Measuring the Importance of Individual Player Zone Entry Creation

Fantastic entry from Charlie O’Connor about controlling offensive zone entries in the NHL. Controlled entries have been shown to be important as they lead to shots more often than dumping the puck into the zone. This article is only using 2013-2014 data, but it points in a promising direction for measuring the skill of forwards being able to gain the OZ for their team. More data will be out soon too, thanks the dedicated tracking efforts of Corey Sznajder.

One way to address this issue is to use the framework of the Entries/60 stat, but weigh each entry based on the expected shot-based outcome. Per Sznajder’s tracking in 2013-14, the league average outcome for a controlled entry was an average 0.66 unblocked shot attempts, while uncontrolled entries created about 0.29 unblocked shots. The result is a new metric, which I’ve dubbed “Weighted Entries per 60” or wE/60. The straightforward formula is as follows:

(((Number of Controlled Entries * 0.66) + (Number of Uncontrolled Entries * 0.29))*60) / Total TOI

At its core, wE/60 provides a rough measurement of how many unblocked shot attempts per 60 a player has personally driven via individual neutral zone play, assuming league-average outcomes in the offensive zone. But the real goal is to attempt to combine the strengths of Entries/60 and Controlled Entry Percentage into one metric.