FanPost

Where Carlson and Alzner stack up

John Carlson and Karl Alzner get a lot of love around here, and rightfully so. But where do they stack up against other young defensemen around the league? I'm sure I missed some defensemen, so feel free to tell me who to add in the comments. I wanted to stick to those who are still "prospects" or still very young.

The stats I looked at are plus/minus per 60 minutes differential, goals-versus-threshold, and Corsi. Stats via Behind The Net.

Defensemen: Alex Pietrangelo (STL), John Carlson (WSH), Karl Alzner (WSH), Drew Doughty (LAK), Tobias Enstrom (ATL), Jack Johnson (LAK), Erik Johnson (STL), Zach Bogosian (ATL), Alex Goligoski (PIT), Kris Letang (PIT), Luke Schenn (TOR), Tyler Myers (BUF), Michael Del Zotto (NYR), Alexander Edler (VAN), Anton Stralman (CBJ TOR), Keith Yandle (PHX), Cody Franson (NSH), Jason Demers (SJS), Victor Hedman (TBL), and Marc Staal (NYR).

For what they are worth, I added the stats from the players' "rookie seasons." In some cases, a player would have 5-10 games one season, then more the next, so I would then select the next season. But if the player played 20 games or more in a season prior to this one, then I used the first one of those seasons. This was in order to get a favorable sample size with which to compare the player to Alzner and Carlson. Of course, with so few games played, it's not really an accurate reflection of which defenseman is in fact better, but I hoped to recreate similar conditions--traveling between AHL and NHL, inconsistent pairings, easy minutes, etc.

2006-2007 "rookies"--Alexander Edler (no data available from BtN, so his "rookie" numbers are from 2007-2008)

2007-2008 "rookies"--Tobias Enstrom, Jack Johnson, Erik Johnson, Kris Letang, Anton Stralman, Keith Yandle, Marc Staal (no Corsi available)

2008-2009 "rookies"--Karl Alzner, Luke Schenn, Drew Doughty, Zach Bogosian, Alex Goligoski

2009-2010 "rookies"--Alex Pietrangelo, John Carlson, Tyler Myers, Michael Del Zotto, Cody Franson, Jason Demers, Victor Hedman

Rookie numbers for non 09-10 rookies in parentheses and italics.

GVT Rankings

  1. Drew Doughty 15.0
  2. Tobias Enstrom 9.4
  3. Tyler Myers 8.8
  4. Keith Yandle 8.7
  5. Marc Staal 8.0
  6. Erik Johnson 6.5
  7. Alex Goligoski 6.5
  8. Cody Franson 6.0
  9. Kris Letang 5.9
  10. Jason Demers 5.5
  11. Jack Johnson 5.4
  12. Alexander Edler 5.2
  13. Anton Stralman 5.0
  14. Victor Hedman 3.9
  15. Luke Schenn 2.8
  16. Michael Del Zotto 2.7
  17. Zach Bogosian 2.7
  18. John Carlson 0.6
  19. Karl Alzner -0.1
  20. Alex Pietrangelo -0.8

It isn't the nicest thing to see that the Caps could, theoretically, get similar or better contribution from a replacement than from Alzner or Carlson, but small sample size, changing pairings, and changing leagues even probably play into this.

+/- ON/60 Rankings

  1. John Carlson 3.25
  2. Cody Franson 1.58
  3. Jason Demers 1.32
  4. Keith Yandle 0.94 (-1.29)
  5. Drew Doughty 0.88 (-0.82)
  6. Tobias Enstrom 0.55 (-0.20)
  7. Kris Letang 0.40 (0.13)
  8. Erik Johnson 0.24 (-0.13)
  9. Marc Staal 0.21 (even)
  10. Tyler Myers 0.11
  11. Alex Goligoski 0.08 (0.78)
  12. Alexander Edler 0.00 (-0.37)
  13. Victor Hedman -0.06
  14. Luke Schenn -0.15 (-0.44)
  15. Karl Alzner -0.60 (even)
  16. Zach Bogosian -0.63 (0.79)
  17. Anton Stralman -0.80 (-0.77)
  18. Michael Del Zotto -0.80
  19. Jack Johnson -0.87 (-0.94)
  20. Alex Pietrangelo -4.67

