Frozen Tools Forensics: Multi-Cat Defensemen Past and Present

chriskane

2020-03-20

Given that we don't have a lot of new information to use the last week, and we don't know what the future of the NHL season looks like, the next couple columns are going to try and take a look back and compare what we are seeing thus far in 2019-20 to what has happened over the last several seasons. I had originally hoped to touch on multi-category players this week (prior to the season being paused) so I decided to keep that theme, but instead of advising what players might be available to grab we will look at high performers in 2019-20 and how their performances compare to the last several years.

This week: Multi-Cat Defensemen

Frozen Tools has an easy way to pull up this kind of data. If you navigate to the report section, just click on the Multi-Category button. If we pull up the report for 2019-20 here is the table we get.

Alex Ovechkin tops the list and well, it is hard to argue with him being placed there. His shot and hit numbers are elite. This week though we are not focusing on forwards, but defensemen so I am going to export the list so I can run some filters on it.

For the purposes of this column, I am mostly going to be looking at shots, hits, and blocks. As you can see the report also gives points so if I want to use a point floor at a later date, I can do that. I am not going to use penalty minutes at the moment, even though I know some leagues still utilize that stat. I am also going to try an account for games played so I put all of the 2019-20 stats in a per-game rate, but will also filter for at least 20 games played to eliminate players with very small sample sizes. 

Just quickly then, our leaders in shots per game:

Name Pos Team GP SOG/G Hit/G Block/G
ROMAN JOSI D NSH 69 3.77 0.75 1.57
DOUGIE HAMILTON D CAR 47 3.62 1.11 1.34
ALEX PIETRANGELO D STL 70 3.21 0.67 1.27
BRENT BURNS D S.J 70 3.21 1.03 1.64
SHEA THEODORE D VGK 71 3.08 0.28 0.97
ZACH WERENSKI D CBJ 63 2.97 0.57 0.92
KRIS LETANG D PIT 61 2.90 1.66 1.49
SHEA WEBER D MTL 65 2.85 1.72 1.75
JOHN CARLSON D WSH 69 2.74 0.80 1.57
THOMAS CHABOT D OTT 71 2.62 1.11 1.20

Our leaders for hits per game:

Name Pos Team GP SOG/G Hit/G Block/G
MARK BOROWIECKI D OTT 53 1.19 3.75 2.26
DENNIS GILBERT D CHI 21 0.57 3.52 1.57
LUKE SCHENN D T.B 25 1.24 3.32 0.84
CALVIN DE HAAN D CHI 29 1.45 3.21 2.52
ILYA LYUBUSHKIN D ARI 51 0.80 2.96 1.04
RASMUS RISTOLAINEN D BUF 69 1.86 2.94 1.19
CONNOR CLIFTON D BOS 31 0.65 2.90 1.06
ANTHONY BITETTO D WPG 51 1.06 2.84 0.98
BRAYDEN MCNABB D VGK 71 1.03 2.83 1.87
BRENDEN DILLON D WSH 69 0.84 2.81 1.07

And blocks per game:

Name Pos Team GP SOG/G Hit/G Block/G
OSCAR KLEFBOM D EDM 62 2.56 0.73 2.90
ALEXANDER EDLER D VAN 59 2.00 1.83 2.75
CALVIN DE HAAN D CHI 29 1.45 3.21 2.52
MARK GIORDANO D CGY 60 2.62 0.70 2.47
ANDY GREENE D NYI 63 0.95 0.48 2.46
DAVID SAVARD D CBJ 68 1.43 1.90 2.40
CONNOR MURPHY D CHI 58 2.02 2.21 2.38
CHRISTOPHER TANEV D VAN 69 0.65 0.46 2.30
ALEC MARTINEZ D VGK 51 1.47 0.84 2.29
ROMAN POLAK D DAL 41 0.83 2.54 2.29

In most standard Yahoo points league the value of each of these stats is about the same. So in order to rank a multi-cat player when they all have different strengths and weaknesses I am adding their average stats per game in each of these categories. It certainly is not a foolproof method and if your league assigns different weights to these categories, you will obviously get slightly different results.

