One of the advantages of longer downtime during the NHL season is that you can go over the lesser-known stories in the league and talk about some players who aren't usually mentioned in big stories, the best players in the league.
When I asked for answers in the Analytics Mailbag last week Spencer had one that sparked my interest in a broader topic:
I understand that this is a vague question, but how good is Andrew Mangiapane? He played with Tkachuk and Backlund, who have produced players in the past.
– Spencer (@ sathome14) March 23, 2020
Andrew Mangiapane is a name that isn't much talked about on the national stage, but it comes up a lot when you venture into Flames' Twitter. Mangiapane is a bit of a fan favorite for his first season with 20 goals before everything was put on hold.
This made us think that in any Canadian team that fans really love, there is probably a good player, but no star player. So why not look into the details and see what makes them so special? We'll start in the west and join the eastern teams in another piece next week. First …
Andrew Mangiapane, Calgary Flames
Although Mangiapane has been promising for some time after being a constant goal scorer in the American Hockey League, this season he has only really managed to demonstrate his skills at the NHL level.
Playing with Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund will certainly help him reach the next level, but the reason why he works so well with these two is precisely that he is a strong complementary offensive player.
Only 32 players in the NHL fired more shots from the net at 5 against 5 per minute than Mangiapane this season, of which 1.74 every 20 minutes ice age. This is the same rate as Evgeni Malkin and Alex DeBrincat. Mangiapane is not the finisher these two are, but it does bring a lot to the table.
Mangiapane is not only a high-volume slot shooter, but also a top 10 player when it comes to striking the inner slot, even in the top quarter of the league in controlled entries.
There are many powerful offensive tools that you can work with, and the Flames may want to use him more for the power game.
In limited minutes, Mangiapane has set up unreal underlying numbers for the power game and published two percent of the league numbers in internal slot hits, distractions on the web, and loose puck restores during rebounds. He was also excellent at getting slot passes from his talented Linemates. He hasn't hit the man advantage yet, but don't be surprised if he soon becomes a mainstay in the top unit.
Kailer Yamamoto, Edmonton Oilers
Yamamoto is more of a household name than Mangiapane because it was a first choice in 2017. After two seasons of getting a cup of coffee, he finally stays at the big club in Edmonton, but not enough to earn his place.
His shooting percentage has increased to a quarter of his shots this season, and since his draft on New Year's Eve, he's essentially one point per player for the Oilers.
Looking at Yamamoto's tendencies and playing style, he shares a lot with Mangiapane as two smaller but coarse-grained strikers who are ready to go online. Yamamoto shoots out of the slot at almost the same speed as Mangiapane, but actually reaches the inner slot a little more often in 5v5 mode. The pint-sized powerhouse shoots out of the inner slot more often than all nine players in the NHL this season, with 1.14 every 20 minutes, which is an important reason why its shooting percentage is so high.
Yamamoto also has one of the highest slot pass success rates in the NHL at 46.9 percent, making him a dangerous playmaker who forces opponents to play the pass and give him a better shooting range.
Like Mangiapane, Yamamoto has lethal powerplay numbers from the network front. Although Yamamoto isn't quite as strong on the puck, he's a slightly better shooter and has room to grow at just 21 years of age.
Getting a quarter of his shots won't take forever, but the Oilers have a dangerous offensive contribution here.
Andrew Copp, Winnipeg Jets
One of the reasons why the Jets could remain competitive this season was the performance of players outside of their top 6 group. The top line of the Jets has been outdated and outdated for several seasons, but kept things in order by simply being more talented than their opponents. Mark Scheifele and the company have done more of the same, while Adam Lowry's lines have consistently achieved strong team results.
The Jets were unable to control 5-on-5 shots very well, but Copp is one of only six jets with a shot attempt difference of over 50 percent. Only Nikolaj Ehlers got better numbers by shot volume, with the Jets controlling 54.1 percent of attempts to shoot on the ice, compared to 52.7 percent while skating Copp, but Copp had a greater impact on the inside slit shots with a team high of 49 , 5 percent in favor of the jets.
Yes, all forward jets are below 50 percent in the inner slot differential.
Copp also has one of the strongest effects on slot passes on the squad, with the Jets controlling 55.4 percent of them while on the ice. And its effects on the ice are paired with career-best numbers for personal inner slot shots and slot passes.
However, the preliminary examination is Copp's greatest strength. His ability to win puck battles and loose pucks brings him to the top five percent of all players in this area, giving his teammates longer offensive zones.
While he plays most of his career in the third and fourth rows, no one should be confused when he thinks Copp is suddenly a top 6 striker, but he's an excellent contributor in the middle of the lineup that helped float the jets, which should have been a much tougher season given the losses their lineup suffered last summer.
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Josh Leivo, Vancouver Canucks
As a spin-off from the Toronto Maple Leafs Mike Babcock era, it was always clear that Leivo had shooting talent, but whether he could play solid two-way hockey was questionable.
Since he has been injured since mid-December, not many people had time to see how far Leivo had come on the defensive side of the puck this season.
Leivo is still not as generally involved in the defensive zone, but he is among the top 15 percent of all strikers this season when it comes to rebound restores in his own zone per minute and saves Jacob Markstrom on the occasion quickly Canucks & # 39; MVP needed help.
While that's a good thing, Leivo really stood out before his injury was in neutral zone defense. There he was among the top 10 percent of all strikers in blocked passes, in the top 15 percent in removing ball possession from opponents and in the top 20 percent in restoring loose pucks.
He also had a very strong 50 percent controlled denial rate when asked to withdraw and defend a rush when a defender was caught on ice.
Combine these defensive skills, which were not really obvious in the past, with consistently strong pre-testing and the top five percent of league ability to get distractions online, and you have a player with much more benefit than he was given credit for For.