Thursday, September 2, 2010

30 Caps in 30 Days: Keith Aucoin

(During the thirty days of September, I'll be trying to preview the seasons of thirty players currently under contract with the Washington Capitals and who have a good chance of spending some time in red, white, and blue this season. Because of college applications, school, and other things, I may not be able to stick to my planned schedule of a-Cap-a-day, but I'll try my best. Advanced stats are given from ranked against other players at the same position, in the same organization, at 5-on-5, unless otherwise noted. Age is on opening night. Today, Keith Aucoin)

(Photo courtesy Caps Snaps)
Keith Aucoin: age 31, 5'9", 187 lbs, shoots right.

Contract: one-way, $500,000, 2012 UFA

2009-2010 linemates: 23% Chris Clark and Tomas Fleischmann, 17% Chris Clark and Alexandre Giroux, 12% Chris Clark and Eric Fehr

2009-2010 raw stats:
NHL: 9 GP, 1-4-5, -2, 4 shots, 0 PIM

AHL: 72 GP, 35-71-106, +27,  183 shots, 49 PIM
Playoffs: 21 GP, 2-23-25, +1, 55 shots, 2 PIM

2009-2010 advanced stats: 7th in Corsi QoC, 7th in Corsi Rel QoC, 9th (second-to-last) in Corsi QoT, and 8th in Corsi Rel QoT.

I could not find WOWY data for Aucoin.

Aucoin's production in 2009-2010 more or less matched expectations. He was again a dominant player in the American Hockey League--now he and Alexandre Giroux have scored over 500 points together in the last two years, including playoffs--and was serviceable at the NHL level in the occasional call-up. Like Mathieu Perreault, Aucoin is undersized, but plays inspired hockey when given a chance in the NHL. Unfortunately, he appears like a career fringe NHLer who is suited best to play on a scoring line but is not good enough at the NHL level, but almost too good for the AHL.

The expectations for Aucoin are exactly the same as for 2009-2010. He'll be expected to contribute in Hershey, helping the younger players gain experience as Hershey, presumably, makes yet another deep playoff run, and be decent in any NHL call-up. Aucoin is simply a cheap security blanket in terms of tangible contributions to the Capitals at an NHL level. There's isn't much suggestion that he could perform better or worse than these expectations.

Expect him to play most of the season in Hershey, with around five games in Washington, but not more than 10. He will likely not play very effective defense but will look creative but outmatched offensively, especially since he doesn't shoot very much. He could contribute a goal or two and maybe six or seven points. I wouldn't expect more. As for Hershey, his numbers will likely dip after losing wingers Alexandre Giroux and Chris Bourque, but he could still score 25 or 30 goals and add around 60 assists, which is solid production at any level.

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