Rangers Report Cards: Erik Gustafsson: B
Before we wrap up, let’s dive into the newest addition to the Rangers’ blue line!
So, we’re talking about Erik Gustafsson here. He made his way to the Capitals as a free agent signing last offseason, and boy, did he make an impact. He showed his stuff in 61 games before his trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs, racking up seven goals and a whopping 31 assists, giving him a total of 38 points. Not to mention, he flexed his defensive skills with a 3.5 defensive points share.
Yet, the fun didn’t stop there. He was all about those assists after he was traded to the Leafs, notching up four just nine games before the playoffs. And guess what? He didn’t shy away from the big stage, scoring a goal and tallying two points during the postseason.
Moreover, Gustafsson indirectly pulled off a legendary feat by becoming the first player in NHL history to join a team at the trade deadline that he had previously scored a hat trick against. Yup, you heard that right. Gustafsson pulled off a hat trick for the ages against none other than the Maple Leafs themselves.
His hat trick also marked the first time a Capitals defenseman achieved this since Sergei Gonchar in 2002. Talk about making history!
In 61 games with Washington, Gustafsson owned the ice with a Corsi For percentage of 54.28 percent. He also rocked a 53.74% Expected Goals For and a 54.36% High Danger Chances For percentage. Yep, those stats are as impressive as they sound, courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, the 31-year-old defenseman inked a deal with the Blueshirts for a cool $825,000 over one year in July. He’s stepping in to replace Mikola on the left side, and Rangers fans are excited to see what he brings to the team.