The Salary Project Part 3: Anisimov, Horton & Jenner

Posted by The Coach on August 27, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets

Happy Wednesday! I am now fully moved, back up, and operational. Which means I’ve had time to complete the latest edition of The Salary Project. For those who missed the earlier editions, Part One can be found herewhile Part Two is here.

The Salary Project is a look at the entire CBJ roster, using an arbitration-style analysis to figure out who their closest comparable players are around the league, how much those players make, and how much to expect on a player’s next contract and/or if they are providing good value on their current contract. This is done through using filters on the entire NHL. We are looking at forwards again this week, so we eliminate all defensemen, all players more than two years apart in age (with an exception this week), then break down goals, assists, and special teams time on ice by a percentage filter. Generally, it’s players within 15% of the goals and assists, and 25% of time on ice stats, however there are occasionally exceptions, which are noted, and only when there are not enough players in the standard filter to get a good idea of value. Part 1 covered Cam Atkinson, Matt Calvert, and Brandon Dubinsky; Part 2 hit Nick Foligno, Scott Hartnell, and Ryan Johansen. Part 3 covers Artem Anisimov, Nathan Horton, and Boone Jenner. Let’s do this.

Artem Anisimov

Current salary: $3.283m per year, signed 2013 through 2016

2013-14: 81 GP, 22 G, 17 A, 39 Pts, 6 PP Pts, 2:01 PP TOI/GP, 2:05 SH TOI/GP, 16:35 TOI/GP

Career: 360 GP, 79 G, 86 A, 165 Pts

Filter: Age 23-27, 60 GP, 0.2-0.34 G/GP, 0.15-0.27 A/GP, 1.4-2.5 PP TOI/GP, 1.5-2.6 SH TOI/GP

2013-14 Comparable Players

Andrew Cogliano ($3m per year, signed 2014 through 2018)

2013-14: 82 GP, 21 G, 21 A, 42 Pts, 0 PPPts, 0:13 PP TOI/GP, 1:35 SH TOI/GP, 15:23 TOI/GP

Career: 540 GP, 104 G, 133 A, 237 Pts

Cogliano is a fair comparable, although Arty should be ahead. He’s the more versatile player, has been slightly better over their careers, plays more on both the powerplay and the penalty kill. Really, they are just different versions of the same payer. A good third line center, provide similar offense, play on the PK. They are in the same ballpark $$$-wise, and Arty makes a little bit more. Sounds about right.

Adam Henrique ($4m per year, signed 2013 through 2019)

2013-14: 77 GP, 25 G, 18 A, 43 Pts, 12 PP Pts, 2:06 PP TOI/GP, 2:12 SH TOI/GP, 18:03 TOI/GP

Career: 194 GP, 52 G, 58 A, 110 Pts

Henrique is an interesting case. He’s clearly a very solid player, probably a notch above Anisimov. However, it’s tough to factor his career numbers in properly. To this point in his career, Ilya Kovalchuk is still his most common linemate, by a whopping 130 minutes over his next most common linemate. Who just happens to be Zach Parise. In other words, Henrique has played with elite players more than most guys ever dream of. His points per game were down slightly this year, effectively negating his development as a player in his first year without Kovalchuk or Parise flanking him. Ultimately, I do think he’s like a slightly better player than Anisimov, mostly due to his special teams prowess. Henrique’s outscored Arty 24 to 21 on the PP in 166 fewer games, and has 15 shorthanded points to Anisimov’s 3. We’ve got a pretty good window on this type of versatile middle of the lineup center now. The bottom end of it (Cogliano) make $3m, the top end (Henrique) make $4m.

Carl Hagelin ($2.25m per year, signed 2013 through 2015)

2013-14: 72 GP, 17 G, 16 A, 33 Pts, 0 PP Pts, 0:12 PP TOI/GP, 1:40 SH TOI/GP, 15:31 TOI/GP

Career: 184 GP, 41 G, 54 A, 95 Pts

Hagelin isn’t a great match, as he doesn’t play on the powerplay (and he ‘stinks’ at it anyway), and he’s a winger. Arty’s above him pretty much across the board here. He’s the notch below Cogliano and gets paid that way.

