Mueller

 

If you are an avid reader of the DobberHockey website you probably are familiar with the popular mantra the “magical fourth year”. There has been plenty of debate on whether or not this concept truly exists with plenty of arguments for and against. I’ve spent quite a few hours compiling all of the numbers and doing research in an attempt to finally settle (?) the debate.

 

All of the research can be found in the attached Excel file. Feel free to download it and browse at your leisurely pleasure.

 

Basically, what I did was track the career progression of 212 NHL players from season to season looking at their overall seasonal point totals as well as their point-per-game totals. The following tables are a summation of the information that I found.

 

Year

Overall Average Point Production of all 212 players

Percentage Increase Compared to Previous Year

1

31.1

-

2

42.2

35.7

3

45.9

8.8

4

52.9

15.3

5

56.0

5.9

6

55.3

4.5

7

55.2

-0.2

8

59.8

8.3

9

59.1

-1.2

10

59.2

0.1

11

55.2

-7.8

12

53.6

-3.9

13

52.5

-3.1

14

50.4

-4.0

15

48.3

-4.2

 

 


Looking at the table, it’s not surprising to see a big jump between the rookie season and the sophomore season (which kind of debunks the sophomore slump myth doesn’t it?). Most rookies tend to get eased into the NHL, with a checking type role in their first year to help get acclimatized with the ‘Bigs’ and then begin to gain a bit more rope/responsibility during their second season. So, the large jump of over 35 percent can be reasonably justified. The second interesting point to note is the jump between third and fourth seasons. Most of the increases/decreases from season to season are below the 10 percent mark, but between the third and fourth seasons there’s a much larger variation of 15.3 percent from the previous season. Is this enough justification to support the theory of the “magical fourth year”? Last point to note is that it’s on average a player begins to hit their prime around year 5 and begins to decline around year 10.

 

Obviously with injuries playing a major role in affecting point production, I decided to take it one step further and look at average point-per-game totals of the 212 NHL players and here are the results:

 

Year

Overall Average Point-Per-Game Production of all 212 players

Increase Compared to Previous Year

1

0.48

-

2

0.58

0.10

3

0.64

0.06

4

0.71

0.07

5

0.77

0.06

6

0.78

0.01

7

0.78

0

8

0.83

0.05

9

0.80

-0.03

10

0.80

0

11

0.78

-0.02

12

0.77

-0.01

13

0.74

-0.03

14

0.69

-0.05

15

0.66

-0.03

 

 

Much like the overall point production graph above, the point-per-game graph and table illustrate a very similar trend. It also shows a big jump in production between rookie and sophomore years as well as a decent jump in production between the third and fourth years. What’s interesting is that the point-per-game percentage increase between the second and third years isn’t that far off from the third and fourth years as it was with the overall point production table. On average a player only increases his point totals by 3.7 points between second and third years compared to 7.0 between third and fourth years. Food for thought? The decline in point-per-game numbers seems to hold off a little bit longer than in the overall point production graph. Players tend to last till the 13th NHL season before experiencing a significant drop off in point-per-game production.

 

Here’s a list of the top-15 most productive fourth-year players in recent history

 

Name

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Mark Recchi

67

113

97

123

Dany Heatley

67

89

25

103

Ilya Kovalchuk

51

67

87

98

Patrick Elias

35

50

72

96

Zach Parise

32

62

65

94

Mike Modano

75

64

77

93

Ryan Getzlaf

39

58

82

91

Brian Gionta

11

25

29

89

Pavel Datsyuk

35

51

68

87

Andy McDonald

28

21

30

85

Jeff Carter

42

37

53

84

Derek Roy

19

46

63

81

Anze Kopitar

61

77

66

81

Mike Cammalleri

8

15

55

80

Mike Richards

34

32

75

80

 


A lot of the names above are recognizable, house-hold names. They can certainly provide a solid case to help prove the existence of a “magical fourth year”.  With that said, the fourth year is not the lone year where players saw a “breakout” year. Dobber himself even said as much in the Fantasy Guide. Here’s a list of players who’ve experienced a breakout in other years.

