When Kevin Shattenkirk came to the Rangers, it was expected that he was going to be the first step in revamping the Rangers blue line. One of the better puck movers in the league, Shatty represented a skill set that the Rangers hadn’t had on the right side of the blue line in a while.
While the focus was on Shattenkirk’s puck moving and powerplay skills, one aspect of Shattenkirk’s game has stood out. That is his ability to get shots from the point through. It seems like something nominal, but shots through from the point serve multiple purposes. They prevent turnovers and rushes up the ice, as they aren’t getting blocked and transitioned. They give the opportunity for deflections and rebounds. They make the defense scramble.
Since 2014, Kevin Shattenkirk has attempted 5,565 shots at all strengths (mostly even/PP). Of those, 3,039 got through to the net for shots on goal. That’s a through rate of 54.61%. Of the 169 defensemen in the league that have played 3,000 minutes over the past five seasons, that puts Shatty at 63rd among them. This isn’t a perfect metric, since it doesn’t account for deflections, but it certainly gives us a look into how successful he is at getting shots through.
In that same time period (five seasons), there have been 55 defensemen that have played 500 powerplay minutes. Of those 55, Shattenkirk sites at 30th in through percent at 53.08% (724 shots at 1,364 attempts). It may not seem all that impressive, but it’s better than guys like Justin Faulk, Sami Vatanen, Mike Green, Cam Fowler, Drew Doughty, among many others.
Another aspect to consider here is that Shattenkirk is a right handed shot. Of those 29 defensemen ahead of Shattenkirk on the powerplay, I counted just seven right handed shots. Of the 62 ahead of Shattenkirk at even strength, I counted about 14 right handed shots. Suffice it to say, when it comes to getting shots through, Shattenkirk is up there among not just right handed shots, but all defensemen.
Again, this isn’t a perfect science. And while this doesn’t account for deflections, it is safe to say that this paints a relatively accurate picture of the defensemen that excel at getting shots through from the point. It’s a science about missing legs, skates, sticks, and bodies. Eventually there will be a bit more of an accurate science to it, but this is something the Rangers haven’t had in quite some time.
*-Stats and data courtesy of corsica.hockey.