Matt Read ($3.625m per year, signed 2014 through 2018)

2013-14: 75 GP, 22 G, 18 A, 40 Pts, 2 PP Pts, 1:35 PP TOI/GP, 3:04 SH TOI/GP, 18:47 TOI/GP

Career: 196 GP, 57 G, 54 A, 111 Pts

This is a pretty great contract for Philadelphia. It’s practically a toss up between Read and Henrique. Henrique has scored more points over his career, but Read hasn’t had nearly the same caliber of linemates. Henrique is better on the PP, but Read is better on the PK. I’d probably take Read, but it’s awful close.

There’s a few other guys who missed out based on not having any time on the PK. They mostly have been covered already in the Atkinson section of Part 1, but here they are again. I’d take Arty over all of them based on his defensive play, PK ability, and wing-center versatility.

  • Cam Atkinson ($1.15m)
  • Jamie McGinn ($2.95m)
  • Chris Stewart ($4.15m)
  • Jiri Tlusty ($2.95m)

2013 Comparable Players

Oddly enough, 2013 produced zero players who fit perfectly, only players who matched one element or the other.

This grouping of players matched Arty based on PP time, but did not play enough shorthanded to match. Arty fits pretty well above these guys, other than Bolland, one of the league’s most ridiculous contracts (which includes this brilliant line: ‘this is the deal that caused the Toronto Maple Leafs to say “No, that’s too much money to pay for a gritty third-liner.” Think about that for a second. Until two weeks ago, Maple Leafs fans didn’t even realize that was possible.’).

  • Dave Bolland ($5.5m)
  • Tyler Johnson ($3.333m)
  • Jamie McGinn ($2.95m)
  • Jakob Silfverberg ($850k)
  • Tomas Tatar ($2.75m)

And finally we have the list of guys who match Arty on the PK but not on the PP. It’s Cogliano again, and Brandon Sutter, who seems to come up in practically every damn filter (we’ll be seeing him again later).

  • Andrew Cogliano ($3m)
  • Brandon Sutter ($3.3m)

So there we have it for Arty. I think we found a pretty good bracket of players in the $3-4m per year range. Arty is pretty solidly in the middle portion of that, so his current deal looks pretty nice. However, he’s eligible to sign a contract extension next summer. Hitting UFA status, the rising cap, and Bolland’s deal it likely to push Anisimov’s next contract over the $4m barrier should he keep up his current level of play.

A quick note before I continue on to Horton and Jenner. They are tough. Horton had an injury shortened nightmare season. Jenner is 20, so all his comps done by the standard method would produce players on their ELC’s. So these next two sections are much less telling than any player I’ve done so far. So let’s just take these for what they are: a list of guys who also had crappy seasons (for Horton), and a list of worst case scenario’s should Boone not develop.

Nathan Horton

Current salary: $5.3m per year, signed 2013 through 2020

2013-14: 36 GP, 5 G, 14 A, 19 Pts, 4 PP Pts, 2:10 PP TOI/GP, 0:03 SH TOI/GP, 15:27 TOI/GP

Career: 627 GP, 203 G, 218 A, 421 Pts

Filter: Age 26-30, 0.11-0.17 G/GP, 0.33-0.45 A/GP, 1.6-2.8 PP TOI/GP

2013-14 Comparable Players

Loui Eriksson ($4.25m per year, signed 2010 through 2016)

2013-14: 61 GP, 10 G, 27 A, 37 Pts, 11 PP Pts, 1:57 PP TOI/GP, 1:25 SH TOI/GP, 16:31 TOI/GP

Career: 562 GP, 160 G, 234 A, 394 Pts

It’s a little heartening to see such a well respected player as Eriksson pop up on this list. First season with a new team (like Horton), his arrival was much ballyhooed (arrived in the Seguin trade), but failed to live up to expectations in season one. His deal is also ancient, so it’s useless to compare.

