Don’t Give Up on This Kid Just Yet!
Alright everybody, let’s sit down and do some good old fashioned stat crunching. I call this the GM Game.
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you had two young defensemen: Player A and Player B.
Let’s talk physical traits first: Player A is 5’10, 174 lbs. Player B is 5’10, 185 1bs. Hmmm… clearly both seem like undersized defensemen. So obviously, their worth in the NHL would likely be determined by their offensive output right? Correct. On to Stage 2.
Rookie seasons in the NHL at age 23:
Player A: 0.463 PPG (38 point pace), -5 rating, 24 MPG
Player B: 0.342 PPG (28 point pace), +8 rating, 18 MPG
So after a quick glance through the stats, we can probably infer that both are fairly talented offensively, with Player A getting more minutes, and outproducing Player B.
Now one very important factor to consider when comparing offensive defensemen, is the amount of time they receive on the PP.
Player A received 470 PP minutes, playing on the #1 PPÂ and recording 26 PP points.
Player B received 134 PP minutes, playing on the #2 PP and recording 6 PP points.
Roughly 4 times more minutes on the PP, roughly 4 times more PP points. Makes sense. No surprise there. So what happens when we remove power play totals from the equation?
Player A: 0.14 even strength PPG
Player B: 0.26 even strength PPG
Well now this starts to get interesting. Does this mean that PP time aside, Player B may be the more talented offensive player? Perhaps.
Clearly, we can see that from the stats presented above, perhaps the onlyÂ difference between Player B outproducing Player A is lack of opportunity? That might not necessarily be true, but it’s certainly a justifiable possibility to explore.
Now, as armchair GM’s, take a few minutes to think about this one if you need to. Which Player would you rather have moving forward? Would you give both players a shot to play on your top six?
No Peeking now!
Alright. So, here are the answers:
Player A is one of the top prospects in the NHL, and one of the league’s brightest up-and-coming offesnive defensemen, Atlanta’s Tobias Enstrom.
Player B is the former WJC Canadian defender, and current press box seat warmer, Toronto’s Ian White.
Makes you at least pause and think, doesn’t it?
Here’s something else to chew on: At age 19 in the WHL, Ian White scored 79 points in 70 games. At same age 19 in the WHL, Ryan Getzlaf scored 68 points in 70 games.
Always a pleasure,