The Rise of Joe Pavelski for the Dallas Stars

Joe Pavelski

Who would’ve thought in his 15th year in the NHL, Joe Pavelski would be having his best season since 2014? Pavelski has had the chance to play on the Dallas Stars first line with rookie star Jason Robertson who has also been outstanding for Dallas this season. You can argue that Pavelski was the MVP for the stars during their playoff missing season. Either way, he was electric for the offensive-minded team. Pavelski leads the stars offensively and defensively and it’ll be hard for him to beat this season. 

Joe Pavelski Leads Stars

Style of play 

At 36, Joe Pavelski has grown into quite the two-way player. Besides being the Stars’ top point producer, he is the best defensive forward they have, and one of the best in the NHL. In the regular season, he’d be on pace for 74 points. He’s a power-play monster producer with a total of 21 points coming from it. The Wisconsin native has a faceoff differential of 28 and he’s shown to be a reliable player in any position he plays. Lots know him for his impressive hand-eye coordination in front of the net with the viral tipping video. He’s brought offense to the stars lineup this season during the absence of Tyler Seguin. Although he’s not the best skater that hasn’t limited him from having a great shot along with amazing hockey sense. His net-front play is definitely underrated. 

Analytics 

Joe Pavelski is every analytic nerd’s dream. He’s definitely been the Stars most valuable player this season. His on-ice expected goals percentage is 62.1% and his off-ice expected goals percentage is 46.1%. That clearly shows how impactful he is to his team when he’s on the ice. He leads the Stars in xEVD, xPPO, xOFF, xGAR, and xWAR. He’s a two-way player and his advanced numbers display that. It’s hard to find a top unit player who has both exceptional offense and defense, Pavelski is rare.

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Contract 

He’s currently playing out the second year of his three-year contract he signed in the summer of 2019. His cap hit sits at seven million per year, that’s 8.6% of the Stars cap. After his contract, he’ll become a UFA so he’ll have the chance to make a choice on what team he signs with. The Dallas Stars likely aren’t going to be front runners for the cup the next two years so you can expect him to sign somewhere else if he finds a better suitor. 

Future 

Once his contract ends in the 2022-23 season it’s hard to tell what’s next for the 36-year-old. He’s still on the quest for the cup, like former teammates Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. You’d think a player would regress once they hit a certain age but Joe Pavelski has not. Maybe he’ll take the Zdeno Chara route and start signing one-year deals to get his chance for the cup. It’s not a bad idea for him, every NHL player’s end goal is the cup, he wants his taste.

He’ll have lots of time this off-season to prepare for next season as the Stars just missed the playoffs after a COVID-filled season. Whatever’s in store for the veteran, he’s led Dallas and has had a great career since he entered the league over 10 years ago. 

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