Continuing our statistical look at the Carolina Hurricanes' players in the 2011-12 season, we move onto Drayson Bowman who is one of the team's better forward prospects. There were a few fans who thought he would make the Hurricanes out of camp, but he ended up starting the year in Charlotte and was on-and-off the roster for most of the season. He seemed to finally settle into a third line role around the time of late-February/early-March, though and it looks like he should be on the team to start next season.
Bowman is a player who I thought did everything right except score and that was the case for all of last season and most of this year. He was always one of the Canes' better players at controlling possession and creating offense but the goals just weren't coming. Part of this is due to bad luck because Bowman was getting decent ice time for most of the season but it could suggest a lack of finishing ability, too.
Thankfully for Bowman, he finished the year on a relatively strong note and ended up with six goals and 13 assists in 37 games. That isn't great but also not terrible for a kid called up from the AHL. Plus, Bowman does so many other things well that I think he's earned a strong look for a roster spot next season. If anything, he could be a solid third liner that gets the puck into the right end of the ice.
After the jump, we'll take a look at Bowman's underlying numbers and how he performed compared to the rest of the team.
Drayson Bowman 2011-12 Scoring Chances
Average TOI: 13:21
QualComp Rank: 11/18
OZ Start%: 53.2%
Chance% Rank: 3/28
Chance% Forward Rank: 2/20
Chance Diff/60 Rank: 3/28
Chance Diff/60 Forward Rank: 2/20
Scoring Chances by Season Segment
|Game #||TCF||TCA||SCF||SCA||Segment%||Team %|
TC = total chances, SC = segment chances, Segment% = scoring chance percentage during segment, Team %= Hurricanes' scoring chance percentage during segment
Click to enlarge
The red line is Bowman's even strength scoring chance ratio for the season and the black line is the Hurricanes'. As you can see, Bowman outperformed the rest of the team by a longshot. He played in only 37 games, which is too small of a sample size to draw any conclusions from, but big enough to say that Bowman was a nice addition to the team while he was in the lineup.
He played just about every position in the top-nine and managed to do a solid job at driving possession no matter where he was placed. He was especially impressive during his second call-up in December where he was doing just about everything right except put the puck in the back of the net. Bowman's play fell off a little bit for certain periods and he didn't exactly finish the season on a strong note, but I still think he played well enough to earn at new contract and get a look for a roster spot next season. Someone who can drive possession can be valuable to just about any team, even if that player doesn't score a lot.
The one problem with Bowman's play this season was that he was pretty inconsistent. His overall scoring chance ratio stayed pretty high but his peaks and valleys are pretty extreme when you look at his season broken into 10-game segments. That definitely boosted his average a little bit. The other issue is that we're going by only 37 games and that's way too small to determine anything. I say that it is good enough to earn him a qualifying offer and a look on the Canes next year, but it is hard to say anything final about Bowman when he's only played 69 total games in his career.
Regardless, the one area that the Canes struggled with this year was getting shots on goal and driving possession. Both of those areas improved whenever Bowman was on the ice and got significant ice time.
The most impressive thing about Bowman's season was how much Sutter's play improved whenever he was on a line with him. Sutter is always matched up against tough competition and starts in the defensive zone over 60% of the time. As a result, he is usually under 50% in scoring chance ratio, but that wasn't the case when Bowman was on ice with him. You can see that Sutter's numbers also took a pretty big drop when he wasn't playing with Bowman. It's a small sample size, but the data here suggests that Bowman looks to be a good fit for the third line. His scoring upside would be a nice touch there, too.
The two heavy-lifters on defense, Tim Gleason & Bryan Allen, also saw their numbers go up a bit whenever Bowman was on the ice and that's very encouraging to see. Same goes for Eric Staal's numbers taking a huge leap forward when Bowman was on his wing.
I just wish that Bowman could have been on the team for more of the season so that this data was more valid. Bowman played great when he was on the Hurricanes, but he wasn't on the team long enough to make any final judgements about him. That being said, I would prefer to see him start next season on the Hurricanes and expect his boxcar stats to improve dramatically.