A TURN NORTH AT THE DRAFT TABLE?

In a recent tweet, the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson talked about Travis Ewanyk and his career crossroads. Ewanyk is looking for work—like a lot of pro players—and jobs are scarce. Ewanyk is generally regarded as a disappointment, having been drafted in the third round of the 2011 entry draft while also being unable to make the NHL grade at this time. Here is what I wrote about him on draft weekend:

  • #74 overall- C Travis Ewanyk: Future role player has a nice range of skills and therefore a few slots he could fill. PF size and style, he can win faceoffs and projects as a future checking center. I don’t know that he’s going to bring enough offense to make the NHL, but he was chosen in the range where there’s risk involved with every selection. Source

So far in his AHL career, Ewanyk (per 82 games) is averaging 11.69 points—that is well below the Mendoza line for actual NHL prospects. In comparison, Mitch Moroz—himself a higher pick who is offensively shy—is averaging 14.7 points per 82 AHL games. These are not good numbers, and the struggles of Ewanyk were predictable before draft day. I always wonder why people consider Ewanyk a disappointment—he didn’t draft himself in the third round—instead of looking at the actual culprit. The real problem? Lack of curiosity, for the most part. If we can agree that junior scoring numbers can predict future offensive success in pro—and it can—then the disappointment lies not with the player, but rather with the organization making these decisions.

FORENSICS: MATH AND THE DRAFT

It’s established that the Oilers have in fact dabbled in analytics at the draft table. Marco Roy was a player Edmonton liked and math recommended and it makes sense to run these kids through some kind of model to see if there’s a way to suss out talent. I’m not convinced analytics was in use in 2014—although Leon Draisaitl was a solid analytics pick—but the last two drafts have been very good when filtered through the math.

Do you remember back on draft day 2014 when my list included famous names like Andrew Mangiapane and Reid Gardner? The only reason those players were on my list was their NHLE performance. They passed through the draft and the following summer (2015)—in a deep draft year mind you—Mangiapane was ranked No. 49 and Gardner came in at No. 77 on the Button 2015 list. Craig Button had a very successful scouting background before becoming an NHL general manager, but whatever math he is running this is a man whose draft list is stronger than most I see every summer.

I’m not a scout and absolutely there are people (like Michael Parkatti) who would have more sophisticated math models than me. However, my little basement list makes an important point: amateur numbers DO matter and there’s a tipping point where size or speed or whatever scouts don’t like ceases to be a factor, and actual God-given talent and boxcars push everything out of the way. If we’re talking forensics, let’s apply math liberally throughout each draft crop—and in projecting the minor league numbers.

Today, people reading the Matty tweet will discuss the disappointment of Travis Ewanyk. We know better. The disappointment lies not with the player, but rather the suits at the draft table.

WATCH THE GAMES, NERD!

Scouts are vital to an NHL team’s success for all kinds of reasons. In fact, I would suggest a wise NHL team would ask no more of their scouts than they do today—go find talent, rank that talent, hand over the list and fight for what you believe in. After the list has been delivered to the general manger, there are some reasonable check points that can be applied to the scouts’ list.

  • Value skill above all other things.
  • Let math do the work. Travis Ewanyk was a long shot the moment he was selected, the Oilers have been better in the last two drafted in this area. I also thought 2013 lined up pretty well with math, but the 2014 effort has me wondering if the organization is capable of a repeat performance.
  • Don’t walkabout in the top 100. Edmonton has been better in recent seasons (2014 aside).
  • In an unusual draft like 2014 (or 2003) make better use of those late picks.
  • Print off the Bob McKenzie list and compare it to your own list. If a player is ranked on the McKenzie list, and not on the Oilers list, why? There should be a very good reason and it can’t be ‘saw him bad’ or ‘he never looks good when I see him’ and that’s for sure. Have a good long look at the Pronman list, too.
  • If there is a shy offensive player on the McKenzie list, move that name down. Every time.

One final thing: For two years in a row now, the Oilers list and the Craig Button list closely aligned. That tells me that whatever the Oilers (and Button) are doing, the math of the draft is seeping in.

  • Oilers at No. 4 (Jesse Puljujarvi) ranked No. 3 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 32 (Tyler Benson) ranked No. 44 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 63 (Markus Niemelainen) ranked No. 58 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 84 (Matthew Cairns) not ranked
  • Oilers at No. 91 (Filip Berglund) not ranked
  • Oilers at No. 123 (Dylan Wells) ranked No. 88 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 149 (Graham McPhee) not ranked
  • Oilers at No. 153 (Aapeli Rasanen) ranked No. 52 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 183 (Vincent Desharnais) not ranked

2015 draft:

  • Oilers at No. 1 (Connor McDavid) ranked No. 1 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 117 (Caleb Jones) ranked No. 76 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 124 (Ethan Bear) ranked No. 56 by Craig Button
  • Oilers at No. 154 (John Marino) not ranked
  • Oilers at No. 208 (Miroslav Svoboda) not ranked
  • Oilers at No. 209 (Ziyat Piagin) ranked No. 71 by Craig Button

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61 Responses to "A TURN NORTH AT THE DRAFT TABLE?"

  1. leadfarmer says:

    At least the Lucic signing should decrease the long shot in search of the next Lucic draft picks that were prominent in the previous regime

  2. Raider Jesse says:

    Unless they have success with Maroon, Kassian, and Lucic then they will always be looking for the younger cheaper versions!

  3. Raider Jesse says:

    I always get into this debate with people. Look at the junior numbers of legitimate 3rd line C’s and long standing 4th line C’s. They always score at higher rates than people think.

    Fundamentally do not draft people who do not score in junior, be them forwards OR defenders.

  4. Water Fire says:

    “I also thought 2013 lined up pretty well with math, but the 2014 effort has me wondering if the organization is capable of a repeat performance.”

    I read the previous post to catch up, and often when I do that forget and post a comment no one will read. Part of it fits in this thread:

    It perplexes me how the decision makers are all different, but the results are the same. Obvious and critical errors in judgement. I can’t fathom another lost season. Is there a real hotshot RHD in the 2017 draft?

    It’s scary actually how the weak decisions seem ingrained somehow, nobody can escape it. Must be the air in the offices. When do they move?

  5. Lowetide says:

    Raider Jesse:
    I always get into this debate with people.Look at the junior numbers of legitimate 3rd line C’s and long standing 4th line C’s.They always score at higher rates than people think.

    Fundamentally do not draft people who do not score in junior, be them forwards OR defenders.

    Exactly. The reason I wrote this is some push back about my contention that Lawson Crouse is a modern Ethan Moreau. People get upset by that comparison but it is accurate. Crouse might score 30 in a season, but if he does there is an impact forward on the line.

  6. dustrock says:

    And if you’re reaching after the 2nd round anyway, why not go for a home run pick in a skill player or d-man rather than a guy who might maybe make it as a grinder?

  7. Lowetide says:

    dustrock:
    And if you’re reaching after the 2nd round anyway, why not go for a home run pick in a skill player or d-man rather than a guy who might maybe make it as a grinder?

    Great point. I think Niemalainen is a good bet (I do), but Vitali Abramov was available and that kind of bet (imo) would have been a wiser use of the selection.

  8. rickithebear says:

    Rule #1 of NHLE:
    the players age (birth) dictating translateable production
    draft Sept 16 (50% CHL production) to sept 15 (75% of CHL production)
    Draft +1 Sept 16 (40%) to Sept 15 (50%)
    Draft +2 Sept 16 (35%) to sept 15 (40%)
    Draft +3 Sept 16 (32.5) to sept 15 (35%)
    EX.
    Mangiapane Apr 4. 1996
    Draft (66.6%)
    68gm 24G 27A 51P +19
    22 EVG 22 EVA 44 EVP; 44/68 = .647 X .666 = .431 X 82 = 35 EVP age NHLE
    18 EVG 17 EVA

    Draft +1 (.467)
    68gm 43G 61A 107P +24
    25 EVG 26 EVA; 51/68 = .75 x .467 = .350 x 82 = 29 EVP age NHLE
    14 EVG 15 EVA

    Draft +2 (.383)
    59gm 51G 55A 106P +40
    33 EVG 35 EVA 68 EVP; 68/59 = 1.153 X .383 = .441 X82 = 36 EVP
    17 EVG 19 EVA age NHLE
    8 SHG 6 SHA; 14/59 = .237 X .383 = .091 x 82 = 7 SHP
    4 SHG 3 SHA

    Rule #2
    power play production is not translatable.
    PPTOI players get in junior is unavailable in the pros.

