Ryan Dzingel arrived in Columbus, via Matt Duchene’s chartered plane, the day before the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline. The Blue Jackets sent the dynamic but frustrating (and frustrated) Anthony Duclair the other way, as well as a pair of second round picks in 2020 and 2021. As one of the vaunted six Blue Jackets with 20 goals already on the season (and an Ohio State product), Dzingel brought a boatload of promise and the skill to bolster the club’s already strong top-six group of forwards.
It took nine games for Dzingel to score his first goal as a Blue Jacket. He would score three more in the regular season. He found the back of the net once in the playoffs, his only point in his eighth game of a postseason that saw him healthy scratched for Game 2 against the Boston Bruins. It’s not all about goals though, and 12 points in 21 games is not an insignificant contribution.
Pale Dragon thoroughly covered Dzingel’s time through Game 3 of the Boston series in an excellent piece here. One comment rightly suggests to Dzingel’s usage possibly hampering his production—he played three and a half minutes fewer in Columbus than Ottawa, checking in between Alexander Wennberg and Dean Kukan in terms of average ice time.
His defensive work in both cities left much to be desired, but sometimes you’re willing to live with that for a 20-goal scorer. Opponents’ unblocked shot rates skyrocketed with Dzingel on the ice, and his 13 power play minutes didn’t set the world on fire either. He did mesh well with Josh Anderson and found a home in the high slot. Had he started the season in Columbus, it’s possible he could’ve found a groove and received the appropriate usage that would’ve allowed him to blossom.
Ryan Dzingel 2018-19 Stats
Regular Season (Ottawa)
Games played: 57
Time on ice: 17:45
Penalty minutes: 29
Corsi For (Even strength): 44.6%
Regular Season (Columbus):
Games played: 21
Time on ice: 14:16
Penalty minutes: 0
Corsi For (Even strength): 47.5%
Games played: 9
Time on ice: 11:21
Penalty minutes: 2
Corsi For (Even strength): 43.03%
The 27-year-old Dzingel is an unrestricted free agent. He knows Columbus from his time as a Buckeye and will likely still command a decent contract given his production in Ottawa. Pale Dragon broke down what the Jackets may offer, given similar situations with other players like Boone Jenner and Cam Atkinson.
Would four years at $3.6 million AAV work for Dzingel? It would double the length and annual value of his current contract. For Columbus, it would be a steal for a player who can score 20 goals, but overpriced if he cannot. There’s also the risk of committing to him until age 31 on a team that is young and getting younger.
There’s also the possibility his chemistry with Matt Duchene plays into the CBJ signing Duchene as well.
Dzingel scored his first goal as a Blue Jacket in a game where he also added two assists for a three-point night against Boston on March 12:
He also scored goals in back-to-back games against Vancouver and the New York Islanders, helping kickstart a five-game winning streak that helped propel the CBJ in the to playoffs.
After a nine-game, one-point performance in the playoffs, this brutal exit interview did not go the way he hoped. “Thanks for the question, though” about his Game 2 scratch encapsulates the whole thing.
How would you grade Ryan Dzingel’s 2018-19 in Columbus?
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