By the Numbers: Statistically splicing Tyler Myers, Travis Hamonic, and Zach Bogosian

The New York Islanders are looking to trade Travis Hamonic for another big minutes defender. It appears that the Islanders are targeting Jacob Trouba or Tyler Myers, but the Jets are reluctant to pull the trigger.

We recently opined that the Jets should make the swap between Myers and Hamonic if at all possible.

It is rare though to see a big contract defender like Myers get swapped a year within being acquired by a team. It was not long ago the Jets made an exchange leading to Myers picking up Zach Bogosian’s former place on the roster.

With Myers already playing 48 games for the Jets, I thought this would be a good opportunity to compare Myers to Hamonic and Bogosian in terms of their on-ice results over the past two seasons.

Note: The Buffalo Sabres have been a bit of a tire-fire, with their intentional tank last season. This makes it difficult to statistically analyze players in that environment. Due to this factor, all minutes in Buffalo have been removed for Myers and Bogosian.

Myers and Hamonic

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Both have played big minutes for their respected teams, averaging just over 22 minutes a game. Myers has been the larger point producer, although there are indications that last season was highly inflated by unsustainable percentages.

In terms of shot metrics, there is no real contest. Both defenders have taken more then their fair share of defensive zone starts, taking hits to help their teammates feast on softer minutes. Hamonic though comes ahead in every case.

In terms of shot attempts (Corsi), unblocked shot attempts (Fenwick), and scoring chances (SC), Hamonic’s team always controls more than the opposition does, while Myers does not. We care about these numbers as they better suggest how a player will outscore the opposition more than goal differentials.

Their relative numbers show the team with the player on ice versus on the bench, where both have a negative impact (in part due to usage) but Hamonic mitigates the bleeding much more. Relative statistics are superior to comparing players on different teams (or same team but different time periods) as it reduces team effects (but does not eliminate).

dCorsi is a statistic looking at how a player performs relative to expectations given deployment factors like linematching, linemates, and zone deployment. We see here that Hamonic has been much better relative to his usage than Myers.

Hamonic’s numbers on the power play seem superior, but they are likely from small sample outliers. Hamonic has not been used much on the power play and we’d expect his numbers to regress significantly.

On the penalty kill though Hamonic has been the better player in preventing unblocked shot attempts and scoring chances, but the goaltending behind him has lead to more short handed goals against.

Myers and Bogosian

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This comparison quite frankly surprised me. I expected Myers to come up ahead of Bogosian, or at least a bit closer. We do see Bogosian out performing Myers in much the same way as Hamonic, but not nearly to the same extent.

The real difference has been in production. Myers is both a better scorer at 5v5 and power play than Bogosian (and what we expect of Hamonic). Still, the boost in production is not enough to make up for the loss in differential. Hockey is a game about outscoring, not just scoring.

dCorsi though suggests that usage could be a major factor in the differences, as Bogosian sits much closer to Myers in dCorsi than Hamonic.

Bogosian did have value in the penalty kill. In terms of repressing unblocked shots and scoring chances, Bogosian has been the best of the three by far.

There are some concerns with Bogosian’s health and ability to play enough games per season.

Bonus: Byfuglien and Trouba

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Nothing happens in a vacuum and the Jets have two other right defenders who have played (or would play) with either Hamonic, Bogosian, or Myers.

While the previously three discussed defenders have tended to carry negative relative shot metrics, Byfuglien and Trouba have been the two defenders dominating the game when Bogosian or Myers have been on the bench.

It should be noted that Byfuglien’s 5v5 minutes include his minutes as a forward, where he has been shown to be far worse in shot metrics (as well as goal differential).

The two provide context on the performance of the other three.

All numbers courtesy of war-on-ice.com

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