    Rule #3
    Primary points is a Key marker for a Prospect.
    Then Video is critical to system match for that player.
    Tkachuk could not have fallen to a more perfect line match for his skill than in Calgary.

  9. Frank the dog says:

    Goodbye to moar bigger. Hello to the mighty midgets?
    You can’t take one element in a vacuum. By all means give skill a heavy loading and perhaps back off the moar bigger loading. But if you have a big strong player with slightly lower NHLE than a mighty midget, I take the moar bigger in that instance.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Frank the dog:
    Goodbye to moar bigger.Hello to the mighty midgets?
    You can’t take one element in a vacuum. By all means give skill a heavy loading and perhaps back off the moar bigger loading. But if you have a big strong player with slightly lower NHLE than a mighty midget, I take the moar bigger in that instance.

    It would depend on the situation, but for me, if a smaller player has an NHLE of 22 points and the bigger man is at NHLE 16, then I take the smaller forward.

  11. Ryan says:

    Speaking of blaming the men in suits at the draft table, was Samu Perhonen on any draft list?

  12. rickithebear says:

    LT:
    Crouse was one of the best Primary point players in the Draft +1 group.

    There is a philosophical difference between you and me.

    The player with the stones to drive the net and put the puck in the net is the driver of play.
    Often reflected by high shooting %

    The player who is perimeter and passes the puck drives control.
    but
    does not execute completion.

    You hope to get a player who drives entry, control, Execution.
    on the offensive side GF
    as well as Defensive side GA

    We must also consider the primary role of a position.
    which should never be sacrificed or compromised for personal gain.

  13. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Ryan: was Samu on any draft list?

    The Killer Whale?

  14. Lowetide says:

    Ryan:
    Speaking of blaming the men in suits at the draft table, was Samu Perhonen on any draft list?

    McKenzie had him No. 51
    http://www2.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=44974

  15. rickithebear says:

    Player who drives entry; control; Execution.
    Offensive:
    quick forwards who receive passes in motion and enter the zone.
    control the puck without turnovers and missed shots.
    who do not pass-up on HSCA penetration (#1 priority)
    But maintain control versus taking a poor option.

    Defensive:
    Pass the puck to transition forwards (score themes goals) as quickly as possible (good reads)
    Set for stopping zone entry and lane closing. (forcing turnovers)
    Drop and defend the HSCA: forcing misses and poor shooting % shots. (reduced Execution)

  16. Lowetide says:

    rickithebear:
    LT:

    There is a philosophical difference between you and me.

    I agree, but I love reading your stuff.

  17. Frank the dog says:

    Lowetide: It would depend on the situation, but for me, if a smaller player has an NHLE of 22 points and the bigger man is at NHLE 16, then I take the smaller forward.

    So it’s a matter of degree then. 6 points outweighs most bigger. But if it was 20 vs 22 for a 5’8″ player vs a 6’4 player with equal speed?

  18. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: McKenzie had him No. 51
    http://www2.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=44974

    Thanks for that.

    The Oilers always seem to have that knack of avoiding finding actual hockey players in a draft.

    For the 2011 3rd rd, 17 players have at least laced up for 1 or more NHL games. 5 players have played over 50 games. 3 have played over 100.

    The Oilers had the first and twelfth picks in that round, so they selected two of the 13 players that haven’t seen any NHL action.

    To cherry pick, Florida had 4 selections in the same round. All of their selections have played in the NHL. They have combined for 209 NHL games.

