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Always seeing posts about “ forwards “ and how many goals or assists they get, how good they are and we’re they may likely go. I know it’s a little easier to quantify a forwards skills at this level with how many points they put up. How about the D ? Is it skating, blocking shots, break out passes, corner battles , D to d play on offensive zone , being consistent in the D zone ? Let’s say they don’t put up points very frequently .
People who are fans of "points! points! points!" and spend their days worrying about forwards and offensive stats try to discount + / - as a meaningful hockey stat. But ask any defensemen from Peewee to the NHL at the end of every game what their +/ - was for that game and without thought they can recite it immediately. Defensemen know.
OK, TG dad
Judging solely on +/- can be misleading. Honestly depends how unselfish the forward group is and how committed they are to team defense. Or, maybe a goalie let's in a bad angle shot.
Don't penalize the D for these things. Also, this commitment to 2-way hockey stems from the coach. I'd judge a good d by counting the times he was beat 1on1, does he win 75% of the puck battles, count the quality passes that set up a clean breakout. Does he shy away from contact or use his leverage properly and confidently? This is what I'd look for. Just keep it simple.
parents use points and +/-. scouts dissect the stats and put into context ie. PP points v. 5x5 points. level of competition etc.
D get evaluated the same way. Segmented stats. A first pair D playing 35-45% of the game against other teams top line is not the same as a bottom pair D playing half the time with the same +/- line.
So it depends on the level of evaluation but the answer to your question is it's all important and the more things a D does well the better but that's not always possible. That's why there are PP specialists v. PK. Top pair v. bottom pair.
Now having said that it's a game that you need to score to win so the more offensive the better. Offensive skill is often the differentiator. A highly skilled offensive D man will have for more opportunities to advance, even if a defensive liability. Stay at home D are easier to find.
Funny how - "Stay at home D are easier to find" but at most levels it's what wins games. Solid, predictable, sturdy D who make a good first pass.
The risk taking, offensive minded, weak in their own end is fun to watch but the last thing you want on your youth-to-college team. The only thing that saves them in college and pros is to be paired with a good defensive defensemen and a very good goalie - think: Torey Krug.
CT Huskies moms know good D when they see it.
Listen to what Bourque and Pothier say. Someone that will make a tape to tape pass to get out of the zone besides the other intangibles. Also +/- is getting a bit anitquated with advanced statistics similar to MLB W/L for pitches