NHL Edge reveals Toronto Maple Leafs’ fastest skaters and hardest shooters
Photo credit:Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
By Jon Steitzer1 month ago
It’s been a long time coming but the NHL has finally provided fans with some interesting tracking data. NHL Edge is now live this season and with it some easily digestible information regarding shot location, time in each zone for players, and some interesting trivia regarding distance skated and top speeds for skating and shot. Some of this information could replace some of the independently tracked data we often rely on, other information like anything regarding passing is still notably absent.
The way the NHL has presented the data is also somewhat limiting as getting a full list of best to worst on any one stat seems impossible at this point and maybe that’s just because I’m a 40+ year old who didn’t spend a whole lot of time looking. Even a list by team seemed hard to come by, so I figured I’d take the opportunity to drop a couple of lists for the Maple Leafs in this space as I took a few minutes to look up who has had the fastest top skating speed and who has had the hardest shot so far this season for the Leafs. In true clickbait fashion, faster skater number #3 may shock you.
Fastest Skaters (in MPH)
Like I said, I wouldn’t have expected John Tavares to be up that high, but here we are. This obviously doesn’t account for agility, how long it is sustained for or acceleration, but complaining about John Tavares being slow seems like something we can start doing less of.
For the most part the numbers are what you’d expect to see. Giordano, Klingberg, and Brodie being so far down the list is a bit concerning and the underwhelming numbers from Marner I’m sure make Mike Babcock feel justified in some way.
The previous two seasons data is also available on the site and last year Mitch Marner topped out at 22.11 mph so while speed has never been the selling point on Mitch’s skating, it can happen in rare occasions.
Hardest shot (in MPH)
Was there any doubt that Matthews would be the one hammering the puck, or that Nylander would be the runner up? Probably not. What is surprising is that Rielly has had more on his shot this year than John Klingberg and that Timothy Liljegren has been out muscling both of them.
Like I said with the comment about Marner in the skating section, this is pretty early in the year and it isn’t the full story of what the players top out at. Marner crossed the 90 mph mark last season on a shot, and interestingly enough Morgan Rielly did as well despite the narrative around his shot being hard enough. In fact if you look at the trends around volume of high velocity shots and their absolute max shot strength, Rielly and Klingberg are very similar in that regard and Klingberg’s shot was supposed to be a selling point.
I think the most useful part of the speed tracking is the count of the number of times the player has done it. We’ll have to do a deeper dive to see which Leafs can actually play this way with regularity.
NHL Edge is a far from perfect tool, but it does offer some interesting insight and both creates and debunks some narratives. Expect us to explore what is on that site a lot more this season.
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