    Maybe they could use this to their advantage. Keep the same scouts that are so adept at finding busts and cross their selections of the actual list.

    Scout A really likes this player XYZ who put up 0.37 ppg in the dub… Thinks he’s going to make an excellent third line checking centre in the NHL… so let’s cross XYZ off our list and move on.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Frank the dog: So it’s a matter of degree then. 6 points outweighs most bigger. But if it was 20 vs 22 for a 5’8″ player vs a 6’4 player with equal speed?

    Age of course is a big item, but if both men are 20? Yes, I would take the better offensive prospect no matter the size. I have always maintained that if the players have equal ability, take the bigger man. If not, I go for the skilled player.

  20. Soup Fascist says:

    I believe the comment on Ewanyk, Musil and a few other players from the organization was “he will be a better pro than Junior”.

    It is a narrative that has been trotted out ad nauseum. The fact remains that the old chestnut is rarely true and the reality is “good” scorers in Junior often become decent 3rd or 4th liners in the NHL only IF they develop other skills. Non scorers in Junior typically don’t play at the highest pro levels.

    There are exceptions of course – but they are few and far between.

    Even “checkers” or “energy players” that are regulars in the NHL showed some offensive chops in Junior.

  21. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Not sure the Oilers went “walkabout” in the top 100 in 2014. Only two top 100 picks were Draisaitl at #3 & Lagesson at #91.

    After #100, though. Hoo boy. That was a bad one.

  22. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Ryan: To cherry pick, Florida had 4 selections in the same round. All of their selections have played in the NHL. They have combined for 209 NHL games.

    Florida fired the guy that finds these gems.
    Las Vegas just found an ace in the river.

  23. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Ryan: Thanks for that.

    The Oilers always seem to have that knack of avoiding finding actual hockey players in a draft.

    For the 2011 3rd rd, 17 players have at least laced up for 1 or more NHL games.5 players have played over 50 games.3 have played over 100.

    The Oilers had the first and twelfth picks in that round, so they selected two of the 13 players that haven’t seen any NHL action.

    To cherry pick, Florida had 4 selections in the same round.All of their selections have played in the NHL.They have combined for 209 NHL games.

    Maybe they could use this to their advantage.Keep the same scouts that are so adept at finding busts and cross their selections of the actual list.

    Scout A really likes this player XYZwho put up 0.37 ppg in the dub…Thinks he’s going to make an excellent third line checking centre in the NHL… so let’s cross XYZ off our list and move on.

    Maybe cross Scout A off the list while you’re at it.

  24. Soup Fascist says:

    Klima’s_Bucket: Florida fired the guy that finds these gems.
    Las Vegas just found an ace in the river.

    The Las Vegas River Aces?

    Sure kicks the shit out of Desert Knights.

  25. JDï™ says:

    Soup Fascist: Sure kicks the shit out of Desert Knights.

    Ownership really seems intent on using some version of Knights.

    I’m hoping for Boogie Knights. The locker room chant writes itself:

    WE ARE A STAR! A BIG, BRIGHT, SHINING STAR!

  26. Lowetide says:

    Smokin Aces. Las Vegas Smokin Aces.

  27. 36 percent body fat says:

    drafting is simple. BPA, all else equal pick for smarts, skating, center than size. Only draft projected top six forwards, top 4 d, or elite 3rd line centers. Play the odds.

    If you draft these guys and they dont fully develop than odds are the will round out into bottom role players because of their skills. If not, no biggy. Bottom 6 players and 5-7 d are always available in FA and waivers. The odds of drafting a project bottom player, even in the late rounds and them developing into NHL players is extremely low.

    Deharnais was a terrible pick when Kuznetsov was on the board.

  28. Oilspill says:

    Raider Jesse:
    I always get into this debate with people.Look at the junior numbers of legitimate 3rd line C’s and long standing 4th line C’s.They always score at higher rates than people think.

    Fundamentally do not draft people who do not score in junior, be them forwards OR defenders.

    rickithebear:
    LT:
    Crouse was one of the best Primary point players in the Draft +1 group.

