Fixing the Oilers Offense: Joonas Donskoi

After dealing with the IMMENSE grief resultant from the news that Radko Gudas was traded earlier today, I figure there’s no better time to begin writing about Joonas Donskoi then now!

This will be the first in a series of shorter segments written on forward targets heading into the offseason. As per usual, I’ll be basing my statistical evaluations largely within the realm of high-danger chances and goal share but this time I’ll include some further details. These will include a general synopses of each players style of play, a recommendation where they’d best fit in the line-up and an approximate cost of acquisition (either in cap hit or trade cost).

SAN JOSE, CA – APRIL 12: Joonas Donskoi #27 of the San Jose Sharks prepares to take the ice for warmups against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April 12, 2019 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RW, Joonas Donskoi, 6’0 190lbs (pending UFA)
80GP, 14G, 23A, +10 in 13:25 mins/gm with the Sharks

Donskoi is an efficient Finnish RW from down the California coast. He’s best described as a capable two-way winger with quality skating. Offers a good deal of utility in that he plays both wings, shows penalty killing acumen and his offensive production is encouraging despite his questionable PP ability. His weaknesses are that he fails to generate a lot of shots himself and that he lacks the high-end finish or playmaking abilities to really find a niche as a regular scorer.

Over the past few years, Donskoi’s 5-on-5 scoring rate have- with the exception of his sophomore year- held rather consistently in the range you expect from a 2nd line.

2015-16: 1.74 P/60
2016-17: 0.98 P/60
2017-18: 1.85 P/60
2018-19: 1.90 P/60

What draws me to him is his propensity for outproducing his opposition from within the slot area and consistently having a positive influence on limiting high-danger chances against (relHDCA). If you remove a sophomore slump that clouds his numbers a bit, you see the makings of a remarkably effective middle-6 winger.

YEAR/relHDCF/relHDCA

2015-16/ +2.65/ -0.87
2016-17/ +0.73/ -1.42
2017-18/ +3.76/ -0.92
2018-19/ +0.23/ -0.89

* a positive number is good in HDCF, a negative number is good in HDCA

YEAR/relGF%/relHDGF%

2015-16/ +3.41/ +10.95
2016-17/ -9.31/ -11.68
2017-18/ +15.11/ +11.28
2018-19/ +6.64/ +8.28

Overall, these numbers paint the picture of a (likely) mid-cost wing option to help bolster our shallow offensive depth. I think he’d represent a tangible upgrade on pretty much any of our natural wingers.

If I had to posit a contract comparable, I’d look to guys like Pouliot or Frolik as a high end estimate but hope to settle closer to 3-3.5mil/yr over a 3 or 4 yr term. Like Pouliot before him, he’d be an excellent fit alongside Nugent-Hopkins on the team’s 2nd line and, over time, could settle in as a perfect 3rd line RW.

If his addition can be bolstered by the further addition of a legitimate top-6 scoring winger and one or two of our young players finding a home on the 3rd line, then I believe that would go a long ways to addressing what I believe is the team’s greatest need.

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