Teddy Purcell ($4.5m per year, signed 2013 through 2016)

2013-14: 81 GP, 12 G, 30 A, 42 Pts, 17 PP Pts, 3:02 PP TOI/GP, 0:01 SH TOI/GP, 16:27 TOI/GP

Career: 401 GP, 75 G, 153 A, 228 Pts

A down year for Purcell saw him unceremoniously dumped essentially for a 6th round pick (he was actually traded for Sam Gagner, who was then immediately dealt for the pick). Purcell doesn’t have an injury excuse for his slide. Wait, actually he does. Steven Stamkos missed most of the year, and his linemate Purcell took a huge dump.

Mike Richards ($5.75m, signed 2008 through 2020)

2013-14: 82 GP, 11 G, 30 A, 41 Pts, 12 PP Pts, 2:51 PP TOI/GP, 1:33 SH TOI/GP, 16:58 TOI/GP

Career: 657 GP, 174 G, 292 A, 466 Pts

So this is pretty much a list of players who had disaster years. Richards was demoted to the fourth line for parts of last season. No injury concerns for him either. Any time you start to feel bad about the Horton contract, just look at the Richards contract and trade (Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds) and feel better.

Derek Roy ($1m per year, signed for 2014-15)

2013-14: 75 GP, 9 G, 28 A, 37 Pts, 16 PP Pts, 2:17 PP TOI/GP, 0:09 SH TOI/GP, 13:37 TOI/GP

Career: 666 GP, 177 G, 315 A, 492 Pts

He spent last season on a $4m, one year ‘prove it’ contract. He proved he deserved a one year, $1m contract.

Vladimir Sobotka (Currently in KHL)

2013-14: 61 GP, 9 G, 24 A, 33 Pts, 7 PP Pts, 1:36 PP TOI/GP, 1:52 SH TOI/GP, 16:44 TOI/GP

Career: 381 GP, 35 G, 88 A, 123 Pts

The only guy who didn’t have a terrible year. He’s just not the same kind of player as those other guys. Sobotka’s game probably fits better among the Anisimov comparables, although he doesn’t score at the same level as those players. His contract situation is a mess though, as he received $2.75m from an arbitrator this summer but he was off to the KHL before that. It actually come down to just $300k, with the Blues offering no more than $2.7m, while Sobotka refued to go lower than $3m. He’s in the KHL for who knows how long, so whatever.

2013 Comparable Players

Patric Hornqvist ($4.25m per year, signed 2013 through 2018)

2013: 24 GP, 4 G, 10 A, 14 Pts, 7 PP Pts, 2:48 PP TOI/GP, 0:00 SH TOI/GP, 16:13 TOI/GP

Career: 287 GP, 84 G, 79 A, 163 Pts

Oh look, another skilled top six forward who had a nightmare season. One that was injury plagued as well. This is probably where we take heart with Horton, as Hornqvist followed this craptastic season up with a very respectable 76 GP, 22 G, 31 A, 53 Pts line in 2013-14. He was then dealt for James Neal. I think that’s a good thing.

Boone Jenner

Current salary: Still on his ELC, $778k cap hit, worth up to $894k with bonuses, through 2016

2013-14: 72 GP, 16 G, 13 A, 29 Pts, 7 PP Pts, 0:55 PP TOI/GP, 0:01 SH TOI/GP, 14:04 TOI/GP

Career: 72 GP, 16 G, 13 A, 29 Pts

Filter: Age 21-24, 50 GP, 0.16-0.28 G/GP, 0.13-0.23 A/GP, 0.6-1.2 PP TOI/GP

2013-14 Comparable Players

Zack Kassian ($1.75m per year, signed 2014 through 2016)

2013-14: 73 GP, 14 G, 15 A, 29 Pts, 1 PP Pts, 0:42 PP TOI/GP, 0:00 SH TOI/GP, 12:55 TOI/GP

Career: 156 GP, 25 G, 25 A, 50 Pts

This is probably the worst case for Jenner. A good sized, physical forward, a scorer in juniors, stepped into the NHL with decent production. That describes both of them. Kassian just hasn’t gotten any better. If Jenner fails to develop, he’s looking at that kind of contract in a couple of years. However, I highly doubt that happens considering Jenner’s work ethic.

