MacKenzie Weegar has quite simply been elite through his first 34 games in a Calgary Flames jersey. In the 2021–22 season, as a member of the Florida Panthers, he put up a career year through 80 games on the scoresheet, notching eight goals and 44 points. This season, however, he has yet to score his first goal as a Calgary Flame and has just seven assists on the season. Furthermore, it is evident that Weegar has been adjusting to a more defensive variant of himself on the back end and has done tremendously in this aspect.
However, his underlying metrics clearly show he’s still an excellent hockey player despite the lower production.
Weegar’s impact at 5v5
Using charts from HockeyViz.com, it’s seen that Weegar has done a great job at generating a form of an offensive rush game this season, it seems more of an aspect of luck that he’s only produced seven points on the year, being on pace for just 16 points through 81 games. This number should and will go up.
Defensively, he has been an absolute juggernaut. His chance suppression levels are magnificent. Look at all that blue, the chart just simply speaks for itself.
Weegar’s versatility playing in the top-four
Looking at data from NaturalStatTrick.com, MacKenzie Weegar has had two partners he’s played a bunch with this season. This makes sense given the abundance of injuries that have hit the club on the backend so far this season. When placed alongside Chris Tanev, he plays on the left side and when suited up with Nikita Zadorov—should the circumstances arise—he’s slotted on the right side. Weegar’s versatility and ability to be able to be comfortable on both sides as a right-handed shot, while delivering that high-end defensive result wherever deployed, speaks volumes to the capability of his overall skillset.
Alongside Tanev, they form one of the higher-end top pairs in the league. They’ve combined for a total of 283:31 minutes this season as a pairing, with the frequency of their starts beginning in the neutral zone. The pairing’s CF% is 56.50 and their xGF% is 55.58. The pair have generated 287 chances for and of that subset, 57 high-danger chances for (HDCF) this season while facing 221 chances against and of that subset 36 high-danger chances against (HDCA).
Alongside Zadorov, they have also formed one of the higher-end top-four pairings in the league. They’ve combined for a total of 222:38 minutes this season as a pairing, with the frequency of their starts also beginning in the neutral zone. The pairing’s CF% is 63.55 and their xGF% is 54.15. The pair have generated 258 chances for and of that subset, 36 HDCF this season while facing 148 chances against and of that subset 46 HDCA.
A solid player with more upside to come
Weegar has been an amazing addition and it should be only a matter of time before his offensive production finds a lane to really click to its utmost potential. Finishing as a whole is an area the team in its entirety will likely be looking to improve in the New Year.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire