The season has been laid to rest.
Fans have completed their lamenting of the Anaheim Ducks sweeping the Winnipeg Jets. The healing process has begun.
But, before full closure can be completed, an autopsy of the Jets season must be initiated.
We start our evidence-based breakdown of the Jets season with 21-year-old rookie, Adam Lowry.
Numbers include all situations including non 5v5 TOI.
While scoring 23 points is far from earth shattering, it is respectable for Lowry’s first season, especially given his ice time and deployment.
Lowry’s shot volume production is middling but not poor at all. Lowry’s point production will always be a bit goal and shot driven as with out being an above average NHL playmaker. As Lowry develops, he should improve in this area and in turn improve his point production.
Lowry’s shooting percentage was above league average. Shooting percentages regress to some mean, but a player’s mean may differ from the league’s. As a rookie skater Lowry has no history to compare with, although he did shoot above average in the AHL.
Lowry provided additional value by drawing more penalties than he was called for, which is a difficult feat for a very large and physical player.
Graph courtesy of WAR-on-Ice.
Rankings are out of the Jets 17 forwards with 50+ 5v5 minutes, except special team minutes are each out of 11 Jet forwards.
Lowry played some of the softer minutes the Jets could give, as expected for a young rookie.
Lowry was deployed in the offensive zone relative to the defensive zone significantly more often than most of the Jets. He also rarely faced the opposing teams top players, although he rarely played with the Jets best players either.
Lowry played predominately on the third line and rarely saw special team minutes. He could in the future see some penalty kill time though with his defensive acumen.
Note: The labels on the axis have been accidentally swapped.
Lowry outperformed his peers in terms of controlling a larger percentage of shots.
Visual courtesy of Micah McCurdy.
Lowry’s linemates changed often, as is usual for players outside of the top six. He did predominately play with Dustin Byfuglien, Mathieu Perreault, Matt Halischuk, Michael Frolik, and Chris Thorburn… all to mixed results.
As noted previous, Lowry has not been much of a point producer. His 1.10 points per sixty minutes of 5v5 ice time is below the typical 1.5 median of players with similar ice time. Point production typically improves for young players, reaching a peak somewhere between 24 to 26.
He has however performed admirably in shot attempt differentials, or Corsi. The Jets have directed more pucks at their opponents net then their own with Lowry on the ice, and relative Corsi shows that the Jets direct relatively more than they do with Lowry on the bench.
Lowry’s softer deployment sets expectations higher than normal, but dCorsi (a usage regression model) suggests that Lowry has out performed his expected Corsi given his usage.
Scoring chances (SCF%) is a shot metric that adds a shot quality element by using shot location and estimating if a shot is a rebound, rush shot, or from sustained pressure. Typically it out performs Corsi for predicting future goal differentials after a full season of data.
Weighted shot differential (wSh Diff) is another shot metric variant that attempts to add a shot quality element by weighting goals more heavily than non-goal shots.
In all variations, young Adam Lowry performs well in all shot metrics. Looking deeper into the numbers we see that the value in Lowry’s two-way performance predominately extends from his ability to suppress opponent attempts against.
Finally, Goals Above Replacement (GAR) is an “one number” statistic that attempts to add up a player’s impact relative to a replacement level player. Face offs, penalty differentials, shot differentials, and shooting effectiveness is combined in order to estimate a player’s impact on a team’s goal differentials.
While Lowry did not perform above average in terms of scoring, he has impacted the game in a positive manner through shot metrics.
The 2014-2015 season was only Adam Lowry’s first in the NHL and second as professional hockey player.
While he has not generated a lot of points and does not project to be an above average scorer, Lowry has performed as an above average third line forward in terms of shot differentials.
As he grows and develops into a more complete player, we should expect his scoring numbers to rise to around league average while continuing his already highly effective two-way play.
All numbers are courtesy of WAR-on-Ice and are score-adjusted 5v5 unless otherwise noted.