Wild West: On the Rebound (2016)

Doran Libin


Seven slumping players in the Western Conference destined to rebound in 2016-17


On the Rebound

This list, as per usual, is largely a list of the players in the Western Conference who are most likely to rebound from an off year. Injuries are largely ignored unless the rebound is in their rate of production as opposed to their total production. For that reason Connor McDavid, even though a better second season would hardly be a rebound, and Alexander Edler will not appear on this list despite the expectation that their point totals will grow. There are other players, such as previous column favourite Colin Wilson, who will not be included because their off-years appear to be due more to a change in their usage as opposed to something that could change due to the helping hand of regression. Remember that shooting percentage is as much about the opportunities created as it is about pure luck. Therefore it is important to look at the types of chances a player is getting as well as whether their shooting percentage is low, this goes for on-ice shooting percentage as well. Shots from close in are more than twice as likely to go in than shots from the perimeter. Similar effects can be seen when the puck moves across the ice before a shot. Therefore looking at distance and scoring chance rate not just shot rate is more informative than just looking for a dip in shooting percentage.


Honourable Mentions:

Brian Campbell is not coming off of a bad year rather he is moving to a historically better offensive team. The better news for Campbell is that with the success that Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson have had together a Campbell-Brent Seabrook pairing, playing more offensive minutes, looks likely. This would benefit Campbell significantly as it would get him away from the tougher minutes Florida needed him to play. Ryan Getzlaf did not actually have a bad year rather he just had a horrible year from a goal scoring perspective. As such his totals were not all that low, just the balance was off, namely a much higher assist to goal ratio than he usually has. Getzlaf has only scored on less than 10% of his shots twice in his career, one of those years being last year, thus even though his shot rate has fallen for two consecutive years expect another 20+ goals 70+ point season. Marian Hossa is a tough one as he is on the decline but last year appears to be more of a blip than a real slip. While his per game shot rate slipped a bit his per 60 shot and scoring chance rates were pretty similar to previous years. A huge rebound to the 50+ point player he used to be is unlikely but do not count on him continuing to shoot so poorly, thus between 40-45 points is a good bet. More if the Toews line gets a new, and working, third wheel. With the Kings losing Milan Lucic without a similar replacement look for