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Who are our Centers moving forward??


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@Thorny's point about Reino helping Eichel is not to be ignored, but I think a healthy Eichel on a well-coached team will nevertheless be able to thrive with other wingers.

I also agree with @dudacek that I'd like to see Reino at 2C and let Cozens and Mitts fight it out for 3C.  I think Cozens will win that competition, but if Mitts improves as much year-over-year as he did from last year to this year, anything is possible.

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2 hours ago, Thorny said:

I agree with you that Reinhart is our best 2C right now, and that he's best maximized at 2C. But it's like the old conversation about maximizing Skinner, or maximizing the team - only this time with someone who's actually at this time playing really well. 

All else being equal I agree Sam at 2C for next year makes the most sense - but while we may be thinking too hard or whatever you meant by that, I'd submit that you might be undervaluing the degree to which Reinhart helps maximize our top line and specifically Eichel. Eichel is great, but Sam makes him way better. Our 2nd line undoubtedly will be at it's best with Sam there, to me that's no question. But there's a non-negligible chance that the amount the top line "suffers" without Reinhart there is a greater differential than the 2nd line with or w/o Sam. 

A lot depends on the progress of Cozens and Mittelstadt. If either makes up enough gap on Sam, there will be a point where, even as inferior to him overall, the team benefits more with either or one of them at 2C and Reinhart back with Jack. 

Granato doesn't need to have them adhere strictly to their positions in the offensive zone, anyways., if he doesn't want. Positional alignment will be much more important in the D and neutral zones. 

In the neutral zone, for example, Reinhart has a fantastic affect on Eichel's transition numbers from the wing. 

Great post.

The bolded is the crux of the debate and we won't know until we see it play out. Another one to chew on: what if playing Cozens on Jack's wing accelerates Dylan's offensive development in such a way that he becomes Reinhart's equal as Jack's sidekick almost immediately? It's pretty well acknowledged wing is an easier position to play and I find it easier to see Dylan jumping from a 30-point 3C to a 60-point 1RW than I do to a 50-point 2C.

By the overthinking comment, I meant not paying enough attention to how well Sam is actually playing centre; it's not like he's been pretty good, it's that he's producing like a legit 1C. We carry the baggage of the Sam-to-centre history, and the 'Dylan needs to become our 2C' projections. Sam's play should be changing that. If we had flipped RW Sam Reinhart for C Tom Ranheim a month back and Ranheim had played like Reinhart is, moving Ranheim to the wing when Eichel returns would not have been a consideration.

 

2 hours ago, JohnC said:

Did Mitts last year play well enough to indicate that he could be a second or third line center? Based on his previous sketchy play there were discussions whether he would even be on the roster. Am I projecting that Cozens could be one of our centers next year? Yes. Although it seems that this youngster has hit the wall (not surprising) I still strongly believe that he has the potential to be one of our centers next year. And in the not too distant future I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up as our #2C.

I expect Cozens to become a top 6 forward. I do not expect Cozens to be a 2C on a playoff team next year.

7 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

@Thorny's point about Reino helping Eichel is not to be ignored, but I think a healthy Eichel on a well-coached team will nevertheless be able to thrive with other wingers.

I also agree with @dudacek that I'd like to see Reino at 2C and let Cozens and Mitts fight it out for 3C.  I think Cozens will win that competition, but if Mitts improves as much year-over-year as he did from last year to this year, anything is possible.

How much of that is projecting for Cozens, and how much is thinking Mittelstadt's past month is a mirage?

Generally speaking how many points do you expect from each of them next year?

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12 minutes ago, dudacek said:

How much of that is projecting for Cozens, and how much is thinking Mittelstadt's past month is a mirage?

Generally speaking how many points do you expect from each of them next year?

Well, certainly there's a fair amount of projecting for Cozens.  But I also think he puts more pressure on the opponent with his speed and his force, and is more effective 5-on-5, than Mitts, who is more of an opportunist and scores more on the PP.

