A CONVERSATION WITH COREY PRONMAN

On Friday, I had a chance to discuss Edmonton’s prospect list with Corey Pronman of ESPN. Corey is one of the most respected names in prospect evaluation and a lot of that comes from his tireless work with video, scouts and the hockey industry. I find Pronman’s assessments interesting for two reasons: He is very specific in his words and he leaves very little middle ground. I spoke to him about his Top 5 prospects among Edmonton’s long list of players and what we might expect from them in the coming season.

  • Connor McDavid: “He will be on the Oilers top 6F right away and there’s a non-zero chance he passes Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the depth chart by the end of the season. Once he skates in his first NHL game in October he’ll be in the upper echelon of the NHL in terms of his speed and skill. It’s just a matter of his physical game and what he does this summer to get ready for the physical grind and much bigger, stronger players facing him.”
  • Nurse and Reinhart: “There’s a small gap (between the two) I like Nurse a lot, he edges Reinhart in my opinion. There’s also an age difference between the two—Reinhart has already played one year of pro—I think they’re similar in terms of proximity to the NHL, they’re both on the bubble. I think Nurse has a little more of a dynamic element to his game. Nurse’s skating is a little bit better and they both project as good defensive players, I think Nurse can bring a little more offense to the NHL.”
  • Anton Slepyshev: “He was a top prospect in the Russian program for a number of years but had never really shown enough in the KHL. He always did well against his peer groups and in international competition. This past season, as a 20-year-old, he started to see the needle move a little bit for him. He didn’t play amazing, but in the second half he was very good in the KHL. He showed he could play well versus men—very highly skilled, flashy, a quick forward—he probably isn’t the best off the puck but with the puck he can make a lot happen.”
  • Ethan Bear: “He’s not a really flashy guy, I don’t think he’s won a major accolade or anything of the sort. He was consistently impressive this season, especially against his own age group. I thought he looked good at the Ivan Hlinka and U18’s, he looked like one of the better 1997 defensemen. Throughout the entire WHL season he was very good—not amazing, but steady in both ends. He could move the puck, he played hard and showed good hockey sense on both sides of the puck.”

LOWETIDE TOP 10

 

  • C Connor McDavid NHLE: 82GP, 23-40-63. Destination: NHL from opening night.
  • C Leon Draisaitl NHLE: 82GP, 15-26-41. Destination: NHL before Christmas.
  • D Darnell Nurse NHLE: 82GP, 7-16-23. Destination: NHL from opening night.
  • D Griffin Reinhart. NHLE: 82GP, 6-11-17. Destination: NHL by the trade deadline.
  • C Bogdan Yakimov. NHLE: 82GP, 10-13-23. Destination: AHL for 2015-16, with a cup of coffee in the NHL.
  • W Iiro Pakarinen. NHLE: 82GP, 16-11-27. Destination: AHL to start, callups to the NHL early and often.
  • C Kyle Platzer. NHLE: 82GP, 12-17-29. Destination: He’ll spend his rookie pro season in the AHL.
  • C-R Greg Chase. NHLE: 82GP, 8-16-24. Destination: AHL all year, with an NHL look-see possible.
  • L Anton Slepyshev. NHLE: 82GP, 17-11-28. Destination: AHL marksman.
  • D Ethan Bear. NHLE: 82GP, 5-9-14. Destination: WHL all year, hopefully plenty of PP time.

My entire top 40 is listed here. The interview is here, beginning at about four minutes into the hour. Photo by Connor Mah.

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15 Responses to "A CONVERSATION WITH COREY PRONMAN"

  1. Hammers says:

    Not sure Nurse makes it right away but I do think Leon will .as for Reinhart he may get there before Nurse .

  2. fifthcartel says:

    I think Leon makes it on the LW due to a poor showing by Korpikoski.

  3. RexLibris says:

    I don’t know what it is, but something about Ethan Bear, from everything I’ve read about and from the young man, reminds me of Charlie Huddy.

    Maybe it’s the “he is just consistently steady” refrain.

    We should be so lucky.

    Following the 2015 draft I read a commentary from a regular contributor at another blog site that, following McDavid, the Oiler’s selections were “hot garbage”. I made a mental note of the words and the person* in question so that I could return to that at a later date.

    *This person is typically balanced and careful in their expressed opinions and is not prone to hyperbolic statements of rivalry, so this stood out for me.

  4. RexLibris says:

    BTW LT, I did some homework on your RE numbers the other night and put them against what I’ve worked out thus far.

    We were in agreement within a margin of three or four points on about 60% of the roster, and further afield on the remainder. What was really interesting was that the divergence between the two took place almost entirely in the bottom portion of the roster.

