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Looking At Point Projections for Veteran Forwards, Part 3: Conclusions

Over the last few weeks i've been doing point projections for six of the Devils forwards. This post mainly serves to summarize this little project of mine, as well as provide some commentary on the methods i've used.


The method I used for goals was based off an individual's shot totals and their shooting percentage. It's probably the more accurate method of the two, but in some instances, where a player hasn't had consistent shot totals/ shooting percentages (i.e. David Clarkson), it tends to be skewed. If a player has been relatively consistent in the shot totals/shooting area, the projected goal total will probably be closer to the player's career average (i.e. Dainius Zubrus).


The assist method is a bit more flawed than the goal projection method. Because I based this off total on-ice shots, the number is somewhat skewed in certain instances. For example, if a player factors in on a lot of goals and is on the ice for a lot of shots, but has a low projected goal total (I.e. Clarkson), he'll end up with a lot of assists. I also took a look at Zach Parise's projected point totals, and a similar thing happened. Because he was on the ice for so many shots, he was projected to factor in more goals. Because I had him pegged for 34 goals, he ended up with 46 projected assists despite the fact that he's probably not going to have nearly as many on-ice shots playing on a team that's significantly weaker in possession than the Devils.

Player Summaries (all totals are for 82 GP)

Ilya Kovalchuk- 42 Goals, 42 Assists, 84 Points

I've mentioned that Kovalchuk has been shooting below his career average of around 14% over the last few years. He managed 37 goals on around 12% shooting. Assuming he's able to maintain his shot totals from last season and his shooting percentage bounces back, there's a good chance he'll hit 40 goals. The assist totals seem reasonable- although he did have a higher assist total last season. I'm very confident with this projection

Patrik Elias- 27 goals, 46 assists, 73 points

Elias does eclipse his goal total from last season, albeit with a higher shot total and lower shooting percentage. However, if his individual shot totals are as low as last season's, he's probably going to see a drop off in goals based off regression from his highest shooting percentage since 2000-01. The assist totals, on the other hand are very reasonable. I'm pretty confident with this projection

David Clarkson- 17 goals, 32 assists, 49 points

I've mentioned this several times- his projected point totals have more to do with his low projected goal totals than anything. Because his prior performance has seen him shoot less, his projected individual shot total is lower. Using John's method of projecting a goal total of the 2011-12 shot totals, Clarkson will have a more reasonable goal total- 22 goals. If he factored in on 49 goals, he'd have 27 assists. And of course, last season, he shot at a career high. It's not an absurd shooting percentage (i.e. it wasn't around 18-20%), but there will be regression. It all depends on how hard it hits. I'm confident with the goal projection- I think Clarkson will score more than 17 goals for sure (my guess is 23), but I'm not so confident with the projected assist total.

Dainius Zubrus- 15 goals, 34 assists, 49 points

The assist total might be somewhat high, and he'd be on pace for his highest point total as a Devil. However, i'm not really too concerned. He'll probably play a bigger role now that Parise is gone, so he should see a bump in his ice time, on ice shots and even on ice goals. I'm confident with the goal totals, and slightly confident about the assist totals.

Travis Zajac- 17 goals, 44 assists, 61 points

The stats from 2011-12 did skew the numbers abit, but these are somewhat reasonable projections. I think he could hit 20 goals, assuming he's able to get the puck on net like he did when he was healthy. He'll probably shoot more seeing as Zach Parise isn't there to take those shots. I'm pretty confident with both the goal and assist totals.

Steve Bernier- 11 goals, 20 assists, 31 points

Because a lot of the totals are based off prior performance, Bernier benefits from the projections quite a bit. Over the last two seasons, he saw his shooting percentage plummet. He also saw his ice time drop as well. Assuming that he receives around 700-800 minutes of ice time, he has a chance to hit those totals. However, if he's being used as a 4th liner like everyone expects, 6 goals and 10 assists is a more reasonable expectation. I'm not too confident with the projections here, for both goals and assists.

I could be wrong with a lot of these projections, but these are projections. There will be all sorts of factors. Maybe a young player has a breakout season and he affects his linemate's totals positively. Maybe someone shoots at a very high percentage. Or maybe someone shoots at a very low percentage. It's all spitballing, but these projections should provide reasonable expectations (in some instances). Hopefully i'm right about a lot of these projections.