    There is a philosophical difference between you and me.

    The player with the stones to drive the net and put the puck in the net is the driver of play.
    Often reflected by high shooting %

    The player who is perimeter and passes the puck drives control.
    but
    does not execute completion.

    You hope to get a playerwho drives entry, control, Execution.
    on the offensive side GF
    as well as Defensive side GA

    We must also consider the primary role of a position.
    which should never be sacrificed or compromised for personal gain.

    I’m with you. Shots and shot metrics is such a small part of the individual players equation. That is why NHL teams have large scouting staffs. It has use but is highly over rated when it comes to player evaluation.

  29. Soup Fascist says:

    Lowetide:
    Smokin Aces. Las Vegas Smokin Aces.

    I still like Las Vegas Possee.

    But mispronounciation by sportscasters could prove embarrassing.

  30. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide: Exactly. The reason I wrote this is some push back about my contention that Lawson Crouse is a modern Ethan Moreau. People get upset by that comparison but it is accurate. Crouse might score 30 in a season, but if he does there is an impact forward on the line.

    Having watched Crouse a bunch when I was in Kingston, I think the Chopper comparison is really quite apt. I think people forget that Moreau was also a 1st round pick in his day (14th overall). In his prime, Moreau did a lot of little things really well and in many ways was the ideal 3LW, especially leading up to the cup run. People may get upset by the Moreau comparison because Moreau is likely remembered for all the unnecessary/bad penalties, untimely injuries and poor production during his later years rather than for his entire career as an Oiler.

    As I said many times during the 2015 draft lead up, Crouse is a very good player and his two-way play in particular combined with his size makes him a prospect worth watching. I never really thought he deserved the top 5 hype he was getting, despite really liking him as a player. Given the young talent that AZ is acquiring and developing, Crouse will likely have a very solid career as a 2LW/3LW & pk specialist, which is plenty good for a 1st round pick.

  31. Caramel Batman says:

    Oilspill:
    I’m with you. Shots and shot metrics is such a small part of the individual players equation. That is why NHL teams have large scouting staffs. It has use but is highly over rated when it comes to player evaluation.

    Completely disagree. Goals are the only things that matter. You score goals by getting shots. You prevent goals by limiting shots. Ergo, shots are the only things that matter. They are 100% of the equation.

    All the other things matter, of course, but they only matter because they show up in goals and shots.

    So if two players produce the same number of goals but one is big and one is small, their value is still the same. They just got to the end result in different ways.

    This is axiomatic, an inarguable fact. Size matters a great deal. However, if a smaller player is producing the same results, by definition he can only be doing it by being better at something else. Whether it is speed, or hockey sense, or whatever. And these things matter a great deal too.

    How do you weight size vs. speed, for instance? Well that’s easy. Shots.

  32. jonrmcleod says:

    There’s a less than zero percent chance that the Las Vegas franchise fully embraces the move to ads on uniforms and names the team the Las Vegas Pawn Stars.

  33. Klima's_Bucket says:

    stephen sheps,

    My name is Klima’s Bucket and I approve this message.

  34. Soup Fascist says:

    Caramel Batman: Completely disagree.Goals are the only things that matter. You score goals by getting shots.You prevent goals by limiting shots.Ergo, shots are the only things that matter.They are 100% of the equation.

    All the other things matter, of course, but they only matter because they show up in goals and shots.

    So if two players produce the same number of goals but one is big and one is small, their value is still the same.They just got to the end result in different ways.

    This is axiomatic, an inarguable fact.Size matters a great deal.However, if a smaller player is producing the same results, by definition he can only be doing it by being better at something else.Whether it is speed, or hockey sense, or whatever.And these things matter a great deal too.

    How do you weight size vs. speed, for instance?Well that’s easy.Shots.

    You have to be able to objectively determine “quality of shots”. Given the overall level of goaltending in today’s game, you can blast away all day from the perimeter and never score. Certainly, shot quantity alone is not overly useful. Where the shots come from plays a more significant role in determining effectiveness.

