2019 Rangers Player Report Card: Kevin Shattenkirk

There is no player more polarizing on the Rangers right now than Kevin Shattenkirk. There are only two sides to the spectrum: Love him, or hate him. There appears to be no middle ground with Shattenkirk. A lot of that has to do with how the defense position is viewed, and how that view is evolving. Regardless, Shattenkirk is a Ranger and he is still one of the better defensemen on the team.

When the Blueshirts signed him to his four year, $6.6 million deal, he was expected to be the 1RD to keep the Rangers relevant. Now the Rangers being awful is far from his fault, but it is also fair to say that Shattenkirk hasn’t exactly met expectations. Shattenkirk put up a full season career worst 2-26-28. That was in 73 games.

Despite his career worst numbers, Shattenkirk was still the second-leading scorer on the Rangers’ blue line to Tony DeAngelo. He was the only defenseman to post an xGF% above 50% at 50.75, and his GF% of 45.24% indicates that his results were actually under the expected output based on his stats, meaning there was some bad luck involved. The 6.61 on-ice SH% of the entire team while Shattenkirk was on the ice also lends credence to this argument.

With Shatty, you expect the offensive numbers to pick up the defensive numbers. The funny thing is that is not the case at all. Shatty was second on the team in xGF/60 at 2.35, which is expected. His xGA/60 of 2.28 though is actually second best on the team to Fredrik Claesson. So Shattenkirk’s “defensive woes” that everyone talks about are fairly overblown (although there is a case for a few strong games propping up a lot of weak ones).

We all know what Shattenkirk offers offensively, so his impact there shouldn’t surprise anyone. But let’s take a deeper dive into shot locations against.

Here we see how the opposition fairs when Shattenkirk is on the ice. The right side, front of the net area has some good amount of red, but it is largely shifted to the left side. Now to be fair, the argument against Shattenkirk defensively is that he’s largely out of position, leaving the LD to cover for him. This chart doesn’t necessarily prove or disprove that argument. We can only look at shot locations when he’s on and off the ice.

Here’s the impact when Shatty is off the ice. Two things to take note of:

  • The threat level jumps to 16% from 2%, and
  • The red area almost triples in size in front of the net.

This leads me to believe that Shattenkirk’s impact on the defensive side of the puck is largely understated and under appreciated. It’s not a perfect analysis, but we’ve looked at quantity of shots against, quality of shots against, and shot locations. Sometimes, you just need to take a step back from your own assumptions and realize that Shattenkirk may actually be a good defenseman, as well as an offensive driver. They aren’t mutually exclusive concepts.

Grade: B

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  • F… He is horrendous. He is petrified of contact, Can’t win a board battle, cant clear the front of the net and brings so not enough on offense to justify it. I hope he is gone this summer

  • I think a deeper dive on Shatt would show a couple of things (and I think Luker touched on them in other posts). First he has had some of the worst puck luck/PDO of any regular defenseman (Luker mentioned this in the past and there have been some other folks who looked at it as well). Secondly, at 5v5 he was light years better than anybody else on the blueline. For example (this is his rank among our d-men at 5v5):

    CF% – #1
    FF% – #1
    SF% – #1
    xGF% – #1
    Scoring Chances For % – #1
    High Danger Chances For % – #1

    And this is coming off a knee surgery. If he was just a little lucky this year, he would have probably had career highs in 5v5 stats. That Quinn somehow galaxy-brained himself into scratching Shatt honestly is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. That the Rangers FO is looking to move on from Shatt, despite a pretty good season all things considered, is indicative of how lost the org is.

    Anybody who objectively looked at the Rangers this past season basically understands that when Quinn was not trotting out garbage lineups, we were basically average (and by that I mean not scratching Buch, keeping an elite KZB together, not running Hank into the ground the 1H, not running out Staal-Pionk). We were an average team and this FO thought they had a pile of garbage. The only reason we have a shot at Kakko right now is because Quinn and his coaching staff messed up deployment so badly. If Quinn regularly trotted out the following lineup we likely would have been closer to the wildcard spot rather than picking up Kakko or Hughes:



    This isn’t rocket science. Don’t play your worst players. And we are once again at yet another inflection point where the FO can make decisions that will either lead us to missing the playoffs for two more years (a four year drought would be ludicrous) or put us in a position to succeed immediately (these playoffs showed if you are in the dance, you always have a shot; the playoffs also showed that there are more than one way to build a team).

