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Tanner Jeannot Goal of the Year

Tanner Jeannot. Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning via Twitter (@TBLightning)

We’re finally getting around to reviewing the 2022-23 season. Instead of assigning grades or any of that nonsense, we’ll start by looking at the player’s best goal from the season and go from there. For some it’ll be easy, others have way more to choose from.

Player:

Tanner Jeannot

Stat Line:

(with Lightning) – 20 games played, 1 goal, 3 assists, 22 PIM, 20 shots, 2.84 iXG (5×5), 77 hits

Playoffs – 3 games played, 0 goals, 0 assists, 5 PIM, 3 shots, 0.43 iXG (5×5), 16 hits

Goal of the Year Video:

Jeannot’s first Lightning goal
Tanner Jeannot tips in a feed from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to earn his first goal with the Lightning, making it 2-0 in the 2nd period

Goal of the year description:

This is likely how 90% of Tanner Jeannot’s goals for the Tampa Bay Lightning are going to look. He’s going to be somewhere near the crease and deflect it in or bang home a rebound. 

In this case it’s an excellent job by the Lightning at sticking to their game plan and taking the space that the Islanders give them. The play begins with Erik Cernak pinching down and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is there to cover the point. Ian Cole’s decision to hold onto the puck and not fling it at the net at the first sign of pressure opened things up as he banked a nice pass off the board to Bellemare.

At this point the Islanders are a little out of sync with their coverage and Bellemare has room to wheel behind the net as not one, but two Isles, tackle Corey Perry in front of the net. Seriously, watch Perry on this play. It starts with him in the crease getting bodied by Scott Mayfield. As Bellemare circled behind the net, Mayfield worked him over pretty well and eventually shoved him into the post.  Then Ryan Pulock, who let the 38-year-old Bellemare just skate right around him, decided to give him a shot as well.

While all that is going on Jeannot slid into a soft spot in front of the net (where Mayfield or Pulock probably should have been keeping an eye on) and is ready for the pass from Bellemare. Jeannot deflected it past Ilya Sorokin’s right pad and through Mayfield’s legs for his first (and so far only) goal as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

How did the 2022-23 season go for them?

Compared to his rookie year with Nashville where he scored 24 goals it was a bit of a let down. However, for the role he is likely to assume with the Lightning moving forward, there were signs that he could be a really good fit as a third or fourth line forward. The ankle injury he suffered at the end of the regular season dampened his play in the playoffs where his physical nature could have helped the Bolts. When he did get a chance to play, he wasn’t overly effective, leading us to wonder if he wasn’t 100%. Chances are that if Michael Eyssimont hadn’t suffered concussion-like symptoms in Game 1 Jeannot wouldn’t have been in the line-up.

Jeannot will also be forever linked with the price it took for the Lightning to pry him away from Nashville. A first round pick (2025), second round pick (2024), third, fourth, and fifth round picks in 2023, and Cal Foote went to the Predators for the 25-year-old forward. A steep price to pay that wasn’t offset by a Stanley Cup win for the Lightning. 

However, if there is a player that was on the trade block that best fit what the Lightning want to see from their middle-six forwards it was Jeannot. A physical forward that likes to forecheck and cause turnovers (and is a better skater than some give him credit for). 

Chart from All Three Zones

As you can see from the All Three Zones chart above Jeannot was above average in both retrieving dump-ins as well as forecheck pressures. There are parts of his game that need some work, but what he does well, he does really well. When people lament the loss of The Lightning’s Greatest Third Line Ever (Yanni Gourde/Barclay Goodrow/Blake Coleman) it was that type of play that won the hearts of fans all over the greater Tampa Bay area. 

Jeannot forechecks well and he gets to the front of the net. He posted a 3.04 iXG (5v5) in his 20 regular season games with the Lightning, which is a respectable if not overwhelming number. His problem last year was finishing off the plays where he was set up for scoring opportunities. Look, he’s not likely to repeat his 19.4% shooting from his rookie year, but he’s also not a 5.7% shooter either. 

2023-24 Contract Status

Currently a Restricted Free Agent. Evolving Hockey has 2-years, $2,105,000 AAV as their projection. Maybe a touch high, but not an unreasonable amount for a power forward.

Do we expect them to score more or less next season?

More? Yeah, definitely more. The contract situation will get worked out this summer and he’ll be in the starting line-up for the Lightning come next October. Where he slots in the line-up will be up to him. It’s likely to be on the third line with a little power play time thrown in from time to time. Could he play his way into a top-six spot? 

Sure, anything is possible. Jeannot digging pucks out of the corners and crashing the net while Steven Stamkos feeds him pucks isn’t out of the realm of reality.  Jeannot will have to show Coach Cooper that he can play in his own zone while continuing his aggressive play in the offensive zone.

What would constitute a solid season for him? Probably somewhere around 15 goals and 30 points. That’s well within his skill set.

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