Clarke MacArthur Trade Analysis

The Atlanta Thrashers acquired Clarke MacArthur in exchange for a 3rd and 4th round draft picks. Let's take a look MacArthur's statistical profile in the NHL.

First up we have a table showing how this player was used in Buffalo. Since becoming a regular NHLer in 2007, Clarke has been used as an offensive minded 3rd line player. Among the Buffalo forwards he ranked 9th in ES Time On Ice (TOI) in the last two seasons. He has seen his PP TOI steadily increase over the last three seasons. Currently he is averaging 2 minutes of Power Play ice time per game. The coaches basically never use him as PKer. If you look at his cumulative ice time, he consistently ranked 9th in Buffalo making him a 3rd line guy on that team.

Coach Usage Table

Season ES TOI F Rank PP TOI F Rank SH TOI F Rank Tot TOI F Rank
2009-10 12:06 9/13 2:08 7/13 0:07 8/13 14:22 9/13
2008-09 11:42 9/14 1:45 10/14 0:22 9/14 13:50 9/14
2007-08 12:47 6/15 1:26 10/15 0:20 8/15 14:33 9/15

Next we have scoring rate effectiveness. When MacArthur got his first NHL action in 2006-07, he put up impressive numbers considering his ice time in 19 NHL games that season. However, as a full time NHL player, his ES scoring rate (Pts/60 TOI) fell substantially. In 2007-08 his 1.90 ES Points per 60 minutes of ES ice time ranked better than 70% of the other forwards in the NHL. However in the last two seasons, MacArthur has slipped down to a scoring rate of around 1.5 ES Points per Hour which ranks him in the low 40% range. His Power Play effectiveness numbers have been all over the map ranging from non-existent production (2007-08, 2% rank) to above average (2008-09, 68% rank) to well below average (2009-10, 29% rank).

Scoring Rate Effectiveness

Season ES Rate Rank PP Rate Rank
2009-10 1.57 44% 3.28 29%
2008-09 1.52 42% 4.82 68%
2007-08 1.90 70% 0.00 2%
2006-07 2.68 92% 0.00 2%


Sometimes players have a career year or a fluke season that cause people to over-estimate their NHL potential. I took a look at MacArthur's NHL Equivalency numbers to see what his minor league career suggested about his NHL potential. In the table below, the column market NHLE lists a rough estimate of how that particular scoring rate in that particular league typically translates into NHL scoring (based on historical patterns). For most of his career Clarke MacArthur projects as a mid 30 point NHL player over an 82 game season.

Projection Profile

2009-10 Buffalo 60 13 13 26 -14 0.43 NHL 24 35
2008-09 Buffalo 71 17 14 31 -4 0.44 NHL 23 36
2007-08 Buffalo 37 8 7 15 3 0.41 NHL 22 34
2007-08 Rochester 43 14 28 42 -18 0.98 AHL 22 36
2006-07 Buffalo 19 3 4 7 4 0.37 NHL 21 30
2006-07 Rochester 51 21 42 63 8 1.24 AHL 21 46
2005-06 Rochester 69 21 32 53 -1 0.77 AHL 20 28
2004-05 Medicine Hat 58 30 44 74 27 1.28 WHL 19 31
2003-04 Medicine Hat 62 35 40 75 14 1.21 WHL 18 30
2002-03 Medicine Hat 70 23 52 75 -27 1.07 WHL 17 26



The overall statistical profile suggests that expectations for Clarke MacArthur should be modest. His career suggests that he has 3rd line scoring talent and that is the way he was used in Buffalo. Thrashers Assistant Coach Randy Cunneyworth has worked with MacArthur and perhaps he probably expects to get more out of him than they did in Buffalo. In my opinion, there is the chance that he might show more scoring with a change of scenery, but I'm not optimistic that he will suddenly bust out. The price that was paid (3rd and 4th round picks) was also modest. The success rate of picks in that area of the draft are simply not that great. So I don't think the Thrashers overpaid for this player, but I also don't expect him to become a difference maker.

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