Ramblings: Shot Shares for Chychrun, Thompson, Werenski, Tarasenko, Arvidsson, and More – January 6

Michael Clifford


Only a couple games in the NHL last night as the schedule stills tries to find its balance. It does give a bit of chance for some research and looking at where we can help fantasy owners. Today I want to look at changing shot rates throughout the year.

Shot rates are important for a number of reasons in the fantasy game but in my opinion, its best use is as short-hand for offensive involvement. Things like zone entries and exits, shot assists, high-danger passes etc. are all good metrics for gauging offensive involvement as well but they're not ubiquitous. Few people track them and only one person really has it in one spot, and it's a lot to ask of one person (@Shutdownline on Twitter). Individual team blogs do track this stuff, but not all, and it's time-consuming to wrangle the data. In other words, there aren't a lot of ways to show that a player is getting involved offensively that is easily accessible to most people beyond "this guy has a lot of points lately," which isn't good analysis.

For that reason, I want to look at market share. This is a term I'm borrowing from fantasy football, which in turn is borrowing from the corporate world. In fantasy hockey terms, it's what percentage of shots taken by a team are being taken by an individual player. Low shot rates are one thing, but low shot rates on low shot-rate teams and low shot rates on high-shot rate teams are two different things. Looking at which player takes the most shots for his team can help us look for undervalued assets in less-than-ideal situations.

Most teams are around 30 games played by this point, with the league sitting between 28-35 contests each. That gives us a good opportunity to break up the seasons into two parts: the first ~20 games, and every game since. The reason is to see what was established in the first quarter, see what changes there have been since, and if anything useful can be gleaned from it. We will be using data from Natural Stat Trick, and we will be looking at all strengths per 60 minutes. Remember, these are just shot averages based on games played from each player thus far, nothing more.  

To begin, here are the players who took most of their team's shots in the first quarter. As a cut-off, we're using November 28th, which brings every team in the league between 17 and 23 games. These are the players who took most of their team's shot attempts in that span: