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Analytical Astrolabe: Measuring Dallas Star Tom Wandell in 2013

We review the 2013 season of Tom Wandell through the lens of statistical analysis.

Joel Auerbach

The astrolabe has been used for centuries to measure the stars. It has been used to find and predict the location of planets, figure out horoscopes, and for surveying land. Now the idea of the astrolabe is being commandeered to give this series measuring the performance of the Stars an appropriate name. This series is going to give an analytical recap of each remaining Dallas Star that saw significant ice time in 2013.

If you're familiar with WOWY analysis, this is similar with a few extra features. These profiles will evaluate usage and production initially. They will then move into WOWY analysis which shows how every player on the Stars played both with and without a specified player. The next feature is a shot chart detailing every even strength shot by the given player. Finally, the profiles will end with an eye toward the player's role in 2014. You can find the hub for all of the profiles here. The information comes from various sources including, but not limited to:,, and

Tom Wandell is the subject of the second profile.

We all know Wandell pretty well at this point. He has 229 career NHL games in a Dallas Stars sweater with little to show for his time. In that NHL ice time Wandell has 43 points in usually limited ice time. He is a player with few distinguishing characteristics. He can skate, but skating isn't going to hide a player with limited ability forever. In 2013 Wandell lost what little confidence the coaching staff previously had in him.

Year ZS% QualComp
2013 50 -1.82
2012 45.3 -0.95

Glen Gulutzan pushed Wandell further away from the net this past season and gave him less significant ice time. That's saying something given that Wandell wasn't exactly facing Evgeny Malkin on a nightly basis as is. For whatever reason, in the limited ice time against weaker competition Wandell saw his production drop dramatically.

Year G + A1/60 PDO Corsi/60 Rank
2013 0.42 1011 -12.5 13th
2012 0.83 968 7.3 3rd

Wandell bottomed out as a possession player. The Stars scored at half the rate they scored with him on the ice from 2012 to 2013. On top of that, he had a slightly high PDO suggesting the little production with him on the ice was actually a bit lucky. All of this came in limited ice time so it should be taken with a few grains of salt. Given the player though, it has to have some truth to it.

This is the part where I point out that Wandell had one goal and no assists in 18 games in the AHL too.

The picture doesn't get much prettier from here. Nearly everyone who shared the ice with Wandell saw their possession numbers decrease with Wandell compared to without him. Most of the combinations are in limited ice time, but the one that really stands out to me is Reilly Smith. Wandell and Smith shared 42 minutes. Together they were a 48% possession duo. Without Wandell, Smith was a 55% possession player in 307 minutes. Reilly had some up and down moments, but it appears that most of those down moments near the end of the year came with Wandell on the ice.

2€013 Together WANDELL apart Teammate apart
Player Pos TOI CF% TOI CF% TOI CF%
GARBUTT, RYAN F 48:02 48.4 95:30 47.8 275:15 48.8
ROUSSEL, ANTOINE F 47:53 41.2 95:39 51.2 286:48 44.7
SMITH, REILLY F 42:33 48.6 100:59 47.8 306:40 55.4
WHITNEY, RAY F 32:38 56.5 110:54 45.3 441:04 50.2
MACDERMID, LANE F 18:12 38.7 125:20 49.3 11:06 51.1
ERIKSSON, LOUI F 16:02 37 127:30 49.3 674:13 51
FRASER, MATT F 14:41 48.1 128:51 48 117:28 52.3
NYSTROM, ERIC F 08:19 45.5 135:13 48.1 535:05 45.6
COLE, ERIK F 04:49 25 138:43 49.2 552:19 46.2
BENN, JAMIE F 01:49 0 141:43 48.6 620:47 49.7
EAKIN, CODY F 01:31 100 142:01 47.2 560:37 49.5
CHIASSON, ALEX F 01:29 0 142:03 48.4 85:28 42.3
FIDDLER, VERNON F 02:02 0 143:30 48 445:24 45
LARSEN, PHILIP D 57:28 47.5 86:04 48.3 371:07 45.6
DILLON, BRENDEN D 48:02 56.8 95:30 43.9 794:10 50.4
GOLIGOSKI, ALEX D 42:32 53.5 101:00 45.2 761:04 50.5
DALEY, TREVOR D 38:22 37.9 105:10 51 657:12 47.4
BENN, JORDIE D 35:58 47.4 107:34 48.2 316:03 51.1
ROBIDAS, STEPHANE D 35:27 49.2 108:05 47.6 736:42 48.2
ROME, AARON D 28:52 37.5 114:40 51 332:14 45.3

The shot chart is ugly too. From the looks of things the Stars generated, maybe, one scoring chance with Wandell on the ice. If I'm being generous maybe two. It isn't good is what I'm trying to say. If you've read this far I would like to salute you for your courage and dedication to education in general. Reading is an important skill for everyone to master. Enjoying reading is vital. You apparently enjoy reading. Good for you.


Wandell likely isn't an NHLer anymore, and from the looks of it he is barely an AHLer. His career with the Stars is all but over, but the Stars did get a lot of mileage out of a 5th round pick. It's easy to bag on Wandell at this point in his career, but he should really be remembered as a successful draft pick.

The reason teams scour the globe looking for talent at all rounds of the draft is to find the Wandells of the world. Teams need cheap talent that can come in and fill roles in the bottom of the lineup. Tom Wandell successfully provided that for the Stars. Now that he is at the stage of his career where he could expect a salary increase it is time for the next group of Wandells to take over.

Enjoy Europe Tommy. It's been real. Taylor sends her regards.