Dwight King ($1.95m per year, signed 2014 through 2017)

2013-14: 77 GP, 15 G, 15 A, 30 Pts, 1 PP Pts, 0:29 PP TOI/GP, 1:16 SH TOI/GP, 15:02 TOI/GP

Career: 157 GP, 24 G, 30 A, 54 Pts

Different origin story from Kassian and Jenner, but the result is the same. If Jenner stays the same player, he’s in the same league as King. Who is a pretty damn solid NHL player with a couple Cup rings on his fingers.

Antoine Roussel  ($2m per year, signed 2014 through 2018)

2013-14: 81 GP, 14 G, 15 A, 29 Pts, 0 Pts, 0:08 PP TOI/GP, 1:40 SH TOI/GP, 13:19 TOI/GP

Career: 120 GP, 21 G, 22 A, 43 Pts

Roussel has the special teams of Jenner flipped (Jenner played more on the PP, less on the PK), but their pesty nature is pretty similar. Roussel is more of an intentional agitator, but guys just cannot handle Boone’s composed relentlessness. Fun fact about Roussel: the CBJ could have had him for nothing if they wanted him. He was a CBJ rookie camp invite a few years ago, but didn’t do enough to earn a contract.

Brandon Sutter ($3.3m per year, signed 2014 through 2016)

2013-14: 81 GP, 13 G, 13 A, 26 Pts, 5 PP Pts, 1:05 PP TOI/GP, 2:18 SH TOI/GP, 15:46 TOI/GP

Career: 415 GP, 77 G, 75 A, 152 Pts

I mentioned Sutter earlier. He’s a little off from Boone, mostly due to his time on the PK. However, I think this is a more likely worst case for Boone. Boone wasn’t a penalty killer as a rookie, but I do see that being something he does frequently moving forward. If his offense doesn’t develop and he picks up some PK time, Sutter is a more likely representative of what Jenner will be getting paid coming off his rookie deal.

2013 Comparable Players

Richard Panik ($735k per year, signed for 2014-15)

2013: 25 GP, 5 G, 4 A, 9 Pts, 2 PP Pts, 0:47 PP TOI/GP, 0:01 SH TOI/GP, 15:46 TOI/GP

Career: 25 GP, 5 G, 4 A, 9 Pts

I don’t love the comparison, but he fits all the filters, so here he is. He spent a good chunk of  of 2013 in the AHL, where he was solid. He followed it up with 50 GP, 3 G, 10 A in 2013-14. That’s a step back to put it mildly. Boone is already a better player than Panik.

Brandon Sutter ($3.3m per year, signed 2014 through 2016)

2013: 48 GP, 11 G, 8 A, 19 Pts, 4 PP Pts, 1:10 PP TOI/GP, 1:53 SH TOI/GP, 16:24 TOI/GP

Career: 334 GP, 64 G, 62 A, 126 Pts

Oh look, Sutter again. Like I said, should Boone’s offense stagnate, but he becomes a penalty killer, Sutter would be a nice comp following Boone’s rookie deal.

So there you have it. A good frame of reference for how Anisimov compares to players of his ilk, a list of guys who had crappy years similar to Horton, and a list of guys Boone compares to if his offense never gets much better. The Salary Project Part 3 is in the books. Check back for the rest of the series:

  • Part 4: Jared Boll, Brian Gibbons, Mark Letestu & Corey Tropp
  • Part 5: Jack Johnson, Ryan Murray, Fedor Tyutin & James Wisniewski
  • Part 6: Dalton Prout, David Savard, Curtis McElhinney & Sergei Bobrovsky

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