And while I'm happy to see Mitts showing that he isn't a washout, it's worth remembering that he has 11 ES pts in 35 games this year.  His scoring has improved over the past month, to be sure, but it's still 7 ES pts in 15 games -- i.e. solid scoring in a small sample size, but nothing that makes me think he's a lock to be a productive 2C or 3C next year.

I'd guess 30ish pts from each of them next year, topping out in the mid-40s, without much spread between them, and with Mitts getting more PP pts than Cozens.

 

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It should be noted that while actually playing the center position (he plays the wing spot on pp and 6v5) Reinhart has 6 points in 15 games or 6 points 5v5 in the 15 games at center. 

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5 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

It should be noted that while actually playing the center position (he plays the wing spot on pp and 6v5) Reinhart has 6 points in 15 games or 6 points 5v5 in the 15 games at center. 

So 3 points with the goalie pulled?

I have him with 4G and 2A on the PP, 15 points overall, in the past 16 games.

https://www.espn.com/nhl/player/gamelog/_/id/3114722/sam-reinhart

 

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4 hours ago, dudacek said:

Forgive me for using pace, which I know can frequently be misleading, but I think this discussion needs some context. I think the first numbers are generally an indication of what we could reasonably expect next year. The 2nd show what each player has accomplished in their current role under the current system.

Over 82, based on this season's pace:

  • Mittelstadt 21/21/42/-20
  • Cozens 9/21/30/-17

Over 82, based on this month's pace:

  • Mittelstadt 40/26/66/+31
  • Cozens 0/71/71/-7

Given the upheaval this season and the youth of each player I don't think we can use this season to effectively predict next, but Cozens has shown nothing to indicate he is capable of being a 2nd-line centre next season. Mittelstadt maybe but the sample size is very small.

@dudacek the above looks like new math.

Cozens has played 10 games in April and has 7 assists.  That's about 56 pts in a season.

Mitts has played 15 games in April and has 7 goals and 5 assists.  That's about 37 goals and 27 assists over a full season.  

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15 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

@dudacek the above looks like new math.

Cozens has played 10 games in April and has 7 assists.  That's about 56 pts in a season.

Mitts has played 15 games in April and has 7 goals and 5 assists.  That's about 37 goals and 27 assists over a full season.  

Good catch on Cozens. I multiplied by 10, rather than 8 for some reason. Fixed in the original post.

For the other, I went back a month, so the March 31 game is included.

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11 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Maybe? Not sure about that. 

There's one 6x5 assist during that time, on Thompson's goal.

Goals

BUF #23 REINHART(13), Wrist, Off. Zone, 30 ft.Assists: #21 OKPOSO(6); #55 RISTOLAINEN(6) 23,21,68,55,78,35
BUF #23 REINHART(14), Snap, Off. Zone, 17 ft.Assist: #53 SKINNER(3) 23,53,68,33,44,35
BUF #23 REINHART(15), Tip-In, Off. Zone, 19 ft.Assists: #24 COZENS(5); #10 JOKIHARJU(5) 23,24,53,10,26,31
BUF #23 REINHART(16), Wrist, Off. Zone, 19 ft.Assists: #68 OLOFSSON(14); #53 SKINNER(5) 23,53,68,33,78,31
BUF #23 REINHART(20), Wrist, Def. Zone, 138 ft. 15,23,37,54,55,1
BUF #23 REINHART(21), Slap, Off. Zone, 39 ft.Assists: #26 DAHLIN(18); #31 TOKARSKI(1) 23,53,68,10,26,31

Assists

BUF #72 THOMPSON(2), Snap, Off. Zone, 31 ft.Assists: #37 MITTELSTADT(5); #23 REINHART(10)17,23,37,72,4,62
BUF #68 OLOFSSON(10), Wrist, Off. Zone, 35 ft.Assists: #21 OKPOSO(8); #23 REINHART(11)23,21,68,55,78,35
BUF #53 SKINNER(4), Backhand, Off. Zone, 8 ft.Assists: #23 REINHART(12); #26 DAHLIN(13)23,53,68,10,26,35

though I haven't updated the last game

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6 hours ago, dudacek said:

Great post.

