Trevor van Riemsdyk: 2022-23 Washington Capitals Season Review

In the next review in our series of reviews of the Washington Capitals‘ 2022-23 season performance, we’ll be taking a look at Trevor van Riemsdyk‘s performance this season. For purposes of this post (and my typing fingers), I’ll be referring to him as TVR from here on out.

The Capitals signed TVR to a one-year, $800k contract in unrestricted free agency prior to the start of the 2020-21 season. Since he has joined the Caps, TVR has now signed two extensions with the team: a two-year contract with a $950k cap hit that has now expired with the season ending, and another extension for three years with a $3M cap hit that’ll run through the 2025-26 season.

Due to the injuries on the blue line, the Capitals opted to keep TVR instead of trading him during the sell-off of veteran players on expiring contracts at the trade deadline. TVR’s strong performances since the 2020-21 season resulted in the aforementioned contract extensions, and with three 23-year-olds on the left side of the defense as it’s currently slated, having another veteran on the right side made a lot of sense for the future.

The statistics used in this post are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick, Evolving Hockey, Hockey Reference, and HockeyViz. Contract and transaction information is courtesy of CapFriendly. If you’d like to learn more about the statistical terms used in this post, please check out our NHL Analytics Glossary.


We’ll start our evaluation of TVR’s play in the most important game situation: five-on-five play. Here’s a breakdown of TVR’s performance in key metrics this season:

Overall, the 2022-23 campaign was a really solid one for TVR. Now, to add a bit of context to the stats above, here’s a month-to-month breakdown of TVR’s performance in possession and shot generation/suppression metrics:

Similar to Nick Jensen, TVR also had a rather rocky start to the season in the month of October. He rebounded substantially in November, increasing his effectiveness in Corsi For percentage (CF%), Fenwick For percentage (FF%), and shots for percentage (SF%). He did hit a bit of a valley in performance in December, but still managed to stay at the 50% watermark in SF%.

Down the stretch, TVR performed rather well, especially in January and February. March leveled off a bit closer to where he was in December, but a large portion of that was due to other injuries and the selling-off of assets on expiring contracts towards the end of the season. Due to those players being out of the lineup via injury or trade, TVR saw a few different pairing partners. Building that chemistry with new partners can take some time, and the Caps weren’t performing well on top of that.

You might notice that April is missing here; TVR missed the final stretch of games due to an upper body injury.

Here’s TVR’s goals for percentage (GF%) and expected goals for percentage (xGF%) by month this season:

Simply put, TVR really excelled in both of these metrics. There are a few contributing factors at play here. For one, he received a majority of his zone starts this season in the offensive zone, which adds a bit more offensive opportunities, and usually means that he’s starting with better offensive players in those scenarios. Two, the Caps shot at a pretty decent 10.25%, which lends credence to the fact that he was deployed with more offensively capable forwards in the offensive zone.

Another contributing factor to his success in GF% and xGF% was scoring chance (SCF%) and high-danger chance (HDCF%) performance:

For a majority of the season, the Caps controlled high-danger chances and overall scoring chances when TVR was on the ice. When you control a higher share of high-danger chances and overall scoring chances while you’re on the ice, that drives your xGF figure up. Typically, the higher your xGF rises, the actual goals will follow. That was an issue that the Capitals dealt with at a team level this season, but TVR largely didn’t suffer from that negative differential.


Here’s a look at the top pairings in terms of ice time for TVR this past season:

I’m not too worried about the lack of performance on a pairing with Nick Jensen, considering that they’re both right handed defensemen, so the odds of them being on a pairing together moving forward are rather unlikely.

What does concern me is that TVR’s best pairing performances are with players that are no longer with the Capitals (assuming that Matt Irwin is not retained). A potential bright spot, though, is on a pairing with Alexander Alexeyev, which isn’t pictured above. In 73:53 of ice time together, they posted a 52.03 CF%, a 56.6 FF%, a 60 SF%, a 62.29 xGF%, and a 60 GF% with only 29.17% of their zone starts occurring in the offensive zone. That’s definitely potential for a third pairing next season.