 

Third Year Breakouts

 

Name

1st

2nd

3rd

Evgeni Malkin

85

106

113

Alex Ovechkin

106

92

112

Nicklas Backstrom

69

88

101

Patrick Kane

72

70

88

Henrik Zetterberg

44

43

85

Jason Pominville

30

68

80

 

 

Fifth Year Breakouts

 

Name

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Milan Hejduk

48

72

79

44

98

Martin St. Louis

18

40

35

70

94

Alex Semin

22

73

42

79

84

Marian Hossa

30

56

75

66

80

 

 

Sixth Year Breakouts

 

Name

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

Joe Thornton

7

41

60

71

68

101

Corey Perry

25

44

54

72

76

98

Jarome Iginla

50

32

51

63

71

96

Daniel Sedin

34

32

31

54

71

84

Scott Gomez

70

63

48

55

70

84

Mike Ribeiro

18

17

65

51

59

83

Henrik Sedin

29

36

39

42

75

81

 

An interesting point to note is that players that breakout during their fourth, fifth and sixth seasons tend to be of the “older generation” (pre-lockout). The “newer generation” (post-lockout), of youngsters tend to have a bit of an accelerated curve where they’re starting to gain a larger role of responsibility at an earlier age, which might be something that you’d want to keep in mind for Matt Duchene, John Tavares and James Van Riemsdyk.

 

The point that I’m trying to make is that the “magical fourth year” isn’t a one size fits all model. As you can see from the tables above, there are plenty of players who don’t experience a “magical fourth year”, but with that said, the fourth year is, statistically speaking, the year where players experience the largest point increase compared to their previous year’s production. It is entirely up to you whether you are a believer of the “magical fourth year” or not. All I can do is to present my case.

 

Below is the list of players who are entering their fourth NHL season this year, along with my opinion and projection as to whether they are going to be poised to have a huge breakout year or are they going to be a blip on the radar.

 

Note: I used 20 games played as a cut off to count as a season played. If a player played 19 games their “rookie” season, I counted the next season as their true rookie year.

 

Poised for a huge breakout year (80+ or point-per-game)

 

Peter Mueller – There’s only one candidate out west that I feel could be in for a huge breakout season and that’s Mueller. He sat out the entire year last season dealing with a serious concussion issue, but it all seems behind him now. The latest news coming out of Colorado is that he has resumed skating and is raring to go for training camp. The last time he suited up for the Avs. He picked up 20 points in 15 contests, 18 of which came when playing alongside Matt Duchene and Milan Hedjuk. Both of the players still remain in Colorado, so it’ll be interesting to see if they still have some residual chemistry left for 2011-12. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an 80-point Mike Cammalleri-like season from Mueller this campaign.

 

Poised for a marginal breakout year (50-65 points)

 

Michael Frolik – Frolik’s NHL career has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride so far. He began in a very turbulent Florida franchise then was subsequently traded to the Hawks where he spent the majority of his time toiling in a third-line checking role. With the departures of Troy Brouwer and Tomas Kopecky, Frolik should enjoy a bit of time in the Hawks’ top-six, hopefully resulting in him surpassing his career-high of 45 points. One of the big positives for Frolik is that he isn’t afraid to shoot the puck (career 2.61 SOG per game average). Generally speaking players that tend to shoot the puck tend to have high point totals than those that don’t. I’d look for something around the 50-55 point mark, but if there is a major injury to Patrick Kane or Marian Hossa, Frolik’s fantasy value could skyrocket.

