The Vancouver Canucks signed Micheal Ferland to a four-year deal worth $3.5 per season. What will the 27-year-old bring to his new team?
Vancouver Canucks fans remember Micheal Ferland as a thorn in the team’s side during the 2015 playoffs, when he was with the Calgary Flames. He was throwing the body around a lot, getting into scrums and having words with the Canucks players. He also put up two goals and two assists in those six games.
Ferland had 17 goals and 23 assists in 71 games last season with the Carolina Hurricanes. He played top six minutes with the Eastern Conference runner-ups, displaying success while playing with the likes of Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainan.
What Ferland brings: The eye test
Ferland is known for being tough to play against with tons of grit, and he can play anywhere from the first to the third line. He can stand up for teammates such as Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes. Not only that, but Ferland wins puck battles in the corners and can slow down the opposing team’s forecheck.
That said, my concern with Ferland is his injury history, as he has a history with concussions.
What Ferland brings: The Analytics
Last season with the Hurricanes, Ferland had a Corsi For percentage 54.2, a Fenwick For percentage of 54.6% and a PDO of 102.1. He also had a 54.9 percentage of offensive zone starts. Those numbers aren’t too shabby
Now let’s look at what he does in the offensive zone and the defensive zone.
For those who don’t understand, the red is unblocked shots taken above the league average and the blue is unblocked shots taken below the league average. These charts show that with Ferland, the Hurricanes last year were better in the offensive zone than without him.
The charts also show that Ferland gives lots of impact in the offensive zone. The Hurricanes had more shots and chances around the net with Ferland and without him. Notice how many of the red areas are in the corners and within the boards. This proves that Ferland is very good at winning puck battles in the offensive zone.
Here is a look at the defensive zone with and without Ferland.
This time, the more blue and less red, the better. It seems the Hurricanes were slightly better without Ferland in the defensive zone as they gave less excess shots per hour. With Ferland, they gave up more excess shots near the net than without him. The charts prove that Ferland may have some issues defensively. It looks like he can play well defensively in the slot but not around the net, near the boards or in the corners.
So overall, Ferland plays well in the offensive zone — but the same cannot be said when he’s in the defensive zone.
Can Ferland help the Canucks get back into the playoffs?
Ferland provides a huge boost in Vancouver’s top six. J.T. Miller and Tanner Pearson do as well. But is it good enough to make the playoffs? Using Sean Tierney’s WAR Lineup Creator, I went to find out how many projected points the Canucks will get with Ferland.
Adding up the team’s total WAR (Wins Above Replacement) the model projected the Canucks to finish next season with 83 points which is two more than last year.
This model can’t predict everything, and the Canucks are capable of exceeding 83 points next season. Hopefully, Ferland can produce with the likes of Horvat, Pettersson and Boeser and help them get back into the playoffs.