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Analytics Profile: David Krejci

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An overshadowed player

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This is the fifth of sixteen player profiles. If you missed the introduction, you can find that here. Special thank you to Corsica, Evolving Wild, Micah Black McCurdy, for the data and visualizations

Shot Creation : B-

3 year WAR/82 : 0.32

3 year RAMP Z-Score : 0.10

David Krejci’s shot creation is above average, but nothing spectacular. Sophisticated models like WAR and regularized adjusted plus minus handle teammate effects a lot better than a stat like relative to teammate CF60 (Krejci holds a value of -0.35 since 2015-16). Because sophisticated models are not as popular, and are more of a recent phenomenon, this has generally given Krejci a bad reputation in the stats community.

Being compared to Bergeron and Marchand is unfair for David Krejci. In the first two profiles, we addressed just how good the two of them are at creating shots. Unfortunately for Krejci, he will never really see ice time with them, although his teammates will. It becomes an uphill battle for Krejci, but ultimately his skills translate well into creating shots.

Shot Suppression : B-

3 year WAR/82 : 0

3 year RAPM Z-Score : 0.37

Krejci’s ability to suppress shots is a bit of a mystery. Perry’s WAR model sees him as a replacement level player in this aspect of the game. However, Evolving Wild’s regularized adjusted plus-minus finds him above average.

When something like this happens, I find it safe to assume that neither are a true, but the player’s true skill is probably somewhere in between the two. Krejci’s relative to teammate corsi against per 60 minutes over the last three seasons is 0.44. And while that is a negative impact, it’s not that notable, especially considering how good the teammates he never gets to play with are. When you mesh it all together, I think it’s safe to say Krejci is slightly above average in shot suppression, but not by much.

Offensive Shot Quality : B

3 year WAR/82 : 0.09

As a playmaking center, you’d expect Krejci to be above average in offensive shot quality, which in fact he is. However, it’s not too far from average. Over the last three seasons, he does have a negative relative expected unblocked shooting percentage, but the results don’t match up. His relative unblocked shooting percentage is actually positive at 1.13%.

Given that we don’t have passing data, Krejci will not get the full credit he deserves when it comes to offensive shot quality. However, neither do other players with the same play style.

Defensive Shot Quality : C

3 year WAR/82 : -0.05

Unlike offensive shot quality, when you are on the other side of the puck, you can’t make up for your impacts with skill. Bruins goalies are expected to see a drop in their unblocked save percentage 0.12% while Krejci is on the ice versus off of it. While not being ideal, this isn’t too notable of an impact. Calling Krejci average in shot quality against seems fair, even if the WAR model finds him below replacement level.

Author’s Comments

Krejci’s on-ice impacts are slightly above average, but not terrific. He makes his impact through his playmaking abilities, which lead to strong point production, and usually outscoring teams.

When taking a look at some passing data Ryan Stimson, Corey Sznajder, and countless volunteers have tracked over the last four seasons, it’s clear Krejci is a top tier playmaker. He ranks 100th percentile in expected assists per 60 minutes at 5v5.

Although he hasn’t put up 70 points since 2008-09, he scores at the rate of a first line forward at 5v5. That is important to remember as Krejci ages, and his on-ice impacts are sure to decrease. He can still be a valuable forward in the coming years, as long as he continues to be an elite playmaker.