How much money does Michael Frolik deserve?

As it currently stands, Michael Frolik could be the best player the Winnipeg Jets let walk to free agency.

We are planning on doing a more in depth look of Michael Frolik’s contributions to the team in our Winnipeg Jets by the Numbers series. We thought we’d investigate, since the topic has come up quite a few times over Twitter and the radio.

Let’s take a look at how history suggests Frolik should get paid.

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Michael Frolik is a very good player.

Frolik came fourth in goals and fifth in points for the Jets, while posting the second best Corsi differential and fourth best scoring chance differential.

With 42 points, Frolik’s scoring sat at 116th in the NHL. With 30 teams and 3 players per a line, this means that Frolik produced just below average top six production.

Using the Eucludian Distance application on WAR-on-Ice developed by Manny, we can estimate recent players that performed similar Michael Frolik in terms of statistical value.

Frolik’s numbers are as follow:

Screen shot 2015-05-18 at 9.40.19 AM

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The numbers looked at were goals, assists, points, and shots attempt volume relative to time on ice, plus relative Corsi differential, relative scoring chance differential, relative goal differential, and percentage of team’s time on ice. I then further filtered the list to players within a year of Frolik’s age.

The ten statistical cohorts are as follow:

Screen shot 2015-05-18 at 9.41.39 AM

Now that’s a pretty decent list of players — for the most part.

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We then take the average salary of these players relative to the Salary Cap that season, to normalize for Cap inflation.

There is quite a range in values, from Sean Avery’s 2.5 per cent of the Cap to Claude Giroux’s 14.49. The large variance is expected, as players have good and bad years all the time. Overall we get an expected value of 6.99 per cent of the cap, which is a raise from what Frolik received this past season.

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Early estimates have the 2015-2016 Salary Cap ranging from 70-71 million dollars.

This would mean that the average player that performed like Michael Frolik did per minute last season would expect a compensation between 4.89 to 4.96 million per year.

It should be noted, that this method ignores impact on special teams and any off-ice contributions or value.

All numbers are courtesy of WAR-on-Ice.