Playmaking Volume 2: Attack Of The Forward Clones

@RK_Stimp has a passing project that tracks the first, second, and third assists to every shot attempt this season in the NHL. Using this data, I plan on investigating and creating many visuals over the coming weeks.I have made several visuals already including:

  1. Passes leading to shot attempts by Blackhawks D-Men
  2. Passes leading to shot attempts by Blackhawks Forwards
  3. Passes leading to scoring chances by Blackhawks D-Men

This time, I will look at passes that led to scoring chances for the Blackhawks forwards utilizing the passing data

Here is a simple visual to show how the forwards ranked from best to worst utilizing the passing data. Remember, this isn’t a ranking of the forwards overall, but rather a ranking of their playmaking ability. This is looking mostly at the offensive side of the game.

In relation to each other, the darker green were the best play playmaker, the light green were good playmakers, the light red were okay playmakers, and the dark red were bad playmakers. I apologize for the omission of Andrew Ladd and Marcus Kruger. Their mid-season number swap complicated matters.

Not let’s take a look at the actual data.


  • Richard Panik’s numbers weren’t the best, but he’s more of a shooter than a passer. He also had a small sample size and inconsistent linemates. 
  • Artem Anisimov didn’t have the best numbers, but it isn’t his job to play the puck. His job is to screen the goalie, win board battles, and get back on defense. There isn’t enough pucks to go around if a playmaking center (Teravainen) played with Panarin and Kane. That’s why Anisimov fits them. Anisimov lets them do their thing while he focuses on defense.
  • Kane, Panarin, Toews, and Hossa are the best playmakers as one would suspect. However, one surprise is Dale Weise. In his limited playing time, Weise was near the top in passes that set up scoring chances.
  • Fleischmann had a small sample size and he was very volatile. He was middle of the pack in first assists, last in second assists, and ranked 2nd in third assists to scoring chances. I don’t have a guess why this occurred, but it is noteworthy and weird.