The 2022-23 season will be one to forget for Washington Capitals players and fans as the promising team they believed in at the start of the year, turned out to be a disappointing season that led to the team missing the playoffs by a wide margin. While there were a lot of issues the team will have to iron out if they want to be successful next season, there were a few players who stood out as future studs that will help lead them to success.
One of those players was Sonny Milano, who was passed over by every other team in the NHL after a solid season with the Anaheim Ducks, and eventually agreed to a deal with the Capitals. He wasn’t expected to do very much as a depth player, but he overcame the odds and became one of the team’s most consistent players throughout the year.
Biggest Positive: Offensive Outbreak
As I mentioned, Milano wasn’t expected to be much of an offensive producer, but he shocked everyone. His two-way play was strong, but his stats stood out on the score sheet and he became a go-to player in plenty of scenarios for the coaching staff and was leaned on to provide scoring in big game moments, even earning a spot on the top powerplay unit near the end of the season.
While he was brought in on a cheap contract, he was worth every penny. He finished the season sixth in team scoring and tied for fifth in assists. On a team that struggled defensively, his minus-5 plus/minus rating was impressive as he was one of the best defensive-minded forwards that was also able to produce opportunities for his teammates.
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Milano has never been known as a 60-70 point scorer, but his depth scoring is something plenty of teams missed out on this season, and the Capitals took advantage.
Biggest Spot To Improve: Taking More Shots
It’s hard to pick apart every player especially Milano who had one of the best seasons as a Capital this past year, but if we’re being picky, he could try and shoot more. While his shooting percentage was quite high at 13.8%, he finished the year with only 80 shots and while he did miss a number of games at the start of the year, he could focus next season on firing the puck more. He underestimates his own shot and decides to pass more often than not which is good, but being selfish sometimes is beneficial.
I hate to be nitpicky because he is such a strong player, but sometimes you need to be a bit more selfish. He finished the year with 11 goals on 80 shots which is impressive, but his point totals could rise even more next season when he plays a full 82-game season and plays top-six minutes.
- 33 points in 64 games, a 0.52 point-per-game average
- Three game-winning goals, tied for the team lead
- 13.8% shooting percentage
Final Grade: B+
The Capitals got everything they wanted and more out of Milano, so I’m giving him a season grade of B+. He was one of the best players on the team this past season and it’s hard to find any weak points in his game. He’s likely to break his own personal point record next season, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him break 50.
What’s Next For Milano?
The Capitals rewarded Milano with a three-year extension worth $1.9 million a season. This is a steal of a deal, and Capitals fans will likely be seeing lots of him over the next few seasons as he looks to help the team back into the playoffs en route to their second Stanley Cup in franchise history.