Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Offensive Defense

from Travis Yost of TSN,

One of the questions I’ve wrestled with over the years is how to value individual offensive contributions from defencemen, particularly when it comes to goal scoring.

It’s an important subject because, much like forwards, there is a strong correlation between two components – usage (or, ice time) and scoring – and the contracts they will subsequently sign.

For forwards, it’s rudimentary but somewhat defensible. Most high-end forwards tend to be great individual scorers, and scoring for forwards is a much more repeatable talent. These players also tend to drive favourable goal differentials, which helps broadly justify the contracts they sign.           

It’s a different animal for defencemen. We know that there is also variability in shooting talent with defenders, but it’s much more difficult to pin down.

There are a multitude of reasons for this but the most obvious is the fact that they are materially further from the net, on average, when they shoot.


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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