 

T.J. Oshie – All of the Blues’ offensive players are in a bit of a unique situation this campaign. Many could argue that they have one of the best youngest players with offensive upside in the league. The question that I posed in last week’s column was whether or not there is going to be enough offense to spread around amongst them. St. Louis boasts a top-10 in which each and every player has had a 40-point season within the last two years. Offensive depth is not going to be a problem, which is why it’s going to be a crapshoot as to making projections for Blues’ this campaign, especially when there’s four of them heading into their “magical fourth year”. After all of the dust settled post-trade deadline, three players managed to escape un-phased. One of which was Oshie, who still managed to garner 19:02, 2:01 of which was on the PP, 2.56 SOG and 0.61 points per game respectively. As I mentioned previously, it’s going to be a complete crapshoot to project for the Blues, but for me, I just have inkling that Oshie might be the front runner on the offense-by-committee team.

 

Derek Brassard – I slotted Brassard in last season’s column, but after readjusting my criteria, I really shouldn’t have counted his 17-game rookie season, which then makes this season his “real” magical fourth year. During his first three years, he’s shown steady progression from 25 to 36 and then last year’s total of 47 points. If you follow it linearly, the logical pattern of the next number falls on 58, which would certainly be a nice total to have as a sneaky late round pick up. With newly acquired Jeff Carter there, many would think that Brassard would fail to garner enough ice-time in order to put up 58 points. My argument would be that Brassard and Rick Nash’s styles of play seem to complement each other (56% of Nash’s points last season occurred when Brassard was on the ice), much more than Carter and Nash, who are both shoot-first types of players. If they played on the same line I could certainly see an Olli Jokinen-Jarome Iginla type situation where the chemistry is just not there and it ends up detracting from the offense rather than helping it. Don’t dive head first into Brassard’s stock, but definitely take note of his name as a possible late-round steal come draft time.

 

Patric Hornqvist – It seems as though Hornqvist has been around for ages, but I was quite shocked to find the former seventh-round draft pick is only heading into his “magical fourth season” this campaign. He’s already posted consecutive 48+ point seasons and certainly is in line for a third. During the last 11 games of the season, the trio of Mike Fisher, Sergei Kostitsyn and Hornqvist combined for a whopping 29 points in which Hornqvist averaged 1.27 points-per-game during that span. The only drawback is that he does play for the Preds, which has produced only three 60+ point producers since 2007. But if that trio can reignite some of that chemistry, there could be a very under-rated line that would surprise many coming out of Nashville.

 

Cal Clutterbuck – I was a bit torn as to where to slot Clutterbuck, but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt mainly because of the lack of depth in Minnesota this year. If you’re read my Earmarked for Success series, then you’ll probably realize that the top-five spots in Minny are pretty much locked, with the sixth going to be battled out between the oft-injured Guillaume Latendresse, Kyle Brodziak and Clutterbuck. If you’re a fairly knowledgeable poolie, then you’ll probably realize that it won’t be the point totals that will be the main reason why you’ll own Clutterbuck. It’s going to be the league-leading 336 HITs that are going to be the primary reason for owning him. The points attached become a secondary matter. If you’re after just the points then drop him a few notches and expect a ceiling of 40, but nothing more.

 

Sitting on the Fence (<50)

 

Patrik Berglund – I know there’s going to be many of you from the Berglund camp that’ll jump all over me on this one, but similarly to the Oshie situation, there’s just an inkling inside of me that thinks Berglund will be a big fantasy flop this season. Talent, offensive upside and skating ability aren’t the major problems for me, it’s the depth chart, and that’s much more of an obstacle to a player’s production than all of the factors listed above. Following the trade deadline, Berglund ranked behind Andy McDonald, David Backes, Oshie, and Chris Stewart in terms of overall time on ice. Now if you factor in Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner into the mix, I just don’t know if Berglund is going to garner enough ice-time to put up fantastic numbers to wow us poolies. Obviously, situations can change, but I’d head into the season a bit leery. I know it’s a bit low, but expect 45-50 and you should be okay.

