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2018-2019 Player Ratings: The goals were there in an up and down season for Jake DeBrusk

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His regular season point total was down, but the goal total was up.

NHL: JUN 12 Stanley Cup Final - Blues at Bruins Photo by Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Player Rating: 6.6

Jake DeBrusk is kind of an interesting case. He scored 27 goals this season, 11 more than he scored last season. However, it just doesn’t FEEL like he had a fantastic season. I realize that’s incredibly unscientific, especially when he approached 30 goals, but here we are.

DeBrusk’s 27 goals were impressive, but he actually finished the regular season with one point less than the year before (though he played in 2 more games last season). After a solid rookie season, I think the issue is that I was hoping to see a bit more overall growth in his sophomore season. Still, a 6.6 is far from a bad score.

DeBrusk benefited immensely from playing with David Krejci. Per Evolving Hockey, nearly 83% of DeBrusk’s 5v5 TOI came with Krejci as his center.

We could have a chicken and egg argument about who benefited who, but there’s no denying that consistent ice time with a playmaker like Krejci was a boon for DeBrusk: when your center has a career year, you’re going to do alright for yourself.

One of the bigger issues with DeBrusk this season was streakiness: he’d have a great game, then disappear for a few nights. In October, he scored just 3 goals. He then followed that up with 7 in November. The see-saw continued with just 3 in January, then 7 in February, etc.

In ranking DeBrusk, I definitely was dealing with a case of recency bias after what was kind of a tough playoffs for the kid. Sure, he had 4 goals, but those 4 boiled down to just 1 goal in each series.

He’s the kind of player who you hope is “built for the playoffs” with the way he plays. He was certainly built for it in his rookie year, when he scored 5 goals in the first round alone. With those stats in his back pocket, it makes this playoff run disappointing.

Still, I’ll acknowledge it’s a little unfair to ding him for the playoffs when he scored 27 goals in the regular season. Also, as was pointed out to me in the comments, DeBrusk was allegedly dealing with the lingering effects of a concussion for much of the playoffs, which adds some context to things.

The future is certainly bright for DeBrusk, who at this point is the only thing saving Don Sweeney’s 2015 Draft from being an unmitigated disaster.

He’s currently sitting at 0.62 PPG for his career in the regular season, not bad for a kid with two seasons under his belt. His style of play fits in well with the Bruins, and his energy endears him to the fans.

This will be a big season for DeBrusk: he’s due to become a restricted free agent after this season, so he’ll be playing for a pay raise.

He’s essentially a lock to remain on Krejci’s left wing when the puck drops in October, which should mean good things for his production. In his rookie year, the assists were there, with the goals a bit harder to come by; last season, it was the opposite.

This coming season, if he can put both parts of his game together, he’s going to be cashing in next summer.


A note on these reviews: To be frank, some of you ruined it for the rest of you. I have no problem with people disagreeing with a rating. “6.6? DeBrusk deserves an 8, here’s why I think that” is fine.

What isn’t fine is people going in the comments and picking on individual writers for what they chose. There have only been a handful of these rating posts so far, and on almost every one, I’ve had to remove comments from people calling out others by name, using what can kindly be called not the friendliest language.

Everyone has their reasoning, and while disagreements are OK, those disagreements should be done respectfully. In many cases (as the now-deleted comments showed), they weren’t.

Going forward, we’ll only be posting total numbers. If you’d like to discuss this, you can contact me directly.