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 turn our evidence-based breakdown of the Jets multi-tool extraordinaire, Michael Frolik.
Numbers include all situations including non 5v5 TOI.
Michael Frolik hit 42 points for the second consecutive time. In Chicago Frolik played a depth role as a fourth line player, but every other team Frolik has paced a low 40 points. Normalized to 82 games played, Frolik has put up 47, 43, 46, 43, and 42 points.
Frolik posted a shooting percentage above his norm, although it is interesting to note that his career shooting percentage took a severe dip while as a fourth line player in Chicago. Player’s scoring numbers tend to fall as they move to lower roles as they play with weaker linemates and also as role players are typecasted to get the opposing goalie to cover the puck (getting an offensive zone start for the top lines).
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.
Frolik experienced a decent offensive zone start push while playing on the top line. He was a secondary option for even strength minutes, power play, and short handed minutes.
Frolik predominately played against the other teams top lines, while also playing with the Jets’ top lines.
Frolik played just over the norm amount of ice time for a first line forward and therefore is compared to other top line players. As we can see, he started off the season struggling in shot differentials, but eventually moved into elite shot metrics regions.
Visual courtesy of Micah McCurdy.
Frolik started the season with Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little on the Jets’ top line. He then moved down to play with Mark Scheifele, as Paul Maurice reunited the Jets bonafide top line of Ladd’s Little Wheeler. Later in the season Frolik was returned to Little and Ladd, although Adam Lowry played some filler while Little was injured.
Frolik performed well in scoring this season, although his 5v5 scoring was not the highest. Generally speaking a 1.6 pace is above average for a third line player or below average for a second liner.
Still, Frolik performed exceptionally in shot metrics. Mathieu Perreault was the only regular Jet to out perform Frolik in Corsi (with sheltered Eric O`Dell placing first). dCorsi suggests that Frolik could handle tougher minutes without much negative impact.
It’s interesting how many feel as though Corsi is inflated by Evander Kane’s style of play, when in actuality the numbers indicate that Frolik is this type of player. However, it still is quite a small impact. While Frolik’s scoring chances numbers tend to be the most different from his Corsi, he still ends up as one of the better Jets. This is why Corsi is generally better unless you have huge sample sizes.
Weighting Corsi with goals with 5x the impact of non-goals, weighted shots place Frolik well within the Jets top six players. Meanwhile, Goals Above Replacement estimate Frolik’s total impact on the Jets goal differential to be quite positive.
Michael Frolik is a very good player. He’s worth a pretty penny, and a lot of pennies more than Drew Stafford. While high scoring players are sexy, it’s only one part of the game and does not display a players overall impact. Historically speaking a player like Frolik gets paid around 4.7 AAV, while in contrast a player like Stafford gets paid around 3.3 AAV.
Hopefully the Jets get Frolik signed as he is a very helpful player and should be playing around his prime level for another five to six years.
However, if they cannot, the Jets had a player who performed quite similarly after adjusting for usage and linemates in Alexander Burmistrov… maybe there is a replacement available.