Originally Posted by DAChampion
I notice that a lot of people on these boards think that Eller will never be better than a 3rd line center on the basis that he only got 28 points last year playing with bad linemates against tough opposition and with limited ice time.
I will try and get the conversation started. I believe that the above premise is false, that Eller in fact has the potential to be a good player, a respectable 2nd line center comparable to Plekanec in effectiveness. I'll post some stats and I hope some of the experts post better ones.
23 yearold Lars Eller is improving.:
In 20102011, he had 829 minutes of ES time during which he scored 7 goals and 10 assists, and 22 minutes of PP time during which he scored 0 goals and 0 assists.
In 20112012, he had 1023 minutes of ES time during which he scored 12 goals and 10 assists, and 52 minutes of PP time during which he scored 2 goals and 1 assists.
His power play production went up by a factor of infinity, I won't comment more as the sample size is too small.
His ES production is up, from one point every 49 minutes to one point every 46 minutes. It looks like a nonchange, but the points are of a higher quality. Before 41% of his points were goals, now it's 54%. Further, he had a tougher time in 20112012. His Corsi QoC as defined by BehindTheNet.ca rose from 0.219 to +0.429 (huge difference), his "Corsi Rel QoC" went from 0.169 to +0.570 (huge difference again), and his offensive zone start percentage went from 51.6% down to 48.3%.
Basically, his evenstrength offensive production went up by 5%, but with a higher goalstoassists ratio, with slightly fewer offensive zone starts, and against substantially higher competition.
Moreover, his faceoff percentage went from 42.4% to 46.6%, a significant improvement.
His penalty killing also "improved". He played 7 minutes on the PK in 20102011, to 134 shorthanded minutes in 20112012. I'll talk about it more later.
His performance relative to Plekanec and Desharnais is not as bad as people think.
In 20112012, Eller had 1023 minutes of ES time during which he scored 12 goals and 10 assists. with an ES Corsi QoC of +0.429, and offensive zone start of 48.3%; and 52 minutes of PP time during which he scored 2 goals and 1 assists.
In 20112012, Plekanec had 1170 minutes of ES time during which he scored 9 goals and 19 assists, with an ES Corsi QoC of +0.727, and offensive zone start of 42.8%; and 250 minutes of PP time during which he scored 5 goals and 13 assists.
In 20112012, Desharnais had 1186 minutes of ES time during which he scored 13 goals and 27 assists, with an ES Corsi QoC of +0.007, and offensive zone start of 52.2%; and 266 minutes of PP time during which he scored 3 goals and 17 assists.
Eller's PP production is the worst in total points, though the statistical significance is... close to zero. He also has the worst assist production at ES, but he played on a line with Rene Bourque and Travis Moen so this is very hard to evaluate. I don't know how to evaluate assists... Desharnais has more assists, but he plays on a line with Pacioretty. Career shooting percentages:
Pacioretty: 0.100, but 0.120 in the past two seasons.
Cole: 0.129
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Moen: 0.800
Bourque: 0.114
On the other hand Plekanec also played with Brad Staubitz, Ryan White, etc. However, we all know that as of right now Plekanec has the superior playmaking abilities of the three, that's no secret.
We can't compare power play time, and we can't compare assists, the only thing we can compare is goals at ES.
Eller scores one goal every 85 minutes, Plekanec scored 1 goal every 130 minutes, and Desharnais scored one goal every 91 minutes.
Eller's situation in terms of linemates, zone starts, and quality of competition is vastly more difficult than Desharnais', and vastly less difficult than Plekanec's; however, he comes out slightly ahead of DD in goal production at ES, with both vastly ahead of Plekanec, who is not given the opportunity to score. Here we can say that Eller is clearly superior to Desharnais, though we cannot make the comparison to Plekanec.
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A point of concern I find though is that Eller takes many bad penalties. He draws 0.8 penalties per 60 minutes... but he takes 1.3 penalties per 60 minutes. That's a difference of 0.5 penalties per 60 minutes. He needs to be either more annoying or more disciplined.
Discuss.
