The Tampa Bay Lightning have dealt Vancouver’s 2020 conditional first-round pick and forward prospect Nolan Foote to the New Jersey Devils for Blake Coleman. Here’s why this trade is an absolutely awful move by Tampa Bay.
First of all, before I go on a rampage, here’s what the Tampa Bay Lightning are getting in Blake Coleman. In 57 games played with New Jersey this season, Coleman has recorded 21 goals and 10 assists for 31 points, all while averaging a hair over 17 minutes a game.
In his previous three seasons, he scored 1, 13 and 22 goals, in that order, improving each passing season. His emergence on the Devils is one that happened fast and due to a few things out of the Devils control. He was the player given extra ice time when Taylor Hall, among others, went down with injuries last season. Coleman took advantage of those openings and carved out a top-6 role with the Devils.
This season, Coleman continued his year-to-year improvement, as he is set to shatter his previous career-high of 22 goals and 36 points. While Coleman has been improving upon his offensive capabilities, he hasn’t gotten away from his bread-and-butter style of play, which is aggressive and physically imposing.
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His last two seasons, he eclipsed the 200 hit mark, and so far this season he sits at 166. Coleman averages 2.8 hits a game, so it’s fair to assume he’ll have about 3 hits in every game. Not just that, but he has an impressive takeaway to giveaway ratio of 42-19 in his career, which is a +23 differential.
Coleman also blocks a lot of shots, as he eclipsed 50 in 2017-18 and passed 40 in 2018-19. This season, he has 40 shot blocks, meaning there is a strong chance that he could surpass his career-high this year.
Over the last three seasons, per Corsica-hockey, Coleman is tied for 4th on the Devils for points in all situations, recording 91. Of those 91 points, 78 were primary, which ranked 4th on the Devils in that same span.
However, Coleman is 32nd out of 54 total players in that same span in CF%, meaning he isn’t exactly a good possession player, recording a 44.9% in that metric. He also ranks unfavorably in goals-for%, as he has been on the ice for 149 goals for, while also being on the ice for 205 goals against (which is a -56) for a 42.09 GF% (ranks 33rd/54). For those who favor expected goals over actual goals, then guess what? He doesn’t rank high there either, with a 45.68 xGF%.
Coleman has only played a hair over 92 total minutes on the powerplay over the last three seasons and has recorded three goals and one assist on the man advantage in that span, so he wasn’t acquired to provide more help on the PP.
However, he has played the second-most penalty killing time for New Jersey in that same span, behind only Andy Greene, who was also traded today. Coleman has provided 12 short-handed points, all of them being primary. He has arguably been the best PK player for the Devils over the last three seasons, so ultimately the Tampa Bay Lightning added a PK specialist with some offensive upside.