In my recent spare time I've tried to make a magic process that can predict the amount of points a player will accumulate over any period of games. For accuracy's sake, this process will only apply to first-line players (using The Hockey News Depth Charts to define a player as ‘first-line’). Creating the steps has been a process of trial and error that has taken several days, but I've tried to take as many variables into consideration as possible. With each step, I'll be using Max Pacioretty and his statistics as a concrete, practical example. So let's get started.
You're going to need to keep a running total of the points that your player will get over the process. To make sure no-one's confused, I'll refer to these points as marks.
Variable 1: Age of Player
18-20: 1 mark
20-23: 2 marks
24-29: 3 marks
30-33: 2 marks
34+: 1 mark
Max Pacioretty, my example first-line player, would get 2 marks here, as he is 23.
Variable 2: 2011-2012 TOI/Game
Under 18:50: 1 mark
Between 18:50 and 19:30: 2 marks
Between 19:30 and 20:15: 3 marks
Above 20:15: 4 marks
Pacioretty's TOI was 18:15, so he would get 1 mark here.
Variable 3: 2011-2012 Power Play TOI/Game (You can get this stat here: http://www.nhl.com/ice/pl...p;#038;viewName=timeOnIce
Under 3:03: 1 mark
Between 3:03 and 3:12: 2 marks
Between 3:12 and 3:21: 3 marks
Between 3:21 and 3:34: 4 marks
Above 3:34: 5 marks
Max had a PP TOI average of 3:10 per game, so he gets 2 more marks.
Variable 4: Contractual Status
If the player is signed for a minimum of the current season and the next season: 0 marks
If the player is a UFA or an RFA at the end of the current season: 3 marks
Max Pacioretty just signed a big extension. 0 marks.
Variable 5: Different Teammates
If player changed teams, and his old team had better record in previous year: 0 mark
If player stayed on same team: 1 marks
If player changed teams, and his new team had a better record in previous year: 3 marks
Pacioretty didn't change teams, so he gets 1 mark.
Variable 6: Happiness
If player has made it publicly known he is not happy (Ex: Roberto Luongo, Bobby Ryan): 0 marks
If player has made no such statements: 1 mark
If player has been re-united with hometown/home state/sibling(Ex: Zach Parise, Jordan Staal): 2 marks
Pacioretty gets 1 more mark.
Variable 7 Breakout Season:
If you believe the player's points totals will fall significantly: 0 marks
If you believe the player's points totals will be roughly the same: 1 mark
If you believe the player's points totals will rise significantly: 4 marks
Personally, I think Pacioretty's career is on the upswing, I think he will take another good step forward next year, so I'll add 4 marks.
Now add up all the marks that your player accumulated. Max Pacioretty has a grand total of 11 marks. Here's where the math gets a little trickier, but stick with it, you're almost at the end!
Multiply the amount of marks your player got by 0.025. Remember the number that you get, it should be anywhere between 0.075 and 0.6. That number is Number A.
Now, add the total points (actual NHL goals/assists points) your player got over the last three seasons. If the player hasn't yet played three seasons, you can adjust it to two or even one season. This number is Number B.
Now, add the total games played of your player over the last three seasons. The same rule as above applies if the player hasn't yet played three full seasons. This number is Number C.
Divide Number B by Number C. Take this new number and divide it by 2. The number that you get, which should be somewhere around 0.4 is Number D.
Add Number A and Number D together. We're done the math, so you can exhale now. That new number (that should be in the neighbourhood of 0.8) is the points per game of your player for next season. You can multiply by 82 to see how many points your player would get over a full season. If the season is shortened, just multiply it by the number of games any team would play. Max Pacioretty's projected PPG is 0.89. That would amount to roughly 73 points over a full season, which is a reasonable total.
Try this process for yourself and substitute Pacioretty's stats with those of any first-line player in the NHL. You can post in the comments with the results. Also if anyone is confused about the process or short on time, you can comment with a player and I'll figure everything out.
Thanks for Reading!