Player: Dominik Simon
Born: August 8, 1994
Weight: 190 pounds
Hometown: Prague, Czech Republic
Draft: Draft: Pittsburgh, 5th round (137th overall), 2015 NHL Entry Draft
2021-22 Statistics: With Pittsburgh Penguins: 55 GP, 3 G, 6 A, 9 P, 28 PIM
2021-22 Statistics: With Anaheim Ducks: 17 GP, 0 G, 4 A, 4 P, 6 PIM
Contract Status: Simon signed a one-year, $750,000 deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins in July of last year. The 27-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent when the free agency period opens later this summer.
N/A. Anaheim did not qualify for the 2021-22 NHL playoffs.
Story of the Season
Yes, yes, by this point, you know what to expect from Dom Simon. A player with very good possession metrics, he can go to the dirty areas and doesn’t really hurt his team, but he can’t hit the broad side of a barn.
Simon scored four of his 13 points in the first five games of the season. Then, he would go without registering a single point until notching an assist in the December 19 game against the New Jersey Devils.
From January 30 through March 3, Simon never logged more than 9:31 of ice time. His deployment would remain similar to this until he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks at the trading deadline for Rickard Rakell.
Once in Anaheim, Simon saw a decent spike in his playing time. The forward was routinely getting anywhere from 10-to-18 minutes per game out on the west coast.
Regular season 5v5 advanced stats
Data via Natural Stat Trick. The ranking is out of 17 forwards on the team who qualified by playing a minimum of 150 minutes.
Corsi For %: 57.84 (2nd)
Goals For %: 50.00 (12th)
xGF %: 58.01 (2nd)
Scoring Chance %: 55.64 (7th)
High Danger Scoring Chance %: 56.89 (5th)
5v5 on-ice shooting %: 6.49 (16th)
On-ice save %: 90.61 (14th)
What does this tell us? Simon was a great possession driver, but couldn’t create tangible offense. Stop me if you’ve heard that before. All process, no results, and it’s a results-oriented business.
Overall Simon is a fourth-line player, who doesn’t play against any stiff competition, nor has great teammates. He can’t finish or score goals to make an impact, though his ES offense and defense aren’t bad. He’s just kinda...there.
Simon is reliable at exiting the zone according to the micro-stats but generally useless at anything besides passing back to the defensemen at the point in the offensive zone.
The offense wasn’t really there for Simon this year, but for his price tag, as a twelfth or thirteenth forward, he’s... okay? Sometimes it’s okay to be okay. Simon will never wow anyone on the scoresheet, but he is the kind of player that can play up and down the lineup when duty calls.
As an unrestricted free agent, Simon’s 2022-23 season is a bit murky at the moment. Wherever Simon ends up, he’ll probably be best suited for a bottom-six role or where his future services might be sought after moving forward.
After scoring 13 points in back-to-back seasons, one has to wonder if Simon has reached his offensive ceiling as an NHLer or if he can find a way to somehow replicate his 2018-2020 form when he scored 28 and 22 points over the duration of those two seasons.
Question to ponder
Well, where will Simon go from here? He could re-sign with the Ducks, giving them what he gave the Penguins: cheap, inoffensive depth. Maybe he tests the open market and latches onto another team. Simon could return to his native Czech Republic or play elsewhere in Europe. Or maybe, just maybe, Ron Hextall gives the man a call and he returns to Pittsburgh, much to the ire of armchair general managers everywhere.
How would you grade Dominik Simon’s 2021-22 season?
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