Photo: Amanda Bowen
Two weeks ago, I took a look at how Justin Williams compares to the Caps 2014-15 wingers. Today, it’s TJ Oshie’s turn. Here’s his HERO chart.
Oshie is a top-six forward and a clear upgrade over the only roster player the Caps gave up to get him, Troy Brouwer.
Let’s take a look at how Oshie compares to Caps wingers from 2014-15. The charts below are 2014-15 5v5 stats plus Oshie’s stats over the past three seasons. This larger sample may better illustrate what kind of player Oshie is for those who are not as familiar with him as they are the Caps wingers. (Admittedly, comparing high-level numbers from players on different teams isn’t a perfect apples-to-apples comparison.)
In 2014-15, Oshie produced at a higher rate than any of the Caps wingers. In fact, as mentioned before, Oshie’s point/60 was better than any Caps player in 2014-15.
2014-15 wasn’t just a flash in the pan. As you can see, Oshie’s points/60 over the past three seasons is higher than any other winger on the chart. If you look at his career, the production isn’t inflated by unsustainable shooting percentages, either personal or on-ice. Oshie is 28 years old and likely to get extended time alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom, so he should be one of the Caps most productive wingers next season.
Individual shot generation isn’t Oshie’s strong suit, but he saw a jump of 1.83 shot attempts per 60 in 2014-15 from 2013-14. Of the 259 forwards who played 500-plus minutes this past season, Oshie’s 12.38 shot attempts per 60 ranked 169th, good for third among all Caps wingers behind Ovechkin and Andre Burakovsky.
As noted above, comparing stats from forwards on the different teams has its limitations. Relative possession numbers is one of those stats. While they are plenty useful, it’s also possible for players on good possession teams to have relative possession numbers that don’t accurately reflect their possession abilities. This may be what’s going on with Oshie. For example, I’d be willing to bet Oshie is a better driver of possession than Tom Wilson, but the chart above doesn’t reflect that.
Regardless, Oshie has been a positive relative possession player over the past three seasons, on a St. Louis team that is persistently near the top of the league in puck possession.
TJ Oshie is a bonafide top-6 winger. Production-wise, his scoring rates will be an upgrade to a team that has failed to have a lot of depth in that area over the past few seasons. While his individual shot generation and relative possession numbers may not jump off the page, Oshie is a welcome addition to the Caps winger corps and should be playing on one of the top two lines all season long.
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