Looking at Mason Marchment’s play style tweaks from this past season

Mason Marchment had a better 2023-24 season than his first season in Dallas. He was one of the 20+ goal scorers the Stars had on their roster this season. Let's look at how he improved his game this past season.
Edmonton Oilers v Dallas Stars - Game One
Edmonton Oilers v Dallas Stars - Game One / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

In a March 2023 article, I looked into Mason Marchment’s lackluster first season with the Stars after signing his 4 x 4.5 million dollar contract. He was in the midst of a 30-game goal drought and was being relegated to the fourth line in some games.

Since then, he found chemistry with Tyler Seguin and offseason addition Matt Duchene, creating a high-octane line that was successful for multiple months of the 2023-2024 season.

I was curious if Mason Marchment’s individual stats had improved or if his play became a product of effective linemates, so this article will cover the stats I critiqued in that past article and compare them to Marchment’s 2024 numbers, looking for positive trends.

Here are the stats mentioned in the article:

  • Individual Corsi For (shot attempts)
  • High-Danger chances
  • Shooting %
  • Average shot distance
  • % of Unblocked shots that missed the net
  • PIMs, minor penalties

Base Stats

Before getting into the advanced stats above, it's important to note that part of changing your first impression with Stars fans comes down to points. Mason Marchment was more involved on the scoresheet this season, with 22 goals (+10 from last season) and 31 assists (+12 from last season) for 53 points (+22 from last season). 

Marchment was effective at reading a forecheck, where he often straddled the ‘F2’ position, covering for any loose pucks on the near-side offensive boards, looking to push play to the middle of the ice and create dangerous opportunities. I liked what I saw from him, and I hope he can keep the energetic play going for another season despite the technical skating hurdles. 

Using advanced statistics from Moneypuck.com and NaturalStatTrick.com, we can check if the playstyle and base stats improvements were also visible from an advanced stats perspective. If these advanced stats have improved, it implies that Marchment could maintain the 2023-2024 level of play going into next season (I.e. no fluke production this season)

Advanced Stats

NaturalStatTrick (5v5)

5v5 is the most important and most common game situation for success. If a player like Mason Marchment demonstrates positive stats at 5v5, this is a positive sign for the future of his Dallas Stars tenure.

First, it’s important to note that Marchment is averaging slightly less Ice Time than last year (13:34 in 2022-2023, 13:19 in 2023-2024). This was likely due to the team buy-in as a “4-forward-line” team.

Here are some key notes from Marchment’s 5v5 stats this year via NaturalStatTrick (‘per 60’ means stats per 60 minutes of Ice Time):

  • Marchment shot 11.8% at 5v5, ~5% higher at 5v5 than last year (6.9%)
  • Marchment attempted fewer shots than last year (13.28 per 60 vs. 13.64 last year)
  • Marchment attempted a similar rate of High-Danger shots (3.00 per 60 vs. 3.12 last year)
  • Fewer of Marchment’s shots were blocked this year (82% of attempts were unblocked vs. 78% unblocked last year)
  • Marchment continues to draw more penalties at 5v5 than he takes (18 minors taken, 24 drawn this season)

Based on this data, we can understand the following about Mason Marchment’s season at 5v5:

  1. Marchment opted for more High-Danger chances but shot less overall per 60
  2. Marchment’s shooting percentage was significantly higher (could be because of High-Danger preference)
  3. More shots made it to the net this year (could be because of High-Danger preference)

These points relate directly to decision-making rather than simply talent. Deciding to get to the slot before settling for a shot is much more dangerous than shooting from the sideboards because you can’t get to the slot yourself.

From live viewings, I noticed that Marchment was better at passing the puck when pressured this season, probably out of comfortability and notable chemistry with Matt Duchene and Tyler Seguin (who are both high-energy OZ players). 

Marchment likely felt supported by his linemates to keep puck possession without resulting in bad-angle shot himself when under pressure like in years past. This playstyle tweak seems to have helped Mason Marchment re-find his scoring touch.

Moneypuck.com (5v5)

Further to Mason Marchment’s offense, his emphasis on High-Danger shooting has resulted in his 5v5 production nearly doubling (15 goals at 5v5 vs. eight last year). Below is a comparison between his 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 goals. 

These graphs make it clear that Marchment is finding ways to create space for himself in dangerous areas of the ice, allowing for higher-quality shots and more opportunities to score. His average shot distance on the goals he scored this season was 23.3 feet compared to 26.8 feet last season. Shooting 3.5 feet closer to the net, on average, gives defenders and the goalie less time to react, likely allowing for a better chance to score.

Consequently, the average Expected Goal value per Marchment goal this season was 0.101 compared to 0.072 last season. This means that Mason Marchment is choosing better spots and times to shoot, which has resulted in a 40% improvement in shot values (Expected Goal value), on average, compared to last year’s attempts.

The final stat of note is % of Unblocked shots that missed the net. This stat was noticeably poor in 2022-2023, as Marchment was near the bottom of his team and league in that statistic. Looking at his 2023-2024 numbers, Marchment did worse this year at hitting the net than last year.

Specifically, among 446 forwards to play 249 minutes or more at 5v5 this season via Moneypuck.com, Marchment was ranked 369th in Shooting Talent Above Average at -14.3%. This means that, based on league shooting percentages from every location he’s taken shots this year, his Expected Goals count adjusted to 11.4 for the season instead of 13.3 because of his abilities as a shooter (Marchment has below-average shooting talent).

A quick reminder that shooting % only considers shots that hit the net, so a better shooting % for Marchment does not mean that he shot ‘better’ this year. It means he scored more goals from his shots that hit the net.

The Shooting Talent decrease can ironically be explained by the improvements in Mason Marchment’s game. Since Marchment has improved at getting to the High-Danger areas, this is where talented shooters are supposed to score consistently, creating a higher standard for Marchment as a shooter.

Because Mason Marchment’s shot is not at an elite level, yet he’s getting to the dangerous areas where talented shooters often score (areas with high ‘Expected Goal’ values), his shooting talent looks worse this season than years past. This is only because he’s putting himself in better places to score and not scoring at an elite level.

The shooting talent stat should not be used as a negative when evaluating Marchment’s growth as a player since getting to the high-danger areas is one of the hardest things to do in hockey, regardless of whether you have the talent to score with a great shot each time you’re there.

Would you prefer Marchment to miss the net trying for a corner from a dangerous area or hit the goalie in the chest trying for a safe shot?


Mason Marchment is beginning to demonstrate good habits on offense, specifically regarding his intentions to get to high-danger areas rather than settling for low-quality shots. While he misses the net more than last year and has demonstrated a below-average shooting talent, more goals and opportunities for teammates should occur because of Marchment’s evolving playstyle and tweaks made on offense. The positive results of these habits include increases in shooting %, goals, and points, on-ice Expected Goal data, and more. Because of this, fans should be excited to see Mason Marchment in Year 3 of his 4-year contract with the Stars. I expect Marchment to continue these positive habits, or you will likely see his production fall back to the level from his first year in Dallas.

Furthermore, Mason Marchment’s on-ice impacts continue to be positive, where he draws more penalties than he takes at 5v5 and is a net-positive on-ice presence. Marchment is becoming a solid secondary scoring option for the Stars, where his game is now rooted in ‘crashing the net’ and making better shot decisions (not settling for low-quality shots).

This is what you want from your middle-six in the NHL. I look forward to seeing Mason Marchment’s confident decision-making with the puck next year following a 2023-2024 season that he can be proud of. 

All the best to Mason Marchment.

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