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Developing Devan Dubnyk

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There’s a fun discussion going on over at Lowetide’s about how good Devan Dubnyk’s season was. At first glance, a .906 SV% doesn’t seem terribly impressive for a 21-year old, especially one as highly touted as Dubnyk. On the other hand, Springfield was atrocious this past season, making it an open question as to how much of Dubnyk’s middling save percentage number was him and how much was the team.

With that in mind, I decided to look at every AHL goaltender over the past ten seasons who played for the same team over two years, and saw that team take a downturn similar to the one Springfield took from 2007-08 to 2008-09.  Results after the jump.

 

AHL Goaltenders, 1998-99 to 2008-09
Player Yr. 1 Age Yr. 1 Tm. Win% Yr. 1 SV% Yr. 2 Tm Win% Yr. 2 SV% Tm. Win% Chg.  SV% Chg.
D.Dubnyk 21 .438 .904 .325 .906 -.113 +.002
F.Doyle 26 .475 .916 .312 .903 -.163 -.013
J.Parise 24 .475 .915 .312 .889 -.163 -.026
K.Guard 22 .438 .908 .288 .895 -.150 -.013
A.Ahonen 23 .363 .910 .313 .892 -.050 -.018
D.Patzold 21 .438 .911 .338 .869 -.100 -.042
N.Schaefer 23 .438 .907 .338 .887 -.100 -.020
J.Pelletier 24 .425 .926 .325 .922 -.100 -.040
J.Bacashihua 20 .463 .907 .338 .916 -.125 +.009
M.Smith 20 .463 .906 .338 .908 -.125 +.002
K.Goehring 23 .488 .908 .338 .914 -.150 +.006
V.Toskala 24 .363 .912 .275 .903 -.088 -.009
S.Kotyk 21 .363 .893 .275 .890 -.088 -.003
M.Robitaille 22 .388 .898 .288 .895 -.100 -.003
M.Brochu 24 .413 .909 .288 .917 -.125 -.008
Averages: 22.5 .429 .909 .313 .900 -.116 -.010

 

Unfortunately, with only 15 goaltenders matching the criteria over ten seasons, there isn't a huge sample to choose from.  On average, most goaltenders lost about ten points off their save percentage on teams that dropped as many wins as Springfield did over the past two seasons.

It seems likely that Devan Dubnyk's save percentage would have been better had Springfield not collapsed; it also seems likely that it would have been better by about 10 percentage points based on this chart.  With a sample size this small, we can't be sure of anything.

Still, at this point it would be unwise of the Edmonton Oilers to give up on Dubnyk.  It is extremely likely that Springfield's implosion masked a rather decent developmental season.