2021-22 Player Review: Jake Leschyshyn still getting feet wet in NHL
Leschyshyn has plenty of room to improve ahead of the 2022-23 season.
In the 2021-22 Player Review series, we will evaluate the 2021-22 performances of each key member of the Golden Knights. Players were evaluated based on overall performance in the regular season with regard to pre-season expectations and how that player performed in his particular role.
Vegas Golden Knights forward Jake Leschyshyn got his first taste of regular-season NHL action in 2021-22. Needless to say, he’s still a bit of a work in progress.
Nabbed in the second round (No. 62 overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the Golden Knights were likely hoping he’d be better prepared for consistent NHL action at this stage. But at just 23 years old, he still has some time to find his sea legs and carve out some sort of role in the pros — if he returns.
Season in review
Leschyshyn appeared in 41 games for the Golden Knights this season, but his on-ice results were pretty unremarkable. Of all Golden Knights players with at least 200 minutes of total ice time, he ranked tied for last place on the team with just six points (two goals, four assists).
While raw scoring numbers are telling, advanced statistics help paint a clearer picture of a player’s overall performance throughout a given season. Unfortunately, the advanced stats weren’t very kind to Leschyshyn either. He ranked dead last in just about every major advanced statistical category on the Golden Knights, and even ranked toward the bottom of the entire league in some areas. Of the 738 players in the NHL with at least 200 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time, Leschyshyn ranked 729th with a 40.00 Corsi For percentage. Not great.
Leschyshyn also appeared to struggle in the faceoff circle at times. Most often lining up as the Golden Knights’ fourth-line center, he only managed to win 46.04 percent of his draws, which ranked 135th out of all NHL centers with at least 400 minutes of total ice time.
From top to bottom, it was a rough first season in the NHL for Leschyshyn. However, he still managed to put together quite a strong showing in Henderson, logging 27 points in 34 games for the Silver Knights. So clearly there could be something there as Leschyshyn looks to prove he’s worthy of NHL minutes.
Leschyshyn is set to become a restricted free agent, and given the Golden Knights’ less than ideal cap situation, it’s certainly possible he could go unsigned this offseason. But if the Golden Knights believe he could add significant value to the bottom six with some additional seasoning, perhaps he’ll be retained at a sub-$1 million deal. After all, just because his first stint as an NHLer was rough doesn’t mean his next one will be more of the same.
Knights On Ice grade: D
How would you grade Leschyshyn’s season?
All statistics courtesy of Natural Stat Trick, Evolving-Hockey and NHL.com.