Name Pos Team GP SOG/G Hit/G Block/G Multi-Cat Points
MARK BOROWIECKI D OTT 53 1.19 3.75 2.26 7.21
CALVIN DE HAAN D CHI 29 1.45 3.21 2.52 7.17
DARNELL NURSE D EDM 71 2.39 2.42 1.99 6.80
JACOB TROUBA D NYR 70 2.40 2.47 1.83 6.70
CONNOR MURPHY D CHI 58 2.02 2.21 2.38 6.60
ALEXANDER EDLER D VAN 59 2.00 1.83 2.75 6.58
SHEA WEBER D MTL 65 2.85 1.72 1.75 6.32
OSCAR KLEFBOM D EDM 62 2.56 0.73 2.90 6.19
ROMAN JOSI D NSH 69 3.77 0.75 1.57 6.09
DOUGIE HAMILTON D CAR 47 3.62 1.11 1.34 6.06
RYAN PULOCK D NYI 68 2.40 1.62 2.04 6.06
KRIS LETANG D PIT 61 2.90 1.66 1.49 6.05
JAKE MUZZIN D TOR 53 1.87 2.06 2.08 6.00
RASMUS RISTOLAINEN D BUF 69 1.86 2.94 1.19 5.99

For the most part, there aren't any real shockers on this list. Mark Borowiecki leading the way is a little surprising given how little he shoots, but obviously leading the group in hits by a wide margin and doing well in blocks helps. Oscar Klefbom also ranks well considering that he doesn't really hit, but his shots and blocks clearly make the difference. It is a little surprising to not see guys like Colton Parayko (29th), and Ivan Provorov (47th) on this top 15 list. They have been making a name for themselves in recent seasons by contributing across the board. Alex Edler, of course, has been a bit of a fantasy darling in recent years as his contributions in these categories have been excellent. He has actually dropped a bit as he lost his power-play role and time on ice to Quinn Hughes.

It is also really interesting to see some good point producers on this list. Guys like Kris Letang, Dougie Hamilton, Shea Weber, and Roman Josi all high have point upside, which makes them significantly valuable adds as they are able to contribute across the board.

I next wanted to compare 2019-20 to our recent history and see if there were any trends.

If we look at shots first, In 2019-20 we have five players who are pacing higher than three shots per game: Roman Josi, Dougie Hamilton, Brent Burns, Alex Pietrangelo, and Shea Theodore. Over the prior three seasons, only three have been able to keep that pace (Burns, Josi, Hamilton). We could guess that it is harder over the longer sample size, or that shooting has gone up, but there are actually fewer players shooting 2-3 shots per game in 2019-20 (38) than in the prior three years (42). So we have more elite shooters, but fewer good shooters in 2019-20.

The trend is all negative in hits. In 2019-20 we have four defensemen hitting more than three times per game (Boroweicki, Dennis Gilbert, Luke Schenn, and Calvin De Haan). The prior three seasons it was six. We also had 36 hitters averaging between two and three hits per game in 2019-20 when in the prior three years we had 41.  So we had fewer elite hitters and fewer good hitters when compared to the prior sample.

The blocks category is heading the other direction. While neither comparison had a player who averaged more than three blocks per game, there were 20 players in 2019-20 who averaged more than two blocks per game. In the prior three years, we were at 15. This would be consistent with the idea that there are more shots happening per game, or that teams are getting better at blocking them.

When taken as a unit, though, we have very similar numbers between the samples. There are 13 players in 2019-20 who are averaging more than six multi-cat points per game. In the prior three years, there were 14.

That is all for this week. Thanks for reading.

Stay safe out there.

Want more tool talk? Check out these recent Frozen Tool Forensics Posts.

Frozen Tools Forensics: Helping make fantasy decisions

Frozen Tools Forensics: Comparing deadline acquisitions

Frozen Tools: Secondary assist rates

UPCOMING GAMES

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STARTING GOALIES

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HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
EVGENI MALKIN PIT 5 4 7 11
ADAM FOX NYR 4 1 6 7
JAKUB VORACEK PHI 6 0 10 10
NATHAN MACKINNON COL 5 2 6 8
MIKA ZIBANEJAD NYR 29 25 19 44
NIKITA KUCHEROV T.B 24 16 20 36
KEVIN FIALA MIN 11 9 7 16
KYLE CONNOR WPG 7 8 2 10
EVANDER KANE S.J 7 5 5 10
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS EDM 17 8 16 24

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency L.A Players
34% DUSTIN BROWN ALEX IAFALLO ANZE KOPITAR
22% ADRIAN KEMPE TREVOR LEWIS BLAKE LIZOTTE
18.8% MICHAEL AMADIO NIKOLAI PROKHORKIN AUSTIN WAGNER

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