The NHL's Best (Even-Strength) Shooters, 2005-09

I put together a stats sheet at the beginning of the year looking at individual player shooting. I estimated the expected number of goals that each player should have scored each year based on the locations of the shots he took - because rebounds are high-percentage shots, I only looked at initial shots to assess pure shooting. Here's the sum of goal scoring relative to expectations over the last four seasons:

Player Extra Goals
Ilya Kovalchuk 51.5
Nathan Horton 32.6
Marian Gaborik 32.5
Dany Heatley 32.4
Jarome Iginla 29.0
Daniel Alfredsson 28.6
Alexander Ovechkin 27.2
Alex Tanguay 25.9
Rick Nash 23.8
Jason Spezza 23.6
Brad Boyes 20.5
Alexander Semin 19.4
Sidney Crosby 18.9
Martin Havlat 18.7
Marian Hossa 18.1

Most of these players are "known good snipers," other than Boyes and Horton, who play in minor markets and haven't had many opportunities to show off in the playoffs, and Crosby, who is so good at everything else that he must be a bad goal-scorer! Kovalchuk's lead over 2nd-place Horton is amazing - he's almost as good a shooter as Tanguay (who led the 2000s in shooting percentage) and he is 11th overall in total even-strength shots since the lockout.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the league's worst shooter - among frequent shooters - is Tyler Arnason at 20 goals below average. That goes a long way to explain Arnason spending this season in the AHL and the KHL.

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