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2015 Season Review: Nick Shore

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Nick Shore played for the Kings this season, I swear.

Nick will need to Shore up his offensive game next season
Nick will need to Shore up his offensive game next season
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Player ES TOI/GP CF/60 GF/60 CA/60 FA/60 G/60 A/60 P/60 SOG/60
Nick Shore 10.06 52.8 1.75 47.36 34.03 0.18 0.88 1.05 5.7

Let's get this out of the way: Shore only drew into the lineup for 34 games so there's a sample size warning to be had with his season.

Positives

As a defensive specialist, Shore was pretty good at his job. When it came to limiting scoring chances against, he was fourth among all skaters on the Los Angeles Kings, behind Andrej Sekera (16 GP), Jeff Schultz (9 GP) and Trevor Lewis (73 GP). Of those three, only Lewis played more games.

Name pos Gm ZSO%Rel TOI/Gm SCF%Rel SCF% SCF%off SC+/- SCF SCA SCF60 SCA60 SCP60
Trevor.Lewis C 73 3.74 12.24 -0.06 53.57 53.63 49 368 319 24.7 21.41 46.12
Nicholas.Shore C 34 6.18 10.06 -5.99 49.19 55.18 -4 122 126 21.4 22.1 43.5
Jake.Muzzin D 76 2.98 18.08 3.43 55.94 52.51 137 645 508 28.17 22.19 50.36
Anze.Kopitar C 79 -3.13 13.78 4.71 56.93 52.22 131 538 407 29.66 22.43 52.09
Dustin.Brown LR 82 -2.48 13.2 -0.8 52.51 53.31 43 450 407 24.94 22.56 47.5
Marian.Gaborik LR 69 -0.21 13.36 4.76 57 52.24 113 460 347 29.93 22.58 52.51
Tyler.Toffoli RL 76 -0.64 11.62 4.94 57 52.06 109 444 335 30.16 22.75 52.91
Justin.Williams R 81 0.5 13.54 2.6 55.05 52.45 94 512 418 28.01 22.87 50.88
Brayden.McNabb D 71 7.85 14.04 1.41 53.96 52.55 66 450 384 27.09 23.12 50.21
Matt.Greene D 82 4.31 13.56 1.16 53.94 52.78 74 507 433 27.36 23.37 50.72
Drew.Doughty D 82 -1.86 21.16 1.52 53.95 52.43 117 799 682 27.63 23.59 51.22
Kyle.Clifford L 80 1.44 10.48 -2.53 50.67 53.2 9 339 330 24.26 23.62 47.88
Jarret.Stoll C 73 -0.77 12.49 -5.96 48.72 54.68 -18 343 361 22.57 23.76 46.33
Tanner.Pearson LR 42 0.16 10.93 5.31 56.84 51.53 58 241 183 31.49 23.91 55.41
Jeff.Carter CR 82 2.7 12.63 4.07 55.99 51.92 116 542 426 31.41 24.69 56.09
Robyn.Regehr D 67 -9.57 16.55 -5.43 49.06 54.5 -17 445 462 24.08 25 49.07
Dwight.King RL 81 -1.85 12.62 -4.3 50.06 54.36 1 438 437 25.7 25.64 51.35
Jordan.Nolan RL 60 -1.18 9.72 -9.62 45.2 54.82 -44 207 251 21.31 25.84 47.14
Alec.Martinez D 56 -5.96 15.51 -4.67 49.54 54.22 -7 378 385 26.12 26.6 52.72
Mike.Richards CL 53 -1.91 10.99 -4.06 49.42 53.47 -6 254 260 26.17 26.79 52.96

In the best attempt to try and limit some random noise, these are all players who have played 340+ minutes, which eliminates Sekera, Schultz, David van der Gulik (who joined the team for one game) and Andy Andreoff who only played in 18 games. For our purposes, we're going to concentrate mainly on scoring chances against per 60 and TOI.

In limited minutes with soft zone starts, Shore did relatively well at limiting the opposition's scoring chances. He didn't necessarily crush them, but as a replacement, he was a surprisingly major improvement over Mike Richards.

He also seemed to boost his teammates, both offensively and defensively, as his two most frequent linemates, Jordan Nolan and Kyle Clifford saw upticks in their their CF% - 4% and 3% respectively - as well as a reduction in their GA/60. Clifford and Richards combined for 2.61 GA/60 when on the ice together, which fell by nearly one whole GA/60 to 1.75 when Clifford and Shore were on the ice together. Nolan with Richards were on the ice for 3.38 GA/60 while Nolan and Shore were on for a paltry 2.18 GA/60. Shore had easier zone starts than Richards, but that's a pretty big difference.

Negatives

While Shore may have danced his way around defenders and scored at a 20% clip in the AHL, he seemed to struggle to get his shot through at the NHL level. In 345 even strength minutes, Shore managed to score one goal and add six assists. It's great to be a defensive specialist, but he'll need to find some offensive production in order to be successful in the NHL.

To some people, Nick Shore was probably a bit of a disappointment there. However, he wasn't brought up to be the next Tyler Toffoli or Tanner Pearson -- that is, he was never expected to provide a scoring punch as his two most recent predecessors were. Given that he was replacing Mike Richards and has always been known for his defense, think more along the lines of when Dwight King and Jordan Nolan joined the big club full time.

So keep an eye out next year to see if Shore improves in areas such as Corsi For/60 and Goals For/60, where he lagged well behind this season.

Highlight

Unlike Tanner Pearson's game-winner in Nassau, this semi-controversial goal was pretty much entirely Dustin Brown with a smart skate deflection from Shore.

Going Forward

Nick Shore is a pending Restricted Free Agent and the Kings are in salary cap hell. They burned a year off his ELC by bringing him straight to Los Angeles in 2013 to watch the playoff run so I'd say there's a pretty high likelihood that he'll be given a qualifying offer, which I believe should protect him from an offer sheet.

Shore's impact on the lineup was somewhat minimal. Given the uncertainty surrounding the cap and the Canadian dollar, it would be prudent of the Kings to give him a short bridge contract, 2 years, no more than $2.25 million maximum in my opinion. He certainly has room to grow but the little offensive instinct he's shown so far leaves a lot to be desired. His projected ceiling is a 3C and if he can find a way to put his offense together with his defense, he could live up to that potential.

Grade

Nick Shore is distinctly average. However, he had a decent enough showing in his NHL debut and thoroughly impressed Darryl Sutter, who called him "the Shore boy" once. That's worth a B.