Beck Malenstyn's Final 2023-24 Grade

Beck Malenstyn could be a terrific bottom six
Ottawa Senators v Washington Capitals
Ottawa Senators v Washington Capitals / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

When you have a really good fourth line it's something, at least in my humble opinion, that can change games. Washington Capitals fans saw this for at least a couple of years if not longer. A few years ago they ran out a fourth line of Nic Dowd between Garnet Hathaway and Carl Hagelin.

That was a fun line to watch. It gave you speed, it gave us physciality, it gave us 110% effort on almost every single shift they were out there. It was also a line that could contribute offensively from time to time. It was a fourth line that could change games.

4th line of the future

The Capitals don't really have that as much anymore. But they do still have Nic Dowd. And now, maybe they have another guy they can play a lot on the fourth line, that guy being Beck Malenstyn.

Malenstyn is never going to be a guy with a ton of flash. He's not a top line player at the highest level of hockey. That sounds like an insult but I can promise you it isn't. The way Malenstyn plays says he is a fourth liner. The way he plays he could be a perfect fourth liner and someone who helps this Capitals team a bunch in that role.

This season Malenstyn played in 81 games. In those games he scored 6 goals and put up 21 points. Fourth line numbers, but good numbers for that role in my eyes. To compare, Nic Dowd played in just 64 games, he scored 12 goals and 22 points. Dowd is one of the very best fourth liners in the league in my opinion. Even though scoring isn't the most important thing for a bottom three player I think Malenstyn showed he can do it in this role. Great!

But that's not what he is best at. He is a high effort player. He will bring it all almost every night. That is shown through other numbers.

There are two obvious stats that we look at when we're looking at effort level. Hits and blocks. Malenstyn was towards the top in both of those stats on this Capitals team. This season he had 222 hits, that led the entire team, yes, even more than Tom Wilson. Even though Wilson did miss eight games this season. Wilson had 205 hits this year in 74 games. Malenstyn also had 93 shots blocked, that was 6th on the team.

Another thing that shows how involved someone can be in a game is penalties drawn. Malenstyn had 19 penalties drawn this season. Tom Wilson was by far the best Capital at drawing penalties this season at 38, Malenstyn's 19 was second best.

This past season he was also a very important penalty killer. He was the leading forward in time on ice while shorthanded and it's not even close. John Carlson was on the ice for over 226 minutes. Nick Jensen was over 216. Malenstyn was 212. The next highest forward was Nic Dowd at 145. Again, he missed a lot of time. Wilson, who missed just 8 games to Dowd's 18, was at 128.

Grade: B+

If you want to give Malenstyn an A, I could get on board with that. What he's asked to do I think he does it very effectively. The reason I'm giving him a B is because I think he can do better. I think he can be even more effective. And if I think he can be more effective that means the season wasn't great. It was very good.

I think Malenstyn can be a terrific fourth line player for the Capitals. I am very curious to see how he improves and if he can help make the Capitals fourth line a dominate trio once again.