  35. PerryK says:

    Lowetide: I agree, but I love reading your stuff.

    I don’t think that the philosophical difference is very pronounced LT!

    Ricki, you are knocking it out of the park today! You are very difficult to read some times but very much worth the effort to read! Like a Google Translate! Keep up the good work.

  36. rickithebear says:

    I posted this almost 39 hrs after the training camp #3 article.
    It may not have received much viewing.

    looking at the 3yr 13-14 to 15-16 performance of our forwards
    and
    what would be 1st line (top 90-95)

    with caveat added to Drai; Pouliot; RNH; Hall

    RICKITHEBEAR says:
    August 25, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    our Forwards even strengths: (1st line numbers)
    in order of top ranked skill/s
    Mcdavid C
    #1 2.69 EVP/60
    #3 SH% 16.22
    #7 1.15 EVG/60
    #9 1.54 EVA/60

    Kassian RW
    #12 SH% 14.12
    #52 .84 EVG/60
    #122 1.70 EVP/60

    Lucic LW
    #19 SH% 13.86
    #60 1.92 EVP/60
    #63 .82 EVG/60

    Eberle RW
    #32 SH% 12.86
    #39 .87 EVG/60
    #64 1.91 EVp/60
    #95 1.04 EVA/60

    Draisatl C
    #34 1.25 EVA/60
    #72 1.88 EVP/60
    #105 SH% 10.95
    15-16
    #20 2.20 EVP/60
    #24 1.39 EVA/60
    #31 SH% 14.14
    #84 .81 EVG/60
    he had better production with the 1st line performing forwards remaining than hall.

    Pouliot LW
    #47 1.20 EVA/60
    #67 1.90 EVP/60
    #135 SH%10.07
    2 seasons with oilers
    #32 SH% 13.16
    #50 1.99 EVP/60
    #68 .83 EVG/60
    we need 75 gm a season rather than 57gm

    Maroon LW
    #53 1.18 EVA/60
    #84 1.82 EVP/60
    #200 SH% 9.16
    #2 forward caliber of Assist rate really surprised me.

    RNH
    #96 SH% 11.08
    #129 .69 EVG/60
    #148 .93 EVA/60
    #150 1.54 EVp/60
    last 2 healthy seasons 13-14 to 14-25
    #53 SH% 11.95
    #97 .76 EVG/60
    just need to be healthy!

    I think PC emphasizes
    EVG scoring
    and
    Shooting % as an efficient use of pocession.

    Hall
    #103 .77 EVG/60
    #243 SH% 8.47
    highly ineffective conversion of pocession.
    Matched with the missed games.

    Yak 6.71 #354 SH%
    #238 .55 EVG/60
    #241 .76 EVA/60
    #249 1.31 EVP/60

  37. Water Fire says:

    Lowetide: Age of course is a big item, but if both men are 20? Yes, I would take the better offensive prospect no matter the size. I have always maintained that if the players have equal ability, take the bigger man. If not, I go for the skilled player.

    You are correct, but the bottom line here is know thyself.

    Unless something really changes which I don’t think we can say it has, the Oilers picking a small player is a wasted pick, because unless the guy is Pat Kane and can’t be ignored they will not use the player and end up with nothing for that selection. It has killed the team over the years.

    We have seen it many times over. Better to pick the highest NHLE guy big enough to satisfy whatever urge it is, and take a chance after round two. Simply look for offense and size and pick that guy where you find him.

    To make me happy they will also factor in mobility because it is key to quality play in the NHL.

  38. stephen sheps says:

    Klima’s_Bucket,

    🙂

    rickithebear:
    Player who drives entry; control; Execution.
    Offensive:
    quick forwards who receive passes in motion and enter the zone.
    control the puck without turnovers and missed shots.
    who do not pass-up on HSCA penetration (#1 priority)
    But maintain control versus taking a poor option.

