Western Conference Real or Imagined: Forwards, Part Three

Doran Libin


Buy low on Pominville and other stock reports on Western Conference forwards.

In the third forward-centric installment features four teams: Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville and San Jose. These teams feature great examples of why scoring chances are an important factor when looking at a player’s shooting percentage. Scoring chances are a good indicator of the quality of shot a player is taking, whether distance or type of shot. If a player is getting a lot of shots from the slot, shots off the rush, shots off rebounds or cross-ice one timers it would validate them having a higher than average shooting percentage as those are higher percentage shots. Scoring chances are more accurately grouped within shot attempts as a blocked or missed shot can still be a scoring chance but the important thing is where and how players are getting their shots. Tyler Toffoli is a good example of this as he averages 2.5 shots per game but 3.3 scoring chances per game. A player with that shot rate who is getting more scoring chances than shots per game is a player who is getting lots of high percentage opportunities and thus the high shooting percentage starts to make a little more sense.


This section also includes Mike Ribeiro, Joe Thornton and Mikael Granlund, players who are very pass heavy with very low shot volumes. As important as shots are as an indicator of how many points a player is capable of generating it does not translate nearly as well for players with high assist to goal ratios. Last year in his passing project Ryan Stimson found that players who generate shots for others can be looked at based on the shots and type of shots they generate for their linemates. In these cases it is not the individual’s shots that matter but the shots that the player creates for others.


As always the recommendations made below are for this year only.


Los Angeles