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 rookie defenseman, Ben Chiarot.
Numbers include all situations including non 5v5 TOI.
Ben Chiarot posted respectable offensive numbers, especially given a lack of large production in lower levels. While Chiarot has no personal NHL history we can compare with, his percentages are close enough to average NHL players to provide some confidence the levels are sustainable.
Graph courtesy of WAR-on-Ice.
Rankings are out of the Jets 11 defenders with 50+ 5v5 minutes, except special team minutes are 4 players for power play and 7 players for penalty kill.
Strictly by numbers, Paul Maurice never gave Chiarot the easy minutes. While the Mark Stuart and Jacob Trouba pair were Maurice’s primary choice for starting in the defensive zone, Chiarot actually had the toughest defensive zone to offensive zone start ratio.
Chiarot ate second pairing minutes at even strength, but did not provide much value in special teams.
At a cursory glance, Ben Chiarot performed exceptionally relative to his ice time peers.
Visual courtesy of Micah McCurdy.
Chiarot’s primary defensive partners were Dustin Byfuglien, Adam Pardy, Tyler Myers, and Zach Bogosian. Chiarot posted extremely strong numbers during his minutes with Byfuglien. He also did well in a sheltered role with Pardy. He did struggle though with Bogosian and Myers.
Chiarot put up strong offensive numbers relative to his ice time. He paced well above average for second pairing defensemen and was around average for a top pairing defenseman.
Chiarot posted strong shot metric numbers. His shot attempt differentials were high, although the Jets were slightly better with him on the bench than on the ice. Removing blocked shots makes him look even better.
dCorsi shines brightly on Chiarot as well, although there is a flaw in the data. dCorsi looks at linemates and usage to estimate how a player should be expected to perform; however, this means it uses Byfuglien as both a forward and defensemen in estimating Byfuglien’s impact. For those new to shot metrics and underlying numbers for the Jets, Byfuglien is not a very good forward but a very, very good defender.
Overall, Goals Above Replacement estimates Chiarot to have a positive impact on the Jets goal differentials relative to a replacement level player.
Evaluating players like Chiarot statistically can be difficult. Chiarot was rarely apart from Byfuglien, with 75 per cent of his ice time played with the Big Buff. In those minutes with Byfuglien he posted a strong 55 per cent Corsi, but flopped with a 48.7 Corsi percentage for the time away.
Is Byfuglien carrying Chiarot? If so, by how much? Is his minutes away defining of him or is it just small sample size?
One way to look at this is by comparing how Chiarot performed with Byfuglien relative to the other options that have ridden shotgun with the elite defender. Doing this, we see Chiarot comparable to Grant Clitsome, while ranking below Tobias Enstrom and Johnny Oduya, but above Mark Stuart, Adam Pardy, and other depth defenders.
It seems like Chiarot is a decent option as a number four or five guy. At only 23-years-old, we can expect him to get a bit better until about 25-26 and plateau for some while.