    • I disagree on Shattenkirk. He was dreck with Washington and Trotz told us he was dreck. His knee injury was a meniscus….That is a Month…Not 2 years. Game isn’t played on charts and graphs

    • Playing your worst players got us Hughes/Kakko.

      Optimizing your lineup gets us into the playoffs next year with players & picks in the pipeline for years to come.

  • Very simple, it starts with “expectations.” Shatty gets signed and some Ranger fans erroneously viewed him as a D man that was going to carry the team.

    Well, even the Rangers didn’t believe that. They gave him a 4 year , $6.5M per take it or leave it deal, not a 7 year, $8M per deal, that franchise D men get. So if you think you were getting a “franchise D man” then yeah, you’re going to hate him.

    But if you were in my group, and thought that Shatty would be a good PP guy and help drive offense, well then you got what you paid for. The guy was signed when it was a much different team and played most of that year with a bad knee. He should have been shut down in Nov and then came back after knee surgery, but AV ran him into the ground with a bad knee injury, AND complained about his bad play, lol. What a coach, criticizing a known injured player, when he shouldn’t have been played at all.

    So here we are. If the Rangers get Trouba and push Shatty to 2nd pair, where he should be, and with a better overall Ranger team, then I think that we get a much better all around D man.

    But the Rangers will try to move him, unsuccessfully IMO.

    • I hear ya T …I was against bringing him in the first place. If Fox is the real and deal AND we get Jacob…there is no room for 22. You watch these playoffs and the physical war it is…then you see there is no room out there for 22 44 types…We need hard nosed players

          • hahaha No my friend…Im not on that one…I cant stand just about everyone there…Only you and a couple others I enjoy the comments there

          • It’s just fun talking Ranger hockey, and there will be a lot to talk about starting with the draft. I think there will be a lot of activity in the Rangers’ camp this offseason.

      • You are correct, some players will have to be moved because there will be a log jam on D. I would like to keep DeAngelo but I do not know if there is a spot for him if Shatty cannot be traded and if Trouba comes.

        • Staal needs a slip and fall Attorney….Smith Im sure we can move… I would like to see Jacob Skjei ADA Hajek Lindgren and Fox …Heck maybe Crawley is a dark horse…He was the last cut last season

          • I would love that D corps, but I do not think the right players will be moved to accomplish it.

            Crawley got good reviews but he has no shot here. Rykov would be here too but again, there’s no spot for him.

          • Yeah its def gonna be interesting to see how it all plays out…I was listening to a BSU radio podcast and they said Kreider gave an interview that def “pissed the the FO off” Im curious…I didnt see that interview

          • And I agree with you when you said we are going for the playoffs next year….That is ABSOLUTELY the case…We are not trying for Lafreniere

          • Yeah, I really believe that abut the Rangers making the playoffs next year, it’s on my signature on the other blog (guess you saw that, lol).

            Think of it, if they get Trouba and Panarin, and shed some dead wood, with the infusion of really good talent, they can make the playoffs, IMO.

          • There are 5 RH D men if Trouba comes: Trouba, Shatty, DeAngelo, Pionk, and Fox.

            The Rangers have to trade 2. Does another team take Shatty? If not, the DeAngelo and Pionk are the odd men out, IMO.

          • I agree 100%, and ADA stays if Trouba does not come. And I’m not saying that Trouba is coming here, but the Rangers and Jets are having very deep discussions about this, and since the Jets cannot take a contract back, picks may get it done, as they have to sign Laine, Connor, and Ehlers.

          • Trouba has wanted out for a long time, but the team has had the leverage in the past.

            Now, the Jets are in cap hell, so they have D prospects to replace Trouba, as the Jets cannot give Jacob $7M per, no way.

            Trouba will be dealt for sure, hopefully to us.

    • More than a few of us here had him down as a 3rd pair D who would play PP1, and he doesn’t even give us the latter half.

