Top 10 players who spiked in shooting percentage (2017-18)
There are lots of factors to consider why a player all of a sudden saw a dramatic increase in goals from one season to the next: more power play time, more shots, better linemates or a trade to a new team.
Looking at players who saw a major spike in shooting percentage this year could save you some headaches next year. Remember, an extra uptick of five percentage points is an extra 10 goals during the course of the season, assuming the player takes 200 shots. And that’s just five percentage points. A couple of players on this list saw increases around nine per cent, while another was up 15.7 percentage points. That’s just insane.
You may notice players such as J.T. Miller, Mark Stone and Brad Marchand are missing from the list, but that is because high shooting percentages are the standard for those guys.
One thing to note is that you won’t see a lot of young players on this list, as there’s no real baseline for them. Mikko Rantanen, for example, has posted shooting percentages of 15 and 16.3 per cent in his first two full seasons. That could be the norm for him.
10. Dustin Brown
Brown had an excellent season, potting 28 goals on 12.6 per cent shooting. However, Brown averaged 6.6 per cent in his previous four seasons; his highest during that span coming in 2016-17 when he shot 8 per cent. One thing to keep in mind for next season is how Brown’s shooting percentage dropped in the second half. In his first 40 games, Brown shot 15.2 per cent, compared to 7.3 per cent in his next 38 games. Four goals in the second-last game of the season brought Brown’s second-half number to 10.6 per cent overall, but you should count more on the latter than the former for next season.
9. Eric Staal
Staal has been rejuvenated in Minnesota, scoring 70 goals in the last two years. In his last five seasons with Carolina (including 20 games with the Rangers), Staal averaged a 9.1 shooting percentage. In his first year with the Wild, Staal’s shooting percentage jumped to 13.3 per cent. This year was a career-high 17.4 per cent. Expect a small dip next year, but there’s no reason to believe he can’t continue with a shooting percentage into the teens.
8. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
RNH’s 24 goals and 48 points don’t look that impressive to start, but then you remember he only played 62 games because of cracked ribs. The Oilers centre had a career average shooting percentage of 10.7 going into the season, but hit 15.9 per cent this year. With his shot pace and shooting percentage, he would have hit 32 g