Each bubble in the graph above represents the the possession metrics of an NHL rookie. This chart is limited to rookies with a minimum of 25 games played. Those players include Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sean Couturier, Adam Henrique, Matt Read, Cody Hodgson, Craig Smith, Colin Greening, Luke Adam, Ryan Johansen, Carl Hagelin, Nick Johnson, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Desjardins, Matt Frattin, Roman Horak, Brett Connolly, Cody Eakin, Kaspars Daugavins, Cory Emmerton, Dale Weise, Harry Zolnierczyk, Devante Smith-Pelly, Anton Lander, Zac Rinaldo, Andrei Loktionov, Maxime Macenauer, and Nino Niederreiter.
The horizontal axis shows qualcomp, specifically Corsi relative quality of competition taken from the venerable and terrifying Gabriel Desjardins' behindthenet.ca. The vertical axis shows percentage of percentage of faceoffs taken in the defensive zone, again from the venerable and terrifying one. The bubbles are color-coded: blue means the player in the bubble has a positive zonestart-adjusted Corsi, red a negative. Finally, the size of the bubble indicates absolute value for zonestart-adjusted Corsi. All of the caveats about comparing these numbers between teams stand, but the chart is still a useful jumping-off point for analysis and discussion.
- The obvious takeaways here revolve around the biggest bubbles, both red and blue. Landeskog and especially Hagelin are getting the job done. Hagelin is the most surprising and impressive player on the chart.
- Nick Johnson has been thrown into the deep end and, like the rest of the Wild, is getting smoked by the possession metrics. Johnson is old for a rookie - 26 - but even the best rookies are going to struggle against the toughs with defensive zonestarts.
- Any of the big red bubbles in the bottom left corner probably shouldn't be in the NHL right now. Horak, Macenauer, Smith-Pelly, Lander and Emmerton have been unable to handle the easiest of assignments. It's difficult to believe guys like Patrick Thoresen can't get jobs in the NHL.
- Also of note is Marcus Kruger. Tough faceoffs and easier competition haven't stopped Kruger from succeeding in Chicago.
- Then there's the center-right mass of red: Adam, Frattin, Niederreriter, Smith, Connolly, Greening, Zolnierczyk and Daugavins are all struggling by the underlying numbers against varying levels of competition.
- Dale Weise has faced the most difficult starts, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the easiest.