Unlocking the Offensive Defenceman

Justin Schultz will be a player to watch this upcoming season, as he works to become a legitimate top four defenceman for the Edmonton Oilers. The offensive talent is there, but he has yet to round out his game and be a reliable defenceman in his own zone.

The fact is over the past three seasons, Schultz has received a lot of ice-time and often started in the offensive zone. It makes sense: the team trailed a lot and Schultz was often the best offensive option on the Oilers blueline. It was also uncovered recently by Travis Yost that Schultz has had a very high percentage of his team’s high danger scoring chances (HDSC) that occurred when he was on the ice. (Source: War on Ice)

I decided to take it one step further and see what percentage of the high danger scoring chances happened when the score was close. This takes away score effects and gives us a better assessment of the player at even-strength. Here are the top 10 defencemen from last season. The average among defenceman who played at least 35 games was 2.89% in 2014/15.

Full article is at The Copper & Blue.

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