## Nino: Should he stay or should he go? A statistical viewpoint.

*Apologies to Tazman 19 for stealing his title.

Nino Niederreiter, as the Isles' First Round Pick, has big things expected of him.  Meanwhile, he's nearing the end of his 9 game trial period, and though he only is sitting on 2 points, people on this very blog have talked about how good he's looked.  I'll admit, I've watched about half the games on TV (the rest on radio) and even on TV I concentrate on the action in general and don't always pick out how well specific players make out.

So I thought I'd look at, using the great statistics at Behindthenet.ca, Nino's "advanced" statistics to try and determine if he's really ready for this level and should stay (Putting aside monetary concerns).

Even Strength Play:
Corsi Relative Corsi Rating (+/- Relative)
% of Starts in Offensive Zone
Corsi Rel Qual Comp. Corsi Rel Qual Team
Penalties Drawn
Penalties Taken
-4.9 -12.74
0.24 63.9% (Team High)

+0.833
(5th Best)

-1.247
(3rd Worst)
2 3

Table 1: Nino's Even Strength Statistics:
Table Legend:
Corsi Relative = A Player's Corsi while they're on the ice MINUS the team's corsi when the player is off the ice.
Corsi = Total Shots directed toward opponent's net MINUS Total Shots directed toward Your OWN Net (with a minutes adjustment)
Rating = A players +/- while on the ice MINUS their +/- while off the ice (with some minutes adjustment)
% of Starts in Offensive Zone = The percentage of faceoffs you're on the ice that are in the offensive zone (not including neutral zone faceoffs)
%Corsi Rel Qual Comp = A measure of the skill of the average opposing player on the ice.  (Basically it's the average Corsi Relative of the opposing players on the ice while this player was on the ice.)
%Corsi Rel Qual Team= A measure of the skill of the average teammate on the ice.  (Basically it's the average Corsi Relative of the linemates and D-Men who are on the ice at the same time of this player)
---------

Looking at these statistics, there's nothing great to see here, though there's nothing terrible.  Nino has faced some of the hardest opponents of the forwards on the team and had some of the worst linemates (Note:  BehindtheNet's Corsi Rel REALLY doesn't like Michael Grabner, who is one of Nino's linemates).  So we should expect his results to be lower.  On the other hand, Nino is getting the chance to start the offensive zone more than ANY other player on the team by a good margin (PA Parenteau is second).  What this means is that, by spending a lot more time in the offensive zone and less in the defensive zone, we would expect his statistics to be better than they otherwise would be.

In other words, because of his teammates and opposition, we might expect some worse overall statistics.  But the fact that he is in the offensive zone so much more often than anyone else should offset that for a good bit.  So really, it should all average out and not give him too much extra credit.

Which is sad, because the statistics aren't great.  His Corsi is a blah -12.74, which is made slightly better by the fact that when you take into account the team's general bad corsi, his Corsi Relative is only -4.9.  This puts him roughly around average on the team....except remember, he's in the offensive zone to start really frequently.  This should give him a huge edge in corsi...and yet he comes out as a slight bit below average.  That's not good (it suggests that he's starting his shifts in the opponent's zones and they're quickly clearing it out and getting into our zone for shots).  His Rating (a statistic that takes away a team's own +/- from the player's (it's another relative stat)) is likewise just barely above average, but that really isn't saying much (there's a lot more luck in +/- stats than in Corsi).

Penalty wise, he's taken 3 penalties and drawn 2, which is a healthy ratio for a forward.

Shooting wise (which is not in the above table, sorry), he has taken 9 shots, 7 of which were wrist shots.  If we look at shot quality, which is measured by the average distance to the goal that the player takes his shots, we see that Nino's shots were from an average of 35.9 feet away from the goal, an average that puts him as the 6th closest shooter on the team (by comparison, Matt Moulson shoots from the closest at an average of 25.9 feet while James Wisniewski shoots from the farthest location at 77.3 feet away from the net).  This means he's getting nice distanced shots off...but he only has 1 goal.  Of course he has just taken only 9 shots on net (like 1 per game), so that's not too disappointing.

------------------------

Power Play

Goals while on ice Goals while off ice Corsi Relative Corsi Rating (+/- Relative)
Time On Ice Per 60/M
Corsi Rel Qual Comp. Corsi Rel Qual Team
% of Starts in Offensive Zone
0 0 +22.1 (Team Best)
+88.16
-7.70 1.02Min

-51.9
(Team Best)

+72.622 (Team Best)
100% (Team Best)

Table 1: Nino's Power Play Statistics

Power Play statistics, especially for someone who has played so little on the Power Play (he played 0 PP minutes against the Rangers, but 2:23 in the last game), are a bit wacky, so there isn't too much to see here.  Once again, in the few times that our team has started a power play faceoff in our Defensive end, Nino has NOT been on the ice.  Ever.  He's played with the best teammates and against the worst opponents.  Naturally, his Corsi and Corsi Relative are off the charts.

And despite this, he is the ONLY PLAYER with a minute per game of power play time to have 0 power play goals scored while he's on the ice.  This is a tiny sample size, so take of that what you will.  But whatever you take from it, there's nothing in these stats that are particularly thrilling either.

Penalty Killing:

Nino doesn't play on any penalty killing unit, so there's nothing to see here.

------------------------------

CONCLUSION:

Nino may have "looked good" out there on the ice, to those of you who have watched the game and seem to have an eye on things.  But the results don't really share that same view of the young forward.  His 5 on 5 play is average at best, though he faces some harder opponents and one poor line-mate (Grabner).  His Power Play shifts haven't been impressive either statistically and have come up empty.

Oh and he's being practically babied here.  I know he's not supposed to be a great two-way player, but he's basically being put in only on offensive face-offs (when they can help it) against opponents, as if they fear him in the defensive zone (and the results haven't been great).  This is, in my opinion, not very helpful for his development...I understand not having him on the Penalty Kill, but in order to truly learn the game and develop, he would preferably getting a decent amount of play in the Defensive Zone.  But the Isles simply don't want to let him do that or are scared to do so.

As a result, I would send Nino back.  He's showed he can play just barely below average on this team.  Great, that gives us much hope for his future.  But he's not wowing us and he's being babied here.  Give him another year to develop, so that we can use him like a regular player as he's one year closer to fulfilling his potential.

<em>Submitted FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or SB Nation. If you're reading this statement, you pass the fine print legalese test. Four stars for you.</em>

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