Frozen Tool Forensics: Most Valuable Defensemen

Chris Kane

2022-05-27

This week we are finishing up our most valuable skater series. We have already touched on centers, left wings, and right wings and those articles can be viewed here. So now we are on to defensemen. Check out the rest of those articles for the full story.

This week on Frozen Tool Forensics: Most Valuable Defenseman

As in with previous articles we are going to quickly address our scoring criteria and method.

Quick notes on data from first article:

For the purposes of this article we are going to use standard Yahoo point scoring to come up with a value for each player. That (unfortunately) includes plus/minus, and categories like hits and penalty minutes in addition to goals, assists, and power-play points…The draft position data data was pulled from Yahoo at the start of the season, and only for the top 200 players. Two hundred was picked as it is a round number that is a reasonable (if slightly low) approximation for a lot of leagues and it is a pain to export data from Yahoo. It also will not completely match Yahoo's current ADPs as those will take into account drafts that took place once the year began….Oh and we are pulling all of the season data from Frozen Tool's Multi-Cat report to ensure we get those hits, blocks, PIMs, and plus/minus.

So who were 21-22's highest scoring D-men?

NamePosTeamGPPTS/GFantasy PtsFantasy Rank
RADKO GUDASDFLA770.2168918
CALE MAKARDCOL771.12673.619
ROMAN JOSIDNSH801.20647.325
VICTOR HEDMANDT.B821.04630.229
KRIS LETANGDPIT780.87618.834

This one is wild. This scoring structure has typically provided a slightly unexpected ranking of some skaters, with heavy peripheral players getting fantasy points is just wild. The man had 16 points this season. The reason is not hard to figure out, penalty minutes and hits. He had at least double the penalty minutes (at 105) of anyone else in the top five with Mackenzie Weegar as the next highest ranked player (35th overall) with a high volume of penalty minutes (81, good for third among defensemen). The drop off is pretty steep for penalty minutes with only two players in the 80s and three in the 60s, but that is nothing compared to hits. Gudas leads defensemen in hits with 355 and the next closest person totaled 230. There is the same difference between Gudas and his closest rival (Rasmus Ristolainen) than Risto and the 15th ranked defender in hits and it is only that close because hits drops off pretty fast. There are three tiers of defensemen. Up to 110 ish hits, which contain the vast majority of D, 110-230 which contains about 12 D, and then Gudas in a tier unto himself. For context if that range were applied to goals Austin Matthews would have put up 85 this season. If this were points Connor McDavid would