2019 Rangers Player Report Card: Brendan Lemieux

When the Rangers acquired Brendan Lemieux in the Kevin Hayes trade, there was a very vocal group expressing displeasure in targeting Lemieux instead of a player with more perceived skill to their game. Lemieux is certainly skilled, but also has a grit and pest aspect to his game. The easy comparison is to that of Sean Avery. A pest who can also, you know, play the damn game.

Lemieux only played 19 games with the Rangers, putting up a line of 3-3-6 in a middle-six role. With Winnipeg, he put up 9-2-11 in 44 games while bouncing between the fourth line and a healthy scratch. This was more or less his rookie season – he played 9 games last year – and the former 2nd round pick has shown that he can at the very least be a contributing bottom-six forward.

It’s tough to really gauge Lemieux on his numbers, since it was limited with the Rangers. He put up a xGF% of 45.40 in his 226 minutes of even strength time, which was 9th on the team in the non-Zuccarello/Hayes division. The interesting thing here is that Lemieux was more of a contributor offensively (2.38 xGF/60 – 6th) than defensively (2.86 xGA/60 – 9th). For comparison’s sake, Lemieux with Winnipeg had a 41.72% xGF%, significantly worse than his time with New York. Most of that is in his lack of offensive contribution (2.13 xGF/60). With better linemates and more minutes, Lemieux contributed better offensively. That is certainly promising.

Again, we are working with a 19 game sample with the Rangers, so everything with the graphs should be taken with a grain of salt. With Lemeiux on the ice, the Rangers generated a positive threat level, which is good. As a LW, the sea of red on the left side by the net mouth shows that the Rangers got more shots than league average from Lemieux’s position while he was on the ice. This is all good stuff.

Compared to without Lemieux on the ice, and the Rangers are pretty much below league average and don’t do much from the left side. We can use these two charts to infer that Lemieux excels at getting to the net, which pretty much fits what we say in his short stay so far. However when it comes to his defensive play, there’s room for improvement.

That’s a lot of red, almost as much as Brett Howden. Again though, just a 19 game sample. It’s not like the Rangers were stellar defensively anyway. Yes, a lot of the forwards’ defensive issues can be attributed to the overall team level of stink, but it’s also a five-man game. Lemieux wasn’t exactly a defensive stalwart with Winnipeg, so there’s work to be done here.

Overall it’s really tough to judge Lemieux on 19 games so far in his rookie season. He certainly has promise, and his style of play is something the Rangers need. That said, they need him to be a net positive as well. There’s growth opportunity here.

Grade: Incomplete

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  • On a serious note, all that write up for an incomplete. πŸ˜‰ In some ways it was about as anti-climatic as Season 8 Episode 3 of GoT.

    Lemieux ran out of steam after the adrenalin high of being traded. He just needs one good summer of conditioning and then watch out, he’ll be a terror on the ice. Best to put him on a 3rd line.

      • I don’t see a “die” here to be honest, not for another couple of years, If his conditioning improves (DQ made that abundantly clear and hopefully so does Papa Lemieux) the worst that can happen with this kid is that he becomes a staple bottom 6 player that exhibits certain characteristics we’re lacking for the most part. He’s the straw that will stir the pot — he’s the Sean Avery/Brandon Prust we’ve been missing for the last couple of years and will fit in nicely with the overall plan. We don’t have another player that can play like that.

        • Players like him do not infinite patience attached to them. he will be bypassed if he doesn’t show something this year, IMO.

          • Why not, he’s cheap and the rebuild requires a little more time to marinate. What’s the cost of giving him some time? Clearly they believed in him enough to have him inserted in the Hayes trade. Besides, who will surpass him? Who brings to the table what he does? Worst case scenario he plays on the 4th line.

          • Nothing is ever given at any point. I get it, you’re not too convinced about Lemieux. Fair enough.

          • How can anyone be convinced? He hasn’t played enough to make a determination either way.

          • I think he showed plenty this year pal! Don’t forget that he was a rookie. Once he gets into good shape, he will be a really good 3rd liner that wakes them up when they fall asleep

          • Not saying whether he will be good or bad, just saying that it has yet to be proven.

            If he plays the way people seem to think that he can play, then he will be a very effective 4th liner or maybe even 3rd liner, depends upon what the roster consists of.

  • Please Dallas, don’t blow this 3-2 lead. Give us that 3rd 1st rounder … and then make sure to sign Zucc for next year. πŸ™‚ Also, if Columbus, Dallas and Colorado win their series, doesn’t that make the Jets’ pick #17? I mean how much more exciting could this be for the organization?!!

  • Lemieux has the skill and tenacity to be an very effective NHLer. He’s going to be a fun Ranger to watch develop.

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