How much does Taylor Hall improve New Jersey?
Each player contributes to his team on a play-by-play basis over the course of a game. Those contributions come in various ways but generally each contribution falls on a scale from very positive to very negative, and add up to form a net contribution. Game after game is played and each player establishes an average per game contribution (TPI). If we add up the player contributions of each team, we get a team contribution (Team TPI). If the data being collected is accurate and influences success as opposed to just being coincidental to success, those team contributions should accurately reflect the ranking of teams in the standings.
Team TPI has shown a very strong correlation to relative success and team standings. SeeWeber v Subban
Note, there is a distinction between success attributed to the sum of individual player performance and success attributed to team systems and coaching. Great coaching and buy-in to a system can help a team outperform what would normally be the sum of its parts. We can numerically measure the ‘strength of player’s’ vs the ‘strength of the team’ but for the sake of brevity we will save that for another time.
In the overall NHL standings, New Jersey finished 20th in 2015-16 and 25th in 2014-15. As per TP data, in both seasons combined, New Jersey’s average-per-game, team contribution of 210.4 (TPI Team), ranked them 23rd.
Taylor Hall’s TPI of 24.5 comprised 12.6% of the Oilers and now comprises 11.2% of the Devils.
The net change of New Jersey’s Team TPI with the loss of Larsson and the addition of Hall is +7.1%.
If we add the 7.1% to New Jersey’s Team TPI, it raises their ranking from the 23rd to 16th spot. This equals a 7 spot jump in the overall standings.
With all other things being equal, or at least unaccounted for, the addition of Hall should push New Jersey to the cusp of a playoff spot.
Note: A detailed evaluation of players added and subtracted from a line-up will produce a revised Team TPI score, which has shown to be a very strong indicator of relative success. This analysis can be much more detailed, taking into account offense, defense and contribution weighting between forwards and defensemen. The raw scores above are pre-adjusted to maximize correlation.
Photo: Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire
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