So who is John Scott?

February 28, 2012, by

After the Rick Nash deal fell through, the Rangers made a minor move in sending a fifth round pick in this year’s draft to Chicago for defenseman John Scott. The first thing someone will notice about Scott is that he is big, listed at 6’8 and 258 lbs, the dude is a big boy. The undrafted defenseman, who is also capable of playing left wing,¬†played four years at Michigan Tech before catching on with the Houston Aeros.

Scott got his first shot in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild, playing 71 games over two seasons with the Wild, putting together a line of 1-2-3 with 111 PIMS. So clearly, Scott is not an offensive threat. He finished with a -4 rating, but that’s neither here nor there. In 69 games with the Blackhawks over two seasons, he recorded two assists and another 120 PIMs, upping his total to 231 PIMs.

Per Hockeyfights.com, Scott has fought 54 times in the AHL and NHL, and never lost a fight. That’s right, he is a perfect 54-0 in fighting over his career. He’s so good that Floyd Mayweather has already declined the option to fight him. With Brandon Prust hurting, and Mike Sauer out indefinitely, Scott adds some much needed fighting skill on the blue line or the fourth line, wherever he plays.

Perhaps Scott’s most useful attribute is that he is capable of playing defense and wing. Much like Stu Bickel, this gives the Rangers tremendous flexibility in matching up with opponents. The Rangers have a lot of games coming up against physical opponents, and an extra big body to protect the likes of Marian Gaborik (as we saw yesterday, it’s needed) isn’t going to hurt. The ability to dress all of Prust, Rupp, Bickel, and Scott will go a long way to keeping some of the dirtier teams at bay.

The obvious sacrifice with someone like Scott is his play with his gloves on and his stick in his hand. His -0.5 OGVT isn’t all that surprising, as Scott really doesn’t add much offensively. His 0.4 DGVT is still below Steve Eminger (1.1 DGVT), Stu Bickel (0.8 DGVT)¬†and Jeff Woywitka (0.5 DGVT), which again isn’t all that surprising. Scott is a tough guy, and although they have their flaws, they still serve a purpose, especially against teams like Philadelphia, Boston, and New Jersey.

As for his peripherals, his Qualcomp (-.180) is very low, so he has been seeing nothing but bottom lines and bottom pairings this year. Again, this is not unexpected for a player like Scott. What is surprising is his positive relative Corsi (0.3), which is a puck possession metric. A positive relative Corsi means that Scott in fact has had less shots directed at his net (blocked, missed, saved, or goals) than his team has directed at the opposition’s net while he is on the ice. The difference is marginal, but it’s still a positive difference nonetheless.

Combining his Qualcomp and Corsi with his 65.2% offensive zone starts, and you get exactly what you think you’re getting with Scott: a big, tough defenseman who can only play against bottom line forwards. He is a matchup player, someone designed to give the Rangers added flexibility. He is no more than a 7-8 minute player, designed to match up against the other team’s tough guys.

So with Rupp, Prust, and Bickel in the mix, why did the Rangers pick up Scott? The answer may be tough to see, but may have been more obvious last night. Prust didn’t look like he wanted to fight Eric Boulton, and it showed when both of Prust’s gloves were still on when Boulton started throwing punches. Prust left the fight wincing. Rupp hasn’t fought since the 2/7 game against the Devils, and it appears he has been nursing a sore hand as well.

With Sauer out of the lineup, that leaves two injured players and Bickel as the only guys who are healthy enough to throw down without any injury concerns. Against the aforementioned teams, that is going to be a problem. Scott will give someone like Prust the option of fighting, as opposed to the current need to fight. Scott is not going to be an every day player, but he is definitely more cost effective as a scratch ($525,000 cap hit) than Wojtek Wolski.

Categories : Defense


  1. The Suit says:

    Excellent post my friend. Good to see the numbers on this guy with some context.

  2. Dave says:

    Thank you sir. Much appreciated.

  3. Chris F says:

    They picked up Scott for the playoffs. Long, physical, nasty 7-game series against the likes of Boston or Philadelphia required that the Rangers acquire someone who can dictate the terms of any truculence. And dictate, Scott shall.

