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2021-22 Player Review: Mark Stone and His Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Back Limited His Effectiveness

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.

Mark Stone tried his absolute best in 2021-22 to help the Vegas Golden Knights get into the playoffs, but unfortunately his back wouldn’t let him. The team captain was limited to 37 games on paper, but that number doesn’t truly reflect the number of games he was actually able to “play”. The good news is that he had surgery which should help, and with that in mind we’ll take a look at a season which doesn’t adequately reflect the player he is.

Season In Review

In the 37 games he played, Stone tallied 9 goals and 21 assists for 30 points while skating 18:21 a game which was down from the 19:04 he skated in 2020-21, and the 19:25 he skated in 2019-20.

His overall GAR (goals above replacement) number this year was 6.6, and here’s a look at how he arrived there via Evolving-Hockey.com

  • Even Strength Offense — 5.2
  • Even Strength Defense — 0.7
  • Power Play Offense — 0.5
  • Shorthanded Defense — -0.7
  • Penalties Taken — 0.6
  • Penalties Drawn — 0.3/

The biggest takeaway for me was the defensive numbers for Stone, and that’s one element of his game which was hampered by injury. He wasn’t as tenacious at forechecking or battling in the zone, and I can’t really blame him for that. He made an impact upfront, and that’s something that worked for him and the Golden Knights.

Stone ended the season with an expected goals for percentage of 53.8, a Corsi for percentage of 51.97, and a goals for percentage of 57.03. He was limited to 515 minutes of 5v5 play, and that was something the Golden Knights certainly missed throughout the season. His ability as a two-way player makes him one of the top 200-feet forwards in the league, and here’s to hoping he’s back at full speed in 2022-23.

Looking Ahead

Stone underwent lumbar discectomy surgery on May 19, and the expectation is that he will be ready to play for the regular season. It’s unlikely the team will rush him, so I wouldn’t be concerned if there’s a slight delay to his 2022-23 debut. That said, when he is healthy and back on the ice, the Golden Knights are going to lean on him as one of their most important players.

Knights On Ice grade: B+

How would you grade Stone’s shortened season?

A 0
B 7
C 13
D 5
F 3

Talking Points