Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best American Forwards (points-wise) in 2014

It has nearly been a full year since USA Hockey picked the 2014 US Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team for the Sochi Olympics during the last Winter Classic. As 2014 is coming to an end, I'd like to do a quick review of how American forwards have done in the year 2014 (since the roster was announced).

If I had more time, I'd do P/60, some #fancystats, etc. Just hoping for some discussion!

Statistics from 1/1/2014 through 12/29/2014

Top 21 Sorted by Points: 

Players in orange were not named to team USA. One name that you may notice is omitted is Dustin Brown, the only team USA forward who is not on this list of 21 forwards. Brown came in way off the list with 26 points in his 76 GP in 2014. American players like Saad, Legwand, Wingels, Bobby Ryan, Atkinson, Galchenyuk, Kreider and Dubinsky all had higher point totals, even old guys like Chris Higgins, Cullen, and Brian Gionta (!) as well as rookie Johnny Gaudreau with just his 31 points from this season.

Standout names on this list have to be second-year players Tyler Johnson (not just benefiting from playing with Stamkos!), Brock Nelson and Nick Bjustad. Nick Bonino is also an interesting name, the centerpiece going from Anaheim to Vancouver in exchange for another American F, Ryan Kesler. Foligno has benefited from an insane (contract-year) season thus far, with 31 of his 47 points in 2014 coming this season with the Blue Jackets. Craig Smith whom a lot of people seem to forget has quietly done alright with Nashville.

Top 22 Sorted by Points/Game:

Since injuries can affect total points, I submit this list of points per game, rather than total points, giving a clearer picture. While this list is a bit better for Team USA's decisions, I just thought it was fun because not only does it show how impressive Gaudreau has been to start off his rookie season, but also how terrible a decision it was to omit Okposo from the roster.

This list shows 22 players because of the addition of Gaudreau (and me wanting to keep everyone on the previous list here). Dustin Brown is again omitted with his paltry 0.342 P/G.

So, how does the forward roster constructed by David Poile, Ray Shero and Brian Burke (among others) seem now looking back on how the US team performed in 2014?