 

Matt D’Agostini – Pretty much ditto as above, minus the talent and offensive upside. D’Agostini had a great run at the end of the season where he notched 18 points in the final 20 contests, but that might have been due solely to playing alongside McDonald and Backes who had great chemistry with each other. If, and a very big one, they get reunited and rekindle some of that chemistry then D’Agostini’s value might increase, but if he gets relegated to third-line checking duties, then he probably maintains little to no fantasy value. Big boom or bust candidate for 2011-12.

 

Chris Stewart – The last of the “magical fourth year” candidates for the Blues. Stewart also had a great finale with the Blues as he notched 23 points in 26 contests following the trade from Colorado to St. Louis. He definitely demonstrated plenty of chemistry with Berglund and formed quite a formidable duo. The question as I posed earlier is whether or not it can be sustained throughout the year? Look at the following table for the answer:

 

Name

Point-per-game average post-trade deadline

Pro-rated (82 games)

McDonald

0.95

77

D’Agostini

0.90

73

Backes

0.80

65

Stewart

0.80

65

Berglund

0.58

47

Oshie

0.61

50

Steen

0.50

41

 

Now keep in mind you also have to include Arnott, Langenbrunner and possibly Perron into the mix as well. In my humble opinion, I just don’t think that it can be sustained. Expect something similar to Berglund (45-50) and you should be okay, while anything more and you could set yourself up for disappointment.

 

Lauri Korpikoski – Korpikoski is in a bit of an interesting scenario. He doesn’t possess the same offensive upsides as a lot of the other “magical fourth year” candidates, but is in a great situation where the depth chart is completely in his favour. I highlighted the fact that the Yotes lost two major pieces (Vern Fiddler and Eric Belanger) in terms of puck possession through faceoff wins during Dobber’s ramblings last week, and a player that they’ll utilize to try to fill the void will be Korpikoski. Behind the aforementioned duo plus Martin Hanzal and Kyle Turris, Korpikoski ranked fifth in terms of face off attempts for Phoenix. He wasn’t very good, winning just 43 percent of his opportunities, but should see an improvement on his 15:31 TOI/game average just based solely on the fact that they’ll need someone to take faceoffs after Hanzal and Turris. Points-wise look for 35-40 but not a lot more as his offensive upside just isn’t there.

 

James Sheppard – If there was a player that was in desperate need of a change of scenery then it has to have been Sheppard. Since 2004, the Wild haven’t really had great success in translating prospects into NHL talent, which is why the recent trade to the Sharks might be the career boost that Sheppard needed to salvage his NHL career. If you compare the Wild with the Shark prospects, there’s almost a night and day difference between the two clubs.

 

Wild

Sharks

A.J. Thelen

Lukas Kaspar

Benoit Pouliot

Devin Setoguchi

James Sheppard

Ty Wishart

Colton Gillies

Logan Couture

Tyker Cuma

Nick Petrecki

Nick Leddy

 

 

If you read my column last week, you probably read that generally speaking the Sharks do a very good job of developing young talent. Sheppard certainly has the pedigree to become a very solid NHL producer, and the Sharks organization might just be the best environment for him to flourish in. Martin Havlat and Ryane Clowe aren’t exactly the ironmen of the NHL, so Sheppard should receive some opportunity in the Sharks’ top-six throughout the season. Look for 30-35 points as he attempts to re-establish his NHL career.

 

Other Notables


Andrew Ebbett, Mikkel Boedker, B.J. Crombeen, Jannik Hansen, Kevin Porter, Jamie McGinn, Derek Dorsett, Cal O’Reilly, and Brad Staubitz

 

 

Defense

 

Most of us have heard of the phrase “It takes defenseman longer to develop in the NHL than forwards.” Last season I took a look at a small sample of d-men and there wasn’t a lot of empirical evidence to back the theory of the “magical fourth year” for blue liners. Of course that shouldn’t prevent you from ignoring them completely, so here are a few Western Conference D-men who are entering their fourth year this season.

