Scott Reynolds over at NHLNumbers.com has written a series of articles on individual point percentage (IPP). Individual point percentage is defined as the number of points an individual has collected divided by the number of goals scored while the player was on the ice. In other words, it is the percentage of goals scored while the player was on the ice that the player either had a goal or an assist on. Scott’s articles are on individual point percentages for 2011-12, individual point percentages for the last 5 seasons and individual point percentages on the power play. Definitely go give them a read, as well as the comments, where some interesting discussions ensued.
At first I was skeptical of the value of IPP because essentially it only tells you how important the player is to the teams offense when the player is on the ice, and not really anything about the actual skill level of the player. A good player with really weak line mates can put up a pretty good IPP even if he isn’t a great offensive player. Or, a good third liner could have a similar IPP as a good first liner, but not be anywhere close to each other in terms of overall talent level. But, upon further thought I figured there would be some value in determining who is leading the offense and who might be deserving of a line promotion (i.e. might be too good for his current line mates) or a demotion (might be holding their line mates back). So, I decided I would look into IPP a bit further. I have calculated IPP for the past 5 years for 5v5 zone start adjusted ice time and only considered forwards with >2500 minutes of ice time over those 5 seasons. The top 30 players in terms of IPP are the following.
The above table is fairly similar to the top players that Scott identified so I won’t go into too much detail. Some guys that Scott identified, such as Jordan Eberle, didn’t make my list because he didn’t make my 2500 minute ice time restriction and because I am using faceoff adjusted ice time (eliminating 10 seconds after a zone face off) the numbers for others are slightly different. But more or less the lists are comparable.