PK Subban: Is he an elite puck-moving defenseman?

Yes. Let’s look at his PMF (puck-moving factor) since 2010.

***Note: for methodology on how we calculate PMF, please refer to the first installment of the puck-moving defensemen series (link here)

24JUN2017 -- PK Subban analysis -- v1.JPG

The y-axis (puck movement) is PK Subban’s PMF score in each season (x-axis). The comparable measures (e.g., elite puck mover, top pairing puck mover, 2nd pairing puck mover, etc.) is a quick extrapolation (to be treated as directional) based on taking the average of top pairing, 2nd pairing, and elite puck movers of a select number of teams.

In comparison, in 2016/17 Brent Burns was +2.5; Mark Giordano was +2.9; Jake Gardiner was +1.4. All 3 are very good puck movers and had great seasons (Burns and Giordano putting up top pairing numbers; Gardiner more as a strong 2nd pairing).

As a puck mover, PK Subban is in elite company. It’s probably a good time to make the disclaimer that this metric is primarily a measure of puck movement and possession. It doesn’t account for some of the other factors that go into a team’s evaluation of a player.

Subban shows clear improvement after his first two seasons, posting great numbers from 2012/13 to 2014/15 with PMF scores of +4.30, +4.28, and +5.20. Those are elite numbers.

His weakest year was his last in Montreal (2015/16) posting a +1.02 which is highly respectable, but below his own standard. He clearly regained form this past season in Nashville, leading the team with a +3.30 and playing a critical role in their Stanley Cup run.


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