Sam Forstner '18
In this paper, I explain the frequency of hat tricks in the National Hockey League (NHL). Assuming goal scoring follows a Poisson process, I propose models intended to generate an accurate number of hat tricks across multiple seasons. Additionally, I examine whether the players who score hat tricks are typically the ones we would expect to do so, given rates of goal scoring. I use ice time and goal scoring data from HockeyReference.com from the 2000-2001 through 2016-2017 seasons and construct three models for my analysis—one that pools over players and seasons, one that allows for season-to-season changes, and one that allows for different scoring rates by player. Finally, I estimate the expected number of hat tricks scored by the highest scoring players of the years 2000-2017 and compare estimates to the observed numbers scored.