This is the weekly edition of Idaho Steelheads Power Rankings, where we at IdahoSteelheads.com will see where the Steelheads and their players rank among the best of the best in the ECHL.
The Steelheads have been taking advantage of the man-advantage, scoring four power play goals against the Norfolk Admirals last week. That kind of production has certainly helped to power the Steelheads offense, but where does it rank among the league’s best power plays? Let’s find out!
*All Statistics current as of 11/21*
#5 - Wheeling Nailers – 21.9 percent
The Nailers power play has been red-hot, scoring in eight consecutive games with nine total goals in that span. Josh Shalla has been a big part of that offensive surge, his four power play goals ranked second in the ECHL and his seven power play points ranked second as well. The Nailers power play was strong last season when it was ninth overall and scored 48 goals, and this attack may be just as diverse with nine players already finding the back of the net with the man advantage. They also did damage this week against two top-10 killing units in Indy and Quad City.
#4 - Fort Wayne Komets – 22.2 percent
Fort Wayne has drawn 45 power plays this year. That total is in the bottom third of the league, and it’s possible we may not see the Komets in this spot on the list for long. They have scored on one of their last 11 power plays. With such a small sample size of power play chances, a big game can swing your percentages. The Komets scored three of their ten power play goals in one game against the Tulsa Oilers on November 9th, and they scored seven of them in a span of six games. Whether this power play has staying power remains to be seen, but with Fort Wayne averaging 3.92 goals-per-game, their offense at 5-on-5 is doing just fine.
#3 - Orlando Solar Bears – 22.6 percent
The Solar Bears are remarkably neutral to start this season. They have scored 40 goals, and they’ve surrendered 40 goals. They are 12th in the league in average goals scored, and 18th in average goals-against. Even their record is essentially neutral, going 6-5-1 through 12 games. With that kind of delicate balance, a third-ranked power play is certainly making a huge difference. Orlando’s 14 power play goals have counted for 35 percent of their offense. Joe Perry leads the team and is tied for third in the league with three power play tallies. The Solar Bears power play has converted in ten of twelve games this season, and scored multiple goals on four occasions
#2 - Manchester Monarchs – 23.5 percent
The Monarchs have scored power play goals in four of their last five games, totaling five over that time. The Monarchs brought back several important members of last year’s squad, which ranked fifth on the power play at season’s end, and some of those players are already contributing. Joe Diamond has two power play goals, while defenseman David Kolomatis already has four power play points after collecting ten last year. Justin Agosta’s addition adds some offense from the blue line as well after the defenseman had three power play goals and seven points for the Everblades last season, a season disrupted by injury and call-ups to AHL Charlotte. Five of Manchester’s 12 power play goals have come from defensemen.
#1 - Idaho Steelheads– 26.7 percent
The Steelheads power play has been converting on almost a nightly basis, and it has helped fuel them to the top of the Mountain Division standings. Along with the top percentage, their 16 power play goals are also the highest mark in the ECHL. Rookie Will Merchant leads the league with 5 power play goals, while rookie defenseman Brandon Anselmini ranks tied for second in the league in power play assists (6) and points (7). It’s an indication of a more spread power play attack that Jefferson Dahl, who led the Steelheads in power play goals last season with 10 and leads them in goals and points this year, only has two power play goals this season despite seven points. Idaho boasts nine different power play goal scorers and four players who have scored multiple. Four of Idaho’s game-winning goals have come on the power play. It would be significant if the Steelheads could stay on their current path. Idaho finished 22nd in the league last year at 15.1 percent and hasn’t topped the power play leaderboard in a full season since 2011, when they were at 25.2 percent.