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 most underrated right-handed defender, Paul Postma.
Numbers include all situations including non 5v5 TOI.
The one thing that consistently surprises me is Paul Postma’s low scoring numbers in the NHL. Postma scored exceptionally well in both the WHL and AHL before graduating to the next level. A deeper than cursory look shows that Postma’s linemates have shot at about 6 per cent while he’s been on the ice. It could be that his point totals over the past two seasons undervalue his offensive upside.
Postma played about half the season and he played very few minutes when he did. His shot production was decent, but not exceptional.
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.
It’s interesting to see how Paul Maurice gave Postma more minutes than Adam Pardy or Jay Harrison. He was confident to play him more and push him in the offensive zone less, while they faced similar competition levels.
Postma also garnered exceptionally better results than the other two; however, as the season moved along, Postma sat in the pressbox while Harrison and Pardy played.
Postma’s career was added since his career is closer to a full season’s worth of data than just his 2014-15 year. As we can see, he consistently out performs the average 3rd pair defender, by a large margin.
While he is playing sheltered minutes, he is out performing those who tend to play sheltered minutes.
Visual courtesy of Micah McCurdy.
Postma started the season bouncing between Adam Pardy and Grant Clitsome. Overall they performed quite well in out shooting their opponents. Postma did have some mixed results though when playing with Mark Stuart and Jay Harrison.
These are really good results, as in very, very good results. The Jets controlled the play and directed far more pucks at their opponents net than their own with Postma on the ice. Yes, Postma was sheltered, but so were players like Jay Harrison and Adam Pardy, and without the same results.
Overall Postma was one of only six defensemen than Goals Above Replacement estimated to have a positive impact on the Jets goal differential. The six were Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom, Jacob Trouba, Ben Chiarot, and Paul Postma. That’s it.
Paul Postma is probably one of the best right-shot, third-pair defenders in the entire NHL. The issue is that the Jets have two legitimate first-pair calibre defenders in Byfuglien and Trouba, and a highly rated defender in Tyler Myers.
Maurice discussed earlier the possibility of moving one of the right-handed shots to the left side, to get all three of Buff, Trouba, and Myers into the top four. If this happens and Clitsome is not healthy, the Jets should carry a bottom pair of Ben Chiarot and Paul Postma… but probably won’t.