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TLN Top 20 Leafs: #18 David Kampf

David Kampf might be the least hyped Toronto Maple Leaf addition I’ve ever seen in my time as a Leafs fan. Not that he should be hyped, but with every signing and trade throughout the year, there’s always a few fans that are super excited of them, whether it’s the Kurtis Gabriels or Cody Cecis getting hyped by the anti-analytics crowd, or even Travis Boyd, who at least had some good underlying numbers so there was some intrigue with him.

This also showed in his rankings, as no one ranked him higher than 16, which is kind of low for someone who might be slotted on the third line, and only one person didn’t have him ranked. He rounds out at 18, where we continue the countdown.

Five Interesting Stats

5v5 CF% Rel 5v5 xGF% Rel 5v5 CF% Rel w/o Kane 5v5 xGF% Rel w/o Kane Sh%
3.16% 1.66% 4.83% 4.18% 1.6%

Part of the reason there isn’t a ton of hype behind Kampf is that there isn’t really a whole lot he does. His point totals are underwhelming, his basic underlying numbers don’t do a whole lot. That said, he did play for the team that ranked second last in shot attempt share and the worst team in expected goals share last season, so you have to look at his numbers relative to his teammates. When you do, it still isn’t amazing, but it at least means he might be effective on a team with better players and better systems. You know, like the Leafs.

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Those numbers look even better when you take him away from Patrick Kane. That might seem like a weird thing to do, because you’d think it’d be better to play with someone as talented as Patrick Kane, but the problem is that Kane has been consistently one of the worst play drivers in the league, especially at suppressing shot attempts. That’s not exactly what he’s supposed to do, but it’s important to keep in mind that players that play with him will probably see their possession stats take a hit when they were playing with him. Kampf only played 101 of his 659 5v5 minutes last season with Kane, and there’s still quite the difference in his numbers, so it might bode well when he’s playing on a better team.

The final thing I want to note is that while it is concerning that he only scored one goal last season, he only shot 1.6% last season. It’s not like shooting his career average will make a huge difference (his career goal pace is just under six goals in an 82 game season), but it’s at least not one goal.

Last season

Kampf didn’t exactly have the hottest start to the season, as he managed to put up only two assists in his first eighteen games, and it was a sign of things to come for most of the season for him.

He had a bit of a hot streak (by his standards) after that, as he had a 12 game stretch with six assists. But, that didn’t ultimately turn around his season, as he dried up and only put up his lone goal of the season and four points in the final 26 games of the season.

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Despite the lack of production, he didn’t miss a single game of the season, even as a healthy scratch, so at the very least, he’s durable, and he can do the things that keep him in the lineup. That said, he also played for the Chicago Blackhawks, so it’s not like they had too many better options.

What to expect…

The best tool that Kampf brings to the lineup is that he can play center, which gives the Leafs a bit more flexibility at that position. That’s weird to say for a team that boasts Auston Matthews and John Tavares down the middle, but beyond those two, it’s a bit more bare bones.

Kerfoot is a solid option as a third line center, but they also seem to like playing him in the top six. The problem with that is that their next best option is Pierre Engvall, or using Jason Spezza outside of the sheltered role they have been that he’s really excelled in. Kampf at least gives them another option for a third line center if they want to play Kerfoot up the lineup.

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He also got a lot of time on the penalty kill for Chicago last season. In fact, he actually led all forwards in shorthanded time on ice, so he’ll probably be looked at as an option there. He seemed to do alright there relative to his teammates, but whether that’s because he was good or because the team was bad will be something we’ll have to find out this season with the Leafs.

As far as offense goes, I wouldn’t expect much…

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All in all, I wouldn’t expect a ton from Kampf. He’s an underwhelming player, but I’d imagine he’ll be better on the Leafs than he was in Chicago, although I’d wouldn’t expect him to blow me out of the water either.

Kampf’s goal song

For Kampf’s goal song, I’m going to go with the classic “No One Knows” by the Queens of the Stone Age, for two reasons. Firstly, no one really knows a song that would accurately describe him, and secondly, no one really knows him either. Sorry, David, you’ll probably find your way into our hearts eventually, but for now, this is the best you get.