After trading Adam Larsson to Edmonton for Taylor Hall and losing David Schlemko to San Jose in Free Agency, many fans knew the Devils' defense would struggle. Struggle is precisely what they did.
This season, the Devils saw their GA60 rise from the 2015-16 value of 2.43 to 2.93, a difference of a half a goal. Cory Schneider posted number below his career averages a result of a less talented, less organized defense.
I've grouped the top 180 defensemen by TOI (2 men per pair x 3 pairs x 30 teams) and sprinkled in any Devils who did not meet the minimum TOI threshold. I used this sample to create two cluster analyses.
The first analysis judges a player's overall quality based on their P60 (scoring) and GA60 (suppression) values. (Please note that using GA60 as a proxy for defensive skill is imperfect, however the analytics space struggles to provide a profoundly more appropriate method). We are essentially gauging how many goals the player is able to prevent and directly produce. The players are characterized as "Poor", "Defensive", or "Scoring."
The second analysis identifies a player's scoring tendencies based on their G60 and A60. Basically, we want to know if they primarily assist other goals, score the puck themselves, or neither. The players are placed into groupings of "Grit", "Playmaker", and "Scorer." Typically, you'll find that players who don't have high scoring numbers will fall into the "Grit" category, the players who assist more will be labeled "Playmakers", and the players with high G60 values will be categorized as "Scorers." However, you may find scenarios in which a player's label may surprise you based on their scoring numbers (See Steven Santini below).
All NJ players are indicated by a circle whereas all other players are indicated by a plus sign. Use the filter at the top-right of each sheet to filter by team.