Wild West: Unsustainable Starts – Points per 60 Minutes

Grant Campbell

2021-10-25

This week we are going to focus on an unsustainable stat line that goes hand in hand with production. The one metric I will be focusing on is points per 60 minutes (pts/60). I'm not saying that other metrics like 5 on 5 shooting percentage, PDO, IPP and CF% aren't important, but I find that pts/60 is one of the best stats to determine what a player has produced (floor) and more importantly what they should produce (ceiling).

Combined with 5 on 5 S%, I find that I can easily see what players should turn it around or what players are bound to slow down. If I see a forward higher than 3 pts/60, I'm going to dig deeper and see what they have done before and if they don't have the back story to support it, I will be pretty skeptical that their success will continue at its current pace.

I'll use Bo Horvat as an example for what we can expect from a forward who has been in the league a few years. He has been incredibly consistent with his pts/60 over his career (never below 1.7 and never above 2.3, whether he was playing 12 minutes or 20 minutes per night. We know his floor (1.7) and we know his ceiling (2.3) at this point in his career because we know how many minutes per night he will be playing.

His floor over 82 games is 46 points and his ceiling is 63 points for a player who is in his prime at the age of 26.

Here is a snapshot of Connor McDavid's advanced stats from Dobber's Frozen Tools, who much like Gretzky in the 1980s is a level above his counterparts in most categories but has really started to stretch out in pts/60.

Starting with pts/60, Connor McDavid led all forwards last season with 5.1, followed by the next group at 4.0 to 4.2 consisting of Artemi Panarin,