Roles and Stats Part IV: Roles and Offensive Stats – Defensemen

This is part four of my series on roles and stats. The first was an introduction and a description of methodology. The second and third parts of the series looked at offensive and defensive statistics for forwards respectively. This post will look at how roles relate to offensive statistics for defensemen.

Leading and Trailing TOI%


The above chart looks at the impact of roles, as identified by leading and trailing TOI%, on offensive production. There is definitely a pattern here similar to what we saw for forwards however it is to a much smaller degree. This makes sense as defensemen are less likely to make an impact on offensive production than forwards would. Another difference is the red cells run all the way up the the right side of the chart while for forwards the top of the chart was all blue cells. Defensive roles seem to have more impact on statistics for defensemen while for forwards it was all about the degree of their offensive role.


CF60 Rel pretty much mimics what we saw with GF60 Rel.


What is interesting is that there does not seem to be as much of a link between role and shooting percentage that we see for forwards. The low ice time defensemen generally have lower on-ice shooting percentages but for defensemen that get significant minutes role matters less.

The fact that we are seeing somewhat different patterns for defensemen than forwards (defensive usage is more correlated with results for defensemen than forwards) is nice to see as it seems to indicate that what we are observing is likely a result of the defense and not just that the defensemens statistics reflecting the types of forwards they are playing with.

Defensive and Offensive Face Offs


Not really much of a story here. Defensemen who get more offensive zone face offs do tend to be on the ice for more offensive production but the impact is relatively small.


Defensemen who get more offensive zone face offs do generate more shots though. Interesting that this isn’t showing up in the GF60 Rel chart as much as it does here.



Not too much of a pattern here aside from the low ice time players having the worst on-ice shooting percentages. Overall there isn’t much interesting to say about face off deployment and offensive production for defensemen.

Penalty Kill and Power Play


Again, there is some link between roles and offensive production for defensemen, primarily that defensemen that don’t get any powerplay ice time don’t produce much offense, but the relationship isn’t that strong.


As we saw for face off usage there is a bit more of a connection with shot generation.


And not really much of a relationship between role and Sh% Rel.


There isn’t really a lot to say here that isn’t what we expected. It is interesting that we see some different slightly different trends than we do for forwards as it likely means these stats are, at least to some extent, defenseman driven. That said, overall the roles of defensemen have less of an impact on offense than for forwards but that probably makes sense. There aren’t too many Erik Karlsson type defensemen that are heavy drivers of offense.