 

Drew Doughty – Doughty and his management team are still butting heads with the Kings’ organization for his next contract, but things should be completed before the season starts. DD had a bit of a down year last year compared to his sophomore breakout campaign where he notched 59 points. That year he faced little competition from Jack Johnson, which resulted in DD completely controlling his fate. Now that JJ is rounding into form, expect much of the same as last season where the production will most likely be split evenly between the two.

 

Niklas Hjalmarsson – The Hawks defensive corps last season could easily have been broken down to a big three of Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Brian Campbell, then the fill-ins of Hjalmarsson, Chris Campoli, Nick Leddy and Jason Cullimore. This season Chicago will have a bit of a different look, as Hjalmarsson should see a much larger role with the departure of Campbell and Campoli. Steve Montador and Sami Lepisto might threaten a bit of the PP time, but Hjalmarsson should get first crack on the second unit. Look for a rebound back towards the 25-30 point mark to help fill the offensive void left by Campbell.

 

Erik Johnson – There probably isn’t a defenseman with a larger chip on his shoulder heading into this campaign than EJ, except the possibility of Sheldon Souray?). He was a highly-touted defensive prospect in which the Blues utilized their first overall pick back in 2006 to acquire Johnson. The Blues were unhappy with his development and subsequently moved him to the Avs for Stewart and their first round pick this summer. He didn’t exactly have a huge breakout after the move when he registered just 10 points in 22 contests with his new club, but with the number one PP QB gig handed to him on a silver platter, Johnson should have a very good fourth campaign. I’m going to go out on a limb and project that he tallies upwards of 40 points this season.

 

Kyle Quincey – Quincey might be a player that’s going to be largely forgotten heading into this season because of his production from last campaign. He registered just one lone point in 21 contests, and was sidelined for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. The Avs have been pretty quiet about the news, as I can’t even dig up what kind of injury he sustained. My guess is that it’s a torn labrum. What you have to keep in mind with Quincey is that he did post a 38 and 29 point seasons prior to last year, so the offensive upside is certainly there. EJ and Jan Hejda should be the top pairing, leaving Quincey and possibly Stefan Elliott as the possible number two pairing. Both players have an offensive edge to their game and could produce some surprising numbers. Don’t forget Quincey’s name during the late rounds of your drafts.

 

Check back Thursday for the second half of this article which will discuss the fourth year players from the Eastern Conference. It’s going to be a doozy! Questions or comments? Post in the section below and I’ll be more than happy to discuss.

 

 


Write comment
Comments (15)add comment

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Production vs Ice-time

I definitely think that there's a strong correlation. If you've followed my articles then you're probably well aware of my beliefs of what drives a player's production.

The key is to spot the players who are heading into their 4th years that will have the opportunity to average 20 mins a game. I don't see very many from out west that will have that opportunity, but out East I definitely could see a few Giroux and Stamkos.

Comfort level and ice-time are definitely key features in determining the potential value of a player.
August 18, 2011
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
:) I love comfortable couches.
August 17, 2011
Votes: +0

Ryan Lenethen said:

DarthVain
Product of Coaching As you mention in your article, the big jump between years 1 and 2 is likely product of limited checking roll year one, while taking on more responsibility in year 2. I think you can probably extend that principle.

I bet if you did the same analysis, put it on a graph, and then did analysis of how many minutes they played in a game that season, there would be a pretty close correlation.

So it could have nothing to do with the player really and all about the comfort level of the couch. It could be that certain couches are more "comfortable" than others...
August 17, 2011
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Mabus

Definitely league scoring plays a massive role, obviously if every team scores 1 more goal well that's 3 more points the players get to spread around.

The only thing that I can add is how do you predict a spike? It wasn't hard with the lockout, players got a year of rest... new rules... etc. But the trend has been going down ever since the lockout so do we assume that it goes down again, or at least remain relatively close to the totals of this year?