    The John Scott.

  4. Bobby Tux says:

    Now that the trading is done AND teams cannot claim waived players for NHL rosters, who are the Rangers going to bring up should a bottom 6 player get injured? Newbury(no) Deveux (no) so that leaves Avery. I am no Avery lover, but he is the best option available and in the playoffs can be that agitator that is needed to put players out of sorts.

    If the Rangers do not recall him, they are doing a disservice to the franchise. I am sure that he will be glad to return and in the chase for the Cup, I am sure Torts will overlook any prior issues so long as Abery plays the Torts way.


  5. Bobby Tux says:

    Clearly Newbury is not a NHLer and the thought of MZA on a bottom 6 line is unthinkable. The use of Bickel and Scott as a forward is good for a temporary period.

    I still think Avery is the best option. He has been in Hartford so he can play rather than ride the bench.

    What are the rentry waiver rules after the trade deadline? Am I correct that other teams cannot claim him?

    • Chris F says:

      In terms of skill-level, playing style and experience, Avery is clearly the most ideal call-up for playoff hockey.

      Unfortunately, there are intangibles associated with his track-record that put him in the “unlikely to play” category. I wonder whether there is hold-over locker room animosity, namely with Mike Rupp, or with Torts himself, or whether Avery is even up to the task of playing disciplined hockey…

      Obvious alternatives would be Zuccarello or Audy-Marchessault. But, both are very small.

      Or, Rangers could go for Casey Wellman or Ryan Bourque, but both are unproven at the professional level.

      Newbury and Devaux have amassed the first and third most points on the Whale, and they play the most physical style of play. But, I haven’t been impressed one bit by the caliber of their NHL-level play.

      Realistically, not a great situation for the Rangers in this regard.

    • Dave says:

      Avery has been a healthy scratch for the Whale for a long time. He’s done with this organization.

      • Bobby Tux says:

        I did not know that Avery has been a scratch with the Whale. Thus I completely rescind my comments

  6. The Suit says:

    Whether or not MZA or Newbury, etc, gets called up likely depends on who gets injured. Clearly MZA wouldn’t take over Rupp’s role or Prust’s.

    Long story short, I’d be really surprised to see Avery on the roster come playoffs, since he has now burned through every coach he has played under.

  7. mike says:

    Common complaint against Heavy weight fighters was that nobody wanted to fight them. After watching a number of you tube on Mr. Scot’s fights a common theme was they never get asked if they want to fight, they do something wrong and Mr. Scot is on the doorstep knocking. The Rangers play a tough, hard hitting game, as evident last night, and it will be a comfort to have a sheriff on the ice, no disrespect to Mr. Shanahan.

    • jesposito says:

      I agree 200 percent….its good to see Sather wanting some more grit going in to the playoffs.Grit wins playoff games against bigger teams….wear them down.
      I hope he plays Mr. Scott and lets him do his thing.

    • Dave says:

      There is no room for being polite when it comes to fights. Drop the gloves, take your beating, and sit and cry for 5 minutes.

  8. Walt says:

    We don’t have very many good choices, but in case of an emergency I would bring up Devaux. He played well, not great, but well enough to earn a second shot at the bigs. He also brings two big momma’s, called the left, and the right!!!!!

  9. PJP says:

    How realistic is the option of Kreider joining the roster? The NCAA season will wind up for him no later than April 4th, I think, and the NHL playoffs start a couple days later. Not much time to learn the system, but could he be enough of an impact to justify burning a year of eligibility?

  10. Lou says:

    First a couple of quick points. One, forget Avery – simply isn’t going to happen under Torts, so stop wasting time and thought. Two, forget Kreider, they will not waste a year of eligibility for a playoff run (if they were going to do that we would have Nash).
    The idea for this season is play the guys, assess how well they play in the tougher playoff scenario and prepare for one additional big signing in the off-season (there will be some real good choices), one trade during the off-season (Dubi is gone) and next season we add healthy Sauer, Kreider, maybe McIlrath, Parise or Suter and voila we are the top gun !