This entry will be the first in a series where I perform a deep dive on the top fantasy players of 2019/20. The plan is to go in order of points scored, so let’s start at the top with Leon Draisaitl…
Position: C, LW
Unofficial Attractiveness Score (as judged by my wife): 8/10
Now it goes without saying that Draisaitl has had a spectacular season, outpacing all expectations and somehow improving on a breakout 2018/19 campaign. The aim is to determine what was behind Draisaitl’s dominance, and whether we can expect more of the same for 2020/21. Since Draisaitl has posted back-to-back seasons of over 100 points it seems pretty safe to say that this is his new normal. The more pressing question is whether 2020/21 Draisaitl will more resemble his 2018/19 or 2019/20 self. Let’s dive into the stats:
So off the top we have Draisaitl’s IPP (individual points percentage) up at a career high 80.88%, approximately a 6% bump over last year. IPP is commonly used as an indicator of potential regression. We can see Draisaitl’s time on ice per game (TOI/GP) hasn’t changed much (although it is worth noting that his power play TOI/GP is up over half a minute from 2018/19, from 3:20/game to 3:53/game. We see a mild regression in shooting percentage (S%) of about two percent, but an 0.67 increase in shots/60 to offset that change. One reason I wasn’t as bullish on Draisaitl at the beginning of 2019/20 was that sky-high shooting percentage, but it looks like Draisaitl just may be one of those freaks who can sustain a shooting percentage at least in the high teens. It appears Draisaitl drove scoring opportunities at a better rate in 2019/20 (increases in individual expected goals, individual Corsi For, individual Fenwick For, and individual scoring chances for) which could in theory account for at least some of his increases in points scored. The outlier there is a slight decrease in individual high danger chances for (3.76 to 3.59). I believe that is a true outlier because his team-based chances for stats in 2019/20 were higher than 2018/19 but more in line with the two seasons prior to that. For what it’s worth, Draisaitl is also hitting less this year which obviously reduces his value in leagues that incorporate hits into their scoring.
The biggest jump in Draisaitl’s game has clearly been on the power play, where his time on ice has increased as mentioned before and his IPP% skyrocketed from 65.91% in 2018/19 to 78.57% in 2019/20. How much of that is the Oilers intentionally running the power play through Draisaitl and how much is good puck luck is up for debate, but it does seem likely that he will regress from that mark somewhat in 2020/21.
I could go on but I don’t want to bore everyone with the Oilers’ inevitable PP% regression in 2020/21 or how Draisaitl’s 5v5 play took another big step forward this year; if you want to discuss more feel free to hit me up on Twitter.
With that we come to the projection portion of the program – what will Draisaitl’s 2020/21 season look like? Here’s where I’ve landed:
2020/21 Projection: 82 GP, 47 G, 65 A, 112 PTS
- Draisaitl is good at hockey
- Power play efficiency drove a significant portion of his increase in point production in 2020/21
- Has the underlying stats to back up his increased point production
- 2020/21 will most likely land in between 2018/19 and 2019/20 for Draisaitl fantasy-wise
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