A couple of years ago now Derek was so impressed by Andrew Cogliano's faceoff "prowess" that he took it upon himself to look at the worst faceoff seasons since 2000. At the time he said, "it's clear that Cogliano's the worst faceoff man in the NHL overall since 2000." I decided to update the data, using only EV FO%, and it seems to me there's now a real contender to take Cogliano's crown. We'll take a look at the best and worst on draws since the lockout after the jump.First, let's take a look at the worst players. In order to qualify, a player needs to have taken at least 400 EV faceoffs in a given season. In other words, the coach trusts this guy to be one of his regulars on the draw, and the player is just terrible:
There are a few interesting things to note on this list. One guy here who really surprised me was Zenon Konopka. I understand that he's, essentially, a fighter, which makes him just about the most specialized player in the league: a fightin' faceoff specialist. He also draws more penalties than he takes to go along with an obscene ZoneStart (29.0%), and given that context, not-so-bad Corsi results. Earlier this year there were some rumours the Oilers might be interested and my initial reaction was, "No Goons!" Looking at it a bit closer, Konopka may actually be one of the best regular fighters in the league in other areas. At the very least, he would seem to be a net contributor to winning games. So yeah, let's get rid of MacIntyre and get ourselves some Zenon Konopka!
Another player I wanted to talk about is Kris Draper. He's on the list multiple times, but last season he didn't have enough draws to qualify, despite not slowing down (at least in this area). He played in 81 games, so I found it pretty surprising that this strength wasn't used, especially since the Wings had some struggles on the dot. It would be interesting to hear Mike Babcock talk about why he didn't use Draper more frequently.
Another interesting thing about this list is the (multiple-time) presence of Scott Nichol and Manny Malhotra. The Sharks had an embarrassment of riches on the draw last year, and it showed. One of the things this list demonstrates is that faceoff prowess is a skill. Sure, there's variation from season-to-season, but in general, this is a repeatable skill.
Who is the worst faceoff-man in the NHL?
Andrew Cogliano (130 votes)
Evgeni Malkin (240 votes)
Somebody Else (46 votes)
416 total votes