Let’s take a look at how TVR’s Goals Above Replacement (GAR) and expected Goals Above Replacement (xGAR) this season compares to other seasons during his career:

In his second through his fourth season in the NHL, TVR saw his overall player value increase rather substantially from his rookie season. Following that, though, he saw a pretty substantial fall from really strong performances to merely just above average. Luckily, that level of play is what made TVR available for a prove-it deal prior to the 2020-21 season.

After a little bit of a rocky GAR performance (but a decently solid xGAR showing), TVR’s player value has shot up steeply. The 2022-23 season is TVR’s highest rated season in GAR, posting a 12.3 overall value. That’s not too shabby for a third pairing defenseman.

Here’s TVR’s Rate-Adjusted Plus Minus (RAPM), which is used to compare a player’s performance in key metrics at a rate of sixty minutes of play to the league average:

Did I mention that TVR was a third pairing defenseman when the Caps were healthy? Because this performance is exceptional for a player used in that role. His GF/60 and xGF/60 performance during five-on-five play being so strong on his RAPM chart is not really a surprise considering the metrics we discussed a bit earlier in the post.

Surprisingly, TVR showed some effectiveness on the power play in really limited ice time. He’s likely not going to get much, if any, ice time there moving forward assuming Rasmus Sandin and John Carlson are healthy, but having some depth there is a value add.


Here’s TVR’s individual isolated impact when he’s on the ice (via HockeyViz):

Due to TVR having a higher rate of offensive zone starts during five-on-five play, as well as the opportunity to play with more skilled forwards, it’s no surprise to see that +5% impact in xGF/60 for even-strength offense. What’s a bit more surprising, though, is that he has a -5% xGA/60 in even-strength defense.

To make a call-back to the RAPM chart we shared above, this just means that TVR is more effective on the ice in creating offensive opportunities than he is at suppressing them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if he’s being utilized the right way, and he was definitely deployed correctly this season.


It’d be smart for the next head coach of the Capitals to use TVR similarly to how he was used this season. That would mean a higher rate of offensive zone starts, with penalty kill duties mixed in.

If the Caps and General Manager Brian MacLellan opt to not bring in another top four quality defenseman, it’s likely we could see Alexeyev and TVR rounding out the third pairing. If this season’s performance together in a rather small sample size pans out to a season long performance, we could see a very effective third pairing.

Overall, the Caps could do a lot worse than TVR on the right side of their third pairing. I also like that MacLellan balanced out veterans and young players on the blue line, which should help speed the pace of play for the Caps a bit, while also adding experience.

By Justin Trudel

About Justin Trudel

Justin is a lifelong Caps fan, with some of his first memories of the sport watching the team in the USAir Arena and the 1998 Stanley Cup appearance. Now a resident of St. Augustine, FL, Justin watches the Caps from afar. Justin graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Political Science from Towson University, and a Master's of Science in Applied Information Technology from Towson University. Justin is currently a product manager. Justin enjoys geeking out over advanced analytics, roster construction, and cap management.
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4 Responses to Trevor van Riemsdyk: 2022-23 Washington Capitals Season Review

  1. Anonymous says:

    3M is too much for your 7th defenseman.

    • Mark Eiben says:

      He simply won’t be a 7th on this team but at least 3rd pair with PK time like the article talks about.

  2. GRin430 says:

    Folks — Look at the colored blob distribution on the xGA/60 graph and you see that the right side of the ice has a lot of blue — good results — with the left side and high slot areas having lots of red — bad results. To me that is an indication that TVR is doing fine, his LD partner, LW (in particular) and C are doing not so fine. NHL defense is played in 5 man units — no defenseman can cover the entire zone, but it is clear that the problems the Caps had when TVR was on the ice did not come from the area of the ice where he generally patrolled.

    • dwgie26 says:

      Just went and looked with that view. Very interesting. Thanks for describing that. You can totally see good in the RD location and red on left side both offense and defense. Cool. Many don’t like the TVR resigning but he can play both sides and up when needed. Good utility for 3Mx3.

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