This is the third 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 : 0.44
3 year RAPM Z-Score : 0.65
David Pastrnak is a player with a lot of offensive upside. In his first four seasons, Pastrnak has already scored 203 points in 254 regular season games. However, his ability to create shots isn’t where all of the goals are coming from.
Over the last three seasons the Bruins have created 6.25 more shot attempts per hour while Pastrnak has been on the ice. That puts him towards the top of the league. Moreover, Pastrnak’s teammates also create 4.40 more shot attempts per hour at 5v5 with him than without. However, more sophistcated models can deal with the Bergeron effect a lot better than more traditional metrics.
Only one forward has earned more wins above replacement from shot creation than Patrice Bergeron over the last three seasons. Last season in his time away from Pastrnak, Bergeron had about 5 more shots per hour than Pastrnak without him. Because of the sheer dominance of the Bruins’ top line, along with the amount of time they spend together, makes it hard to evaluate their games. However, it seems Marchand and Bergeron are the ones creating the shots.
Shot Suppression : C-
3 year WAR/82 : -0.06
3 year RAPM Z-Score : -0.25
Early in his career, Pastrnak was grilled by Claude Julien over his defensive mishaps. Entering the league as an 18-year-old forward, that is bound to happen. However, not much has changed for Pastrnak on that side of the puck. He was exactly replacement level at suppressing shots in his rookie season. Since then, he has been slightly below replacement level by Perry’s WAR model.
However, Evolving Wild’s regularized adjusted plus-minus model is more optimistic in his abilities, finding him just a little below average. The Bruins have not been affected by Pastrnak’s defensive play in terms over on-ice versus off-ice shots against per hour over the last three seasons, but that is not handicapped for his linemates, who have a reputation for being great defensively.
Offensive Shot Quality : A
3 year WAR/82 : 0.29
Where Pastrnak shines offensively is his shot quality, gatheing four-fifths of a win over the last three seasons, which is quite impressive and ahead of his linemates. The Bruins are expected to have a 0.51% boost in their unblocked shooting percentage when he is on the ice. Combine that with his individual shooting skill, and the ones around him, and the Bruins have no problem scoring.
Pastrnak’s impact is first among active Bruins forwards with at least 1000 minutes at 5v5. Tim Schaller, who is now a Vancouver Canuck, had a higher impact over the last three seasons with an expected boost of 0.61%, but the results were quite the opposite as the Bruins’ unblocked shooting percentage dropped by 1.79% when he was on the ice. Part of that is randomness, but shows the importance of individual skill, skill surrounding the player, and things we can’t measure yet like pre-shot movement.
Defensive Shot Quality : C-
3 year WAR/82 : -0.10
Although Pastrnak’s offensive shot quality is terrific, it’s another story on the otherside of the puck. He’s been below replacement level over the last three seasons in defensive shot quality, but not bad enough to wash out his offensive shot quality.
Bruins goaltenders were expected to see their unblocked save percentages drop 0.59% while Pastrnak was on the ice over the last three seasons at 5v5. Luckily for Pastrnak, Bruins goaltenders actually have better save percentages when he is on the ice as oppossed to on the bench.
Although Pastrnak has decent on-ice impacts, his individual offensive skill is what earned him a six-year, forty-million dollar contract in the fall of 2017. He leads all Bruins with at least 1000 5v5 minutes in primary points per hour at 1.92, just over Marchand’s 1.91.
Over half of Pastrnak’s wins above replacement are from his shooting skill. His 4.29 wins above replacement from shooting over the last three seasons ranks him 14th in the league, (2nd on the team behind Marchand) ahead of names like Crosby, Kessel, and Hoffman. Give Pastrnak the puck and he will do good things for your team.