The bolded is the crux of the debate and we won't know until we see it play out. Another one to chew on: what if playing Cozens on Jack's wing accelerates Dylan's offensive development in such a way that he becomes Reinhart's equal as Jack's sidekick almost immediately? It's pretty well acknowledged wing is an easier position to play and I find it easier to see Dylan jumping from a 30-point 3C to a 60-point 1RW than I do to a 50-point 2C.

By the overthinking comment, I meant not paying enough attention to how well Sam is actually playing centre; it's not like he's been pretty good, it's that he's producing like a legit 1C. We carry the baggage of the Sam-to-centre history, and the 'Dylan needs to become our 2C' projections. Sam's play should be changing that. If we had flipped RW Sam Reinhart for C Tom Ranheim a month back and Ranheim had played like Reinhart is, moving Ranheim to the wing when Eichel returns would not have been a consideration.

 

I expect Cozens to become a top 6 forward. I do not expect Cozens to be a 2C on a playoff team next year.

How much of that is projecting for Cozens, and how much is thinking Mittelstadt's past month is a mirage?

Generally speaking how many points do you expect from each of them next year?

You're right - I don't think it would be much of debate at all without the baggage. For me personally I'm not affected by Sam's past positioning baggage, but obviously the baggage that I mentioned re: his exceptional chemistry with Jack. It'll all come down to the progress of the 2 younger Cs. As we were talking before, I don't have a problem penciling in kind of a "best case" line up scenario in my personal configuration, because it looks like we have a SURE bet for 2C on the team, anyways, should that not work out. 

I say "best case" not only cause it would indicate strong development from the kids, but also because I'm assuming no one can match Sam's chemistry with Jack, but to your point - maybe Dylan does. 

I just hope if Dylan is shifted to wing, it doesn't take as long to get him back to C as it did with Sam. 

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5 hours ago, rakish said:

There's one 6x5 assist during that time, on Thompson's goal.

Goals

BUF #23 REINHART(13), Wrist, Off. Zone, 30 ft.Assists: #21 OKPOSO(6); #55 RISTOLAINEN(6) 23,21,68,55,78,35
BUF #23 REINHART(14), Snap, Off. Zone, 17 ft.Assist: #53 SKINNER(3) 23,53,68,33,44,35
BUF #23 REINHART(15), Tip-In, Off. Zone, 19 ft.Assists: #24 COZENS(5); #10 JOKIHARJU(5) 23,24,53,10,26,31
BUF #23 REINHART(16), Wrist, Off. Zone, 19 ft.Assists: #68 OLOFSSON(14); #53 SKINNER(5) 23,53,68,33,78,31
BUF #23 REINHART(20), Wrist, Def. Zone, 138 ft. 15,23,37,54,55,1
BUF #23 REINHART(21), Slap, Off. Zone, 39 ft.Assists: #26 DAHLIN(18); #31 TOKARSKI(1) 23,53,68,10,26,31

Assists

BUF #72 THOMPSON(2), Snap, Off. Zone, 31 ft.Assists: #37 MITTELSTADT(5); #23 REINHART(10)17,23,37,72,4,62
BUF #68 OLOFSSON(10), Wrist, Off. Zone, 35 ft.Assists: #21 OKPOSO(8); #23 REINHART(11)23,21,68,55,78,35
BUF #53 SKINNER(4), Backhand, Off. Zone, 8 ft.Assists: #23 REINHART(12); #26 DAHLIN(13)23,53,68,10,26,35

though I haven't updated the last game

So 9 even strength, 6 on the PP, but 1 of the ES points was a 6 on 5?

Edit - I can see one at 6v5 for, the assist on the Thompson goal, and another 6v5 against point, an empty net goal for Sam

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11 hours ago, Thorny said:

So 9 even strength, 6 on the PP, but 1 of the ES points was a 6 on 5?

Edit - I can see one at 6v5 for, the assist on the Thompson goal, and another 6v5 against point, an empty net goal for Sam

missed that

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