Adam Fox is the best player on the New York Rangers. Sorry, Artemi Panarin. I don’t make the rules. It’s just how it is. Last season, Fox set a career high in goals (12), finishing with 72 points. He finished second in the Norris Trophy voting by a wide margin, doubling the voting percentage of the third place finisher, Cale Makar. Naturally, he lost to Erik Karlsson and his ridiculous 100 point season.
Fox’s second Norris finalist season finished with him in 2nd on the Rangers in assists (60), third in points (72), 8th in goals (12), 1st in powerplay assists (28), and 3rd in powerplay points (29). He also finished with 5 game winning goals, again tops on the Rangers, and 2nd in shorthanded points (3 – all assists). This kid does it all, and his $9.5 million cap hit is still an amazing underpayment, all things considered.
There isn’t much analysis needed on his RAPM and GAR player card, but I do want to point out his actual production (GF/60, GAR) against his expected production (xGF, xGAR). Amazingly enough, there’s room for his offensive stats to skyrocket in the right situation. Yet he does this while still being fantastic in his own end and in the neutral zone. As Fox goes, the Rangers go.
One way to showcase how important Fox is to the Rangers is just looking at how the Blueshirts as a team perform with Fox on the ice and without Fox on the ice. On offense, it’s a net 23% positive impact compared to league average (at 5v5). On defense, a net 13% positive impact. The powerplay is a whopping 78% net positive impact. The only place where Fox “struggles” is on the penalty kill, and that word is used very loosely.
Perhaps the best way to look at Fox’s impact is to see how the rest of the team performed individually with Fox on the ice. Notice how most players are already in the upper right “good” section with Fox? And how Fox is there without most of his teammates anyway? Then see the red, which almost all goes to the bottom left? That’s Fox’s impact.
This also gives us more evidence that a Fox-K’Andre Miller pairing would be very good. Perhaps one of the top pairs in the league. No disrespect to Ryan Lindgren, but there’s enough evidence to suggest moving Miller to be with Fox, and having Lindgren’s stay at home presence help unlock more of Jacob Trouba’s potential.
Back to Fox, there isn’t much else to say. He’s the best player on the Rangers, and perhaps the best and most consistent defenseman in the NHL.