Rangers Analysis: How Wojtek Wolski Will Fit Into The System
So Glen Sather found a way to do it again. He traded a 32-year-old defenseman who's play has been steadily declining as the season as rolled on for a 24-year-old with a wealth of offense talent, and tons of upside. Oh, he also saved $1.2 million in the process.
Let's look at his raw statistics.
Although Wolski is young he doesn't lack experience. He has been a regular in the NHL since 2006 (when he was just 19-years-old) and has already played in 356 NHL games. He's also been a healthy player, never playing in less than 76 games in a full season.
Now those numbers don't mean anything if he isn't producing during those contests. In those 356 career games he has scored 85 goals and 142 assists for 227 points. He's never had less then 42 points in a season, and last year he had his best statistical year scoring 23 goals and 42 assists for 65 points in 80 games.
Wolski also has significant playoff experience for a 24-year-old, scoring 14 points in 22 playoff contests.
Currently Wolski isn't exactly having a great year (he only as six goals and 10 assists for 16 points in 36 games) but that can be attributed to his time in the doghouse. In fact, Wolski hasn't seen more than nine minutes the past three games for the Coyotes.
Join me after the jump for more analysis.
Whatever Wolski's problems were in Phoenix are behind him now. Honestly, they're not even worth getting into. I'm all for giving Wolski a fresh start, and I'm sure all he needed was a change of scenery. Obviously this is the positive outlook, but why be negative before he's even played a game?
I have nothing against Phoenix, I love the Coyotes, but he just moved to the biggest hockey market for one of the NHL's premiere teams. I have a funny feeling he's going to do everything he can to ensure that this works out.
It should also help that his skill-set fits directly into John Tortorella's system. Wolski is a quick offensive mind who can not only dish but score as well. That's a perfect combination for the Rangers, who are still looking for a spark on the power play and in their top lines. Wolski has been good on the power play in his career as well with 17 goals and 37 assists for 54 power play points in his career.
Tortorella, who has been looking for line combinations that work out all season, now has a player that can fit with pretty much anyone. I have visions of a Wolski-Stepan-Gaborik line. Stepan, who's show an ability to finish, would have two very viable options to dish the puck too. But this line would also give him more room to score. Opposing defenses are obviously going to be much more worried about Gaboik and Wolski, leaving Stepan with tons of space. Plus if Stepan can do this:
He can do special things when he actually has time and space.
Wolski is young, fast and has miles of upside. It should be great to see. Thoughts guys?