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Checking in on the Coyotes Contract Gambles

June 19, 2020, 11:32 AM ET [22 Comments]
James Tanner
Arizona Coyotes Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Over the last year or two, the Coyotes have gambled on a few young players in the hopes of signing them long term to contracts that will turn out to be valuable.

Thanks to a new subscription at @jfresh's Patreon, I have access to WAR stats and contract values. I suggest you sign up - it costs only $5.

Anyways, I thought it would be a good idea to use this new tool to break down the bets made to Chychrun, Schmaltz, Keller and Dvorak.

Though he was previously not moving the needle, a half year with Taylor Hall did wonders for Dvorak's game. He was worth 2.5 WAR (wins above a replacement player) and was worth $6.4 million vs the $4.4 he was actually paid.

For context, the best players in the NHL (Hart, Norris) are usually worth between 4-5 WAR.

Clayton Keller, signed for over $7 was worth just over $3 as he struggled to score. The peripherals aren't too bad with Keller, and his age and brutal shooting percentage give continued hope this will turn into a good contract. This year he was worth 0.7 wins above a replacement player.



Weighted over the last three year, Keller scored a P/60 better than 75% of NHLers, but his shooting percentage was in the bottom 3%.

Nick Schmaltz also had a strong season. He is paid $5.8 and was worth $5.7 He was worth 2 wins.

Finally, Chychrun got paid $4.6 and was worth $7 million.

He was worth an astounding 2.3 wins and is well on his way to superstardom.

To sum up:

The Coyotes signed a bunch of early 20s players to contracts they hadn't earned with the hopes of getting them for their primes on team friendly deals.

The Chychrun and Dvorak contracts are returning mega value.

The Keller contract is returning negative value, but has major indications that he will be more valuable in the future.

Schmaltz is paid exactly what he deserves.

Overall these four players gave the Coyotes 7.5 wins above replacement. That is very good. Add in a Hart Trophy worth goalie and two up and coming potential star players and the Coyotes are looking pretty sweet.

The new tool, courtey of @Jfresh has given me a knew perspective on Dvorak and frankly made the whole experiment seem like its working a lot better than I thought.

Here's to knew tools and to changing your mind when you get new information.
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