Wild West: Playoff Heroes Becoming Fantasy Breakouts

Chris Kane

2018-06-04

Now that we have wrapped up our high performers for the year, I wanted to revisit a bit of playoff hockey. By next week we should be able to check in on all of the player and team predictions from the beginning of the playoffs, but for this week I wanted to follow up on some of Rick Roos’s work on Playoff Heroes. Definitely check out the article, it is an interesting read. In summary Rick found players over the last eleven seasons (this was last year – so did not include data from 2017-18) who had a breakout during the playoffs. His criteria for a breakout was that they had to have never scored 50 points in a full season but had scored at a .75+ (61+ full season) point pace over the playoffs. He also required at least ten playoff games to count a players’ stats to try and avoid incredibly small sample sizes. The rest of the article was devoted to determining if those playoff performances indicated anything about those players future performance. For the conclusions you will have to go read it.  I wanted to look at something different though, is it possible we might be able to predict these heroes?

(This article started out looking at Western Conference players specifically, but just got too interesting so includes league data as well. Don’t worry next week will be back to just the West)

The table below shows Rick’s identified players from 2014-2017, plus those potential players from this year (I included Tom Wilson as he is right on the edge with games left to play) The job was then to go through all of these players and see if we could find any similarities between them that could help us figure out what type of player or season might predict the next unlikely playoff hero.

 

2018

Lars Eller

2018

Jake Guentzel

2018

Tomas Hertl

2018

Tom Wilson

2017

Jakob Silfverberg

2017

Jake Guentzel