s unlikely to take any further major strides in his game, but that’s okay. He has the chance to adapt and adjust his play to the NHL level.

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]