Last week we covered LWs in the Atlantic and this week we’ll stay in that division to look at some of the RWs. We’ll cover the same stat areas and throw in some of the historical data to show whether it is likely a player that performed well in the year 2018-2019 has a reasonable chance of repeating next year in 2019-2020.
The graph depicting used to highlight RW goal scoring abilities this year is below. The graph can help you visualize where a player falls with regards to their actual goal totals and the difference between actual and expected goals scored (X-Axis), and their individual shooting percentage from this year (Y-Axis). Given that the league average shooting percentage is around 11% you can see if there are any big names on the list that fall in the category of having a below average shooting percentage and room to grow in the actual goals scored. More than anything I think that this graph can find you a couple extra goals and make sure you realize that 40 goals by one player may mean that they could fall back to 32 next year. Player skill/opportunity is still something to remember – just because Ondrej Palat ends up in quadrant that tends to be a BUY area doesn’t mean he’s a 40-goal scorer. Please note that all the data used to create this graph is for a 5v5 situation and was obtained via Corsica.Hockey.
That leads us to discuss Nikita Kucherov, don’t worry I told everyone to not draft him if you were in the top three picks after he scored 100 points in 2017-2018 it seemed unlikely he could smash the 100-point barrier again. Interestingly part his goal scoring this year was due to his high shooting percentage of 16.7%. As an elite player we can expect to see the season where top players produce extraordinary results, it was interesting to see him perform even better this year despite taking 33 less shots in two more games this year. Last year I was wrong and so I won’t make that mistake again – aside from a high shooting percentage and relatively large ixGF-G gap; you can safely hang your hat on drafting Kucherov if he is available at your draft table last year. Sorry for being so wrong – again I didn’t hate Kucherov last year I just didn’t think his ADP was going to return 100+; boy was I wrong.
One player that I did nail last summer before ADPs were released was Brendan Gallagher. Gally scored 30+ goals for the second year in a row and did this by producing 300 SOG this year. It was also the second year in row that he has been able to play 82 games after having two straight seasons cut short because of injury problems. What is so exciting about a player like Gallagher is that he fills two needs on every fantasy hockey team 1. Goal scoring 2. Shot generation. Why is that exciting? ADP – he’s usually super cheap at the table and typically can be drafted while the other teams in your league are scrambling for their third defenseman. Interestingly this year despite what was assumed to be a larger workload in Montreal this year, Gallagher saw the same amount of power play time on ice and the time on ice per game. His 52 total points were all buoyed by average IPP, 5 on 5 S%, and PDO. Aside from an injury risk, and given how hard Gallagher plays on his smallish frame this will never really go away, Gallagher is as easy as it can get when hitting the draft button next year. You’ll notice that he lines up in the perfect position on the graph too – not too high of a shooting percentage and not too wild an ixGF – G
Anthony Mantha is a player that I cannot wait to see next year – I’m already mentally building my roster for next year expecting Mantha to be on my team. He checks all of the boxes of a young star waiting to vault himself into the 70-80 point club. He has shot 11-12% every year in the league so far – which is a consistency not often shown in consecutive four-year samples. This year he only played in 67 games but was able to produce at a 59-point pace. He’s so close to 70 points already and he’ll likely slip down draft boards because he plays in Detroit and he was hurt last year. Outside of some crazy offseason moves it also looks like he’s a lock to be flanking Dylan Larkin all of next year so we can add that to the growing list of why he will be a must draft in the later rounds. Additionally his relatively close to zero ixGF – G ratio shows that the goals he is scoring at five on five are not a fluke, he creates quality chances and converts them as well.
Alright next week we’ll travel over to the Metro and look at the wingers there for the next two weeks. Enjoy the first round of playoff action.
Last week's Eastern Edge: Production from Left Wingers in the Atlantic