The McDavid Effect

I remember the first time I heard of Connor McDavid. He was only 15 and TSN was running a segment explaining how the OHL was granting him an “Exceptional Player Status” to be eligible for the draft one year earlier. Fast forward to this year, and he’s the only player to put up 100 points in a season where no one came close. It is undeniable, he’s one of the greatest, even at such a young age.

A couple of weeks ago, a buddy and I were watching an Oilers playoff game. When we came across Patrick Maroon’s stat line.



We noticed that his points per games increased once he joined the Oilers during the 2015-2016 season.  He went from 0.232 PPG with Anaheim to 0.875 PPG with Edmonton within the same season. We should note that during the 2016-2017 NHL season, although setting his new PPG record, he did get closer to his PPG from the 2013/2014 season and the 2014-2015 season.  Maroon definitely benefited from passes like this one.

We then asked ourselves what effect does McDavid have, if any, on the players he plays with. Using 5 vs 5 season stats. We took all players, and compared their points from when they were playing with McDavid too when they were not, and the following data emerged.

First, looking at the percentage of points scored while McDavid was on the ice with a player, compared to the percentage of time they were on the ice with McDavid, we quickly notice that the percentage of points scored are greater then the percentage of time played.



This seems to indicate that more points are scored during the time period they play with Connor. Note that the only players who don’t follow this trend are guys who weren’t able to put up points with McDavid. I’m looking at you Desharnais and Pouilot, although they didn’t play much.

Line Chart.png

The orange line represents the percentage of time a player played with McDavid, and the blue one represents the percentage of points they scored while he was on the ice with them. In most cases the blue line is higher then the orange one. For example, Maroon scored 77.14% of his 5v5 points while only playing 63.11% of his minutes with him.

Then it was a question of how many points per minute a player scored with and with out the second coming of Christ on Ice. Again, this data is at 5v5 as it keeps the data relatively constant.

Minutes MD

Bar with MD

We can see how significant of an impact playing with McDavid can have on a player’s performance. Now there’s a question of how efficient these numbers are at showing the impact Connor can have on a player. For example, Nugent-Hopkins only scored 1 assist with him while playing only 6.78 minutes at 5v5. That makes his point per minute pretty high but it would most likely lower if they played more minutes together.

I will say that it’s hard to quantify the exact impact McDavid has on any player he plays with but it’s without a doubt a positive one. The average points per minute scored without McDavid is 0.0227. Compared to the average scored with him of 0.04412, that’s an increase of 94%! Also, if you take all points scored with out McDavid divided by minutes played with out him you get 0.0219 points per minute. Compared to the total points per minute with Connor of 0.0359, that is an increase of 64%.

It’s safe to say it pays to play with one of the best in the game. Shocker right?



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