Player: Colton Sceviour
Born: April 20, 1989 (32)
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthplace: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Draft: Dallas Stars - Round 4 (#112) - 2007
2020-21 Statistics: 46 GP, 5 G, 5 A, 10 P
Contract Status: Signed a three-year, $3,600,000 contract with the Florida Panthers in 2018-19 with a cap hit of $1.2 million; will be a UFA this summer.
Sceviour did not dress for a single game during the Penguins’ six-game series against the New York Islanders.
Story of the Season
If “fourth-line winger” was a term in a dictionary, a picture of Colton Sceviour may very well appear next to it.
There was nothing sexy or overly impressive about the 32-year-old’s most recent campaign. Sceviour has built his reputation on being a dependable, inoffensive, plug-and-play forward. His value, as you’ll see below, comes in the form of his penalty-killing abilities.
Sceviour’s birthday month of April is where he saw the most success from an offensive standpoint, registering three goals and six out of his 10 total points this year. More on this development a little later.
By season’s end, however, Sceviour was left behind as a healthy scratch, with Mike Sullivan choosing to roll with Jeff Carter, Jared McCann, and Frederick Gaudreau on line three while leaving his buzzsaw line of Zach Aston-Reese, Teddy Blueger, and Brandon Tanev intact to solidify the bottom-six.
Regular season 5v5 advanced stats
data via Natural Stat Trick. Ranking is out of 16 forwards on the team who qualified by playing a minimum of 150 minutes.
Corsi For %: 49.39 (11th)
Goals For %: 48.28 (13th)
xGF %: 11.1 (12th)
Scoring Chance %: 53.75 (4th)
High Danger Scoring Chance %: 45.71 (11th)
5v5 on-ice shooting %: 7.91 (11th)
On-ice save %: 90.57 (14th)
—Nothing here looks great on paper. Finishing towards the bottom in almost all of these categories gives the indication of a not-so-good player. Sceviour’s advanced metrics have never really been favorable, and this season was no different in that regard. Although if you're looking for positives, he did have a better year in terms of CF% and FF% when compared to his last year with the Florida Panthers.
Sceviour was never going to light the lamp or show up in the assist column, but not everyone in the league has the shot or finishing ability of a Crosby or McDavid.
Sceviour’s statistical history shows a rather underwhelming player. But according to this WAR chart at least, he was an adequate, defensively-responsible forward in 2021.
And looking over a larger sample size here, the last three seasons to be exact, the Alberta native has actually shown signs of improvement in his game. Again, notice the decrease in offensive production over this span, but take note, too, of the respectable even strength percentages. Sceviour is, by all accounts, your average bottom-sixer.
Looking at the career trajectory above, it’s clear that Sceviour’s best years may be behind him from an offensive standpoint. He has settled into his role as a depth piece.
Sceviour shared the ice with the likes of Mark Jankowski, Anthony Angello, Sam Lafferty, and a plethora of other depth players who filled out the lower two lines.
A large chunk of his ice time came in the form of either 5v5 play or defending the opposition’s power-play. The shift starts at the bottom of this picture highlight Sceviour’s reputation and dependability as a defensive forward.
As previously mentioned, he added some great value on the PK. The Pens were often better with Sceviour out there (left image) when compared to him not being on the ice (right image).
Perhaps the most notable game of Sceviour’s 2021 season came on April 11 against the New Jersey Devils. One day after he was placed on waivers by the Penguins, he went unclaimed, and his status with the club remained unchanged.
He suited up for the following contest and found the back of the net twice, propelling Pittsburgh to a 5-2 victory over their devilish divisional rivals:
Solid start for the boys in black and gold! pic.twitter.com/XkaUzBGOo8— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 11, 2021
Nice play by Marcus Petterson to spring Sceviour into the offensive zone. While the first attempt didn't go, that didn't mean Sceviour was ready to give up on the play.
Can we please talk about Colton Sceviour recording two goals in the first six minutes of the game? pic.twitter.com/L8uFlOR4BP— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 11, 2021
And a few moments later, the winger was zooming down the fist bump line again. Solid deflection goal thanks to Mike Matheson. The Patric Hornqvist trade comes full swing in this moment.
In all honesty, the Penguins could have done a lot worse than Colton Sceviour. Yes, he’s not an analytics darling and his point totals aren't incredibly impressive, but I’m sure the player is better than a lot of other black hole bottom-six forwards around the league.
There is no one trait that is going to wow you with Sceviour. You're getting a responsible penalty-killer who will give you the odd goal here and there. But for a 2007 fourth-round pick, he’s managed to carve out a respectable career for himself.
What does the future hold for the veteran? He has an expiring contract on a team that is looking to shed some salary and make a few moves to maximize the final years of the Crosby-Malkin era.
Sceviour may be expendable to the Penguins. They could find cheaper alternatives in the free agent market or through their farm system (e.g. Radim Zohorna) to round out their bottom-six for next season. The $1.2 million Sceviour previously made could certainly be used elsewhere.
Question to ponder
Will the Penguins look to retain the services of Sceviour heading into the 2021-22 campaign? While I believe this to be unlikely, it’s not like the forward will demand a massive contract given his abilities.
How would you grade Colton Sceviour’s 2020-21 season?
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