I have taken the last few days to scrape, pull, and parse some data in preparation for Jets Nations’ season review and also prospect series.
While doing so, I have noted an extremely odd similarity between Alexander Burmistrov and Adam Lowry in their on-ice impact.
It is not abnormal for two players to perform similarly, but it is interesting due to the difference in perception of performance by the audible general masses (at least over social media).
Let’s take a look at the similarity while also introducing a few of the numbers we will be using in our end of season player evaluations.
One thing to keep in mind is the difference in age. Adam Lowry, while a rookie, was either a year or two ahead in development. This is a significant factor. While experience plays a role in progression, the major factor in developmental curves is age (I have some evidence to support this and why, but that is for another article).
In general, both players have a comparable pattern in impact.
Neither Lowry nor Burmistrov have been particularly effective in terms of point production. The median production for players in the second quartile of ice time (ie: third line players if you split forwards in four groups) is about 1.5 points per sixty minutes.
Both of the Jets young centres are scoring below the typical pace for a third line player. The good news though is that this is the norm for young non-blue chip forwards. Players typically improve their point production until they are about 24- to 26-years-old.
Just like with point production, neither young centre has been particularly effective at the face off dot as well. Generally speaking, face off performance is highly dependent on age and both players should improve in time.
Face off performance has a real impact to the game, although commonly is over exaggerated. The difference between most players in the NHL in face off performance is worth about two goals over an entire season.
Both Lowry and Burmistrov tend to significantly out hit their opponents. Hits created versus drawn does not hold any impact on wins as a statistic although it is interesting only as an anecdote and is a part of the game I personally enjoy. Typically hits have an inverse relationship with possession, which makes it all the more fascinating that they both excel in both areas.
As noted previously, both players have a very positive impact on shot attempt differentials. Lowry has carried a stronger Corsi percentage, but relative Corsi (team Corsi with player on ice versus on bench) and dCorsi (how a player performs relative to usage) indicate that the variation in raw numbers is mostly due to differences in usage deployment and team strength.
Goals Above Threshold is a more descriptive “what have you done for me lately” statistic than underlying shot metrics. It combines a players performance in shot differentials, face offs, penalty differentials, and scoring to estimate a player’s impact on team goal differentials, relative to a replacement level player.
The overall impact difference between the players has been very similar –and very positive– at a very young age.
The Jets future is looking good.
All numbers provided are from WAR-on-Ice and are 5-on-5, Score-Adjusted unless otherwise noted.