Through the first six games of the season, Joonas Donskoi has been arguably the most consistent forward on the team. He does whatever is needed, from special teams to strong five-on-five play, yet he rarely gets the spotlight. Here is a look at how the pride of Rahee, Finland, has done so far this season.
Donskoi is Strong at Five on Five
Although fans may not notice him, Donskoi has arguably been the best forward on the Kraken this season at five on five. Just because he has yet to find the back of the net doesn’t mean his play has suffered. Here are some of his five-on-five statistics, along with where he ranks on the team.
|Category||Total||Place on Team|
|Points||3||Tied for First|
|Shots||7||Tied for Fourth|
|Individual Expected Goals||1.23||First|
|Individual Scoring Chances For||9||Tied for Second|
|Individual High Danger Chances For||7||First|
|Team Goal For Percentage||57.14%||Second|
Whether it is shot generation, creating scoring opportunities, or preventing high danger chances, Donskoi has stepped up and has kept this team afloat during games. As for his defensive game versus the Vancouver Canucks, he helped limited players like Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller to zero shots while five on five. He has also only been on the ice for three goals against despite matching up against the other team’s top players most nights. Overall, he has been very impressive through the first six games despite the team’s overall record.
If there is one criticism of Donskoi’s five-on-five game, it’s the same as almost every Kraken player in that the team gives up to many scoring chances and high danger scoring chances against. Through the six games, Donskoi has a 46.28 Corsi for percentage (CF%) and has been on the ice for 18 high danger chances against. The main reason for these problematic numbers was a three-game stretch when Seattle played Nashville, Columbus and Philadelphia. These were arguably Seattle’s three worst games this season as the team struggled five on five. Despite the number of chances against, he was still one of the better Kraken players during this stretch as he was still creating offensive opportunities and high danger chances.
Partnership With Alex Wennberg
The player that Donskoi has shown some chemistry with is Alex Wennberg. The two have played a total of 52:39 while five and five and boast a 52.56 CF% rating. Last game versus Vancouver, the two were separated for all but 2:25 of five on five ice time. While separated, the duo had a 33.33 CF%. When put back together, it jumped to 71.43%. The two were even on the ice and helped set up the first-ever goal scored at Climate Pledge Arena. It is early, and coach Dave Hakstol is trying different combinations, but this duo has found some chemistry and should be kept together.
Donskoi’s Work on Special Teams
Donskoi has been a big part of the Kraken penalty kill so far this season. His 13:10 TOI is the most by any Kraken player, and he has helped limit the opposition to one goal. He also has one blocked shot and two takeaways while shorthanded. His most impressive performance came against Philadelphia, where he held the Flyers to zero shots in 1:49 of ice-time. He hasn’t been given a ton of opportunity on the penalty kill throughout his career, but he is showing he can be a difference-maker while shorthanded.
The one area where Donskoi needs to step up a bit is on the power play. He does have one assist but has yet to manage a shot on goal in 9:51 of ice-time. One reason the second unit may not be clicking is unbalanced ice-times in games. Sometimes they get less than 45 seconds a game, and then other times, they are closer to three minutes. It is only a matter of time before he starts producing on the power play, but more opportunities could lead to more production from the second unit.
Donskoi is as Consistent as They Come
With Donskoi, the Kraken know what they are going to get every game. A player who works hard isn’t a liability defensively and can produce offensive chances. He has at least one shot on goal in five of the six games and has yet to take a penalty. Although he may not get the spotlight in Seattle with players like Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz on the roster, he has outplayed them and been Seattle’s most consistent forward this season.
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at dubnetwork.ca where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.