Looking for a way to make an impact in hockey analytics? Try Women’s Hockey.

By Dave MacPherson | Posted Apr 17, 2020

In July 2019, I launched Pick224, a website containing data from over 15 hockey leagues across the world with a focus on junior hockey and the NHL draft.

I recognize that finding good data is difficult for a lot of non-NHL hockey leagues, and that’s the problem I’m trying to solve with Pick224. The data I provide has helped lots of people with different levels of hockey analysis or scouting experience start projects and find players with potential. When analysts can spend less time finding and cleaning data, they can make a greater impact.

However, the sheer amount of data can be overwhelming. My database contains 9,390 players for the 2019–20 season alone. If you want to cover the majority of players who get drafted to the NHL, you’ll have to work with a lot of data.

If you’ve found yourself in the position of wanting to work on a project that can make an impact, but aren’t sure where to start, I think women’s hockey is a great option. There isn’t a lot of women’s hockey analysis online, but the National Women’s Hockey League is expanding and hopefully an NHL-backed venture will come soon. With these developments comes an opportunity for analysts to help teams select their rosters. A good starting point for this analysis would be women’s college hockey.

College hockey is incredibly important in the women’s game. The vast majority of the best players spend time on NCAA Division I teams. Of the 40 skaters on the Canadian and USA 2018 Winter Olympic teams, 39 played NCAA hockey. It’s really good hockey.

This week, I added stats for NCAA Division I Women’s Hockey to Pick224, dating back to the 2014–15 season. Following is a quick overview of the available data.

Available Data

You can find the women’s section of Pick224 here. This section contains the following stats:

Example Data

Over the past six seasons, the best women’s college hockey season belongs to Kendall Coyne Schofield, who tore it up for Northeastern University in 2015–16. She scored 50 goals in 37 games with an average of 9.7 shots on goal per game. She’s the only woman in my dataset to have scored an average of two primary points per game over an entire season:

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She was on the ice for 73 of her own team’s even-strength goals and only 19 of the opposition's, for an EV GF% of 79.35%, over 27% better than the rest of her team.

Even More Data

Want to work with more than just summarized data? I’ve got you covered. Here is a Google Sheet containing details on every goal scored in the past six NCAA seasons.

I scraped this data from the game sheets found on collegehockeystats.net — a big thanks to that site for all they provide.

Unfortunately, more detailed data like individual shot locations and shot attempts is not available for NCAA Div I. This data would prove useful in calculating expected goals, corsi, and other advanced metrics.

Other Women’s Hockey Resources

Women’s hockey data is hard to find, but here are a few sources I’ve come across:

If you know of other good sources of data, please let me know!

If you’d like to work with either women’s college hockey or men’s data for various leagues, feel free to download any of the data available on Pick224. If you do something cool with the data, please let me know on Twitter!