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Call the Copp: Predicting Andrew’s Next Contract

Andrew Copp has been a reliable staple on the Jets third line for the past 5 seasons after being drafted out of the University of Michigan in 4th round of the 2013 NHL Draft.  Back in the summer of 2019, the Jets and Copp had a battle over his 3rd NHL contract.  The Jets offered a 2-year, $1.5M AAV contract, while Copp had asked for a 1-year, $2.9M contract.  In the end, an arbitrator came in basically right down the middle, awarding Copp a 2-year, $2.28M contract.  Now 2 years later, Copp is having a career season, and the Jets will be in a similar position to where they were 2 years ago, trying to keep a valuable piece of their lineup without overpaying for a player coming off a career season.

The Skinny

Copp has been a staple on the Jets 3rd line over the last 4 seasons, playing mostly with Adam Lowry as his centreman.  In the 3 seasons prior to 2020-21, he had averaged right around 0.37 points per game, while seeing his average ice time increase year over year to a career high of 17:42 per game last season.  He has also consistently been relied on as a defensive presence on the 3rd line.  Among the regular Jets forwards, he had the 4th lowest OZ start% in 17-18 (44.7%), the 3rd lowest OZ start% in 18-19 (49.5%), and the 4th lowest OZ start% in 19-20 (47.4%).  Copp’s combination of offensive ability and defensive savvy makes him one of the Jets most important forwards.

In 2020/21, Copp has broken out offensively.  Copp has set career highs in goals (12), points (28), powerplay goals (5), and powerplay points (9).  His stats were elevated by a huge 4 goal game in a 5-1 win over Vancouver back on March 24th.

His season this year has brought up the million-dollar question.  Is this offensive outburst a 1-year aberration, or is this offensive production going to be more of the norm going forward?  The answer to that question will define how much Kevin Cheveldayoff is willing to break the bank for Copp. 

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2020/21 Stats as of April 3

Summary Stats 2020/21 Since 2017/18
GP 38 252
G 12 42
A 16 65
PTS 28 107
PTS/G 0.74 0.42
+/- 4 38
PIM 12 42
EVG/EVP 7/20 33/91
PPG/PPP 5/8 6/9
SHG/SHP 0/0 3/7
OTG 0 0
GWG 1 8
S% 15.0% 11.1%
TOI/G 18:25 15:00
FOW% 48.2% 52.7%

 

Corsi/Fenwick Stats (5v5) 2020/21 Since 2017/18
TOI/GP 13:36 12:04
Corsi% 46.9% 51.4%
Corsi Ahead% 48.2% 48.8%
Corsi Tied% 44.9% 51.0%
Corsi Behind% 47.6% 55.1%
Corsi Close% 45.3% 50.6%
Corsi Relative% -0.5% 2.4%
Fenwick% 47.0% 50.7%
Fenwick Ahead% 52.0% 49.1%
Fenwick Tied% 43.7% 50.0%
Fenwick Behind% 45.3% 53.7%
Fenwick Close% 45.0% 49.7%
Fenwick Relative% -0.2% 1.8%
OZ Start% 44.9% 46.6%

The Top Comparable

When reviewing the stats since 2017-18, 6 centres emerge as comparables in various forms to Andrew Copp.  The best comparable of the 6 is Tampa Bay centre Blake Coleman.  Coleman was acquired by Tampa at the 2020 trade deadline and was an instrumental piece in getting the Lightning over the top to win the Stanley Cup.  Coleman and Copp have similar physical statures, and provide solid production in a 3rd line role for their respective teams.  Coleman signed a 3 year, $1.8 million AAV contract when he was 26 (the same age as Copp is currently) with New Jersey.

