Frozen Pool Forensics: Taking a closer look at Joe Pavelski and his reliable and underrated offensive production …
So far this season Frozen Pool Forensics has looked at Brent Burns, Joe Thornton and Logan Couture from the Stanley Cup Finalist Sharks’ squad; and just like during the illustrious 2003 draft, Joe Pavelski has had to wait a while to hear his name called.
Drafted 207th overall that June, Pavelski has defied the odds from near Mr. Irrelevant, to captaining a team to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Final appearance. If you’ve been watching even casually this spring, you’ll know that he’s been more than clutch on a number of evenings, leading the league in goals this postseason with 13 – four of which acting as game winners – and sitting second overall in points with 22 in 20 games.
As a criminally underrated star in both real life and fantasy circles, the soon-to-be, 32-year-old star has produced at a high level in the regular season, as well. His 38 goals this year were good for third best and his 78 points ranked sixth.
Pavelski produced these gaudy numbers on the back of his 28 power-play points – sixth most and 11 game winning goals – tops in the league. You’d think this would be a player taken in the top half of the first round in many fantasy drafts, but for some reason, people still doubt him. His ADP on Yahoo this year was 21.5 – or the end of most league’s second round.
Maybe he’s just been a star for too short of a time at the back half of his career for people to trust him?
Well, using Dobber’s Report Generator, we can see that Pavelski sits third in goals scored since the beginning of the 2011-2012 season with a whopping 163 goals in 375 games – an average of 0.43 goals per contest.
He’s not just a goal scorer, either. Pavelski's 256 points since the 2012-13 season are good for 11th best in the league over that span.
Taking a look at his numbers this past season, we see that the 2010 Olympic silver medalist converted on 17.3 percent of his 225 shots. A high rate no doubt, but not out of his realm as his average the past five season is 14.8 percent. However, his 10.05 percent five-on-five shooting percentage was up there and higher than its ever been in his career, so unless his power-play points creep up a bit, owners should expect a slight decrease next season.
Receiving plenty of power play time (3:39 a game) on a formidable unit will go a long way in further cementing him as one of the premier assets in all of fantasy – especially one-year leagues where his age is of no concern.
Down 0-2 against the Penguins in this Cup finale, Pavelski and the Sharks are going to be in tough to mount a comeback against an explosive Pittsburgh squad, but whether he wins a Cup or not this year, Pavelski will remain a fantasy stud for the foreseeable future. His linemates, Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl, act as a perfect blend of size and skill with each player playing to their strengths and appear to have plenty of gas left in the tank despite the Joes combining for over 2000 NHL games.
Pavelski is the type of player you win championships with. While other GM’s in your league are chasing young players with their endless potential, target Pavelski and sit back and enjoy another chase at a 40-goal, 80-point season; something we are seeing far less of these days.
Projected point-per-game output for 2016-17: 0.9 – 0.95
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