How did NHLers that shot 8% in 2011 do in 2012?

Mason Raymond in his natural habitat.

So Mason Raymond re-signed today, and a fanbase went nuts. But you all know the story. Thom linked to it earlier.

Anyway, I don’t think that fans in the Vancouver market truly appreciate shooter regression. Raymond shot at just 8% last season and 7.6% the season before that. Now, there’s reason to believe that “Raymond is just a horrible shooter” but like I showed with my Jason Garrison analysis, even four years doesn’t generally predict how good of a shooter a player is.

So I took the simple route. I looked at five forwards who had a shooting percentage similar to Raymond’s last year from the year 2011. I wanted to compare it with how they did in 2012. Small sample, whatever. Raymond is a small sample himself, and all we want is a general idea of what we can expect out of Raymond.

My five players:

  1. Radim Vrbata
  2. Patric Hornqvist
  3. Matt Hendricks
  4. Jannik Hansen
  5. Matt Cullen

How did those players do in 2011?

  Goals/82 Shots/Game Sh%
Vrbata 19.7 3.04 7.92%
Hornqvist 21.8 3.35 7.92%
Hendricks 9.6 1.47 7.96%
Hansen 9.0 1.38 7.96%
Cullen 12.6 1.92 8.00%
All 14.5 2.23 7.95%

So, not too different from Mason Raymond. As a trivial exercise, Raymond had 14.9 goals per 82 games, 2.27 shots per game and a shooting percentage of exactly 8.0%. So he’s pretty much identical to these combined players.

How did those players do the very next season?

  Goals/82 Shots/Game Sh%
Vrbata 37.3 3.01 15.09%
Hornqvist 29.1 3.03 11.74%
Hendricks 4.2 1.24 4.12%
Hansen 16.0 1.67 11.68%
Cullen 15.7 2.25 8.54%
All 20.4 2.23 11.16%

Funny. Shots per game was exactly equal, yet the player’s scored more goals. Why? Because they got a couple more bounces apiece. Vrbata and Hornqvist each had career years. Hansen developed into a strong two-way threat. Even with Hendricks’ offensive meltdown, every other player increased their production.

For the record, Mason Raymond is not as bad as Matt Hendricks.