Adam Lowry: The Kids are Alright

Not enough has been said about play of Adam Lowry. A lot of the Winnipeg Jets youth have driven good results. Michael Hutchinson has posted elite numbers. Mark Scheifele has improved his two-way effectiveness. What has gone somewhat unnoticed is Adam Lowry’s effectiveness in pushing the play.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

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Adam Lowry’s impact on the Jets possession has been good, really good. The Jets control 54.8 percent of shot attempts while the young centre has been on the ice. That number is 1.8 percentage points higher than what the Jets do on average with the young defender on the bench.

The usage-adjustments suggest that Lowry’s numbers are slightly inflated due to some sheltering, which we would expect a coach to do with a twenty-one year old rookie. Still, the results are impressive even when consider Lowry’s sheltering.

Context is always needed. Bad and good are all relative terms.

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The group above is every centre 20, 21, or 22 to play 600+ mins in a season. The y-axis represents quality of teammates, where players who tend to play with better linemates are listed higher. The x-axis represents the fraction of shifts begin in the offensive zone over the defensive zone, where being situated on the right suggests more prime offensive opportunities. The colour represents the players shot attempt differential (Corsi +/-).

Lowry has performed well relative to his peers. His results primarily extend from a combination of his strong defensive positioning and his strength. Lowry has been very adept in using his size with protecting the puck, winning board battles, and forechecking. Because of these factors, Lowry has been the Jets best forward in terms of repressing shot attempts against.

Not all is perfect; Lowry has struggled in producing points at a high end pace. His 1.1 even strength points per sixty minutes is just above average for a fourth line player. Still, his impact on Jets shot attempt differentials carries a large value.

A good comparable is actually former Winnipeg Jet Alexander Burmistrov. Both were tenacious checkers for both forechecking and backchecking. Both improved the Jets shot attempt differentials when on the ice rather than on the bench. Both impacted shot differentials predominately with shot repression. Yet, both have had difficulty created a lot of offense.

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Here are Alexander Burmistrov’s two seasons on the Jets compared to Adam Lowry to help visualize some of the similarities. Olli Jokinen -a poor forward in terms of shot metrics- has been added on to create additional context. The y-axis has also been changed to represent difficulty of line matching as opposed to quality of linemates.

Burmistrov has been a slightly more effective player in general, with higher point scoring rates and impacting possession numbers by 2.1-2.8 percentage points as opposed to 1.8. That, however, is no insult to Adam Lowry.

Adam Lowry looks to be a pretty good young player for the Jets. Coming from the same draft as Mark Scheifele, the Jets have produced two young centres that improve shot metrics. As it currently stands, Lowry has been a competent third line centre. If his offensive production develops, the Jets could be looking at having a big, above average defensive centre on their third line. If his production does not, than the Jets have a great player who at worst case can shift down to the fourth line as the Jets inject more talent and move towards becoming potential contenders.