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Post Script: Just How Rare Was Matt Read's 2011-12 Season?

Bruce Bennett

In early February, I was playing around with Hockey Reference and stumbled upon just how rare it was to have a 25 year old rookie perform as Matt Read had up to that point. I won't tell you how rare, because I would deprive you of my fantastic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory references littered throughout the post.

But I am here to update that post and see how rare his full season was. Matt Read was a 25 year old rookie who scored 24 goals and 47 points in 79 games. So we use Hockey Reference's fantastic Play Index and run (1) rookie (2) skater (3) age 25 or older* (4) with at least 60 games played (5) 24 goals scored and (6) 45 points.

First, though, some background. Since 1917, there have been 1,046 players to debut at age 25 or older. Of those, only 595 players scored even a single goal in that rookie season. That's already pretty uncommon, but just how rare is Matt Read?

  • Only 14 players since 1917 did what Matt Read did this year.
  • Of those 14, one occurred in the Original Six era and four occurred in the first year after the NHL and WHA merged (with three of the four on former WHA teams).
  • Matt Read is the only player to do this since the lockout. The lockout of 1994.
  • The last player to do this was German Titov, who at age 28 scored 27 goals and 18 assists in 76 games for the 1993-93 Flames. He went on to have a pretty solid career considering.

So good job, Matt. You are in the 98.7th percentile of NHL players over the last 95 years. A truly remarkable accomplishment

* Hockey Reference judges age as of February 1st of that year.