Mark Stone: Best And Worst Case Scenarios Next Season


A few days ago I began a new series that will discuss several players best and worst case scenarios for the 2015-16 season. I began with Mika Zibanejad, and today I will talk about star forward Mark Stone. He had an amazing rookie season last year, and he finished second in Calder voting. But how will he fare next season? Let’s take a look.

Worst Case:

Stone had such a great season last year that he basically has reached his full potential. He could certainly get better at skating and perhaps produce a bit more points but it’s hard to improve on a 64-point year. The bad news is that there’s a real good chance his output will decrease next season just because of regression. It’s not like he was amazingly lucky, although he did have a 16.6% shooting percentage.

While he is known to be a good shooter regardless, I would expect that number to come down a bit. The stretch run for Ottawa made his numbers shoot up insanely high and it was amazing to see him finish with 26 goals. However, it wouldn’t be smart to bet on another run like that happening for the team and for Stone, so that will drop his shooting percentage.

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It’s not as if Stone will get worse, because I believe his game translates very well no matter how many points he’s producing. Even if he was getting 35-40 points he would still be valuable because of his solid possession numbers, his ability to get in front of the net and his ability to use his size. He’s also one of the smartest players you’ll watch play so that adds a lot to the team.

But I can easily see his point totals coming down because of poor overall team performance and his shooting percentage dropping. I’m not saying the team will necessarily perform poorly, but if other top-six players aren’t playing well then Stone won’t be getting as many goals or assists.

There have been many examples of red-hot rookies cooling down in a sophomore slump, as players like Jonathan Huberdeau, Nail Yakupov, and Nathan MacKinnon have all experienced it recently. After getting 31 points in 48 games as a rookie, Huberdeau then regressed to just 28 in 69 games. And Yakupov netted just 24 points in 63 games after he had 31 in 48 in the lockout season as well.

Apr 11, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Ottawa Senators right wing Mark Stone (61) celebrates his second goal of the game during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Ottawa won the game 3-1 and clinched a playoff spot. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

MacKinnon wasn’t even a bad player this year, but he had 38 points in 64 games after winning the Calder. So it’s not impossible to imagine Stone regressing, and I’d say the worst case scenario is about 35 points. If his shooting percentage goes below 10% he will end up with around 15 goals. If he ended up with 15 goals, he probably wouldn’t have too many assists either so 20 would be at the low end of the spectrum.

Best Case:

Stone was Ottawa’s best forward last year, and there’s a good chance he will be the best once again next season. His game works so well in the NHL as he’s the perfect size at 6’2″, 205 lbs and he can go the dirty areas while also possessing a ton of skill. He’s an almost perfect package so it’s hard not to get excited about him. We saw what he can do, as he was simply dominant down the stretch. He was a top-10 player in the league in the second half, and fans are hoping that’s the real Stone.

Since he got 64 points last year, there isn’t too much room to go up. In the end, I don’t think he will be a superstar that will consistently be in the hunt for the Art Ross award. Hitting a point per game is extremely hard nowadays, but I do think that he has the potential to get around 70 points.

I don’t think his ceiling is that much higher than where he is right now

He’s just heading into his prime at the age of 23, but don’t expect him to all of a sudden become the MVP of the league, which would be an 85-90 point player. He has room to grow but not that much really. I think over the course of his career he has all the tools to be very consistent, and he will probably get around 30 goals and 60-70 points ever year for quite a while.

I think that the best case scenario for him next season would be 30 goals and 40 assists, which would have been 17th in the entire league in points last year. That is only six more points that what he got last year, but like I said, I don’t think his ceiling is that much higher than where he is right now.


Compared to Zibanejad, Stone’s range for next season looks quite big. I can see him getting anywhere between 35-70 points which is extremely broad. While it’s nice to think that he will progress even further next year, I really do think he will take a step back simply because of his shooting percentage falling and the curse that is the “sophomore slump.”

Nathan MacKinnon is an extremely talented player that has MVP potential, but in his sophomore year he had only 38 points. Even if Stone does get a lot fewer points, that won’t make him a bad player. He has all the skills to be fantastic for years to come, but my gut tells me that he will end up getting around 40-45 points.

Sadly that’s closer to the worst case scenario, but I truly do hope he can keep it up next season. Next year it’s easy to predict a bit of a blip on the radar, and I’ll be very impressed if he can avoid the dreaded sophomore slump.

Next: Mika Zibanejad: Best And Worst Case Scenarios

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