      If you deal him while retaining salary you can salvage some sort of value for a guy you got for nothing. Otherwise, he’s just blocking traffic; just not in the crease or slot.

      The team doesn’t need futures now, they need them in the pipeline 2-3 drafts from now.

      • Shatty has a modified no trade, so what is the likelihood that he’s traded? Slim, it can be done, but slim, even if you just ask for picks.

          • It could work but I don’t think there is a team out there that will trade for him, and it has to be a team that Shatty approves of.

            Not likely my friend. We have to assume that he will be here.

    • Hey pal

      We didn’t get what we paid for. Not even close. He should be a 45-50 point guy like he was with the blues. He is. His defense stinks and he is a turnover machine. I was in on him coming here big time as you know. He has been an awful player here so far.

      • Hey bro, here is the reality:

        The Rangers tanked after he got here, so they were not the same team when he signed.

        He got hurt, his knee, that impacted his best asset, his skating. He should have been shut down early, had the surgery, and then come back. The Rangers did not do that.

        This year? I mean how does any Ranger get evaluated with the sh-tshow that went on? And Shatty still had almost 30 pts in 73 games on a lousy team.

        While I would not say that Shatty’s D is very good, I do not think that it’s as bad as everyone thinks either, like David said above.

        $6.5M per is not ELITE money, not even close. Neither is 4 years. He wasn’t top pair on the Blues so I do not know why a lot of Ranger fans thought we were getting a top D man in the league. We weren’t.

        I think that he will be better this year, with a better all around Ranger team. That’s my opinion.

  • Who cares about Shattenkirk. The problem right now is how Kappo Kakko is playing — too well. We’re screwed.

    • My biggest fear! Thats why I wanted the question answered, “who would you take if you had the number one pick in the upcoming draft?” Anyone want to weigh in?

      • I can give this Boys…..This Tournament means absolutely everything to the Euro teams….compete level etc…is through the roof. Also Kakko is playing on the larger ice surface…..NHL ice whole different story….He is also playing on an all star team

      • Fox has looked really good after 20 today. Broke up a zone entry rather easily, stole a puck on a dump n chase sent his side.

        Did a really good job getting pucks towards the net cleanly which made for great rebound chances.

      • I’ve been on Kakko’s bandwagon since the late fall and never expected we would have a chance to get him … I was thrilled with the 2nd pick because I would take Kakko over Hughes — Hughes is going to be a great “little” player, but Kakko is going to be a great bigger player, plus he fits our most pressing need.

    • Let’s start with the hockey reasons why the Devs will select Hughes:

      #1. Strong center teams win Cups.
      #2. The Devs are in dire need of getting faster as a team.
      #3. The Devs desperately want to re-sign Taylor Hall, giving him Hughes as his center goes a long way towards that goal.
      #4. A Hughes/Nico center tandem for the next 10 years, for the Devs to build around looks mighty good.
      #5. And just as importantly, Hughes has not played himself out of the #1 pick, no matter how well Kapo is playing.

      Now the intangible, and it’s a big one that would sway a team if the 2 players are a toss up:

      GM Shero and Hughes’ dad are very good friends.

      The Devs are picking Hughes, IMO.

  • Shattenkirk is the worst defenseman I’ve seen wearing Rangers blue since Bill Baker. He has to go, no matter what the cost

    • Hughes got better as the game went on. Doesn’t know his linemates, doesn’t go into traffic with the puck, doesn’t know how to handle size yet. Has to be playing on instinct at this point, because after most shifts in the 1st 40 he looked spent.

      Good job backchecking and sticking his nose in at his own end; really played a 200’ game.

      Fox is easily the Rangers best RD right now. He handled size rather well, an active stick but uses his body well to get bigger guys off the puck and makes the simple play to a free man once he gets it.
      In the OZ, he’s making all the right reads, can shed coverage at the point to lob a grenade into the crease to create havoc.

      Kreider with the goal, blew up Texier something fierce in the 3rd. Tex chased him all over the ice the rest of the shift. Wound him up so much he got suckered into the roughing his next shift.

      Skjei played a good game all day bar one play that he recovered on. Made more than a few subtle plays to shake the forecheck before heading up ice. Really starting to think it’s the system and not the player.

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