What you think of Dylan DeMelo’s first NHL season probably depends upon what you think of him as a player. Is a he a promising defender with puck-moving skills the Sharks solely lacked in the Stanley Cup Final? Or, is he a young player simply in over his head this season, unable to yet make it at the game’s highest level?
The answer likely lies somewhere in between. DeMelo showed some promising signs in sheltered minutes this season. He didn’t light up the scoresheet with just four points in 45 games, and the Sharks saw a minuscule drop-off in puck possession (less than 1% difference in CF%) with DeMelo on the ice than when he was off of it.
DeMelo will likely once again find himself the odd man out on the Sharks’ blueline, at least to begin the season. This may not be a bad thing, as DeMelo could likely use a little more seasoning in the AHL, especially if he is playing in every situation for Roy Sommer on the Barracuda. Given Brenden Dillon’s struggles this season, his time just might come sooner rather than later.
2015-16 Sharks 5v5 Forward Usage Chart (via Corsica Hockey):
ZSR: Zone Start Ratio; The percentage of non-neutral zone starts that are offensive zone starts (OZS/(OZS + DZS))
TOI.QoT: Time On Ice Quality of Teammates; The weighted average TOI% of a player’s teammates
Rel.CF%: Individual corsi-for percentage subtracted by the team’s overall corsi-for percentage.
Dylan DeMelo Hero Chart (via Own The Puck):
In maybe the craziest game of the regular season, the Sharks overcame a 4-1 deficit, and took the lead in the third period thanks to DeMelo. They wouldn’t hold the lead or win the game, but the goal demonstrated DeMelo’s instincts on the power play, which the Sharks hope to see more of as DeMelo looks to carve out a regular spot in the lineup.