On Sunday, the Devils sent Jacob Josefson to the AHL to help him regain some "confidence". While there's a 6'1 235 lb reason for why he's struggling, I'm going to take a more in depth look at his struggles.
A lot of Devils fans have been expecting a lot of good things from Jacob Josefson. While he's only going to be turning 22 in March, he hasn't exactly managed to succeed. Of course, this isn't due to a lack of effort- he's managed to stay around with the Devils when he's healthy. However, lady luck hasn't been very kind towards him- he's had a few bad breaks (figuratively and literally) in his first two seasons in North America. While he hasn't exactly had the best linemates this season and hasn't been producing offensively (one assist in 15 games), I'm curious to see if he's struggling or just unlucky.
Looking at his offensive stats, one thing stands out to me- that 889 PDO, which ranks last amongst Devils skaters and is one of the worst in the leagues- ranking 593rd out of 607 skaters. In short, he's not getting any breaks (puns intended). His poor luck is reflected in his GF/60, which is rather atrocious- he's been on the ice for one ESG this season. I threw in zone starts and finishes because it shows that while the team's not getting as many attempts on net with Josefson on the ice, they're not ending shifts in their own zone.
Looking at the other side of the coin, Josefson's been decent defensively- he's been one of the better Devils in terms of preventing shots. The relatively high GA/60 has more to do with Josefson's low even-strength ice time totals- however, he's been good at preventing shots, albeit against weak competition. While i'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about his performance on the penalty kill, i'd like to point out that he hasn't been very good at preventing shots on the penalty kill (note Josefson's blocks for/60). He's logged a lot of minutes on the PK, but he really isn't having an impact like Patrik Elias does when he steps on the ice shorthanded.
I also took a look at Josefson's WoWYs- I was somewhat surprised to see that a large majority of Devils skaters saw an increase in Corsi events away from Josefson. The most interesting one is Krys Barch- while he's supposedly the anchor on the 4th line (as in the useless player), he's not actually dragging Josefson down- in fact, Josefson's corsi% drops when he's away from Barch. So while we'd like to blame Josefson's struggles on being stuck with Barch, it doesn't seem that way.
After looking a bit more deeper into the numbers, I can understand why Josefson has been sent down- he's been a rather poor offensive player. Of course, you can make an argument that he hasn't exactly been given the best opportunity, but he hasn't been very good either. I hope he can assert himself a bit more offensively in the AHL and possibly get stronger- doing that could help him out when he makes his return to the Devils.