The dream for Drake Caggiula was almost over before it started last season. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of the NCAA, Caggiula was injured in training camp. This can often mean being dropped into the minors once healthy, but that wasn’t the case this time.
Caggiula had shown enough in preseason that when he was healthy he jumped right into NHL games. The fact that he bypassed the AHL completely as a rookie shows the amount of faith the coaches and management had in him. The question then becomes, was it well placed?
Caggiula clocks in at #12 in our top 25 under 25, ranking in between 9th and 13th on everyone’s list:
#12 Drake Caggiula
Patrick Olsen had this to say about his placing of Caggiula at #9:
“I ranked Caggiula where I did because I think he's a fine player. Not great, but good enough to what what he is asked. I ranked the top 25 mostly by intrinsic value so he's above every player than hasn't yet proven to be an NHL regular. I don't think he'll be in the league 10 years from now, but at the moment he is above the players who can't crack the lineup.”
I’m of a similar opinion in terms of Caggiula’s long term NHL ability, but where we might disagree is the intrinsic value. Cagguila got pretty roughed up on the fancy stats side, especially against the non dregs of the league.
The following are courtesy of PUCK IQ (who, for the record I am involved with).
What are we looking at here? Aside from your standard Corsi and other numbers, PuckIQ has DF which is Dangerous Fenwick. These are all non blocked shots at the net and applies the probability of that type of shot becoming a goal.
From that we see Caggiula was rather fortunate to come out on the plus side in terms of goal differential vs Elites despite holding a 38.7% DFF. Against middle competition, he’s a bit better at 45.7% DFF and a similar 47.1% GF share. Against the dregs he’s at 53.7% DFF and a 63.6% GF share.
What do we take from all this? Well he was probably a bit lucky to be 50% in terms of goal share against the elites and mids. He did well against the Dregs and that puts him in bottom 6 F territory. Yes he’s a rookie, but he’s also 23 years old, there’s not going to be a heck of a lot of improvement based on history (not just the player, but NHL players in general).
Caggiula is a capable forward who can slot in your bottom 6, but there’s not a heck of a lot of future potential left to be unlocked.