Top 10 Forwards with Deflated Shot Percentages in 2019-20

Tom Collins

2020-04-20

Last week, I mentioned that looking at a player's inflated shooting percentage is a good first step to figuring out what players could regress. The inverse is also true. Deflated shooting percentages could be a sign of what players could rebound next season.

After all, a player taking 200 shots with a shooting percentage of 10 per cent will score 20 goals. If that same player's shooting percentage drops to five per cent, that's 10 goals.

Of course, shooting percentage is not the only statistic to consider for potential rebounds, but it's a good starting point. Players with lower shooting percentages in 2018-19 included Tyler Toffoli, J.T. Miller and Jaden Schwartz, all of whom rebounded this year for various reasons.

For the list, we're looking at players who are down from a career or long-time average, and not someone who dropped from a crazy-high shooting percentage in 2018-19. Viktor Arvidsson, for example, dropped from 17.4 shooting percentage to 11.8 per cent. However, the latter number is in line with his career average, and the 17.4 per cent is a huge outlier.

10. William Karlsson

It's tough to say whether Karlsson's 10.9 shooting percentage this year is normal for him, or if this is a deflated shooting percentage. For now, we're going to assume it's deflation. He had a shot 7.7 per cent in Columbus and Anaheim, but busted out in his first season in Vegas, when he scored 43 goals on 23.4 per cent shooting. Last season, that dropped to 14.2 per cent. This year, he's at 10.9 per cent. One thing about Karlsson is that he doesn't shoot the puck enough (just over two shots a game), so fantasy general managers can't be happy about a low shooting percentage.

9. Andreas Athanasiou

It still seems strange to me that a rebuilding Detroit team decided to trade away a 25-year-old, 30-goal scorer, but here we are. He had a shooting percentage of 13.1 per cent coming into the season, and shot 13.9 per cent a season ago when he potted those 30 goals. Injuries limited him to 55 games this year likely played a role in a disappointing season, but he also took a bit step backwards in both shots and shooting percentage. His shot almost a half a shot less per game than last year, and his 8.5 shooting percentage led to only 11 goals.

8. Nicklas Backstrom

Backstrom has never been known for scoring, but going into this season, you could trust him for 20-plus goals. After all, he shot at least 11.2 per cent in each of the previous fiv