Nashville Predators: Will Impact Players Drive Predators to Success?

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Ryan Johansen

It’s well documented that I am a huge supporter of Nashville’s number one center. Admittedly, Ryan Johansen is having a down year on the score sheet. On average, he puts up between 60 and 70 points throughout a full season. This year, he’s on pace for just 52.

That said, he is putting up above-average possession numbers. His average Fenwick percentage over this season, for example, is higher than in his previous six seasons. That could mean a number of things but likely indicates that he is contributing more defensively this year than in past years.

In this graph, note that the gold line represents a different statistic than on the previous slide. From now on, it represents the selected player’s offensive zone start percentage (oZS%), or the frequency at which the player is taking a faceoff in the offensive zone. If this value is substantially higher than 50%, a player is considered “sheltered,” or having little defensive responsibility.

The blue line, as before, represents the expected goals for percentage (xGF%).

Created by Michael Wade (1/26/2018)
Created by Michael Wade (1/26/2018) /

Surprisingly, Ryan Johansen’s zone starts are more offensively weighted than last year, though not by much. However, his expected goals for percentage has decreased by about 2%. It’s hard to be too critical of Johansen, however, because the value is still nicely above 50%. Even in a down year, Ryan Johansen has been a reliable forward regarding goals for the good guys.