Prospect Ramblings: Rookie hot streaks and puck luck

by Hayden Soboleski on October 29, 2017

***

We're already about an eigth of the way through the season, and in fantasy hockey this is the time when I start looking for who's been hot, who's been lucky, and who's due for some puck luck. Its important to catch players on hot streaks and ride those points, but at the same time its a fine line to not put too much stock in players performing at an unsustainable rate. Let's take a look at the highest-scoring rookies so far:

 Rookie  Points  Shooting %  TOI
 Clayton Keller  12  19%  19:54
 Will Butcher  11  0%  15:35
 Jesper Bratt  10  40%  15:27
 Mikhail Sergachev  10  17%  13:19
 Adrain Kempe   9  35%  11:13
 Brock Boeser  9  9%  15:21
 Charlie McAvoy  8  6%  21:52
 Nico Hischier  7  11%  16:14

 

Some of these players are obvisouly performing unsustainably – Bratt will not shoot at a 40% rate all season long, same with Kempe at 35%. In one year-leagues, I recommend feeling out the option of selling high on these two – especially Bratt before Palmieri returns from injury.

League average shooting% is roughly 9%, but natual goal scorers are capable of shooting in the realm of up to 15% consistently (Crosby shot 17% last year to hit 44 goals). Defencemen have a much lower bar in this case, with usually only the most elite offensive d-men shooting above 6% (Karlsson shot 8% last year to get 17 goals). 

Based on this reference alone, its not unreasonable to think Boeser and Hischier could continue their current scoring rates without a problem. Boeser actually has significant room for improvement in my opinion, since he challenges everyone else on the list in terms of pure shooting-ability. Based on the same reference, Sergachev is certainly not going to shoot 17% all year long. McAvoy however could continue at 6%, especially since he's seeing almost 22 minutes TOI per game and looking just fine with the workload. 

Keller's 15% may be too high, but he's also seeing 20 minute TOI per game and leading his team, so in this case he will keep seeing the best minutes. On top of this, Arizona has been godawful so far, so if they start clicking he may benefit from some production around him. I wouldn't sell on him. 

 

Let's take a look at a few more notable rookie names that aren't filling the net just yet:

 Player  Points  Shooting %  TOI
 Alex DeBrincat  5  6%  14:03
 Josh Ho-Sang  4  0%  13:28
 Nolan Patrick  3  7%  12:28
 Joel Eriksson Ek  3  5%  13:05
 Tyson Jost  2  10%  13:10
 Kyle Connor  2  20%  18:31
 Pierre-Luc Dubois  1  8%  11:19
 Owen Tippett  1   6%  11:17

There's an outstanding difference between this table and the one above – look at the TOI. The top producing players are gettings several minutes more per game, and while this may be a chicken-and-egg produce-and-we-give-you-time situation, players can't be expected to reach their potential in small sample sizes paying alongside worse linemates. Regardless, there are some takeaways to see here:

– DeBrincat and Patrick are shooting at normal percentages so their point totals are probably fairly representative of an accurate rate. DeBrincat isn't seeing top-six ice time; if this changes then he could put up some serious totals. Patrick is seeing very very low TOI – again, if this changes he's producing at a rate that should turn into more points with more ice time.

 

– We already knew that sending Ho-Sang to the minors despite 4 points in 6 games was probably an ill-advised move for a scoring-deprived team. The fact that he was producing that will only 13 minutes TOI and a shooting percentage that wasn't going to stay zero for long just makes it seem even more silly. C'mon Isles…

 

– Eriksson Ek has room for improvement based on his shooting numbers, but his linemates may make that impossible. Chris Stewart had a hot streak himself and is due for regression, while Marcus Foligno has little offensive upside to help list up Ek. So despite the shooting percentage set to rise, unless he slides up the lineup or onto a powerplay unit, I don't see room for higher production.

 

– The players at the bottom of the list need to shoot more. Jost and Connor have poor production despite high shot % – this is not a good combination. They need to get the puck on net to at least convince people there is room for improvement. Jost saw mostly 3rd and 4th line minutes before getting hurt, but Connor is getting tons of ice time and is typically in the top-six…start taking advantage of it! Dubois and Tippett have pretty average shooting percentages, meaning that its probable that they can continue scoring if they just shoot more. Both have good shots, so if they get put in a good situation and start upping their shot count, I'll be watching for some real production.

 

***

Our luck continues and I have some first NHL goals to mention this week again!

Owen Tippett got to the net and finishes a hard pass – not as easy as he makes it look

 

Chris DiDomenico scores an unforgetable one – goal pulled….dying seconds…in close…no problem

 

Luke Kunin gets a shorty for his first – not a bad way to stay in the pineup and get some PK ice time

 

Tim Heed wont forget this one but Lundqvist will certainly want to

 

Danton Heinen scored his first two this week, his first one happens because he beats defenders to the net (listen to your coaches!!)

 

***

Thank you for reading, and best of luck as your team gets spooky this week!

Hayden Soboleski

@soboleskih