‘Yotes believe ‘unluckiness’ one of reasons for Panik’s struggles

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As you’ve probably heard by now, the Arizona Coyotes traded away Anthony Duclair to the Chicago Blackhawks last night. For the most part, fan reaction on social media suggests that the ‘Hawks did pretty well on this trade.

Since the deal went down, PHT has focused on the Duclair angle (stories you can read by clicking here and here), but it’s also important to look at what the Coyotes received for their once promising young forward.

Richard Panik is the piece that will be able to help Arizona the quickest because Laurent Dauphin will be staying in the minors for now. Panik, who had a solid season last year, has struggled pretty badly in 2017-18.

“We feel like some of it this year has just been some unluckiness,” Chayka said, per the Arizona Republic. “We still think he’s playing a well-rounded game, still think he’s doing a lot of good things that he was doing in the past.

“He’s 26 years old, so he’s still a young veteran. But he does provide some veteran experience and takes a bit of a load off some of our younger players … That’s a void we were looking to fill, and we felt that he’d be a good fit for us.”

So, let’s take a look at Panik’s stats from last year (he had 22 goals and 22 assists in 82 games) compared to this year (he has six goals and 10 assists in 37 games).

He opened the 2017-18 season with three goals in his first three games and five goals in his first nine contests. He finally found the back of the net in his last game as a ‘Hawk on Tuesday night, but he went 27 games without a goal. During that time, he was made a healthy scratch five times.

The first thing that jumps out from Panik’s stat line is his low five-on-five shooting percentage , which currently sits at 5.26 percent. Last season, he was firing at 11.76 percent during the same situation. His overall shooting percentage was 14.19 percent last year. This year, that number has dipped to 8.57 percent. Is that unlucky or is that him just coming back down to earth?

The average overall shooting percentage in the NHL last season was 9.2 percent. This year, it’s slightly better at 9.3 percent. That’s not too far off from Panik’s 8.57 mark.

In his defense, his advanced stats have all been better this year. If we take a look at his even-strength stats, the Coyotes forward has seen his CF% rise from 49.53 to 56.76, his FF% has gone from 49.41 to 53.18 and his SF% went from 49.09 to 54.06 this season (stats via Natural Stat Trick)

Those numbers might translate into him scoring with a little more regularity, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can come close to replicating the totals he put up last season.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.