We’re now firmly in the NASCAR numbers in our annual review, as Markus Granlund is next up.
Did you know that Markus Granlund played 48 games in the regular season with Calgary? He even suited up for the playoffs. For a second-year pro of just 22 years of age, that’s a pretty big year for his development. He was originally chosen by the Flames in the second round of the 2011 Draft.
The challenge for his third pro year? Getting good at the NHL level, because he was a bit limited in his effectiveness in the big league.
As seemingly happened with a lot of the team’s younger players, Hartley kept Markus Granlund’s deployments concentrated with a handful of players. Here’s the gang that played 100 or more minutes at 5-on-5 with him.
Generally, Markus Granlund is a significant downward drag on just about everybody that he plays with. T.J. Brodie, noted good possession player, is an outlier here.
Offensively? Granlund is pretty good. Defensively? Not terrible. The worst thing about him is his face-off numbers, which at 36.8% were just awful. Only four Flames took more draws than Granlund:
- Monahan: 1,830 draws (49.3%)
- Backlund: 875 draws (48.3%)
- Stajan: 602 draws (50.3%)
- Jooris: 567 draws (48.7%)
- Granlund: 524 draws (36.8%)
The bad face-off numbers don’t entirely muddle Granlund’s effectiveness; he out-scored the very useful Matt Stajan on the season, despite playing less. That said, Stajan was given defensive responsibilities that Granlund wasn’t, and Hartley seemed to give #60 a bit of reign on the third line to create some offense. But it was likely Granlund’s face-off struggles that saw him get sent back to Adirondack mid-way through the season.
And it was his effectiveness on the farm – and the fact that the coaching staff seemed to like him (and his knowledge of their systems) – that got him called up repeatedly.
As you can see, Granlund was primarily used as a bottom-six fixture, occasionally getting bumped up when players got injured or slumped. His possession numbers and face-off stats aren’t great, which suggests that at 22 years old, he’s not a great NHL player.
But let’s face it, few are.
Granlund may be facing a cross-roads. He’s a left-handed center. He’s creative offensively and responsible defensively. But he’s stuck in Calgary’s deepest position and he’s arguably one of their worst at it. So either he’ll be moved to the wing, or moved to another team. 2015-16 will be the final year of his entry-level deal. He’ll either figure out the NHL game at center, or some changes will probably be made. I like a lot of aspects of his game, and I figure they at least try him out on the wing just out of asset management considerations.
2014-15 BY THE NUMBERS
|#1 Jonas Hiller||#19 David Jones|
|#3 David Schlemko||#21 Mason Raymond|
|#4 Kris Russell||#23 Sean Monahan|
|#5 Mark Giordano||#24 Jiri Hudler|
|#6 Dennis Wideman||#25 Brandon Bollig|
|#7 T.J. Brodie||#29 Deryk Engelland|
|#8 Joe Colborne||#31 Karri Ramo|
|#11 Mikael Backlund||#32 Paul Byron|
|#13 Johnny Gaudreau||#33 Raphael Diaz|
|#15 Ladislav Smid||#60 Markus Granlund|
|#17 Lance Bouma||#79 Micheal Ferland|
|#18 Matt Stajan||#86 Josh Jooris|