One and a half seasons into his NHL career, Mike Hoffman has been a revelation for the Ottawa Senators. He has been the teams leading goal scorer since the beginning of last season with 42, and he's clearly one of the teams best forwards. He isn't exactly young at the age of 26, but that does mean he is in his prime. However, despite how amazing he has been, I am not sure that all Sens fans realize what we have in Hoffman.
You could make the Dave Cameron argument that he wasn't good enough defensively last year (which is a bit flawed), but he has been amongst the leagues best in terms of producing points. Plus, even Cameron has acknowledged that his all-around game has improved this year, despite the baffling brief demotion to the third line on Tuesday. We all know how good he can be when he's on top of his game, but I'm not sure if we are appreciating him enough.
Hoffman has legitimately been one of the games best left-wingers, and here are some stats which illustrate that point:
- In 2014-15, he had 26 even strength goals, which put him behind only Rick Nash, Steven Stamkos, Corey Perry, Alex Ovechkin, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Nikita Kucherov. Those are all house-hold, names, and he was almost as good as them.
- Even this year he has scored 10 even-strength goals, which puts him tied for 3rd, behind only Tarasenko and Dylan Larkin.
- Since the beginning of last year, he sits tied with Mark Stone for 5th in the league in even strength points per 60 at 2.58.
- This year he has been even better, posting 2.80 points per 60, putting him 3rd in the league.
- His goal rates look fantastic as well, as his 1.36 goals per 60 since last October are also third in the league.
- In contrast to last year, he is also getting it done on the power play. In just 48 minutes, he has 7 points, which would put him third in powerplay points per 60 at 8.75 (although the sample size is not very large).
- Amongst left-wingers, he ranks 2nd in goals and 6th in points this year. Furthermore, since 2014-15, he sits 5th in goals for left-wingers.