Welcome to the allislanders.com series of player report cards! In these articles (in alphabetical order by first name), you will see a player’s statistics and our ratings of that player based on a variety of factors.
The most important factor is importance to team and consistency. This rating is out of 25 points, and will be determine based of how important that player was. If the player was off the team, how would the team fare? This question was taken into mind in this ranking.
Offense and defense are also taken into account. This will be determined by how effective the player was by HIS standards. For example, Stephen Gionta may not have had 30 goals or have been a +40, but he was very productive for the team when he played so he will receive a high score.
Physicality/tenaciousness, clutch factor, and leadership are smaller scores that are important to us, so they will be ranked as ten points, ten points and five points respectively. Together, the points available from each category equal 100 points and all the points received will be added up into a letter grade.
Today’s Player Report Card: Nikolay Kulemin
Nikolay Kulemin’s 2016-2017 Season Stats: GP: 72 G: 12 A: 11 P: 23 +/-: +3 GWG: 4
Nikolay Kulemin only had one more point than he did last season but this year he played nine less games. In his third season as an Islander, his defensive-minded play once again proved to be the most valuable part of his game. Kulemin replaced Matt Martin on the Islanders’ fourth line and proved to be a very valuable recourse for the team.
Importance to Team/Consistency: 20/25
Kulemin’s ability to kill penalties, be physical, defensive-minded, and low-key clutch make him a very valuable member to the Islanders. While his role decreased this year, he was still a valuable member of the team.
Kulemin spent most of the season on the fourth line so his numbers are actually really good, scoring 12 goals and adding 11 assists for 23 points. However, Kulemin should probably shoot more from a statistical standpoint. Kulemin’s 74 shots on goal were the fewest amount in his career minus the lockout-shortened season where even then he was able to put up 72 in 48 games. Kulemin’s shot percentage of 16.2% this year was the second best in his career, one below his 30 goal season with Toronto in 2010-2011 (17.3%). Kulemin is also a strong skater with the ability to power past defensemen.
As I’ve mentioned, Kulemin is simply amazing defensively. He was the Islanders’ best penatly-killer this season and came up big especially with the offseason departure of Frans Nielsen and the often-injured Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, and Travis Hamonic. He is the most stable Islanders’ penalty killer and can always be relied on, however, his +3 could be better.
Kulemin’s 78 hits were good for 11th on the team in that category. Kulemin is well-discplined on the ice, only receiving 18 penalty minutes. Those 18 minutes are the fourth fewest on the team for any player that appeared in 30 or more games. He is tenacious and physical without being too out-of-control.
Clutch Factor: 8/10
Nikolay Kulemin is clutch and that’s something that Islander fans fail to ever mention. Kulemin had four game-winning/go-ahead goals including one against the Rangers and was also one of the couple of players that had to score (and did) to keep the game alive in a 14-round shootout win against Anaheim back in November.
30 year old Nikolay Kulemin has just completed his ninth NHL season. With playoffs included, Kulemin has appeared in 681 games, scored 122 goals and 278 points which I could only imagine means he is a leader.
Nikolay Kulemin Season Highlights:
Grade: 84/100; B