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By the Numbers: Winnipeg Jets acquire Jay Harrison

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Kevin Cheveldayoff trades for a stop gap due to Jets defensive core sidelined in the infirmary. We look at what Harrison brings to the table.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets traded a sixth round pick for Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jay Harrison. A sixth round pick is pretty marginal value, as they turn out to be a hundred game player about 10% of the time or less. Kevin Cheveldayoff was even able to get the Hurricanes to retain salary, which is a pretty big deal since Harrison still has one year of term left.

So what do the numbers say about what Harrison brings to the team?

Jay Harrison - Age: 32 - Position: LD - CapHit (prior to retention): 2x 1.5 Million

The Basics

Season Team(s) GP G A P TOI/60 S/60 Sh% PenD
2012-2013 Hurricanes 47 2 6 8 16.7 4.26 5.0 -9
2013-2014 Hurricanes 68 2 6 8 14.6 4.41 2.7 -6
2014-2014 Hurricanes 20 1 3 4 14.1 3.75 5.0 -10

Harrison seems good for about eight points a season, which is not too bad for a guy playing his number of minutes. The number of minutes are low, but Jets are only looking for a depth guy to fill up some injury created holes. His shot volume generation is pretty decent.

His penalty differentials may cause some issues, as he seems to be about as bad as Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Stuart in this department. That's all the leading penalty minutes team in the NHL needs: more guys with bad penalty differentials.

Usage

Harri1


EV TOI Distribution 5 on 5
Season ZS% ZS%rel EVTOI PPTOI SHTOI QoC TOI% QoT TOI%
2012-2013 43.4 -8.5 16.7 0.50 2.09 28.1 26.8
2013-2014 54.5 +4.1 14.6 1.01 0.67 27.4 26.0
2014-2015 55.1 +2.6 14.1 0.59 1.34 28.6 28.9

Over the past few seasons Jay Harrison has played a lot of different roles. The colour scheme is Harrisons relCorsi relative to his average over those periods, so even the blue bubbles are negative values. We see here that Harrison's worst season was last year, despite it being the easiest minutes he's played. Predominately he's had a negative impact on Corsi, but we're talking about a third pairing or depth guy.

Harrison has eaten a lot of penalty kill minutes and his 14.1 percent Corsi rating over the last three seasons combined is above league average. In fact, it is better than any Jet not named Zach Bogosian, Grant Clitsome, and Dustin Byfuglien. So there is definitely some value in his penalty kill abilities.

Underlying numbers

Harri2

Season Corsi% relCorsi% dCF/20 dCA/20 dCorsi%
2012-13 51.7 -1.8 +6.84 +2.99 +3.85
2013-14 47.9 -3.9 -0.70 +4.30 -5.00
2014-15 50.4 -0.1 -0.78 +4.14 -4.92

TmCorsi% is simply the average of his teammates when they are away from Harrison. We see here that Harrison has not out performed both his linemates and his offensive zone deployment since the 2010-2011 season. So the Jets are not getting an underrated bottom pair guy here in terms of possession.

dCorsi suggests that Harrison has been outperforming his overall usage this season, although the disparity from the previous seasons makes it look as though the bubble may burst soon. In the previous two seasons, Harrison was not that far off from average in shot volume promotion but suffered severely in shot repression.

His shot repression issues may be due to Harrison struggling at the blue line in denying opposition zone entries:

Final Thoughts

Simply put, the Jets are not acquiring some underrated player or diamond in the rough. No, no one was expect Kevin Cheveldayoff to somehow acquire Shea Weber for a sixth round pick. Harrison will be a hockey player, and probably not a great one, but still a hockey player.

He should take Mark Stuart's penalty kill minutes serviceably (maybe even better), but the Jets defensive core will struggle without the likes of Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, and Jacob Trouba. There is a chance though that Harrison's overall value may be below replacement level. If that is the case, the Jets may have been better in not acquiring Harrison. Extreme emphasis on may and if.

All things considering, Harrison for a sixth round pick is fine in terms of trade value. Whether or not Harrison proves to be a warm body that minimizes the bleeding or further accents the Jets loss of their top defenders remains to be seen. Can't complain much given the price; a 7th round pick was the selling price for Jordan Samuels-Thomas after all.

Bonus: I got moves like Stuart

Whenever a player is acquired in free agency or a trade and the media almost exclusively centres its attention on a player's character and their presence in the room, you should be worried a bit. It's not that those things do not matter; rather, the game is played on the ice (or so hockey "nerds" are told).

Here is a comparison between Harrison's and Stuart's impact on shot metrics:

HariStu

The above distribution is the percentage of games where the player has had a particular Relative Corsi Percentage; relCorsi is simply the team's Corsi with the player on the ice minus by the Corsi with the player on the ice. If you are a player who tends to improve the team, more of your games will be on the right side of zero than the left.

From a numbers perspective (and according to some, from an intangibles perspective), Harrison does seem to be a lot like Stuart. Although he was had at less than 1.5 a year for a 6th round selection.

Hari2

Hari3

The Hurricanes have produced less scoring chances with Harrison on the ice and have allowed more. The regional differences are similar to Mark Stuart's impact seen on how Jets defensemen have impacted shot quality.