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Montreal Canadiens 2021-22 Forward Ratings: Jake Evans

In a season most players would rather forget, Jake Evans made a memorable impression.

NHL: APR 24 Bruins at Canadiens Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Firstly, let me say, I love Jake Evans. He just does everything well and is always overlooked as a potential middle-six centre. Finishing with a score of 79.4%, 9.8% more than Brendan Gallagher, the top two of this list of Montreal Canadiens forwards really separated themselves from the pack. Much like every draft class the Habs have had the third overall pick for....

There are absolutely no weaknesses in his game. The only reason that, I think, people aren’t more excited about him is because of his age. At 26 years old, most players are firmly entrenched in their prime, not just entering it. However, Phillip Danault was a late bloomer playing his first full NHL year at 24, and mostly relegated to the fourth line for his first two years. I’m not suggesting that Evans will be as good as Danault, but he does have a lot more in common with everyone’s favourite pizza-eater than not.

Last year Evans had the fifth-best Corsi-for percentage, fourth-best xGF%, the best GF% and the eighth-best points per 60 despite having the second-most D-zone faceoffs per 60. Talk about outperforming a deployment.

Much like Danault, he will probably never put up points at an elite rate, but also much like Danault, he seems to play well under any circumstance.

I used to refer to Danault as a freight train, going the same speed no matter how much, or little, weight it pulls. It always seemed like Danault would get his 40 to 50 points a year. no matter if he started every defensive-zone shift against Connor McDavid or every offensive-zone shift against the cast of the Mighty Ducks.

With Montreal’s centre depth rounding out the way it is, it might be hard for the unflashy Evans to work his way up the lineup, but I'm not about to start underestimating him now.

For more info on the model I used, check out the introduction to this series.

#2: Jake Evans
#3: Brendan Gallagher
#4: Christian Dvorak
#5 Nick Suzuki
#6: Tyler Toffoli
#7: Jonathan Drouin
#8: Cole Caufield
#9: Michael Pezzetta
#10: Josh Anderson
#11: Rem Pitlick
#12: Mike Hoffman
#13: Joel Armia
#14: Ryan Poehling
#15: Laurent Dauphin
#16: Paul Byron