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What Yegor Sharangovich brings to the Calgary Flames

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Photo credit:Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
9 months ago
One of the pending unrestricted free agents the Calgary Flames had – Tyler Toffoli – will be wearing a new jersey (pun intended) as former 20 goal scorer Yegor Sharangovich came back in the deal from the Devils. For those unfamiliar with Sharangovich, he plays all three forward positions, has a laser beam of a shot, and signed for $3.1 million per year for two years with the club.
Lets break it down further.

Offensive

This past season saw Sharangovich lose ice time with the emergence of top draft pick Dawson Mercer. At the trade deadline they brought in Timo Meier and it pushed him into even less appealing spots. When given the time and opportunity the year before he really came through, making this a possible high upside transaction for Calgary.
As someone who plays all three sides of the ice, I can understand why there are consistency issues in the maps across all three seasons. There’s a progressive pattern of him getting his opportunities closer and closer to the net, but he’s far more effective with his wrist shots from mid-range. If he’s going to play center, he needs to work on making sure to support his defence and not let dangerous shots come from the middle of the ice in tight.
He also needs to shoot more – but coming from a Devils team with more weapons to a Flames team that will have Lindholm (maybe) and Coronato as the shooters should lead to more chances. He’s going to be told to use his shot and to be the shooter – something that could see his volume shooting spike.
This is what he is effectively coming in to replace. Sharangovich has not ever had a shooting impact quite that large so it would be completely unreasonable to expect the same level of production. Maybe between him and Coronato, they can do it by committee, but that means more pressure on the already established Sharangovich instead of the rookie to come through.
Offensively Sharangovich should be able to help – and as GM Craig Conroy said the team is going to find him better looks and chances to get scoring opportunities.

Defensive

This part is where I say some unflattering things. Throughout his just three-year career Sharangovich hasn’t stood out as a driver of shot limitation. He’s certainly got a more offensive approach to the game of hockey – which the Flames needed trading away their top point producer – but the same tier of defensive hockey did not return.
Coaching and systems play a bigger part in how these play out so hold out hope. I’m not saying he isn’t capable of improvement, but improvement in this aspect is certainly needed. Not every player needs to turn into Patrice Bergeron for me to be happy, but you do need to constantly produce more quality looks than you give up. The consistency in that is what you’d like to see – we just haven’t from Sharangovich so far in his career.

Transitional

One of the things that’s becoming more and more noticeable with data tracking is a players ability to go through the middle of the ice. Do they succeed in getting out of their own zone? Do they dump the puck in or carry it with possession? How successful are they at doing so? It’s an amalgamation of all these things over at AllThreeZones.com – the best publicly available site to view these sorts of things.
As we see Sharangovich has 265.8 minutes tracked – with an average of 15 minutes a game that’s 17-18 games of data. To normalize the numbers and make a proper sample you need 30 and should have 60 (the more the merrier with statistics), but this is the best thing we have publicly available so I’m using it.
One thing should stand out clear as day – he’s certainly a shoot first player. Rebounds created + shots of HD passes alone are going to be great playing with high leverage passers like Huberdeau, or crease crashers like Coleman or Mangiapane. Maybe he develops some chemistry with Jakob Pelletier – all positive things because you know what this guy is going to bring.
He’s fairly average in the neutral zone, tries to carry the puck in more than dumping it and succeeds slightly more than he fails. He also profiles like a heavy forechecker but he has trouble coming up with the puck. Calgary’s great at that aspect it could improve him some more. Last thing to note is pressures/60 – he spends a lot of time pressuring the other team meaning play is moving in a positive direction. Just needs to work on recovering those pucks.

Final Thoughts

Temper your expectations for what Sharangovich should be. He absolutely has the potential to be a 20-goal guy for Calgary but his potential at becoming a top line player isn’t strong. A middle-six scoring winger that needs to improve his forechecking abilities – my best way to describe him. If he plays with someone else that can dig the puck out of the corner and get it to him he can certainly put it in the net.
The $3.1 million by two years contract that walks him to free agency was incredibly dumb. Not only is it a bit too high on the AAV, it only works in the teams favour if Sharangovich doesn’t succeed. If he becomes a 50-point player in Calgary you either have to extend him based on one year of play at bigger money (think $5+ million) or you get stuck having to trade yet another pending UFA. Great deal for the player – not the best contract given out by the Flames.
They’re still figuring out proper asset management I guess, but at least Toffoli didn’t go for nothing. They did get a competent NHL shooter back in the deal.

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