Photo credit: Greg Fiume

The hard part is over. Mathieu Perreault led the Capitals with five points in four preseason games and snatched the final roster spot from favorites Cody Eakin and Mattias Sjogren.

Last season he showed the ability to drive puck possession, finishing with the fourth best Corsi relative to the competition on the team, behind only Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Alexander Semin.

Consistency, however, was a bigger issue. He earned all fourteen of his points in just nine of his 35 games played and wasn’t able to claim a center spot that was up for grabs.

But it’s a new year, and with Boudreau giving Matty P some time up top with Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer– plus hinting he may center the second line, it’s now time to turn our attention to what we can expect from him in his third NHL season.

Using Perreault’s NHL stats to match him with players who had comparable production at the same age, we can then use the development of those peers to generate a projection for 2011-12. Stats are normalized to the 2010-11 season, so they can be compared on a level playing field despite being in different eras.

Although he is frequently compared to Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis because of his size, Perreault’s statistical peer group includes Joel Lundqvist, Milan Kraft, Patrick Thoresen, and even Patrick Sharp, among others. As you can see, the group is a decent match for Perreault’s sophomore season:

Season Age GP G A PTS S TOI
Similar players 23 37 5 4 10 47 413
Perreault, 2010-11 23 35 7 7 14 41 416

The development curve of these similar players show Perreault will get better in year three. The peer group saw more ice time, took more shots and increased their scoring by 47 percent, mostly by doubling their assist count.

That would make sense. Skating on one of the top two lines, which is most likely where Perreault will see a majority of his time, would make him more of a set-up man to one of the Russian snipers.

In games played, the projection is a bit more optimistic. It is doubtful Perreault suits up for half the season, but if he does, expect him to produce seven goals and 14 assists over 44 games. An improvement, but not enough to claim a full time role with a Cup-caliber team.

  • Mike McLaughlin

    And for reference, Marty St. Louis’s “sophmore” season at age 24 (although he only played 13 games in his first year)

    1999–00
    Calgary Flames
    NHL
    56
    3
    15
    18
    22
    So Marty played more games in this season than Perry is projected to get with roughly the same assist total that you are thinking and fewer goals.  

    Different eras and there is only a very, very slim possibility that Perreault ever develops into that caliber of player, but for those of us hoping that at 30 years old we are seeing 100 points out of him, a 40 point season is what we are going to need to see this year. 

     

  • Andrewharman1054

    i dont think he is going to play enough games this season for him to score 40 points he isnt going to score a point every game and i would be suprised to see him score 30 points i think your being unrealistic if he plays in 40 games and scores 20-30 points he will probably be here next season i dont think he plays 50 games either