    I’d love to compare methods sometime to see if we’re doing the same thing or entirely different but somehow coming to the same conclusions.

  5. RexLibris says:

    So I think this Walker kid can play football.

    Franklin’s not bad either.

  6. RexLibris says:

    That Agnew hit on Bell reminded me of one of the nastiest hits I’ve ever seen live between a running/halfback and a defender.

    Tony Burse was running right down the middle, the linebacker lowered his head to take him down head-to-head. Burse and the defender’s heads interlocked into the other’s shoulder with so much force the crowd went silent.

    It was the kind of hit you feel in your gut from the stands.

    Burse hopped up and sprinted back to the line of scrimmage.

    The defender was taken off in a stretcher.

    Burse was an absolute beast of a running back.

  7. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    BTW LT, I did some homework on your RE numbers the other night and put them against what I’ve worked out thus far.

    We were in agreement within a margin of three or four points on about 60% of the roster, and further afield on the remainder. What was really interesting was that the divergence between the two took place almost entirely in the bottom portion of the roster.

    I’d love to compare methods sometime to see if we’re doing the same thing or entirely different but somehow coming to the same conclusions.

    Hmmm. I do estimate TOI (don’t list them) and dole out points liberally for the PP. Beyond that, not sure. Are they high or low?

    Basically, I do a three year trend (using NHLE if necessary) and would repeat a year if required by lack of sample size. Then I see how old the player is, have him peak offensively at 25. If there’s ANY question of role, I hedge the bet. I punish heavily career seasons over 30.

  8. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Hmmm. I do estimate TOI (don’t list them) and dole out points liberally for the PP. Beyond that, not sure. Are they high or low?

    Basically, I do a three year trend (using NHLE if necessary) and would repeat a year if required by lack of sample size. Then I see how old the player is, have him peak offensively at25. If there’s ANY question of role, I hedge the bet. I punish heavily career seasons over 30.

    Similar to what I do.

    Establish a history of games played per season and rate that against age to determine an approximate estimate of gp.

    eg: Giordano. Hasn’t played a full season, but has had season-ending injuries late in each year after being one of the sole defensive bulwarks. This year, add in Hamilton, maybe he gets less harsh assignments, so rather than 60 gp, he makes 70.

    Then I establish a trend of ppg per season over three seasons, rate that against the team, role, and deployment.

    That usually gives you a rough guess of production. It doesn’t take into account 5v4, but depending on the player I may bump up the numbers a touch to reflect that (Dennis Wideman is a good example of that).

    This year I tried something different on estimating goalies.

    I estimated gp. Then looked at shots allowed by team and gave more shots to starters, fewer to backups to reflect the anecdotal mention that players tend to play a little tighter defensively when the 2nd string is in. Following that I try to draw a reasonable line of sv% for the player, accounting for the quality of the team’s skaters, and use that information to determine a GAA.

    We’ll see if it comes anywhere close. There are so many variables at play that, as GMoney has shown, have little repeatability, that I’m sure there will be some serious outliers that arise during the season.

  9. RexLibris says:

    Franklin overthrew that pass and Walker sped up to get beneath it.

    Nice duo.

  10. kinger_OIL says:

    LT – you can’t it both ways. In some posts you have the D with FSN and nurse in AHL then you say nurse in nhl out of the gate. Poetic license I guess. I just hope your wrong about nurse starting in NHL.

  11. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:
    LT – you can’t it both ways. In some posts you have the D with FSN and nurse in AHL then you say nurse in nhl out of the gate. Poetic license I guess.I just hope your wrong about nurse starting in NHL.

    No, I’m quoting from the post I linked to, and that post is from is from July 7
    http://lowetide.ca/2015/07/07/destination-unknown/

  12. Lowetide says:

    David Staples really does a fabulous job of tracking scoring chances. An extreme pain to do, and credit where due

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2015/08/28/2008-15-neilson-goals-and-scoring-chances-for-the-edmonton-oilers/

  13. rickithebear says:

    As you know Yakupov; Slepyshev; Yakimov all trend to min top30 g scorers relative to there historic peers.

    Everyone wants OEL! Excluding me!

    Do you trade Slepyshev-Yakimov-Yakupov to ARI for 4yrs of OEL if they all end up as 25G scorers.

    My answers starts with.

    Are you f…………..n……..!

  14. Genjutsu says:

    My dream scenario for this season has Slepyshev with instant chemistry with McDavid. This combined with Yak touring the corner let’s them run Hall Nuge Ebs and gives Lander Poo and Purcell. And then a vet forth line of Hendo Letestu Korpikoski.

    Don’t see it happening but it would be nice.

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