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  • 2019 Minnesota Wild Year End Player Review: J.T. Brown

    Giles Ferrell

    J.T. Brown
    Age: 28
    Position: Right Wing
    2018-19 Stats: 3G-5A-8P
    Contract Status: One year remaining on contract at $687,500 AAV (UFA in 2020)

    Usually, in this day in age, hockey teams have a fourth liner who brings either good or bad feelings from fans and even in an analytics standpoint. However, in the case of Wild forward J.T. Brown he just seemingly found his way in the middle with his play in 2018-19.

    In Brown's first season with his hometown team -- he's a native of Burnsville -- after signing a two-year, $1.375 million contract on July 1, 2018, the forward played in 56 games for the Wild while tallying three goals and five assists. Brown did not really play any special teams this past season, so the entirety of his play came at even strength.

    And putting him up against fellow fourth-liner Eric Fehr, his metrics weren't bad by comparison.

    [caption id=attachment_51857" align="alignnone" width="1710]Brown-Fehr.png via Evolving-Hockey.com[/caption]

    Brown was a bit more decent at driving offense unlike Fehr, but Fehr's defense was far better. But still, on a cap hit of $687,500 that is not bad for a fourth liner.

    It was an up and down season for Brown, although he still played two-thirds of the season with Minnesota. On Feb. 3 he was waived and sent to Iowa the next day. He was recalled on Feb. 21 after just six games in Des Moines. He also was a healthy scratch on occasion but was still getting the majority of starts on the fourth line.

    [caption id=attachment_51859" align="alignnone" width="2098]brown-shot-map.png via Sean Tierney, @ChartingHockey[/caption]

    Brown has good speed on a slower Wild team and flashed some good plays offensively from time to time. As mentioned before he had just 13 minutes of penalty kill time and saw no time on the power play this year, meaning his play came entirely at even strength. He was not the biggest driver of puck possession, and his shooting percentage was not great but still decent for a fourth liner. He also brought a bit of physicality to a roster lacking it.

    Brown is under a one-way contract for next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2020. He has been rumored to be in trade talks as the Wild potentially try and free up some roster space to make a signing in free agency, but Paul Fenton has acknowledged he also could just put Brown through waivers and send him to Iowa if needed for the start of next season.

    If Brown does make the roster, he will be a 12th/13th forward on the team once again. As mentioned before, you certainly could do a lot worse for a 12th/13th forward. But for now, it looks like Brown will have a spot in Minnesota again in 2019-20.

    Stats in this post courtesy of Natural Stat Trick, Evolving Hockey, HockeyViz, and Hockey-Reference.

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