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Stastny provides versatility for Jets

Ability to score, defend, win face-offs gives Winnipeg deployment options

by Rob Vollman / NHL.com Correspondent

The Winnipeg Jets made a strong move toward Stanley Cup contention with the acquisition of Paul Stastny, a versatile two-way center who should provide a boost in terms of scoring and shot-based metrics, and help solidify the performance of the power-play and penalty-kill units.

The St. Louis Blues traded Stastny to the Jets for a conditional first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and forward prospect Erik Foley on Monday, the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline.

Stastny could be used in a variety of ways in Winnipeg, given his versatility.

 

[RELATED: Stastny traded to Jets by Blues]

 

The most intriguing possibility is that he will replace Andrew Copp as the center on a high-scoring line with Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers, who lead the Jets with 31 and 24 goals.

Video: How do you feel about Stastny moving to Winnipeg?

In this situation, Stastny can be expected to score at a rate close to his peak, which he set early in his NHL career with an average of 0.96 points per game through his first four seasons (2006-07 to 2009-10), all with the Colorado Avalanche. Since, he has averaged 0.69 points per game, including 0.63 this season.

Stastny has also proven capable of handling tough minutes against top competition. This season, his most frequent opponents among forwards include Johnny Gaudreau (20:37) and Sean Monahan (19:13) of the Calgary Flames, Tyler Seguin (20:34) and Jamie Benn (20:13) of the Dallas Stars, Ryan Johansen of the Nashville Predators (19:46), and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers (19:06), according to Natural Stat Trick.

Independent of his role, Stastny can help boost shot-based metrics for Winnipeg, which is tied for 14th in the NHL with an SAT of plus-127 (2,785-2,658) at 5-on-5.

Since 2009-10, teams have outshot opponents 8,257-8,036 with Stastny on the ice at 5-on-5, for an SAT of plus-221. In relative terms, Stastny has boosted his team's share of shot attempts from 48.74 to 50.68 percent, for a Relative SAT of plus-1.94 percent. This season, his Relative SAT of plus-5.23 percent ranks 38th among those to play at least 20 games.

Video: NHL Tonight talks impact of Stastny trade to Jets

Winning face-offs is one of the ways Stastny helps give his teams the advantage in shot attempts. He has a face-off winning percent of 53.4 in his NHL career, and his 55.2 percent this season is tied for 20th among those to take at least 200 face-offs.

Stastny can also help bolster Winnipeg's special teams, which are already among the League's best. The Jets are second in the NHL on the power play (24.4 percent) and tied for fifth on the penalty kill (82.8 percent). In his NHL career, Stastny has averaged 3:00 per game on the power play and 1:25 killing penalties. This season, he has averaged 2:44 and 1:09.

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