Filip Chytil and his odd start to the season

filip chytil

Filip Chytil is one of the most highly touted prospects to hit New York in a while. He has arguably had more hype than Pavel Buchnevich, and that is due to his first round pedigree. Chytil impressed last year out of camp, with a goal and two assists through nine games before being sent to Hartford. There, he put up 11-20-31 in 46 games on a bad team while showing he was dominating the game at that level.

Fast forward to this year, and Chytil has had a rough start to the season. Through 11 games, he hasn’t scored yet and has just a pair of assists. He is clearly snakebitten, and the frustration is starting to show on the ice. Through those 11 games, Chytil has just 17 shots on goal. For comparison’s sake, he had 21 SOG through 9 games last season. He’s shooting less while getting the same amount of ice time.

For Chytil, it’s more of a slump than it is poor play. Chytil is in the top-five (#4) in possession with a 49.82 CF%. He also sits #4 in SCF% (56.59%) and is tops on the team in HDCF% (62.26%). It is incredibly early, so a few good games can skew this mightily, but the club mostly has the puck in dangerous offensive situations when Chytil is on the ice.

Chytil sits right there in “fun” territory when he’s on the ice. Meaning he’s certainly generating a good amount of shot attempts while on the ice. He’s not exactly a defensive stalwart, so he’s giving up a good amount as well, but so is every Ranger at the moment. As long as Chytil and his linemates keep producing shot attempts while he’s on the ice, the goals will eventually come…in theory.

The x-axis isn’t labeled here, but that’s actual GF%, versus the y-axis of xGF%. Chytil, despite his scoreboard struggles, has still been in “good” territory here. What this means is that Chytil –while his numbers are not sexy at the moment– is still on the ice for more goals for than against, both in terms of expectations and actuals.

The problem lies in his on-ice SH%, meaning the team’s shooting percentage when he is on the ice. Right now it is at 4.23%, indicative of both bad shooting luck when he’s on the ice and time on the fourth line with players like Cody McLeod. Chytil is basically doing everything right except scoring. There’s only so much one can do when he’s on the fourth line with noted goal scorers like McLeod, though. But even with that situation, he’s still beating his expectations.

Chytil’s on-ice SH% won’t stay at 4% forever. In short, Chytil is just snakebitten at the moment. He’s experiencing a significant dry spell that will surely snap at some point. When it does, the flood gates should, again in theory, open.