DanielSedinHenrik

Is Daniel Sedin still an elite player?

Last summer, I wrote a piece in the Black Aces section that talked about how the Sedin twins weren’t elite players anymore.

After some debate among responses about what constitutes elite, I predicted that Daniel Sedin would no longer be a top-five fantasy left winger. But after this season, it’s safe to say Daniel Sedin is not a top 10 left winger either, and should no longer be considered as one.

In a points only pool, Sedin is ranked 19th amongst left wingers. In a Yahoo head-to-head pool with the following categories — G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, and SOG — Sedin is ranked ninth. As young players like Gabriel Landeskog, Taylor Hall, Jaden Schwartz and Matt Duchene (who counts as a LW in Yahoo) improve, and guys like Zach Parise, Logan Couture and Jeff Skinner spend less time on the injury list, Sedin’s ranking is going to dip further. Next year, Sedin will barely finish as a top-20 left winger.

In cap leagues, with his $6.1 million salary — which increases to $7 million next season for the next four years — he just doesn’t get the numbers to justify having him on your team.

There are a myriad of reasons for Sedin’s slow decrease into a very good, but no longer great, player.

We all know Sedin spends most of the time on the ice with his brother, Henrik, and with his other line mate always in a rotation. But let’s look at his line production to get an idea of who is on his line when he gets his points, courtesy of Frozen Pool:

 

Total Points for Daniel Sedin : 41

Str

On Ice Line Combination

Points

%Total
Points

PP

KESLER,RYAN - SEDIN,DANIEL - SEDIN,HENRIK

10

24.39%

EV

HANSEN,JANNIK - SEDIN,DANIEL - SEDIN,HENRIK

7

17.07%

EV

KESLER,RYAN - SEDIN,DANIEL - SEDIN,HENRIK

6

14.63%

EV

SANTORELLI,MICHAEL - SEDIN,DANIEL - SEDIN,HENRIK

3

7.32%

PP

BURROWS,ALEXANDRE - KESLER,RYAN - SEDIN,DANIEL - SEDIN,HENRIK

2

4.88%

PP

KESLER,RYAN - SEDIN,DANIEL - SEDIN,HENRIK - SESTITO,TOMMY

2

4.88%

EV

SEDIN,DANIEL - SEDIN,HENRIK - WEISE,DALE

1

2.44%

PP

BOOTH,DAVID - KESLER,RYAN - SEDIN,DANIEL - SEDIN,HENRIK

1

2.44%

EV

SEDIN,DANIEL - SEDIN,HENRIK - SESTITO,TOMMY

1

2.44%

PP

HIGGINS,CHRISTOPHER - KESLER,RYAN - SEDIN,DANIEL

1

2.44%

EV

HANSEN,JANNIK - KESLER,RYAN - SEDIN,DANIEL

1

2.44%

EV

SEDIN,DANIEL - SEDIN,HENRIK

1

2.44%

EV

BURROWS,ALEXANDRE - SEDIN,DANIEL - SEDIN,HENRIK

1

2.44%

EV

BURROWS,ALEXANDRE - SANTORELLI,MICHAEL - SEDIN,DANIEL

1

2.44%

EV

KASSIAN,ZACK - KESLER,RYAN - SEDIN,DANIEL

1

2.44%

EV

DALPE,ZAC - SEDIN,DANIEL - SEDIN,HENRIK

1

2.44%

EV

HANSEN,JANNIK - SANTORELLI,MICHAEL - SEDIN,DANIEL

1

2.44%


Obviously, Henrik was going to make a big impact on this list. Ryan Kesler is also no surprise, as he always seems to be the best fit for the twins. Twenty-four of Sedin’s 41 points have come with Kesler on the ice. However, in an effort to spread out the scoring, Sedin is often separated from Kesler. Here are the top 10 line combinations for Sedin this season:

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

16.08%

EV

17 KESLER,RYAN - 22 SEDIN,DANIEL - 33 SEDIN,HENRIK

14.64%

EV

36 HANSEN,JANNIK - 22 SEDIN,DANIEL - 33 SEDIN,HENRIK

9.26%

PP

17 KESLER,RYAN - 22 SEDIN,DANIEL - 33 SEDIN,HENRIK

9.07%

EV

14 BURROWS,ALEXANDRE - 22 SEDIN,DANIEL - 33 SEDIN,HENRIK

7.36%

EV

25 SANTORELLI,MICHAEL - 22 SEDIN,DANIEL - 33 SEDIN,HENRIK

3.51%

EV

7 BOOTH,DAVID - 22 SEDIN,DANIEL - 33 SEDIN,HENRIK

3.47%

EV

22 SEDIN,DANIEL - 33 SEDIN,HENRIK

2.8%

EV

14 BURROWS,ALEXANDRE - 45 SCHROEDER,JORDAN - 22 SEDIN,DANIEL

2.28%

EV

14 BURROWS,ALEXANDRE - 15 RICHARDSON,BRAD - 22 SEDIN,DANIEL

2.17%

SH

22 SEDIN,DANIEL - 33 SEDIN,HENRIK

 

If Sedin is having trouble scoring, why not put him back on a line with Kesler for an extended period?

