Frozen Pool Forensics: Expected Regressions, Part One

Cam Robinson

2016-08-26

“You know Jerry, when somebody yells ‘Heads up!’ you’re not supposed to actually look up.”      – Cosmo Kramer

 

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As we prepare for fantasy drafts, it’s time to lift our heads from last year’s stats and rankings and begin considering what’s on tap for 2016-17. Some players will continue their development, be put in better spots to succeed, and earn more responsibility. Those players will likely see their production increase.

 

For others, however, they’ll lose a step due to age, injury, deployment, or simply poor luck. It’s important to identify those who are trending up, holding strong, or setting their owners up for disappointment.

 

As a fitting follow-up to the Bounce Back series, this week on Frozen Pool, we’re checking out a handful of players who are in line for a step back in their production. We won’t focus on players such as Jaromir Jagr, who at 56-years–old (or something like that) is an easy choice to potentially falter a bit. This article will focus more on some big name players that you’re looking to win a championship with.

 

First up…

 

Shea Weber

 

Average point-per-game output the last three seasons: 0.65

 

As a staple on the ballots of Norris trophy voters for years, the product of the Kelowna Rockets defenseman factory has offered up his blistering shot, punishing hits, and crease-clearing montage for a decade. He has brought leadership, and plenty of points, to the table, and will once again represent Canada internationally, this time at the World Cup of Hockey in September. However, is he still a defenseman to be targeted early in fantasy drafts?

 

What Went Right in 2015-16?

 

Let’s forget about the surprising trade that sent the lifelong Predator to Montreal for a moment. Weber had a great statistical season a year ago. His 20 goals were just three off his career-high and his 51 total points represent the third-highest of his decorated resume. Digging deeper into Weber’s numbers from last season does pose a handful of red flags though.

 

Firstly, his shot total dropped by 20 percent from 2014-15 (237 to 189), yet his conversion rate jumped from 6.3 to 10.6 percent. Most of those goals came via the power player where Weber managed 14 goals and 26 points with the man-advantage; 11 more than the year previous.

 

That’s extra concerning as he moves away from Nashville’s 10th ranked power play and burgeoning offensive scheme and into Montreal’s 25th ranked unit that has just lost its most dynamic offensive player in PK Subban.

 

NHL Stats – La