Fantasy Hockey Stats & How To Evaluate Players Feat. Mike McLaughlin (Left Wing Lock)

Fantasy Hockey Stats & How To Evaluate Players Feat. Mike McLaughlin (Left Wing Lock)

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Fantasy Hockey Stats & How To Evaluate Players Feat. Mike McLaughlin (Left Wing Lock)

In the 28th episode of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast; the FHH team proudly welcomes a special guest – Left Wing Lock Founder – Mike McLaughlin! Mike will join us for a special bonus episode – fantasy hockey statistics and evaluating players! Mike gives us some great general fantasy hockey advice, early mock draft observations, and gives us a full breakdown on some of the hockey analytics that he uses to assess players and identify trends. This was a very insightful interview, and we’re positive that you’ll be a better fantasy hockey GM for having listened to it!


  • Special Guest | Mike McLaughlin – Founder of Left Wing Lock
  • Fantasy Hockey Strategy, Zero G Draft Strategy, Early Mock Draft Observations
  • Fantasy Hockey Stats & Evaluating Players
  • Rapid Fire Segment – 2021-2022 NHL Predictions

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Instagram | @FantasyHockeyHacks
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Fantasy Hockey Stats And How To Evaluate Players Feat. Mike Laughlin (Left Wing Lock)

Special Guest | Mike McLaughlin, Founder of Left Wing Lock

Mike McLaughlin is originally from Philadelphia and has been a hockey fan most of his life. Mike’s playing history is limited to street hockey and that ended quickly after an errant stick near the eye. His background is in Math and Physics and he founded Left Wing Lock in 2006 while working on his Physics Ph.D. Mike currently works as a scientist, and Left Wing Lock is his side project. He enjoys cooking, investing, and long-distance running.

Left Wing Lock

The site was founded in 2006 to serve two main purposes: (a) to provide time-sensitive lineup information to fantasy managers; (b) to provide research/prep materials for managers as they get ready for fantasy hockey drafts. Our major tools include: Starting Goalies, Line Combinations, Annual Draft Kit, and iPhone App. The site has grown over its 15-year history and we now have five people who are part of the team at Left Wing Lock.

LWL Fantasy Guide

Users get 3 files to help them prepare for the drafts. The spreadsheet consists of player projections and rankings that are customized to a user’s scoring details. The two PDF files consist of strategy, analysis, and team-by-team breakdowns for the upcoming season.

Introduction, Fantasy Hockey Strategy & Advice

  • Where can our listeners find you on social media?
  • How did Left Wing Lock get started? 
  • For anyone not familiar with Left Wing Lock, give us your elevator pitch. 
  • What separates Left Wing Lock from other Fantasy Hockey sites?
  • How many writers or contributors work for Left Wing Lock? 
  • What is your Favourite fantasy format? Season-Long Redraft (H2H, Total Points, Categories), Keeper, Dynasty, DFS, etc.
  • Which fantasy hockey platform (Yahoo, Espn, Fantrax) do you prefer, and why? 
  • Are you in any “expert” leagues, or competitive leagues this year?  
  • What does the ideal or “perfect” fantasy hockey draft look like to you? Just a general overview would be fine, not round by round.
  • What are your thoughts on the “Zero G” draft strategy?  
  • Could you provide our listeners with some of your early mock draft observations? Value picks? Players with inflated ADPs? Players being overlooked later in the draft? 
  • If you could give listeners one piece of advice for the upcoming fantasy hockey season, what would it be? 

Fantasy Hockey Stats & Evaluating Players

When evaluating players, either in-season or prior to drafting, what are some statistics that you use? 
    • PDO
    • 5V5 SH%
    • CF% Rel
    • Zone Start %
    • Pts/60
    • Individual Points Percentage (IPP)
    • Secondary Assist %
    • High-Danger Scoring Chances
What statistics do you look at when evaluating goaltenders? Do you assess team possession numbers and/or special teams? 
      • Penalty Kill SV% (PKSV%). This is a very interesting stat. Mike talked about how ALL goalies will eventually regress back to the norm, which is .865% on the penalty kill. So by looking at players from last year, fantasy GMs can assess which goaltenders are likely to see positive regression based on that number. 
      • Even-Strength SV% (usually over 3 years). This was the other stat that Mike uses to assess goaltenders, though he did admit that goalies are the hardest position to accurately predict.
      • High-Danger SV%. This stat is more one that the FHH team likes to check when evaluating goalies. Saves made from 15′ or closer are considered to be high-danger saves.
Tell us about the possession & luck or “Pluck” charts found in your fantasy hockey guide. 
    • How do these charts help fantasy GMs assess their rosters?  
Could you provide our listeners with a few players to target in fantasy hockey this year, based on some of the metrics that we’ve discussed? 


Rapid Fire Segment – 2021-2022 NHL Predictions

  • Who is your pick to win the Norris Trophy? Cale Makar, COL
  • Who is your pick to win the Vezina this year? Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB
  • Who is your pick to win the Hart Trophy? Connor McDavid, EDM
  • Who is your pick to win the Rocket Richard Trophy? Auston Matthews, TOR
  • Who is your pick to win the Selke Trophy? Alexander Barkov, FLA
  • Who is your pick to win the Calder Trophy? Spencer Knight, FLA
  • Who is your pick to win the Jack Adams Trophy? Philadelphia Flyers, PHI
  • Who is your pick to win the Pacific Division? Vegas Golden Knights
  • Who is your pick to win the Metropolitan Division? Carolina Hurricanes or Philadelphia Flyers
  • Who is your pick to win the Central Division? Colorado Avalanche
  • Who is your pic to in the Atlantic Division? Florida Panthers
  • Who is your pick to win the Presidents Trophy? Colorado Avalanche
  • Stanley Cup Final matchup? Colorado Avalanche vs. Florida Panthers
  • Stanley Cup Winner? Florida Panthers
  • Favourite NHL team? Philadelphia Flyers
  • Will Alex Ovechkin break Wayne Gretzky’s scoring record? Yes. Announcement

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2021 How To Win Your Fantasy Hockey League Series

BONUS: Dom Luszczyszyn’s (The Athletic) Fantasy Hockey Rankings & Cheat Sheet



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