Ryan Lindgren was a strong contributor for the New York Rangers during the 2020-21 season, He continued to develop into a quality top-pairing defenseman who provided a nice balance on the opposite side of Adam Fox. The expectation for Lindgren heading into the 2021-22 season was for him to do more of the same, and to continue to highlight how much of a value his contract was.
Lindgren averaged 20:06 per game of the New York Rangers’ top pair along with Fox, and finished with a career high 4 goals, and 11 assists for 15 points in 78 games. Offense isn’t a huge part of Lindgren’s game, but his contributions were appreciated.
Lindgren was worth 6.6 goals above replacement, an slight downgrade from from the 8.2 he was worth the season prior, but this can be attributed to a drop on the offensive side of the puck. Lindgren’s offensive component of GAR was a -0.7, a drop from the 2.9 he finished with the year before. However, the metric graded him as being stronger defensively than the year prior, as he finished with a rating of 6.7, whereas in 2020-21 when he finished with a rating of 4.9
When it comes to his player card, here’s how Lindgren graded out.
For context, here’s his card from the year prior.
The drop in offensive proficiency took Lindgren from the 79th percentile of all defensemen down to 54th, but if you look at just defense he slips from 93rd to 88th. Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, and certainly not something to get up in arms about since the main goal for him is to prevent offense as opposed to going out of his way to generate it.
Lindgren finished 9th among roster regulars with a Goals For Percentage of 54.6 at 5v5, 11th in Corsi For Percentage (48.22), and 5th in Expected Goals For Percentage (49.71). If you just include defenders, Lindgren was 4th in GF%, 4th in CF%, and 2nd in xGF%.
He wasn’t quite as sharp as the year before, and I do wonder if some of that is the adjustment to a new coach, a different style of play, and a longer schedule. It is something worth keeping an eye on, especially when you consider how strongly K’Andre Miller performed, and how he looks ready for a larger role on the team.
There’s also the fact that Lindgren was one of those players who seemingly was always battling something in terms of an injury, this was especially true during the playoffs, even though when all was said and done he tried to brush it off as being a minor ankle injury. His reputation is that of being a warrior, but going forward it might be beneficial for both him and the team if he takes some time off when there’s something truly ailing him.
Grade: B+ | Banter Consensus: B+
Lindgren had a fine season, and continued to be a positive contributor for the Rangers. Overall he wasn’t as effective as the year prior, but he still held down an important position on the team while continually going above and beyond to sacrifice his wellbeing for the good of the team.
Lindgren remains an amazing bargain at $3 million a year, and will be under contract for the 2022-23, and 2023-24 seasons. After that he is an RFA, and the Rangers will need to make an important decision. Lindgren has come a long way since making his NHL debut, and certainly exceeded any and all expectations that accompanied him after joining the organization via the Rick Nash trade to the Boston Bruins.
Stats via Evolving-Hockey unless otherwise noted.