Maggie May

We got into a good conversation yesterday about Magnus Paajarvi, so I thought it might be a good idea to get the math out there and discuss this full on.

Magnus Paajarvi has some things in common with this fellow, Juha Widing. Widing was born in Uleaborg, Finland to Swedish parents; MPS was born in Sweden to SWE-FIN parents. Widing had several strong seasons in the NHL but faded young and overall would be considered a disappointment based on his initial promise.

Some may feel Paajarvi is headed in the same direction. I think it’s too soon to tell. Let’s see what math tells us.

Magnus Pääjärvi 10-11

5×5 points per 60: 1.36 (8th among regular forwards)
5×4 points per 60: 3.45 (6th among regular forwards)
Qual Comp: 9th toughest among regular forwards
Qual Team: 12th best teammates among regular forwards
Corsi Rel: 3.2 (7th best among regular forwards)
Zone Start: 51.6% (5th easiest among regular forwards)
Zone Finish: 52.4% (4th best among regular forwards)
Shots on goal/percentage: 180/8.3% (8th among F’s>100 shots)
Boxcars: 80gp, 15-19-34
Plus Minus: -13

So, as a teenage rookie Paajarvi didn’t get the push enjoyed by the two other kids (understandably) until injuries started to impact the roster. It was a solid rookie year, boxcars are fine and he does well in Corsi Rel. Now he certainly had the push in zone starts and his shooting percentage is no screaming hell, but on the other hand he wasn’t jumping over the boards with 99 and Kurri.

Magnus Pääjärvi 11-12

5×5 points per 60: 0.67 (13th among regular forwards)
5×4 points per 60: nil
Qual Comp: 9th toughest among regular forwards
Qual Team: 12th best teammates among regular forwards
Corsi Rel: 8.11(3rd best among regular forwards)
Zone Start: 50.9% (8th easiest among regular forwards)
Zone Finish: 55.0% (4th best among regular forwards)
Shots on goal/percentage: 48 shots, no goals
Boxcars: 25gp,0-3-3 -2
Plus Minus: -2

These numbers for MP are a little misleading. He has three even strength points in 273 even strength minutes, meaning that he’d be on par with last year at six even strength points. I do think the demotion was warranted and the young man clearly has the right attitude based on reports.

Paajarvi has not played with the best possible linemates but he also failed to create miles of chances this season. I think it is extremely premature to suggest he is a failed prospect and believe the time in OKC is a great opportunity for him. No hurries returning, and let’s remember there were some nice things on his resume during his season and a bit in the NHL.

However, let’s frame the issue propely. Paajarvi’s Oilers are well below average at evens (NHL average at even strength so far this year is 68 goals; Oilers have 59) and the young man wasn’t part of the PP solution. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. He’s wide by three points, and considering luck and linemates I’m willing to believe this is a lot about circumstance.

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