In Part One, we looked at Ryan Callahan's numbers under the microscope, and luckily there appeared to be some clear patterns in his development, and in his role under the Tom Renney and John Tortorella regimes. With Brandon, things aren't so easily distinguished. In the interest of fairness, we'll be looking at the exact same stats used for Ryan, starting with a review of his boxscore numbers.
Brandon Dubinsky was the 60th overall pick in the 2004 draft, 67 picks before Ryan Callahan, and coming off of his 1st ppg season with the Winter Hawks as an 18 year old. He is one year younger than Callahan, which should be taken into account as we review his first three years.
|Year||Team||League||GP||G||A||PTS||PPG||Factor||NHLE PPG||82 Game|
|2002-03||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL||44||8||18||26||0.591||0.29||0.171||14.052|
|2003-04||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL||71||30||48||78||1.099||0.29||0.319||26.125|
|2004-05||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL||68||23||36||59||0.868||0.29||0.252||20.633|
|2005-06||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL||51||21||46||67||1.314||0.29||0.381||31.240|
|2006-07||Hartford Wolf Pack||AHL||71||21||22||43||0.606||0.44||0.266|
|2006-07||New York Rangers||NHL||6||0||0||0||0.000||1.00||0.000||20.149|
|2007-08||New York Rangers||NHL||82||14||26||40||0.488||1.00||0.488||40.000|
|2008-09||New York Rangers||NHL||82||13||28||41||0.500||1.00||0.500||41.000|
|2009-10||New York Rangers||NHL||69||20||24||44||0.638||1.00||0.638||52.290|
We'll continue after we take the plunge.
Whereas Callahan took his point production with him as he made the jump from the ranks of the OHL to Hartford, Brandon stumbled, posting his lowest rate since he was a 17 year old. However, that hiccup didn't prevent the organization from moving him up the ranks anyway, where he continued his progress right where he left off, culminating with his first twenty goal season as a professional last year. The reason for the confidence, I suspect, is because his goal scoring stayed right on track:
While his WHL totals stagnated, Dubinsky's move to the AHL produced an increased scoring rate, and the subsequent move to the NHL saw a leap to where he is now, providing 13-14 ES goals (ignoring the 9 for a moment, as we'll explain later on). One should note that until this past year, Callahan has always had the higher goal totals, which is a simple product of their respective abilities to get shots off (per game totals listed):
Finally, as before, let's look at the same underlying factors for Brandon:
|ZoneStart||ZS Rank||Shot Distance||True Shooting %||QualComp||QC Rank||Qual Team||QT Rank|
|2007-08||64.5||2 of 14||31.6||7.1||0.011||8 of 14||0.119||2 of 14|
|2008-09||57.3||9 of 13||27.9||4.7||0.030||6 of 13||0.096||6 of 13|
|2009-10||47.6||11 of 14||28.0||7.0||0.121||3 of 14||0.244||3 of 14|
As expected, we see many similarities between the two players. Renney did the job of sheltering Dubinsky as much as he did Callahan his first year, with ridiculous zone starts and easy-ish competition. Both have also taken on larger defensive roles over their 3 years, getting harder competition and harder ZoneStarts each year. Finally, we see the role of luck finding it's way into Brandon's numbers when his true shooting took a massive hit, which led to the drop in goals in 2008-2009, much like Callahan's drop this past year.
One point of contention for many has been the QTeam ranks for each. While Callahan has consistently gotten 3rd line teammates, Brandon has mostly been with the firsts, notably Jagr and Gaborik. That is used as a consistent excuse for why Dubinsky is able to post better numbers. Of course, with those teammates has come harder competition, a product of both Tortorella and Renney typically matching power with power. The argument can be made that these two factors cancel out, but that's a debate that will continue long past this post.
So what conclusions do we make about Mr. Dubinsky going forward? Well, while Callahan's production has been defined by the role the coaching staff puts him in, Dubinsky has overcome that, increasing his production no matter how often they make him start in the defensive zone, or how hard the opposition gets. With that, his ceiling should be higher than Callahan's, potentially cementing himself as a 1st line forward in the NHL as he enters his prime years. For him to reach his ceiling, however, it's almost all on Brandon.
The one area he must improve, he has to find a way to get more shots. With a difference of 50 directed shots between he and Ryan, that could mean an extra 3-4 ES goals per year. That would put him in the 17-18 range, typical of a 1st liner in today's NHL. The other will be finding consistency in his game, a problem that haunts both players, but for which Brandon is more notorious, given the perceived energy levels of each player on a nightly basis.
In part 3 (yes, there's more than 2 parts in a 2-player series!), we'll look at a comparison of both players on special teams, and a quick look at what their aggressive style brings to the statistical worlds.
credit for the stats to behindthenet.ca and hockeydb.com