Pittsburgh Penguins: Newcomer Colton Sceviour A Penalty Kill Specialist
|Photo Credit: Paul Sancya/AP|
We continue our breakdown of the Pittsburgh Penguins 2019-2020 season with individual player recaps. The feature will look at a season outlook for the upcoming season as well. Today will feature Colton Sceviour.
Entering this offseason, you can feel that Jim Rutherford was going to shake things up. One of the candidates to go was going to be Patric Hornqvist, as if the Pittsburgh Penguins found a suitor for him it’d be a perfect opportunity to shed a little bit of salary.
By time it was all said and done, Hornqvist was a member of the Florida Panthers, and the Penguins had taken in extra salary.
In the trade they acquired former first-round pick, Mike Matheson, as well as forward Colton Sceviour.
Sceviour, 31, is a former fourth-round pick back in 2007 by the Dallas Stars. He showed a bit of a flash of offensive ability, registering 32 goals in 54 games with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League (AHL).
He would eventually settle in as a defensive-minded winger whose specialty was on the penalty kill.
After signing a two-year deal with the Panthers as an unrestricted free agent in 2016, Sceviour signed a three-year extension in 2018. This upcoming season will be the final year of the deal that counts $1.2 million towards the salary cap.
Sceviour: 2019-2020 By The Numbers
Like Mark Jankowski with the Calgary Flames, Sceviour had the kind of season that made him expendable to his team.
After posting four consecutive seasons of at least 20 points, Sceviour has failed to top that mark in each of the last two seasons. In 2017-2018 he scored 11 goals, which is a tie for his career high. He has 11 combined in each of the last two seasons, six of which came last year.
*Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick, based off all forwards with at least 250 minutes at 5v5 during the 2019-2020 season.
Sceviour, not unlike Evan Rodrigues, didn’t have too much jump off the page statically except for his shot volume. Sceviour shot the puck quite a bit, but couldn’t make anything of it. The rest of the numbers align themselves with what you’d probably expect out of a fourth line winger.
As you would expect from a defensive-minded forward, Sceivour’s metrics in his own end were strong. His GA/60 and On-Ice SV% were both in the 70s for percentile rankings.
So despite not generating much offense when he was on the ice, his goal rate was a respectable positive number.
Sceivour almost always got the defensive assignments, as just 19.49% of his zone starts began in the offensive zone.
He was also the go to guy on the penalty kill for the Panthers. Sceivour led all Panthers’ forwards in ice-time while shorthanded with 169 minutes, a total was good for seventh most in the entire league.
The Penguins relied on their fourth line to handle the majority of the defensive zone assignments last season, and they excelled at that. With Zach Aston-Reese out to begin the season, it opens up all three forwards spot to start.
When he returns, however, the Penguins have some interesting options if they again want to rely on the fourth line when in the defensive zone. Sceviour has positive defensive metrics, as has Jankowski and obviously Aston-Reese - who received a fourth and fifth place vote for the Selke Trophy - so the trio may end up combining to be the go-to line in those situations.
They don’t drive play towards the offensive zone the way Blueger and Tanev did, so that’d be a concern, especially if the defense is as effective as last season’s fourth line.
He will have to beat out Sam Lafferty, who provides far more offensive upside to the lineup, but expect both to get playing time.