The highest point total Ryan Reaves has tallied in his NHL career is 13 in 2016-17. His best goal scoring season was the same year when he scored seven. Yet here we are, 11 games in the season and Reaves already has three goals and is on pace for 20+ points.
But it’s not just the goal scoring that has Reaves impressing on the ice, it’s the speed at which he’s playing that has allowed he and linemates, William Carrier and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, to consistently create chances mostly born out of ferocious forechecking.
Quite simply, the VGK version of Reaves is not the one the NHL grew to know (and in some cases love, other cases hate) over his first seven years in the league.
The last two years in particular I’ve done a lot less sitting in the gym pumping iron. I think that was the old me who had to go out and fight 6’5″ guys every other night. The game is changing so I’ve got to adapt. I’m not nearly as heavy as I was. I work on a lot of explosiveness, a lot of weighted vest skating, jumps, just a lot of power in my legs, so I can keep up. I’m still a heavy guy but I’ve got to keep up with the fast pace of the league right now. -Ryan Reaves
When you add in the series-winner in Winnipeg and the goal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Reaves has scored five goals in his last 16 games. At no other point in his career has he come close to that type of scoring output.