clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Points, minutes and Dmitry Ovchinnikov

New, comments

The unexpected point spree of this late-round Leafs draft pick is partly driven by time on ice. How much of his success is just minutes, though? Come find out.

Kontinental Hockey League: Sibir Novosibirsk Region 4 - 3 Dinamo Riga
A group shot of Sibir. No Ovchinnikov, though.
Photo by Kirill Kukhmar\TASS via Getty Images

A lot of Maple Leafs fans have been hearing about Dmitry Ovchinnikov lately. As of Sunday morning, he’s one point off the top of the list in the MHL, the junior league that’s affiliated with the KHL. He has 13 goals and 22 assists in only 22 games played for Sibirskie Snaipery, and if you go for points per game, he’s top of the league.

Late breaking update: He now leads!

Not bad for a just barely 18-year-old drafted 137th overall in the fifth round. Dmitry (or Dmitri or Dimitry) is listed at 5’11” and 163 lbs, and he looks very young in his head shots.

He’s also getting the “designated junior” treatment in the KHL, and in fact, he was sitting there on the bench on Sunday as Yegor Korshkov scored an OT winner to lift Lokomotiv over Sibir. Ovchinnikov has been on the roster for Sibir in the KHL several times, but has played only about 15 minutes in the five games where he actually touched the ice. The purpose of this roster allowance — KHL teams are allowed two junior-aged players that don’t count against the roster limit, not even the playing roster for a game — is to allow them to very gently introduce young players to the top level of pro hockey. They only do it with the players they think are worth it.

Now, during this same time, Rodion Amirov has averaged 14 minutes a game in 23 KHL games, and he has eight points. He’s also only a month and half shy of being an entire year older than Ovchinnikov. But still, Ovchinnikov is getting his points in junior hockey, not the real deal like Amirov.

Try this comparison. The season after Yegor Korshkov turned 18 in the summer, he played 23 games for Loko in the MHL, and he finished with 28 points. He also showed up on the roster for 24 KHL games and had three points. Korshkov, who used to be incredibly thin but has been taller than 5’11” since childhood, jumped right into it with fourth-line minutes. He got the “dressed but not played” treatment only five times. Oh, and two of his three points came in the same game.

Ovchinnikov might not be quite cracking the KHL roster. Not yet, but he can’t be that far off from getting a real tryout. Meanwhile back in the MHL, many people have noticed he’s playing a lot of minutes. For forwards in the MHL, his TOI per game is second at 23:37 minutes per game. First is Mikhail Romayev at 24:32, third is Sergei Dubakin at 22:55 and fourth is Makar Nikishanin at 22:33. Guess which team they play for?

Back in the day, the MHL superline was three guys on Loko and they were moved as a unit to the KHL, and in one memorable year, were sent back to destroy the opposition in the MHL playoffs in their last year of eligibility. Korshkov, Pavel Kraskovsky and Alexander Polunin. Korshkov lined up with Kraskovsky on Sunday, so some things are eternal. Ovchinnikov’s teammates are all 20 years old, too, he’s the only kid.

But all that time on ice is going to be part of the driver of Ovchinnikov’s points totals. Points, for many reasons, are a bad way to measure player ability, even forward ability. They depend on opportunity, power play minutes, quality of teammates, the strength of the opposing teams, and in a short run of games, a lot of luck. The young Sibir snipers have some large shooting percentages, but in some leagues that’s normal, so I don’t want to read too much into that right now.

For a player Ovchinnikov’s age to be given all of this opportunity says things about him, but it also might be his team, his coach or just who is healthy enough to play in this virus-ravaged season. It’s really hard to weigh that in your mind. How much credit does he get for being this good a junior? How meaningful are those points if they’re coming from big minutes? That’s all very hard to say, but one answer I can give is where does he stand in the MHL if you take minutes into account.