You can only identify the league scoring trends after the fact, but when drafting players you don't draft after the fact, so you kinda have to assume that if the league scoring goes up, every player is adjusted accordingly and if it goes down, everyone in the league is adjusted as well. So I guess at the end of the day it's how you use the data to help you out in your leagues.

I don't blame people for being sceptical about into it, cause as you say, there's just too many factors in play in order to draw a conclusive finale to the debate. But what I'm trying to do with it is to highlight the fact that there is a statistical anomaly during the 4th year in which players tend to have a slight boost in point production. With fantasy leagues, knowledge is power and any slight advantage needs to be picked up before your opponent uses it for their advantage.

All I can really do is to highlight that anomaly, to help you Dobberities gain a slight edge over your competition.

I can only show you the door, but you have to walk through it yourself.

So green pill or red pill?
August 16, 2011
Votes: +1

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Stewart

With him it's not about skill or talent, it's about depth charts, which is the same boat that all of the Blues are going to be in.

They boast one of the most deep teams in the league, and when situations like that happen,it screams out offense by committee where teams will split the ice-time evenly across their players. I mean if you look at the list. McDonald, Oshie, Berglund, Stewart, D'Agostini, Arnott, Langenbrunner, Backes, Steen and possibly Perron as well. You kinda look at that line up and you're wondering who's going to get shafted? I mean not everyone can play 17-18 minutes a game... So are they going to run with a 19-10 setup or is everyone going to get 15 mins each? Who do you shaft and who gets the benefit of the doubt? Your guess as as good as mine, which is why it's so unpredictable.

Safest scenario is that you predict 45-50, if he gets 55 you've kinda covered your bases, if he gets 40 you're covered too. If you're heading into the season thinking he's a 60 pointer, and he ends up with 40 that could be your season right there.

If you've read my projections article earlier in the season you can look at the numbers that he kinda needs to achieve in order to be a 60 point, 50 pointer and a top 10er, with that depth in StL the most likelyist scenario is that he ends up closer to a 50-pointer.
August 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: 5th vs 6th year breakouts

For me a breakout is a large improvement from 1 season to the next of at least 20 points, or when a player finally breaks that 80 point barrier.

So when Daniel improves by 17 points to a season finish of 71 points. That 71 points in relation to everyone else was a ranking of 47th amongst all players that season. Is that a breakout?

At the end of the day it's all relative as to what you consider a breakout and whether or not you consider it a breakout or not.
August 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Most important contributing factor

The increase from season 3 to season 4 was actually 0.07 points per game, not 0.01. So I think we need to clarify that. The thing for me is that it's the fourth year that the point-per-game totals finally break that 0.7 mark (pro-rated over 82 games that's around 57 points). That's kinda the line where I draw for fantasy relevance unless you're in a massive league where 40 point players make a major impact...

But you are right, the increase is between 2nd and 3rd and 3rd and 4th is marginal, but it's that the difference between 0.58 to 0.64 compared to 0.64 to 0.71 that I'm most interested in.
August 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Postive Comments

The research took forever, so the positive comments are definitely appreciated. Thanks!
August 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Screaming Jawa said:

Screaming Jawa
... Although I've been aware of the "4th Year" thing for a while, I'm curious to know whether age plays any part of it. If you factor that in, does the picture become clearer or fuzzier?
August 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Mabus said:

mabus
... Very interesting topic. One I've been vocally against for a while, but very well presented Ryan.

My biggest problem is that you can't use raw numbers without adjusting for league scoring. If you do that, you will find that almost everyone "broke out" the year after the lockout. That year league scoring went from 6317 goals before the lockout to 7442. Plus, every player had a season off to develop and get healthy. For people like Staal (31 to 100), you call him a 2nd year breakout. Spezza (55 to 90) and Zetterberg (43 to 85) are 3rd year breakouts. Heatley (25 to 103), Datsyuk and Kovalchuk (87 to 9smilies/cool.gif are 4th year guys. The Sedins (54 to 71 and 42 to 75) are 5th year breakouts. To me, every single one of those examples had to do with the lockout and increased league scoring, not their years of service. It just can't be seen that way unless you normalize the data.