Probably the biggest reason for Sedin’s decline has to do with offensive zone starts. This year, 59 per cent of Sedin’s 5-on-5 shifts have started in the offensive zone, good for 53rd in the league among forwards who have played at least 20 games. But that’s a far cry from previous years. In 2012-13, Sedin started in the offensive zone 66 per cent of the time (third in the league among players with 30 or more games). In 2011-12, it was 79.6 per cent (first for forwards with a minimum 60 games). In 2010-11, it was 74.5 per cent of the time (first, minimum 60 starts).

Faceoff wins in the offensive zone means immediate puck control and chances to score. Starting off in the offensive zone is a huge advantage for players, so it’s no surprise that as Sedin’s offensive zone starting percentage goes down, so do his points.

But his points have also been on the decline for five straight years.

09-10: 1.35

10-11: 1.27

11-12: 0.93

12-13: 0.85

13-14: 0.67

According to his current pace, Sedin is on pace for just 55 points this year. That would be his lowest number since the 2003-04 season, when he notched 54 points.

Another reason for Sedin’s decrease is his shooting percentage. Here are his numbers for the last five seasons:

09-10: 12.9

10-11: 15.4

11-12: 13.1

12-13: 8.7

13-14: 6.8

Because of his low shooting percentage, he’s also on pace for his fewest amount of goals (18) in 11 years.

On the bright side, Sedin’s 190 shots puts him 14th in the league, and elevates his worth in leagues that count shots as a category. That’s one of the reasons why he should rebound a little bit the rest of the year. As he keeps shooting and his shooting percentage rises up to his career average of 11.9 per cent, he’ll get more points. If he gets extremely lucky, he’ll maybe score enough to get 65 points, but that would require a hot streak of 25 points in his last 22 games. I just don’t see this happening.

Another reason for optimism for Sedin fans is his time on the ice stats. Sedin averages 21:31 minutes a game (up quite a bit from 19:01 last season), which is good for fifth in the league for forwards. His 3:46 of power play ice time per game is 11th highest.

Of course, a pessimist might see all that ice time, and wonders if a long season (plus Olympic Games) is wearing down a 33-year-old player.

New this year for Sedin is penalty killing. He is averaging 1:03 a game while shorthanded. That’s quite an increase from his four second average last season. Shorthanded minutes can take a toll on a body. This is what is happening to Sedin. With just one point in his last 14 games, he’s wearing down.

One of the problems is that there are not many other options in Vancouver this year. The Canucks rank 24th in goals per game, at 2.34. There may be no other choice than to overplay Sedin because there are no other options.

Sedin has proven to be an inconsistent option this year. According to Frozen Pool’s most consistent players Sedin is 65th in the league for percentage of games with a point (points in 29 of 60 games, a 48.3 per cent). Amongst left wingers, he’s ranked 21st.

In reality, Sedin has always been a good player who had one great season, as opposed to a great player who had some good seasons. What I mean by that is if you were to remove his 104-point season, you get a guy who never had scored higher than 85 points. He was a consistent point-per-game player, but for the most part, nothing more. And now, he’s not even that.

None of this is to say Sedin won’t have any more point-per-game seasons. A lot of older players can pull a rabbit out of their hats and wind up with 80 points. Think of Alexei Kovalev, Rob Brind’Amour and Brendan Shanahan. After a few years of 50 to 65-point seasons, they all exploded for an 80-point campaign. But to expect it every year was unreasonable, as they quickly came back to the 50 to 65-point range.

The same now goes for Daniel Sedin. He needs to be treated as a guy who won’t reach 70 points on a consistent basis, but has the opportunity to get 80 points one more time in his career. That’s a best case scenario.

In any event, Sedin is certainly not a top-10 left winger anymore and next year will be lucky to be in the top 20.

Previously in Frozenpool Forensics:

Ondrej Palat

Paul Stastny


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