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Florida Panthers forward Drew Shore is incredibly underrated

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If the former Pioneer isn't given an extended look in training camp, the Panthers are shortchanging themselves.

He's much better than we think he is.
He's much better than we think he is.
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Shore got a taste of the NHL during the lockout shortened 2012-2013 NHL campaign.  He played mainly on a line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Peter Mueller.  The line was easily the Panthers' best line, and Huberdeau won the Calder Trophy as the Rookie of the Year that season.

Shore, with his paltry 13 points and minus-10 rating in 43 games, was returned to the AHL to receive additional seasoning and development before fully jumping up to the pro level.  That, at least, is the narrative that's been told by pretty much anyone who looks into how he has progressed so far throughout his career.  He wasn't really ready for the NHL...  He needed more years in the minors...  He only had good chemistry with Huberdeau, let him develop some more...  And etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Personally, I really liked Shore during the 2012-13 campaign.  Going strictly off of what I watched at the time, I really thought that he would stay on the pro team as the third line center.  The Panthers seemed to have the puck more often than not when he was on the ice, and the chemistry that he had with Huberdeau was great.  As I said in my post on the relationship between dCorsi and production, it seemed that Shore freed Huberdeau to do more with the puck, and to also not worry as much about the defensive part of the game, and instead focus on slipping behind opposing defenses.  Huberdeau had at least 2-3 penalty shots during the 2012-2013 season, but had maybe 1-2 during the 2013-2014 season.  Part of that is luck; but I think another part of it is that Huberdeau was more focused on offense (which he happens to be good at) then defense (which he isn't so good at).  Take Shore away from Huberdeau, and the reigning Calder Trophy winner suffers a sophomore slump.  My version of the story is that the coaches and general managers were a little bit too sold on the fact that Shore didn't produce a lot of points, and that he was young, and simply wrote him off for San Antonio before really giving him another shot at the pro roster.

What story do the numbers tell then?  The kid posted a 3.06 dCorsi rating his rookie season.  His Corsi For % at 5 on 5 was 55.5%, on a team that only had a 49.1% Corsi rating.  And, most importantly, during his rookie season, for everyone Shore played at least 100 minutes with, their Corsi For % was at least 2.4% better with him than without him, and if we take Filip Kuba (who was just awful, really) off of that list, the number spikes to 7.0%. That's right.  Excluding Kuba, everyone who played at least 100 minutes with Drew Shore, had a Corsi For of AT LEAST 7% higher WITH him, than they did without him.

For LBC's handy glossary of advanced stats please click here

Player CF% w/Shore CF% w/o Shore
Jonathan Huberdeau 55.6% 45.2%
Peter Mueller 57.3% 44.4%
Brian Campbell 59.2% 48.8%
Filip Kuba 47.8% 45.4%
Tyson Strachan 57.2% 47.6%
Erik Gudbranson 52.5% 45.5%
Dmitry Kulikov 60.4% 46.4%
Mike Weaver 57.6% 43.8%

That's insanely good.  I mean, we are talking Jonathan Toews, Anze Kopitar, Patrice Bergeron levels here (in Corsi alone; I'm not actually suggesting Shore is as good as any of those three right now, though I think he has Bergeron potential).

HIs PDO?  An insanely low 93.9.  I mean, come on.  To think that a PDO of 93.9 wasn't going to regress to the mean AT LEAST SOMEWHAT is kind of absurd.

I really hope Shore gets an extended look at training camp, and that whoever does end up coaching him watches whatever he did in 2012-2013 and figures out how to get the majority of the team doing it, because he was pretty efficient at dominating puck possession.

(Note: Please do not interpret this as me saying that Shore is Corsi Jesus.  That is not what I'm saying.  What I'm saying is that he should not be written off for San Antonio immediately.  Unfortunately, giving him a trial run at the pro roster may not be the best option, as he only has a handful of games (Either 2-3; Capgeek was pretty vague for some reason) before he is no longer waiver exempt.  His Corsi numbers only come across a small sample size of games.  I really liked what I saw in him, and think that they would continue if he was given full time duties on the big club...but it's not a definite thing.  There's still the chance that his numbers so far have been a fluke, (or, even scarier, there's the chance that the coaching he received in the AHL actually caused him to take a couple of steps back instead of developing) and he really does need more seasoning before jumping up to the pros.  Regardless, the kid certainly deserves an extended look in training camp, even if he ultimately ends up back in San Antonio.