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You don’t see too many rookies make their debut in the National Hockey League at the age of 25.  Even rarer is finding one as productive as the Philadelphia Flyers Matt Read was last season. The undersized right winger helped the team to a strong 2011-12 campaign which ultimately saw them bow out in the second round of the playoffs to the New Jersey Devils.

 

Read posted 24 goals and 23 assists for 47 points in his first taste of the NHL. He was also a plus-13 and slowly became one of the Flyers most reliable forwards down the stretch.  While his numbers may be impressive, of course you have to consider the talent that Philly boasts in their arsenal.  With one of the most potent offensive attacks in the league, Read may have entered into the perfect situation for a mature rookie.

 

One encouraging thing for Read owners going forward would be his line mates in 2011-12. Normally who a player specifically plays with on a regular basis can drastically help or hinder his production. What is interesting about Read, however, is that he really didn’t play with the same players for a major period of time.

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

14.67%

EV

48 BRIERE,DANIEL - 24 READ,MATT - 17 SIMMONDS,WAYNE

7.63%

SH

14 COUTURIER,SEAN - 24 READ,MATT

6.95%

EV

24 READ,MATT - 27 TALBOT,MAXIME - 93 VORACEK,JAKUB

6.71%

EV

24 READ,MATT - 10 SCHENN,BRAYDEN - 17 SIMMONDS,WAYNE

3.49%

EV

14 COUTURIER,SEAN - 24 READ,MATT - 17 SIMMONDS,WAYNE

2.94%

EV

14 COUTURIER,SEAN - 19 HARTNELL,SCOTT - 24 READ,MATT

2.92%

EV

28 GIROUX,CLAUDE - 19 HARTNELL,SCOTT - 24 READ,MATT

2.81%

EV

48 BRIERE,DANIEL - 68 JAGR,JAROMIR - 24 READ,MATT

2.59%

EV

24 READ,MATT - 21 VAN RIEMSDYK,JAMES - 93 VORACEK,JAKUB

2.14%

EV

24 READ,MATT - 93 VORACEK,JAKUB - 47 WELLWOOD,ERIC

 

You can see the most frequent combination was just a meagre 14.67% of his ice-time.  This shows that though he was playing with talented players, he never really relied on one specific player to help his numbers.  He was plugged into a number of different places and still produced consistently.  

 

We have seen Read’s versatility when it comes to line combinations, but let’s now take a look at his production.  Of his 24 goals, four were on the power play, two were shorthanded, and he added six game winners.  His ability to spread out the goals can really help you in multiple categories.  Getting value in different areas is important with Read because he isn’t going to help you when it comes to PIM.  He recorded just 12 last year in 79 games and I don’t know too many leagues that reward Lady Byng candidates.

 

Read has also done a great job in being efficient out there on the ice.  He only recorded 155 shots, but had the third best shooting percentage on the team at 15.5%.  In fact, as the games got tougher come playoff time he improved in that area.  Read had three goals and five points in just 11 post-season contests and his shooting percentage was a team best 37.5%.  It’s always a good sign when a rookie can excel in pressure packed games.

 

Another example of his efficiency would be when it came to ice-time.  Read only ranked 12th on the squad by averaging just 17:04 per game.  Despite this he was still able to put up solid numbers playing in a variety of different scenarios.  With the departure of Jaromir Jagr this off-season, look for his ice-time to rise in 2012-13.

 

As a rookie it should be expected that Read doesn’t have a massive contract at the moment.  His cap hit is just $900,000, but that hasn’t stopped him from putting up totals which make his deal look like a big bargain.  Poolies in leagues that take cap hits into consideration will be happy to know that Read ranks first on the Flyers in cap hit per point, and 17th in the entire NHL.  Good news in these tough economic times. 

 

Rank

Player

Pos

Team

GP

Pts

Caphit

Cost/Pnt

1

READ, MATT

R

PHI

79

47

900000

19149

2

SIMMONDS, WAYNE

R

PHI

82

49

1750000

35714

3

GIROUX, CLAUDE

R

PHI

77

94

3750000

39894

4

VORACEK, JAKUB

R

PHI

78

49

2250000

45918

5

COUTURIER, SEAN

C

PHI

77

28

1375000

49107

6

TALBOT, MAXIME

C

PHI

81

34

1750000

51471

7

RINALDO, ZAC

C

PHI

66

9

544444

60494

8

JAGR, JAROMIR

R

PHI

73

54

3300000

61111

9

HARTNELL, SCOTT

L

PHI

82

66

4200000

63636

10

WELLWOOD, ERIC

L

PHI

24

9

580000

64444

 

Read is yet another example of why scouting is not an exact science.  He went undrafted and played four years at Bemidji State University before the Flyers finally signed him to a contract at the age of 24.  Perhaps waiting so long for a chance to play in the NHL has helped Read make the most of his opportunity. For both Read and poolies, it was certainly worth the wait.


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Ross The Boss Palmer said:

Ross The Boss Palmer
... Feel good story. Loved watching his effort on the ice, refreshing to watch.Really makes me what to lace em' up and tryout ala Vince Papale did for the 76' Eagles.
July 22, 2012
Votes: +0
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