Viktor Arvidsson impressed with 31 goals and 61 points last season. But can he keep producing the way the Nashville Predators needs?
Many Nashville Predators stepped up last season. But no one came out of nowhere like Viktor Arvidsson did. He’s a complete player who has a great work ethic. Defenses looked like turnstiles when the JoFA line was rolling. Arvidsson was a big part of that as he used his speed to cruise through the blue line. His shot also got better throughout the season.
Arvidsson is in the prime of his career, and so his skills should still be there. But will his play continue? Is Arvidsson a flash in the pan or the real deal?
Arvidsson has advanced stats on his side
The JoFA line uses their speed and passing to maintain possession and keep teams hemmed in their own zones. Arvidsson shows clear signs that he contributes to his lines possession. Rather than relying on his line mates. His career average Fenwick score is 54.4, while in his best season he only posted a 55 score. This shows that Arvidsson is a positive possession player no matter where he plays, whether he’s on the first, second, or third line.
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Arvidsson, despite playing in all situations, only played third line minutes in five on five situations. While this would usually hurt a player’s advanced stats, Arvidsson has thrived. He posted elite level shot generation stats that rival Vladimir Tarasenko, Sidney Crosby, and Alex Ovechkin. Elite talent for sure. And while Arvidsson doesn’t create assists at a second line rate, he scores goals at a first line rate.
The simple stats aren’t so sure
Simple stats shouldn’t be the end all, be all, similar to how advanced stats shouldn’t be. But they do help us fill in the puzzle pieces of the whole picture. Arvidsson scored a career high of 31 goals, but he also rode a 12% shooting percentage. For reference, the league average is 9%. Only elite players like Steven Stamkos, Alex Ovechkin, and Vladimir Tarasenko consistently shoot above 10%. And while I think Arvidsson could consistently shoot that high, there’s just no proof. Only time will tell. In fairness, he did score five shorthanded goals that I don’t think he’ll score this season.
PDO is usually a terrible stat but it can tell us if a season was average or totally off. It does tell us that Arvidsson’s last season is something that can be recreated. While Arvidsson was on the ice, the Nashville Predators shot at 9.6%. Maybe a little high but not out of the realm of possibility when we consider how dominant the JoFA line was. Meanwhile the Nashville Predators goaltending put up a respectable 91% save percentage. Both stats add to 100.6 which is .6 points better than the league average.
Can Arvidsson keep it up?
In my mind, yes. Arvidsson has all the physical tools and is in the prime of his life. Playing alongside Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg doesn’t hurt either. I expect Arvidsson to produce at least 30 goals and 60 points for the next five years, at least.