Summary Stats – since 17/18 Andrew Copp (WPG) Blake Coleman (NJ/TB)
GP 252 261
G 42 63
A 65 47
PTS 107 110
PTS/G 0.42 0.42
+/- 38 -3
PIM 42 206
EVG/EVP 33/91 49/91
PPG/PPP 6/9 5/7
SHG/SHP 3/7 9/12
OTG 0 1
GWG 8 9
S% 11.1% 9.9%
TOI/G 15:00 15:52
FOW% 52.7% 42.9%

 

Corsi/Fenwick Stats (5v5) Andrew Copp (WPG) Blake Coleman (NJ/TB)
TOI/GP 12:04 12:33
Corsi% 51.4% 50.0%
Corsi Ahead% 48.8% 49.5%
Corsi Tied% 51.0% 48.5%
Corsi Behind% 55.1% 51.6%
Corsi Close% 50.6% 48.9%
Corsi Relative% 2.4% 2.3%
Fenwick% 50.7% 50.7%
Fenwick Ahead% 49.1% 51.9%
Fenwick Tied% 50.0% 49.3%
Fenwick Behind% 53.7% 50.9%
Fenwick Close% 49.7% 49.8%
Fenwick Relative% 1.8% 2.7%
OZ Start% 46.6% 40.1%

The Rest of the Comparables

When looking at the summary stats, 3 other comparables jump out.  They are Scott Laughton of the Flyers, Nick Bonino of the Bruins, and Derek Ryan of the Flames.  Laughton currently makes $2.3 million per year, Bonino makes $4.1 million, and Ryan makes $3.125 million.

Summary Stats – since 17/18 Andrew Copp (WPG) Scott Laughton (PHI) Nick Bonino (NSH/BOS) Derek Ryan (CGY)
GP 252 247 255 256
G 42 42 51 40
A 65 54 52 71
PTS 107 96 103 111
PTS/G 0.42 0.39 0.40 0.43
+/- 38 0 44 15
PIM 42 147 80 70
EVG/EVP 33/91 41/93 46/97 33/87
PPG/PPP 6/9 0/0 5/5 6/18
SHG/SHP 3/7 1/3 0/1 1/6
OTG 0 1 0 0
GWG 8 4 5 2
S% 11.1% 11.2% 14.5% 11.1%
TOI/G 15:00 13:41 15:57 14:18
FOW% 52.7% 52.7% 52.8% 55.9%

Digging into the possession/shot attempt stats, two other comparables jump out.  They are Lars Eller of the Capitals, and Nazem Kadri of the Avalanche.  Eller currently makes $3.5 million, while Kadri makes $4.5 million.

Corsi/Fenwick Stats (5v5) Andrew Copp (WPG) Lars Eller (WSH) Nazem Kadri (COL/TOR)
TOI/GP 12:04 12:00 13:10
Corsi% 51.4% 51.4% 51.4%
Corsi Ahead% 48.8% 48.7% 48.9%
Corsi Tied% 51.0% 51.2% 51.3%
Corsi Behind% 55.1% 55.1% 55.7%
Corsi Close% 50.6% 52.3% 51.6%
Corsi Relative% 2.4% 2.7% -0.9%
Fenwick% 50.7% 50.6% 49.7%
Fenwick Ahead% 49.1% 49.5% 48.9%
Fenwick Tied% 50.0% 50.5% 48.7%
Fenwick Behind% 53.7% 51.9% 52.4%
Fenwick Close% 49.7% 51.4% 49.0%
Fenwick Relative% 1.8% 1.9% -1.9%
OZ Start% 46.6% 48.8% 48.5%

Conclusion

Based on the comparables, the contract lengths and AAVs are illustrated below:

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Player Length (Yrs) Salary – AAV
Blake Coleman 3 $1,800,000
Lars Eller 5 $3,500,000
Nazem Kadri 6 $4,500,000
Scott Laughton 2 $2,300,000
Nick Bonino 4 $4,100,000
Derek Ryan 3 $3,125,000
AVERAGE 3.8 $3,220,833

Based on the numbers above, and the conception that the Jets have to pay a slight premium to keep free agents, I would be prepared to sign Copp for 4 years at an AAV of $3,500,000.  This contract would take Copp up until his age 30 season, and give Copp a chance at one more long contract when he hits 30.  For the Jets, it would give them some cost certainty through the next 4 years while the salary cap stays relatively flat.

What do you think?  Would you be ok with the Jets signing this contract?  Do you think it is essential for Copp to stay in Winnipeg long-term?  Would you rather see Copp go to arbitration a second time?  Let me know in the comments.

Cap numbers from capfriendly.com.  Stats from nhl.com.