NSH edge stats stamkos marchessault skjei

NHL.com will identify key EDGE stats for major offseason moves. Today, we look at the Nashville Predators, who signed forwards Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault and defenseman Brady Skjei in free agency.

The Nashville Predators made a huge splash at the start of free agency by signing forwards Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault and defenseman Brady Skjei. The Predators are now arguably the most-improved team in the NHL this offseason, and their advanced metrics suggest that their Stanley Cup window has reopened.

The decision to re-sign elite goalie Juuse Saros, another advanced stats standout, to an eight-year extension also suggests Nashville’s relatively new regime, led by Barry Trotz, is planning to be a contender for most – if not all – of those years ahead.

Although the Predators have never won the Stanley Cup, they have an elite option at each of the three positions in defenseman Roman Josi, forward Filip Forsberg (48 goals last season; sixth in NHL) and Saros. Nashville should benefit largely from having Stamkos, who signed a four-year contract, Marchessault, who signed a five-year contract, and Skjei, who signed a seven-year contract, in most situations.

The Predators now feature two strong scoring lines with the trio of Forsberg, center Ryan O'Reilly and wing Gustav Nyquist still intact and ready to join forces with their two significant forward additions, both past Stanley Cup champions in Stamkos (2020, 2021 with Lightning) and Marchessault (2023 with Vegas Golden Knights; won Conn Smythe Trophy).

When Stamkos scored at least 40 goals for the seventh time of his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, he was tied for the fifth-most mid-range goals (16) in the NHL, ranked ninth in mid-range shots on goal (109) and scored three long-range goals (one behind the NHL forward lead of four).

Stamkos has always been known for his hard shot, and the NHL EDGE metrics suggest the 34-year-old is still near the top of his game in that regard; he had the third-most 90-plus mile per hour shot attempts (36) among NHL forwards last season behind Alex Ovechkin (68) and Tage Thompson (46). Stamkos was also just outside the top 10 forwards in max shooting speed (96.00 mph) and ranked in the 82nd percentile in high-danger goals (13).

Marchessault, another 40-goal scorer (NHL career-high 42 with Vegas last season) that’s now a part of the Predators offense, ranked 24th in the League in shots on goal (266) and was quietly in the 89th percentile in total skating distance on the power play (34.50 miles). In terms of shot location, Marchessault ranked just outside the top 10 in high-danger goals (20; 96th percentile).

But although Nashville has a glitzy, high-octane forward group these days, it has also not lost the defensive identity it had under longtime general manager David Poile; Trotz, in fact, ran a structured system in his career coaching the Predators, Washington Capitals (won Stanley Cup in 2018) and New York Islanders (made final four in 2020, 2021).

Skjei was tied for 11th among NHL defensemen in goals (13) last season, tied for 12th at the position in shots on goal (185) and ranked seventh among D-men in offensive zone time percentage at even strength (45.5%), giving the Predators much more support behind Josi in the lineup.

Saros, meanwhile, was tied for the second-best mid-range save percentage (.915) in the NHL last season behind Jeremy Swayman of the Boston Bruins (.919). Saros led the League in goalie appearances (64), faced the most shots on goal (1,845) and made the most saves (1,672) and was also tied for the fourth-most games with greater than a .900 save percentage (34) and had the third-most goal support (187) behind Alexandar Georgiev (219) of the Colorado Avalanche and Stuart Skinner (197) of the Edmonton Oilers.

The Predators also had a robust EDGE stats profile as a team last season, ranking in the NHL’s top 10 in high-danger shots on goal (722; fifth), high-danger goals (141; ninth), mid-range SOG (704; eighth), long-range SOG (555; ninth) and long-range goals (19; eighth). Nashville was also tied for 10th in shot attempts percentage (51.1), a strong indicator through the years of a team being a Stanley Cup contender.

So although Nashville had a disappointing showing in losing to the Vancouver Canucks in six games during the Western Conference First Round, especially with their opponent’s elite goalie Thatcher Demko sustaining a season-ending injury early in the series, the additions of Stamkos, Marchessault and Skjei could not only get the Predators back to the postseason but also tilt a future seven-game playoff series into their favor.


Full EDGE stats profile: Steven Stamkos  

Full EDGE stats profile: Jonathan Marchessault 

Full EDGE stats profile: Brady Skjei 

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