CHL Power Rankings: looking at the top power-play producers

Ryan-Merkley

Ryan Merkley of the London Knights. (Luke Durda/OHL Images)

It’s always interesting to look at each of the three league’s top scorers.

A couple of things normally pop. Goals per game is always interesting as is points per game. A high number in the PIM category always jumps, especially the way the game is played now.

Analytics exist in the CHL, but teams tend to keep that information in-house. Website prospect-stats.com, which did as good a job as possible getting into analytics at the junior level, no longer exists. Creator Hayden Speak closed the site after accepting a job with the L.A. Kings. The site, no doubt, played a role in his ascension to the NHL.

Getting back to stats, one thing I like to check out is the number of power-play points generated by the CHL’s top players.

For this exercise, we have used a minimum of 20 points and a powerplay-points ratio above 50 per cent.

Here are the CHL’s top power-play producers in terms of percentage of total points:

Rank/ Player/ Team Total Points Total PP Points PP% of Total Points
       
T11. Pavel Novak (Kelowna Rockets) 10+11=21 6+5=11 52.40%
T11. Alec Regula (London Knights) 9+12=21 5+6=11 52.40%
T11. Kevin Gursoy (Charlottetown Islanders) 8+13=21 5+6=11 52.40%
10. Zane Franklin (Kamloops Blazers) 16+20=36 8+11=19 52.80%
9. Nolan Foote (Kelowna Rocets) 11+17=28 5+10-15 53.80%
T7. Calen Addison (Lethbridge Hurricanes) 7+19=26 4+10=14 53.90%
T7. Ilya Solovyov (Saginaw Spirit) 3+23=26 1+13=14 53.90%
T5. Matthew Struthers (North Bay Battalion) 11+9=20 5+6=11 55%
T5. Connor McClennon (Winnipeg Ice) 6+14=20 3+8=11 55%
4. Jacob Perreault (Sarnia Sting) 10+14=24 5+9=14 58.30%
3. Ryan Merkley (London Knights) 6+20=26 4+12=16 61.50%
2. Isaac Beliveau (Rimouski Oceanic) 5+25=30 3+16=19 63.30%
1. Wyatt Wylie (Everett Silvertips) 7+15=22 4+11=15 68.20%

Novak: like many import players who must get used to the smaller rink and the physical play, he excels in the more spacious powerplay set.

Regula: his success started last year with the ingenious usage for a defenceman who goes net-front on the Knights’ powerplay.

Gursoy: the savvy veteran has a variety of options, especially when Lukas Cormier is in the lineup, but still effective regardless.

Franklin: Connor Zary’s endorsement is worth its weight. Built like a small fridge, Franklin’s game has grown immensely since his first two seasons, then as a Lethbridge Hurricane.

Foote: a sniper in any situation is even more of a threat with additional time and space.

Addison: the prototypical power-play quarterback is effective on entries, playing at the top or rotating to the half-wall. He is a great distributor, but his shot also must be respected.

Solovyo: there are times in the import draft when you take the player you know will commit and then are left wondering what he’ll bring to the table. There’s no wondering about this pleasant surprise.

Struthers: he is on the typical Stan Butler developmental path, where playing the right way is rewarded with power-play time. He didn’t have a power-play goal in his first three OHL seasons, but had 12 last year and is on pace for 15 this season.

McClennon: he is a waterbug-type player with a nose for the net.

Perreault: He is another true sniper whose release and shot are NHL ready. If he’s within home-plate range, turn on the red light.

Merkley: this prototypical power-play quarterback has a knack for getting shots through, but most importantly, rarely misses the open option.

Belliveau: give me the top three scorers in the league up front, and I’ll show you a power-play specialist on the back end.

Wylie: homegrown in Everett, Wylie has had a huge rise in prominence, showing an offensive flair while the projection remains more of a defender than power-play guy at the next level.

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