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2015-16 Season Review: Trevor Lewis

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Trevor Lewis delivered a very Trevor Lewis season. That's not entirely a good thing.

Trevor meets an old friend
Trevor meets an old friend
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The Player

Lewis Player Card

Key Numbers

  • 4.72% 5v5 On-Ice Shooting Percentage: On-ice shooting has been Trevor Lewis's biggest bugbear over the years. It's simple: when Lewis is on the ice, LA's shots tend not to go in. That's a big problem, and this year it was as bad as ever. Lewis was 333rd out of 352 NHL forwards in on-ice shooting percentage (minimum 500 TOI), just barely edging out frequent linemate Nick Shore for second-to-last on the Kings. Generally speaking, this is a stat that fluctuates wildly from year to year, sometimes dramatically affecting a player's scoring numbers by sheer chance. In the case of Trevor Lewis, however, he's been consistently awful in this stat in every single year of his career. It's pretty safe to say he destroys his team's shooting percentage like no other player in the NHL. Why does that matter? Read on.
  • 0.74 5v5 Points/60: First, if your shots and your linemates' shots are going in at a pathetic rate, you're probably not going to score much. So it was for Trevor Lewis, who finished 332nd in productivity out of 352 qualifying forwards. One might think, "so what? Trevor Lewis is a depth forward. He isn't here to produce offense." But I think this is in error. Obviously depth forwards cannot be expected to score at the rate of top-line players; but they must nevertheless be expected to contribute some offense. If they do not, then those lost goals must be made up for by other players, which puts a burden on the team. As a rule of thumb, roughly 1.00 points/60 is acceptable 5v5 production for a fourth line player. Lewis (who was 8th in ice time among the 14 primary Kings forwards) didn't come close to that.
  • 40.7% Goals For Percentage: The real problem, though, is that even as Trevor Lewis destroys the shooting percentage of his team, he does not have the same effect on the shooting percentage of his opponents. As a result, even though Lewis has sometimes done well in shot metrics, over the course of his career the Kings have usually conceded more goals than they have scored when he is on the ice. Now, I wouldn't read too much into his 40.7% mark this year, atrocious as it is (especially for a player on a strong team). He definitely had some bad luck in the on-ice save percentage department. But at this point, after six straight years of terrible shooting, we should expect Trevor Lewis to do worse in GF% than Corsi%. His career Corsi% and GF% (53.81% and 46.44%, respectively), support that theory. Corsi% is only a useful metric because it usually predicts future GF% better than past GF% does. For a few players, however, that isn't true. Just like Sidney Crosby is a better player than his possession stats admit because he significantly boosts his team's on-ice shooting percentage, Trevor Lewis is less effective than his Corsi would indicate because he does the opposite. Outscoring the opposition is the whole point of hockey, and Trevor Lewis's offense just isn't good enough to allow him do it.
  • 111 Shorthanded Minutes: Lewis's biggest positive contribution to the Kings comes at 4v5. He was fourth among team forwards in 4v5 TOI, behind Kopitar, Brown, and Carter. It's handy to have a depth forward who can be trusted with 4v5 minutes, because it frees up the team's best attacking players to spend as much of their ice time in attacking situations as possible. Over the past few years, LA's penalty kill has posted pretty similar results with and without Lewis on the ice (being roughly league average in both circumstances).
  • -3 Individual Penalty Differential: In the past, Lewis has put up strongly positive penalty differentials--he was +33 from 2010-11 to 2014-15. That's pretty good for a bottom six forward, but Lewis didn't manage it this year. He posted a career low in penalties drawn (7) and was a -4 at 5v5 play.

Assessment

I know lots of Kings fans love Trevor Lewis. He was a contributor on both of LA's cup teams and is obviously well-regarded by his teammates and coaching staff. He was also born in America, which seems to be important to some Kings fans. But 2015-16 was a very tough campaign for him. The offensive problems that have dogged Lewis his entire career were still there, and even the strengths of his game (like his possession numbers and his penalty drawing) slipped a fair bit, too. He wasn't effective.

Highlight

Look, I've written a few not-so-positive things about Trevor Lewis in this season review. But don't take that to mean that his beautiful toe-drag against Brent Burns--followed by a top corner finish while sliding on his back--wasn't the greatest play of the NHL season. Because it was.

Lowlight

Probably the GF%, right? I mean, 40.7%. Ouch. Even the Oilers got 44.3% of the 5v5 goals this year. A lot of it was bad luck, yes, but I've made my case that a good portion of quite probably wasn't.

The Future

Lewis just re-upped with the Kings for 4 years at a $2 million AAV, so get ready to see plenty more of him. I can't say I see the need to commit this kind of term and cap hit, especially since LA has a few interesting bottom-six options lurking in Ontario. Since Lewis is 29, it's reasonable to expect significant age-related decline over the course of this contract.

Grade

I gave Trevor Lewis a D in the last season review I did of him, but my loyal readers overruled me and gave him a C. This time, I'll preempt that by just giving him the C straight up. Besides, I've heard he's great in the room.