Well Weise is a 4th round draft pick of the New York Rangers in 2008, 111th overall. After two and a half years of playing for the Rangers' AHL affiliates, Weise was finally given a shot in New York, where he saw action in 10 games.
The following season Weise was put on waivers after failing to make the Rangers out of training camp, and was claimed by the Canucks. In the three seasons that followed, Weise carved himself out a spot on the fourth line, where he's put up 10 goals and 16 assists in 152 games, a 14 point per season pace.
But it's tough to really judge a 4th line guy on points, so let's delve into the player that the Habs acquired in a bit of depth.
How a player is used is extremely important for determining their worth, so the first thing we're going to look at is how Weise was used in Vancouver.
What we can see from Weise's history is that Alain Vigneault thought Weise could be a sacrificial forward on the 4th line in extremely tough zonal minutes, but against soft competition. The next season his load was lightened slightly, and after Tortorella took over, his ice time dropped, his minutes got much easier, and he was put with better teammates to help him out. Being used in the defensive zone less and less isn't a good sign, but let's wait to judge until we look at his performance.
Not exactly an inspiring looking player, but considering his deployment he's also not a disaster. Kind of.
The trouble here is that as Weise's job got easier, he's gotten worse. His best season was under Vigneault last year, but he hasn't worked at all under Tortorella. With that said, through half a season of games he has set his career high in points the year in spite of a crumbling shot rate, so how did that happen?
Well the easy explanation is that he's been lucky. Very lucky.
Over the last two years, Dale Weise has an on-ice shooting percentage of 5.33%, which while way under league average, is relatively normal for a fourth line grinding role. This season his on-ice shooting percentage is 8.84%, a 3.51 percentage point increase that is really a 65.9% increase in the percentage of shots that end up in the net while he's on the ice. Even with a marginal improvement in finishing ability, that's not sustainable.
Compounding that, Weise has an absurdly high IPP (Individual Points Percentage) of 84.6%, the highest of any Canuck to play over 300 minutes this year. What that means is that of all the goals scored while Weise is on the ice, he gets a point on 84.6% of them.
That may sound like a good thing on the surface, but the best players in the world are rarely that involved in scoring, and you can rest assured that Weise isn't. His previous two years he registered an IPP of 66.7%, which is still very good for a player of his talent level.
What do we have?
Talking with Canucks analysts, Weise is continually trapped in a role that he refuses to commit to. He sees himself as a skilled forward, even though he's never produced at a level required to be considered one in his entire career, all the way back to junior.
In spite of his size and speed, he's not an overly physical player, even if he's a fairly strong forechecker. So what did the Canadiens trade Diaz for? Approximately a 10 point per season 13th forward who at 25 years old isn't likely to change much.
Weise's speed could be an asset on the fourth line if he has players like Brandon Prust and Michael Bournival to work with, as all three can skate very well and forecheck, but is he an upgrade on Travis Moen? Definitely not. Ryan White? Based on the comments regarding his physicality, I doubt it.
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