August 08 2014 07:42AM
There once was a time when Eric Tangradi was pegged to be an up-and-coming power forward in the NHL who could one day score a ton of goals. There’s a reason a 2nd round pick was used on the player.
Tangradi managed to find the scoreboard quite a bit in the OHL with the Belleville Bulls, and after being dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins along with Chris Kunitz from the Anaheim Ducks for Ryan Whitney (wow, nice deal there Anaheim!) Tangradi scored decent numbers with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL.
Tangradi has not been able to put up much for numbers at all since becoming an NHL player, and the Penguins ultimately dealt him to the Jets for a measly 6th round pick.
Tangradi has only totaled boxcars of 5-10-15 in 136 NHL games, so based on past performance, it’s not looking like Tangradi has a long future in the NHL. The saving grace for Tangradi may be that the NHL is becoming an analytics game with advanced stats becoming the new fad in the league.
Tangradi had a very impressive 53.8% Corsi last season, and also produced high Corsi numbers in 12-13 and 11-12 with 50.1% and an incredible (albeit in likely sheltered-minutes) 55.3%.
Tangradi drives the play with his big body and seems to keep the puck away from his own net, and that can be a very valuable type of player to have. Tangradi could be a reliable 3rd line winger if only he could find a way to score just a little more. There’s a big difference between a 3rd line player who can score 3 and who can score 10.
Tangradi is lucky he’s a left-winger, because after Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd, it’s anybody’s guess who will get the most ice time beyond. Tangradi’s possession numbers should warrant more playing time, but Paul Maurice tended to use Jamie Wright more than Tangradi.
If Tangradi wins the third line job over the likes of TJ Galiardi, Carl Klingberg or even Eric O’Dell, he will get 12 minutes and could see his production increase. However, I’m not willing to bet Tangradi has an explosive off-season, but 20 points is within reach, but it likely will not get done.
1. Does Tangradi need to score more to stay in the NHL?
It's well known that scoring is not Tangradi's forte, but he may need it to be to continue his NHL career. It will be a big test for the 25-year-old, and if he can find a way to at least chip near 10 goals, he will become a more valuable NHLer.
2. Do Tangradi's possession numbers have anything to do with his linemates?
Tangradi has posted incredible possession numbers as I mentioned earlier, but is it really all his doing? Tangradi's most likely linemates were Olli Jokinen and Anthony Peluso, and while the former is a decent possession player, the ladder posted horrible possession numbers. Based on that observation alone, it's safe to say he's doing something right when he's on the ice.
3. Has Tangradi become all that he can be in the big league?
2nd round draft picks are usually selected because of their potential and not their immediate help to an NHL club (Patrice Bergeron aside), and Tangradi was selected to become a potential bonafide power forward. Well, to this day it doesn't look like Tangradi will ever reach his full potential, but has he reached his ceiling? Only ice time will tell.