Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

By The Numbers

04/12/2021 at 5:34pm EDT

from Dom Luszczyszyn and Corey Pronman of The Athletic,

On the surface, this looks like a relatively even trade between two first-round picks. Over the past three seasons, Anthony Mantha has scored 58 points per 82 games while Jakub Vrana has clocked in around 54 points per 82. Both have a nearly identical expected goals percentage in that span too.

That is until you get to the picks. That Washington added a first and second-round pick to this deal feels almost absurd given how even the two players involved seem to be in value.

The issue in the difference of opinion between the two likely comes down to opportunity. In that timeframe, Mantha’s contributions look larger than Vrana’s when that may not actually be the case. In each of the past three seasons, Mantha has played roughly 14.5 minutes per game at five-on-five, while Vrana was two minutes lower from 2018-to-2020 and is now at just 11.7 minutes per game this season. The difference was just as stark on the power play until this season where the two are closer to equal.

Ice time has a big impact on perception and factoring in that context tilts the scales toward Vrana’s favour. Considerably so. Over the last three seasons, Vrana has a higher points-per-60 at five-on-five than Mantha in every year. Over the full span, his 2.46 ranks 20th among forwards and is nearly 0.75 points better than Mantha’s which is a second line rate. Vrana is a far more efficient scorer, a better finisher, and creates more chances. In a bigger role, it’s not unreasonable to believe he could outscore Mantha.

more ($$$)

Below, watch all 25 goals from Vrana last season.

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that.

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