This was a bit of a trial, grabbing the data and calculating it out, but not too terrible, so I might do it again later in the season. There are no splits for game state, so this is all-situations, which means every guy whose team has a good power play is going to look better than the guy playing second unit on a team that’s bad.

But here we go, MHL skaters as of Sunday morning, with all-situations P60 calculated. I included everyone with a P60 over 3 who has played over 10 games.

Top MHL skaters by all-situations P60, as of December 6, 2020

Player Team GP TOI G A PTS P60
Player Team GP TOI G A PTS P60
Nevolin Maxim Almaz 18 313 13 14 27 5.17
Shabanov Maxim V. Belye Medvedi 14 261 10 10 20 4.60
Pashin Alexander Tolpar 21 387 12 17 29 4.49
Dubakin Sergei Sibirskie Snaipery 15 344 14 11 25 4.36
Nikolayev Ilya E. Loko 12 181 6 7 13 4.31
Abrosimov Ruslan Loko 28 485 15 19 34 4.20
Lukhovskoi Nikita JHC Dynamo Msk 30 518 19 17 36 4.17
Nikulin Stepan Loko 26 419 10 19 29 4.15
Kisakov Alexander JHC Dynamo Msk 32 530 17 19 36 4.08
Makhrin Maxim JHC Dynamo Msk 28 472 7 25 32 4.07
Ovchinnikov Dmitry Sibirskie Snaipery 22 520 13 22 35 4.04
Aimurzin Danil Tolpar 17 332 8 14 22 3.98
Sardaryan Stiven Krasnaya Armiya 23 289 6 13 19 3.94
Galushkin Andrei Chaika 28 518 11 22 33 3.82
Chyornyi Alexander Tolpar 26 473 15 15 30 3.81
Chefanov Ilya Loko 28 476 14 16 30 3.78
Michkov Matvei SKA-1946 22 367 14 9 23 3.76
Kalashnikov Mikhail JHC Atlant 17 292 2 16 18 3.70
Bolshakov Sergei JHC Dynamo SPb 24 418 10 15 25 3.59
Gutik Daniil JHC Dynamo Msk 20 354 7 14 21 3.56
Zakirov Timur Sputnik 20 321 8 11 19 3.55
Sheshin Dmitry Belye Medvedi 17 310 8 10 18 3.48
Demidov Semyon Russkie Vityazi 29 491 14 14 28 3.42
Kondyrev Kirill Russkie Vityazi 23 369 16 5 21 3.41
Didkovsky Ivan JHC Dynamo Msk 17 300 7 10 17 3.40
Sholgin Andrei Sputnik 20 336 11 8 19 3.39
Yakovlev Pyotr JHC Dynamo SPb 29 517 12 17 29 3.36
Gordin Alexander SKA-1946 19 322 10 8 18 3.35
Mukhin Kirill Irbis 24 395 7 15 22 3.34
Lvutin Bogdan JHC Spartak 22 329 7 11 18 3.29
Zinovyev Danil Belye Medvedi 27 477 9 17 26 3.27
Fedotov Ilya Chaika 26 349 8 11 19 3.27
Silantyev Dmitry JHC Spartak 29 494 11 15 26 3.16
Murashov Ivan Chaika 23 342 12 6 18 3.15
Drobin Alexei Chaika 12 192 3 7 10 3.13
Astashevsky Semyon Omskie Yastreby 20 408 13 8 21 3.09
Shuidin Nikita SKA-1946 20 350 6 12 18 3.09
Guslistov Nikita Almaz 22 408 13 8 21 3.09
Bannikov Matvei Loko 27 350 8 10 18 3.08
Fjodorovs Deniss HC Riga 24 516 4 22 26 3.02
Krovyakov Maxim SKA-1946 23 378 8 11 19 3.02
Mikhailov Danil Reaktor 18 378 5 14 19 3.01

Do you still think he’s amazing? Or is he just a little less amazing than the twitter videos made you feel.