The biggest argument in favor of the 4th year breakout (and I assume the year we started mentioning this) is 2008-09. Staal was the only guy from the class of 2003 (arguably the strongest draft class over the last 20 years) to play in his rookie year. This meant that all of the strongest draft class started their first years after the lockout (their third year after being drafted), so their fourth year in the league was 2008-09. That year scoring spiked by over 300 goals. Regardless of the why - I'll agree that a lot of the class of 2003 broke out in their fourth year (and includes Carter, Parise, Getzlaf and Perry). I assume the next year someone was saying - what's the common trend here among last year's breakouts - and noticed the 4th year thing. I'm just arguing that the lockout pushed a disproportionate number of people's rookie years to a single year - and four years later league scoring spiked.

That's enough stats for now - I need to start studying for fantasy football season for a couple of weeks. While I disagree on the premise, I must concede that you are one of the strongest minds around here. Keep up the great work Ryan. Even when I disagree, I love the work.

Mabus
August 16, 2011
Votes: +1

Brian said:

pbhockey4
... Fantastic article Ma, thanks for the great read. Personally I think you're a bit low on your Stewart projections, unless he misses significant time due to injury. He scored 52 points in 62 games last year, and scored 64 points the year before. With what the Blues gave up for him, I think he's got a top 6 job and top PP duties locked up, and anything less than 60 points would be a huge, huge disappointment. I really don't see anyone challenging Backes and Stewart for the top two RW spots, and I would peg Stewart for 60-70 points.

Also, I don't think it's going out on a limb to say that EJ will hit 40+ points this year. He is going to be given every opportunity to succeed, the Avs are a way better team than the second half of last season. Plus, with Liles gone the only guy whom I could see stealing any of EJ's top PP time is Elliott (and he has to make the team first). I might be too high on EJ, but I'd be very surprised if he didn't reach 40 points.

Anyway, didn't mean to nitpick but those two guys (especially Stewart) stood out to me as being a little low-balled. Thanks again for the great article! Well written and very informative!
August 16, 2011
Votes: +0

SeaDawg said:

SeaDawg
... that was awesome, Ma. I look forward to the second part. Thanks for doing this.
August 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Dean Youngblood said:

Dean Youngblood
... Excellent article Ma. That must have taken you a ton of time to complete. Good analysis.

One question: In the "Sixth Year Breakout" Charts, don't you see the increases in year 5 by Daniel Sedin (17points), Henrik Sedin (32 points) and Scott Gomez (15 points) as 5th year breakouts. To me, those are increases that should have these guys placed in the 5th year breakout chart not the 6th year breakout.

Very good job.
August 16, 2011
Votes: -1

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Well damn... This was amazing. Great, great, great statistics & explanation.
(You continue to be one of my favourite fantasy hockey contributors!!!)
August 16, 2011
Votes: -1

Marc Nimigon said:

TOCanadafan
... As always, an interesting read... The first two tables (thanks very much for taking the time to compile these) might suggest that the most important contributing factor to an increase in points is an increase in number of games played (and not a "magical 4th year") as points per game only rose by 0.01 from year 3 to 4. I guess one might argue that it takes the AVERAGE player 3 years to prove himself as an every day NHLer.

What does this mean to us poolies? Most players on our fantasy radar poised for a 4th year breakout are not "average players" and tend to have already established themselves as every day players by year 3, thus should not see a dramatic increase in games played from year 3 to 4.

It would be very interesting to see a "points per minute" stat for each year played to further the analysis.
August 16, 2011
Votes: +1
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