New York Islanders Kevin Shattenkirk to Rangers Need to Know

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: Kevin Shattenkirk
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: Kevin Shattenkirk /

The New York Rangers just acquired Kevin Shattenkirk in free agency. What do the New York Islanders need to know about the Rangers new big D acquisition?

The New York Rangers signed a big defender in the free agency. For a team that the New York Islanders face four times this season, what can we expect from Kevin Shattenkirk?

Kevin Shattenkirk isn’t a first pairing defenceman. We know this from his time in St Louis behind the likes of Jay Bouwmeester and Colton Parayko. and his short time in Washington proved it. So right from the start, the New York Rangers are paying a 3-4 D, $6.65 million per year for four seasons.

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What Is He?

In terms of production, Shattenkirk hasn’t scored less than 42 points in a season since he came into the league in 2010-11 with the Colorado Avalanche. That’s excluding the lock-out shortened 2012-13 season where he scored 23 in 48 games played.

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Shattenkirk is a good offensive threat for the Rangers. And you know what, it doesn’t get much better from there. Shattenkirk doesn’t have a glaring weakness to his game.

Sportsnet’s Dimitri Filipovic put together another study of defensemen in this year’s playoffs. He looked at blue line control, zone exits, and protecting the blue line. And Shattenkirk faired just about average in two and then very well in a third.

Ironically it’s in protecting the blue line that Shattenkirk excelled at in the playoffs. I say ironically because the only criticism I can find on Shattenkirk is that he isn’t great defensively.

But in protecting the Capitals blue line during the 2017 playoffs he was only behind John Carlsson with an 18.03% break-up percentage. Meaning, 18.03% of the plays against where Shattenkirk was the target were broken-up.

His worse showing in Filipovic’s review was zone exits. With 3.769 average carries out of the Washington zone per game in the playoffs, Shattenkirk succeeded with 47.12% of them. Not great numbers for what is said to be a defender that: “driv[es] possession like few can”.

That’s surprising considering the praise and criticism he receives.

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Maybe it was the setup in Washington that flipped the script on what Kevin Shattenkirk was said to be. Hopefully, the Rangers got this not so elite puck moving D like he was in Washington during the playoffs. We’ll all get our first view of him on October 19th 2018.