First, lets get into some background. Michael Frolik isn't a null offensive player. He was drafted 10th overall in 2006 and was expected to be an offensive contributor. He career started off with some decent production too. Frolik is twice a 20 goal scorer and recorded a career high of 45 points (21G, 24A) in 79 games as a 20 year old rookie - of course his usage was very different that year.
As a rookie Michael Frolik spent a lot of time on the powerplay (5th most on his team) that season and amassed 1G, 11A in man advantage situations. The following season Frolik played top line minutes (3rd on his team in even strength ice) and was given top notch linemates. He once again had his numbers boosted a littler by the powerplay (5G, 5A for 10 points). In Chicago, Frolik's roll changed. He became a depth player and penalty killer. His ice times and scoring rates dropped substantially.
Here are his year by year numbers:
Numbers from NHL.com
- One thing that stands out immediately is Frolik's shooting percetage - it is low.
- In his better scoring seasons - his shooting percentages are actually not half bad.
- Despite the poor S% Froli's shot totals are actually pretty high.
- It is possible that Frolik will sustain his shooting percentage, but it isn't probable.
As mentioned above, usage changed after the trade, but did his scoring rates change that much?
Let's look at his 5 on 5 scoring per 60 minutes:
Numbers from behindthenet.ca
- Rank is team rank or where his scoring rate ranked relative to his teammates.
- Year to year Frolik's 5 on 5 points per 60 have shown less variance than expected. In other words, decreased production in Chicago had more to do with lessened ice time than it did with him scoring less per minute.
- Frolik is scoring at a higher rate this year than he has at any point in his career.
- Frolik's big rookie season was boosted by a high on-ice shooting percentage - that isn't happening this year.
The PDO and On Ice SH% numbers are encouraging - Frolik isn't over achieving by these metrics, so what exactly is happening? Where is the offense coming from? Is he generating more scoring chances?
- In terms of shots per minute or even shot attempts per minute Frolik's numbers are actually down.
- Even though his shot rates are down, Frolik creates a TONNE of offense. The fact that his iCorsi (iCorsi is simply shot attempts including all attempts that missed or were blocked) relative to ice time has consistently ranked at the top of the league is damn impressive, but it is curious that it doesn't result in more offense.
- IPP is a stat that isn't commonly know, so what is it? IPP is Individual Point Percentage. Simply put it is the percentage of goals that were scored, with Michael Frolik on the ice, in which he recorded a point. To start this season he is at 100%. He has literally picked up a point on EVERY single 5 on 5 goal that was scored with him on the ice. We can say with near certainty that isn't sustainable and will likely fall quite a bit
Will Michael Frolik sustain his hot start? Maybe. If Mark Scheifele continues to improve their line should spend more time in the offensive zone. This would in theory boost his iCorsi back up to where it has been of late. Then again, his individual shooting percentage may drop back towards his career average.
By the numbers Michael Frolik is a very interesting player. He generates a ton of shots, but he scoring rate has historically been very low. Is this something that can be coached out of his game? Is this something that has been coached out of his game? Don't know, but we do know that he is playing well and been a great add for the team.
What do you make of Michael Frolik's hot start?
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