Connor McMichael's Final 2023-24 Grade

Next up on our report card series is Connor McMichael
Connor McMichael, Washington Capitals
Connor McMichael, Washington Capitals / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

This was a big season for Connor McMichael. Coming into this season his future with the Washington Capitals had some questions. The first round pick from 2019 had not yet fully proven to everyone that he was a no doubt NHL player and we were now getting into his fourth professional season. If he had another subpar season at the NHL level how many more chances would he get in D.C.?

Thankfully we don't have to answer that question. McMichael had a pretty good season this past year. The numbers are not going to blow anyone away. Like most professional athletes there are things he needs to work on and get better at if he wants to be an important player for the Capitals for a long time. But McMichael had, what I would call, a building block season. And for the most part, that's all I wanted from him before the season started.

In McMichael's first full NHL season in 2021-22, he scored 9 goals and 18 points. This season I thought he should double those numbers and go a little beyond that. He both did that and didn't do that at the same time. He doubled his goal production, going from 9 to 18 this season. But he was only able to get up to 33 points. I wanted him in the 40-45 range.

Even if he did fall short of my expectations, those numbers are still very acceptable. Especially the 18 goals. I had questions coming into the season, and even at times during the season if he was capable of scoring at the NHL level. He proved he could. He also added a playoff goal, scoring once in the four games vs the Rangers.

There were times this season that McMichael looked like one of the best players on the team. Earlier in the season when he was centering a line of Mantha and Protas, that line looked fantastic. That line this season had a scoring change percentage of 51.27% and a high danger attempts percentage of 55.65%. This season for the Capitals getting over 50% in stats was rare, those are good numbers.

But while McMichael did put up some good numbers, and on some nights he looked very good, he also perhaps showed his young side, and in my eyes showed what he needs to work on, or showed what he needs to improve on going forward. Consistency.

Yes, there were some pretty large chunks of the season that McMichael looked good. But there were also some big portions of the season where he did not have much of an impact and that showed up on the scoresheet as well. Inconsistency is not uncommon in pro sports. But if you want to be a key player on a team for a long time the bad streaks need to be as short as possible. McMichael would look good for 10-15 games this season. But then he would also follow that up by disappearing for 10-15 maybe even 20+ games this season.

Grade: B+

It was a pretty good season for McMichael. I would stop well short of saying it was a great season. This was a building block season. A season we can look at and say he belongs in the NHL. Now take that next step. There was good, there was some bad. But overall, for a guy playing in his second full NHL season, it was pretty good.