Gostisbehere On Pace To Reach Historical Achievement

Created 1 years 307 days ago
by Michael DeNicola

Tags: Shayne Gostisbehere
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written by Michael DeNicola


Monday, February 8th, 2016 ---



I shared this stat from our blog's Facebook page today, but I wanted to be sure I got it up on the website: Philadelphia's rookie defenseman, Shayne Gostisbehere, has competed in 33 games this season, recording 9 goals and 27 points. The maximum amount of games he'll be able to play in this season is 64 games, assuming he stays healthy from here on out. With his primary assist on Del Zotto's goal this past Sunday, Shayne is now on pace to record 52 points in 64 games for the 2015-16 campaign. 


Here's where that stat gets real interesting...


Using Hockey-Reference.com's search filters: Since the 1970-71 season, there have only been sixteen defensemen to score 50 or more points their rookie years. The last time this feat was met was in 1992-93 when New York Islanders' rookie defenseman, Vladimir Malakhov, netted 52 points in exactly 64 games -- a funny coincidence. 


Here's another interesting twist...


There are ZERO active defensemen in the NHL today who've scored 50 or more points their rookie years. Shayne Gostisbehere is on pace to reach a feat which hasn't been met in 23 years. 


Two active blueliners have come close since the 1992-93 season: 2005-06 (then)Calgary Flames defenseman, Dion Phaneuf, who racked up 20 goals and 49(!) points..... almost, almost. And then in 2009-10, (then)Buffalo Sabres defenseman, Tyler Myers, tallied 11 goals and 48 points. Both skaters competed in all 82 regular season games for their teams in their respective rookie seasons. 


Paces are what they are, and the odds are still stacked against Gostisbehere. Admittedly, I am hesitant to believe he'll net 50 or more points by the end of this season. That's not a shot at his talent; it is just an incredibly tough target to hit as history plainly presents. Players get injured and they go through droughts. Gostisbehere can't miss a game, and will virtually need to remain a Point Per Game player from here on out. 


Then again... maybe it's more probable than I give it credit for?


As of this minute, Shayne is Top 5 in rookie points, and has played in 23 less games than rookie points leader Artemi Panarin. After this past weekend's performances, Shayne has extended his points streak to 8 straight games. In the past 8 games, Shayne has scored 2 goals and 11 points, and his ice time continues to climb over 20-minutes a night. The increased ice time hasn't watered down his points production, either. In fact, it's been feeding it. 


Gostisbehere is now ranked 31st among ALL players in Points Per 60 Minutes, a statistic which "measures the number of points a player scores for every 60 minutes of time on ice. This statistic helps to better compare one player to another as it equalizes for time on ice where other statistics such as straight points or points per game can vary due to number of games played and the amount of time on ice differences between one player and another." [SportingCharts.com]


Shayne's Points Per 60 Minutes (P/60) is 2.63, which is equal to Alexander Ovechkin to this point in the season, and the next highest defenseman is Erik Karlsson, ranked 68th, with 2.32 P/60.



Here's where I'm going with all of this: Let's assume Gostisbehere reaches 40 points in X amount of games this season. Not far fetched in the least, right? There are only seven active NHL defensemen who've scored 40 or more points in their rookie seasons, and only two of those seven reached that mark with less than 76 games played (John Klingberg, Kevin Shattenkirk). And according to Hockey-Reference.com, since the 1966-67 season, only a total of 49 NHL defensemen have scored 40 or more points their rookie years. Of those 49 players, only 5 of them competed in 64 or less games.


Either way you slice this, Shayne Gostisbehere is putting together a historical rookie campaign. 


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