Despite the disappointing playoff exit, the 2021-22 Ontario Reign season was a good one. Several players were called up and made an impact in the NHL, while there continued to be an influx of young talent that came in throughout the season.
With so many players in and out of the lineup, it can be challenging to get a read on how those that didn’t have full seasons under their belts fared. With the help of InStat Hockey, we’ll take a look at some statistics on a per-60 minute basis, at even strength, for players that appeared in at least 20 games for the Reign.
A note, playoff numbers are included in these.
*All statistics are from InStat Hockey and are per-60 minutes at Even Strength unless otherwise noted*
Average Time On Ice
Cameron Gaunce led the way in this category with 17:47. The Reign relied heavily on the veteran defenseman. Despite strong debuts from rookies Jordan Spence and Helge Grans, Gaunce shouldered the load at even strength.
T.J. Tynan was the only forward to eclipse 15 minutes (15:32).
When including special teams, Spence’s 22:18 led the way.
No real surprises here. The top two in this category per-60 minutes at even strength were Martin Frk (1.79) and Samuel Fagemo (1.37). Though the third and fourth place finishers didn’t meet my (admittedly arbitrary) 20-game threshold, I thought that Rasmus Kupari (1.3) and Quinton Byfield (1.19) were worth mentioning in their short stints in the AHL. They played in 15 and 11 games, respectively.
This one could raise some eyebrows. I certainly didn’t expect to see rookie Taylor Ward come in at the top with 1.39 (Tynan finished with 1.38).
In March, Ward signed a one-year deal and should get an extended look in Ontario next season. In 16 regular-season games, he picked up 10 points, seven of those being assists. He tallied one assist in five playoff games.
He showed very well in his professional debut and should be an intriguing player to watch in the Kings’ system.
In overall assists, it was indeed the assist leader Tynan who topped this category (2.3). Ward recorded the second most (1.85), while Gabriel Vilardi (1.82) and former fifth-overall pick Alex Turcotte (1.75) round out the top four. As we’ll see in a minute, Turcotte starts to show up more frequently on these statistics per-60 minutes.
Austin Wagner (3.3 scoring chances per-60 minutes) led the team, which may not be surprising given his speed. But it was the player that checked in at second place that caught my attention. Alex Turcotte had 2.5 scoring chances per-60 minutes.
On one of the highest-scoring teams in the league that boasted a 40-goal scorer and the AHL MVP, it was Wagner and Turcotte who created the most scoring chances per 60 minutes at even strength. Speaking specifically to Turcotte here, obviously, his injuries are the headline. But if there were questions as to whether or not he was creating chances when he was on the ice, it would appear he was.
It’s probably not surprising to see Jacob Doty top this list, drawing 2.4 penalties per-60 minutes. But what may be a surprise? The player who drew the second-most penalties. You guessed it, Alex Turcotte.
Assists, scoring chances, and penalties drawn – all three categories Turcotte was noteworthy in when he was in the lineup. You can’t help but continue to feel for the player who is undoubtedly making an impact at some level when he’s on the ice. He just cannot stay on the ice.
No one will be surprised that Martin Frk led everyone in shots per-60 minutes at even strength (16). The Reign’s shot-mentality from the blue line shows up here as well, with Frederic Allard and Austin Strand each tallying 13 shots per 60 up next. The forwards that finished second and third to Frk? Youngsters Samuel Fagemo and Tyler Madden.
Fagemo had a great season, tallying 27 goals, and should be knocking on LA’s door next season. Madden was a player I really liked throughout the year, though he also had trouble staying on the ice. The 2022-23 campaign will be big ones for each of these players.
Shots on goal
Of the ones that actually made it on net, Frk (9) led the way while Fagemo, Wagner, and Jaret Anderson-Dolan each came in with eight.
Some of the usual suspects show up here, with Doty (9) and Brett Sutter (6) doing what they do best. It is great to see Frk, who led the team in goals, also be among the leaders in hits per-60, matching Sutter’s six.
Acquired at the NHL trade deadline, Frederic Allard was relied upon a lot on the Ontario Reign blueline. He averaged 17:05 time-on-ice at even strength and led the team in blocked shots per-60 minutes with 4.6. Two more defensemen, Strand (3.7) and Sean Durzi (3.6), rounded out the top three.
Frk led all forwards with 3.5. He really did it all for this team. The Czech forward is an unrestricted free agent this summer. Boy, he would surely be missed in this lineup.
A quick aside, though he only played two games, it is very much on-brand that Tyler Inamoto, known affectionately for “eating pucks,” had the highest number of blocked shots per-60 minutes on the Reign with eight.
Brett Sutter led the team in overall face-off percentage (55%). In second place? There’s that man again, Alex Turcotte (54%). Turcotte also led the team in FO% in the defensive zone (57%).
For the most part, this is a little bit of fun with numbers. But it’s hard not to take note of how often Turcotte shows up in these categories. He was an impactful player when he was in the lineup and on the ice. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe that a player creating as many scoring chances as he is couldn’t eventually find production. He just needs to see consistent time. Here’s hoping for a healthy 2022-23 season.