Top 10 players with shooting percentages that were way too high in 2015-16
One of the more important things in fantasy hockey when dealing with players that set career numbers is to look into the reasoning behind those numbers.
One of the main reasons is a much higher-than-normal shooting percentage. Some guys will always have a high shooting percentage. Look at Brad Marchand. He shot 14.8 per cent last year but actually shot 0.2 per cent below his career average.
But the guys listed below in many cases obliterated their previous high in shooting percentage. It would be foolish to think they can sustain that again.
Now that's not to say all the listed players will suffer a decline in goals. They may see more power play time or might shoot the puck more. But based on their career, these guys should be seeing a decline in goals as their shooting percentage comes back down to average. That's something to keep in mind as fantasy hockey drafts are about to start taking place for many leagues.
Here are the top 10 players with too-high shooting percentages.
10. Joe Colborne
Colborne is one of the trickier guys to try to figure out on this list. For one, he was signed in the offseason by Colorado (and seriously, if you had to take one guess at a team signing a player that had an unsustainable shooting percentage while setting a career high in goals, wouldn't Colorado be the most obvious guess?). But then Patrick Roy quit the Avs and a new coach hasn't been named yet. But no matter who is behind the bench, Colborne is going to have difficulty getting back to a shooting percentage of 19 per cent.
9. Jason Spezza
You can pretty much book Spezza to finish with 60-someodd points this year (he's hit that mark in each of the last three years). But he'll have to do it by picking up his assist total. For the first time ever in his career, Spezza had more goals than assists. That was helped by his 13.6 shooting percentage, a big increase over his 8.3 per cent the year before and his highest in a full season since 2006-07.
8. Matt Duchene
Much like new teammate Colborne, Duchene will be tough to figure out this year. Many are anticipating Duchene to have a great season now that he's away from the shackles of Patrick Roy. But Duchene had a pretty good season as he set a career high with 30 goals. But his shooting percentage was 15, a career high and much higher than the previous few years of just over 10 per cent.
Of rookies who scored at least 10 goals last season, Duclair was tops in shooting percentage with a whopping 19 per cent. By comparison, Artemi Panarin had 16 per cent and Connor McDavid was 15.2 per cent. In fact, since 2004-05, only nine other rookies have managed to score 10 goals with a minimum 19 per cent shooting percentage: Petr Prucha, Jordan Staal, Matt Calvert, Fabian Brunnstrom, Nail Yakupov, Patrick Eaves, Drew Stafford, Marek Svatos and David Perron (thanks to Hockey Reference for that stat).
In his eighth full NHL season, Hansen had his first 20-goal season. But he did it will shooting 18.8 per cent. A crazy high number when you consider how bad the offense was in Vancouver was last season. But Hansen had a career average 10.4 per cent going into last season and benefitted by playing with the Sedins.
Eriksson was number one on my recent list on players sure to disappoint. A higher-than-average shooting percentage is one of the reasons why. His 16.3 shooting percentage was the second highest of his career and higher than his previous three years combined of 11.3 per cent. He also shot more than he had since 2011-12. There's a lot of reasons to believe he will disappoint, and his shooting percentage is one of them.
It's always a concern when elite players need a major increase in shooting percentage to maintain their elite status. To reach 27 goals in 57 games, Malkin had to shoot 16.7 per cent as he posted his lowest shots per game in years. That 16.7 shooting percentage is the second highest of his career and about 3.6 per cent over his career average.
3. Shane Doan
Many poolies were surprised when Doan scored 28 goals last season at the age of 39, his highest goal total since 2008-09. And he did it while averaging his lowest time on ice since 1999-2000. But Doan was buoyed by a career high 16.5 per cent shooting percentage. That's six percentage points higher than his career average and more than double what he had the year before. Expect a major regression this season.
2. Zack Smith
How high was Smith's shooting percentage last year? Before the season began, Smith's career average was 7.7 per cent. Then he shot 20.7 per cent on his way to 25 goals. Even if he does play on a line all year with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mark Stone, he won't reach such a high shooting percentage again.
1. Jaromir Jagr
Jagr had a shooting percentage of 18.9 per cent last year, his highest since 1996-97. That high percentage helped lead to 27 goals, his highest since 2006-07 (remember he took three years off to play in the KHL during that time as well). However, he took way less shots than normal and his time on ice was his lowest in years. The previous two seasons he was around 10 per cent. If he shot that last year, he would have scored just 14 goals instead of 27.
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