Introducing Player Radar Charts


For the soccer fans on hockey twitter, you’ve likely come across Ted Knutson. Several years ago, Ted introduced radar charts for player evaluations across the five major soccer leagues. At the time, I was busy tracking passes and other things on the New Jersey Devils, but always wanted to have something like that for hockey. So, I finally got around to doing it. Links to the Forward and Defense charts are at the bottom, so skip down if you just want to access those.

What I’ve done is select twelve metrics to try and paint as comprehensive a picture as possible that you might want when evaluating a player. These include on-ice metrics, individual metrics, salary cap information, and player usage and context data. I may change them up, but what’s on there is what I’ve decided to start with. Each section of the radar that is filled in represents what percentile that player resides in for that metric for his position. The closer to the boundary means the closer to the 100th percentile that player was for that metric.

Most of these are easy to figure out: you want a player to be closer to the edge as that would be best. In keeping with this theme, for the Percentage of Cap Hit metric the “worse” a player is ranked simply means that player takes up more of their team’s salary cap.

I agree with Ted in this original post on this type of visualization when it comes to identifying certain player shapes. Putting together metrics in this fashion can give you a comprehensive visual of a specific player’s output and see which areas they may lack or excel in.

You can select multiple players to see how one overlaps another in certain areas. Click on one player’s radar and it will highlight just their shape. Only players with greater than 200 minutes played in individual seasons were used , or players with greater than 1000 minutes in total from 2009 – 2016. All data is at 5v5 and from either Corsica or War on Ice.

Finally, I would love to include passing data in these, so if you’d like to see more of that publicly available data in viz like this, don’t hesitate to reach out and volunteer! We’re sitting on almost 400 games from last season, so there’s still a ways to go, but every little bit helps.

If you’re wondering how to go about building these, I used this and this to get started. Enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions.

Forward Charts 

Defenseman Charts

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