Real or Imagined – Defensemen (2014)

Doran Libin




Buy, sell or hold? Taking a close look at the Western Conference defensemen


The single most important success factor for defensemen is the amount of power play time they get. On the power play is when defensemen get the chance to drive possession and put up points as they become more of an offensive focal point. A distant second for defensemen is on-ice shooting percentage – the percentage of their team's shots that result in goals. This factor is important for defensemen because in general they rely heavily on assists to get points. In fact, no defenseman has reached 30 goals since Mike Green in 2008/9 and only 13 defensemen have scored 20 goals in a season in the last 15 years, conversely Mark Giordano already has 19 assists this season. For this reason, on-ice shooting percentage is more important for defensemen than their individual shooting percentage.