Assessing the forwards away from McDavid

With the expansion draft coming up and the start of free agency soon after, there’s been a lot of discussion around the ways in which the team could improve certain areas of the roster and which players the Oilers should send away to make things happen. And it’s really been the forwards, including Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Benoit Pouliot, that have been discussed as being potentially moved to acquire required assets.

Before jumping to trade possibilities, something I wanted to see was how each Oilers forward did this past season at even-strength (5v5) in terms of on-ice goal-share and on-ice shot share, but with one catch. Because the Oilers as a group were much better with McDavid than without him, I wanted to see how each player did when the captain was on the bench.

Oilers (5v5) CF% GF% Sh% Sv% PDO
With McDavid 52.9 62.1 10.74 92.41 103.15
Without McDavid 48.2 48.9 6.97 92.86 99.83

The issue for me with last season’s team is that they should not have been getting outscored and out-shot when they were without their best player. There’s enough talent among the forwards, and an experienced coaching staff behind the bench, that they should have been able to reach at minimum a 50% share of shots and goals. Depth is going to be critical for long-term success, so I think it’s important to know, before any forwards are moved out, which ones have done well away from McDavid and which one’s may have been relying a little too much on him.

Below is a table of the regular forwards from the 2016/17 regular season, and what their on-ice shot share and goals-shares were at even-strength (5v5) when McDavid was on the bench. I’ve also included each forwards on-ice shooting and save percentage to see if there were any external factors impacting their on-ice goal share. The table is sorted by Corsi For%.

20170602 - Oilers forward without McDavid - 2016-17 - Reg

Full article is at The Copper & Blue.

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