Corsi Rating (per 60) Rankings

  1. Keith Yandle 11.68
  2. Cody Franson 11.56
  3. John Carlson 10.21
  4. Kris Letang 8.28
  5. Erik Johnson 5.60
  6. Drew Doughty 5.35
  7. Alexander Edler 4.24
  8. Anton Stralman 4.09
  9. Alex Goligoski 3.98
  10. Luke Schenn 1.75
  11. Michael Del Zotto 1.47
  12. Jason Demers -0.77
  13. Alex Pietrangelo -1.56
  14. Victor Hedman -2.33
  15. Karl Alzner -2.81
  16. Jack Johnson -3.18
  17. Tobias Enstrom -3.19
  18. Tyler Myers -3.27
  19. Zach Bogosian -4.40
  20. Marc Staal -5.41

QualComp Rankings

  1. Marc Staal 0.163 (0.011)
  2. Tyler Myers 0.079
  3. Drew Doughty 0.037 (0.036)
  4. Zach Bogosian 0.032 (0.037)
  5. Victor Hedman 0.030
  6. Kris Letang 0.024 (-0.041)
  7. Tobias Enstrom 0.005 (0.075)
  8. Anton Stralman -0.008 (-0.045)
  9. John Carlson -0.011
  10. Alexander Edler -0.012 (-0.015)
  11. Erik Johnson -0.025 (-0.069)
  12. Alex Goligoski -0.025 (-0.022)
  13. Jack Johnson -0.035 (0.085)
  14. Karl Alzner -0.046 (0.002)
  15. Luke Schenn -0.055 (0.026)
  16. Keith Yandle -0.073 (-0.125)
  17. Jason Demers -0.086
  18. Michael Del Zotto -0.088
  19. Alex Pietrangelo -0.092
  20. Cody Franson -0.097

QualTeam Rankings

  1. Jack Johnson 0.148 (-0.101)
  2. Tobias Enstrom 0.136 (0.127)
  3. Tyler Myers 0.116
  4. Anton Stralman 0.111 (-0.174)
  5. Alexander Edler 0.109 (0.003)
  6. Victor Hedman 0.094
  7. Drew Doughty 0.092 (-0.130)
  8. Jason Demers 0.087
  9. Kris Letang 0.087 (-0.032)
  10. Marc Staal 0.009 (-0.041) (interesting: Jordan has a higher QualTeam than Eric)
  11. Karl Alzner 0.008 (-0.130)
  12. Alex Goligoski -0.004 (0.029)
  13. Zach Bogosian -0.014 (0.100)
  14. Alex Pietrangelo -.015
  15. Keith Yandle -0.027 (-0.104)
  16. Cody Franson -0.032
  17. Luke Schenn -0.074 (0.040)
  18. Michael Del Zotto -0.113
  19. John Carlson -.120
  20. Erik Johnson -0.160 (-0.069)

Notice Kris Letang and Karl Alzner's respective QualTeams this season. Weird how things work out...

While Carlson and Alzner are very good, Carlson seems to be helped by relatively easier minutes. Considering sample size though, both need more games under their belts to really compare to most of the others (Carlson still hasn't played three games' worth of minutes in the NHL). Their GVTs make them only average or marginally better than average. Not that good. marginally better than replacements, if at all, so far. And with the glut of defensemen Bruce Boudreau has to juggle, it's unlikely we'll see some solid pairings formed. It is promising though that--in small sample size, keep in mind--they compare favorably to some of the other young defensemen, though the others play more important roles on their respective teams for the most part.

Tyler Myers and Keith Yandle are very good, but not as good as Drew Doughty, who, to quote Fehr and Balanced, "is a freaking stud."

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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