Andrej Nestrasil: A Hidden Gem

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Leafs put Matt Frattin on waivers; Red Wings place Andrej Nestrasil on waivers as well</p>&mdash; Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Real_ESPNLeBrun/status/535120968268906496″>November 19, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Waiver pickup Andrej Nestrasil posted a respectable 23 points in 55 games playing on one of the best shutdown lines in the NHL, Nestrasil’s underrated season ended came to an end after he was hit into the boards awkwardly and damaged his vertebrae. <blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”in” dir=”ltr”>Kadri hit on Nestrasil cc <a href=”https://twitter.com/echoesontherun”>@echoesontherun</a&gt; <a href=”https://t.co/2nleUcRxfd”>pic.twitter.com/2nleUcRxfd</a></p>&mdash; Stephanie (@myregularface) <a href=”https://twitter.com/myregularface/status/703043139452444672″>February 26, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Whats so great about Nestrasil is not the points that he puts up, it’s his completely dominant possession game. He and Jordan Staal were a deadly duo generating plenty of offensive zone time because they were over the top good at the cycle game. Here is his HERO chart. nest

“3rd line shutdown winger” means he receives 3rd line minutes in a defensive role. Among active NHLers in the past 2 years in ZS Adj CF% RelTM when the score is close, Nestrasil ranks 6th overall for forwards. Only Bergeron, Thornton, Marchand, Koivu, and Perreault are ahead of him. I’d say that 4 out of the 5 are considered to be “elite” defensive forwards to most people.CAR usage

As you can see, Nestrasil receives the hardest deployment of all Canes along side Jordan Staal, and he does the best possession-wise. Does he only do good because of Jordan Staal? Well, looking at an (unfinished) statistic by @DTMAboutHeart on Twitter which looks at Corsi impact while taking into account their surroundings or “environment,” where Nestrasil ranks 13th.

Overall, Nestrasil is a very skilled player who is exceptional along the boards, he produces extremely well, while being deployed very defensively. He has the upside to be a 20 goal, 55 point player (if he gets more ice time) who is elite defensively, and can play special teams. Here is a pretty sweet goal that he scored on the New York Islanders (backup) goaltender Jaroslav Halak <blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Nestrasil’s 2nd goal <a href=”https://t.co/gH3gur0QQ8″>pic.twitter.com/gH3gur0QQ8</a></p>&mdash; Stephanie (@myregularface) <a href=”https://twitter.com/myregularface/status/698680747016724481″>February 14, 2016</a></blockquote>
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