Matt Beleskey - LW
I admit that I have trouble reconciling that at one point Matt Beleskey was being considered a steal in year one of his contract. Mostly because of the absolute tire fire the rest of his time in Boston was.
I also freely admit I tempted fate last year with his grade, ending the article with a “there’s no way that this could get worse, right?”
Needless to say, fate had some plans for Matt Beleskey.
Beleskey’s game simply cratered in 2017. Every bad thing that had ever been said about his contract and the worries over his Shooting-% came true in the worst possible way. In fairness to Matt, getting a serious knee injury sucks, and it definitely hurt his game in some type of way last year, but nobody could’ve possibly predicted how badly this would go for Beleskey after the 2017 season started. Going from a meager 8 points last year to nothing and looking somehow worse than he did the year before. He had plenty of rest and relaxation, he had an alright camp and...he just looked...bad. Useless. Like he barely existed as a player at all.
It got to the point that Beleskey, who hadn’t been there as a regular player since 2008, was sent down to the Providence Bruins, where he never returned to regular NHL action as a member of the organization. He played 21 games down in Rhode Island, where he put up 6 points. I was at one of those games this year, and got to see him score.
MATT BELESKEY SCORED AND I SAW IT— G1 Sky-Max (@SkyonAir_) January 7, 2018
THIS IS NOT A DRILL pic.twitter.com/IywvShK6sP
That the idea of him generating scoring being an event in and of itself should tell you the kind of year he had.
And like last year, it was confounding because it wasn’t like he was all that terrible analytically, he was contributing, he wasn’t a net-negative. He was just so ineffective at being an NHL level forward at this point whether due to injury or confidence that it caught up with him in a huge way when the team began trying out the young talent that had been showing flashes of doing what he could do, except better.
Finally, perhaps even mercifully, Beleskey was traded to New York, where his fortunes didn’t improve much. He played one game, and spent the rest of the year in Hartford. He also managed 6 points with the Wolf Pack.
Aggregate Grade: D
There’s a lot to be said about this deal. We said it already. What we hope is that Don Sweeney doesn’t make the same mistake again of betting high on a player coming off of the best shooting-% of their lives and expect them to keep it up. Whatever ended up doing in his willingness to shoot the puck, I hope he manages to shake it off
As it stands, I just can’t see that happening.
Do you agree with Matt Beleskey’s grade?
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