    Defensive:
    Pass the puck to transition forwards (score themes goals) as quickly as possible (good reads)
    Set for stopping zone entry and lane closing. (forcing turnovers)
    Drop and defend the HSCA: forcing misses and poor shooting % shots. (reduced Execution)

    This is easily the most succinct and digestible version of your primary argument over the last 4 years or so. You’re knocking it out of the park today, Mr. Bear.

  39. PerryK says:

    LT, We need an article on emphasizing good development, and discovering unpolished gems in other organizations (like the Expos excelled at).

    If many of the NHL organizations have the same flaw, where they emphasize the wrong attributes, then there must be many players that never come close to reaching potential due to a lack of opportunity to develop in the proper direction.

    Imagine tapping into that pool of possibilities! Baseball has a similar problem as Hockey; they both draft kids! Tough to evaluate what they are going to look like when they grow up. Where as NFL is quite easy to predict what the player will be as the draft age is essentially 22.

    Anyhow, we need further scouting of the young professionals to see what hidden gems we can find. But alas we have seen how well our pro scouts perform!

  40. OilClog says:

    Las Vegas Dance Hands

  41. Woodguy says:

    This is an interesting post regarding predicting which draft eligible players will be NHL Dmen using pts/gm

    I think now that EVpts/gm and Primarypts/gm are available, this tool will be able to be honed a little sharper.

    As always there are outliers on each side and they are interesting too.

    http://thats-offside.blogspot.ca/2013/06/defense-defensemen-and-draft.html

  42. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Woodguy,

    Who wrote that article?

    Edit: Just found it. Rhys J

  43. Caramel Batman says:

    Woodguy:
    This is an interesting post regarding predicting which draft eligible players will be NHL Dmen using pts/gm

    I think now that EVpts/gm and Primarypts/gm are available, this tool will be able to be honed a little sharper.

    As always there are outliers on each side and they are interesting too.

    http://thats-offside.blogspot.ca/2013/06/defense-defensemen-and-draft.html

    Great article. Interesting that it was written before the Nurse draft year so we can evaluate the conclusions some.

    And basically of the high scoring guys only Jordan Subban looks on the outs to make it. Pulock and Theodore will play this year are on track, while Morrissey remains a maybe.

    The low scoring guys are all guys I’ve never heard about and guys who don’t look like much (Zadorov and Bowey).

    Nurse is just on the right side of the scoring cutoff and he’s going to make it, though he isn’t as good as expected.

    And the guy the article was written about, Scott Harrington, is on his third NHL team.

    So what information does scouting add, exactly? As far as I can tell it’s just noise.

  44. Frank the dog says:

    Lowetide: Age of course is a big item, but if both men are 20? Yes, I would take the better offensive prospect no matter the size. I have always maintained that if the players have equal ability, take the bigger man. If not, I go for the skilled player.

    At which time we end up with a Hall Nuge Eberle top line.

  45. Soup Fascist says:

    Woodguy:
    This is an interesting post regarding predicting which draft eligible players will be NHL Dmen using pts/gm

    I think now that EVpts/gm and Primarypts/gm are available, this tool will be able to be honed a little sharper.

    As always there are outliers on each side and they are interesting too.

    http://thats-offside.blogspot.ca/2013/06/defense-defensemen-and-draft.html

    Indeed, the Harrington prognostication would appear to be eerily on track.

  46. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Frank the dog: At which time we end up with a Hall Nuge Eberle top line.

    Hall was traded, you may want to go back and read the endless comments discussing the trade over the past few months.

  47. Frank the dog says:

    Klima’s_Bucket: Hall was traded, you may want to go back and read the endless comments discussing the trade over the past few months

    Edit: This is not about hall. This is about balancing out size and skill. The line mentioned was perhaps one of the most skilled lines in the NHL. Where did it get them.

    If you read the comments you would realize that I was part of those discussions.

    Edit: Most views relative that discussion are well entrenched and not worth revisiting without the passage of time. This discussion is around the drafting smaller, more skilled players over bigger, slightly less skilled players. Of course you can compensate by surrounding the skill with size but the size needs the speed to keep up and enough skill to cash in.

  48. Mr DeBakey says:

    Frank the dog: At which time we end up with a Hall Nuge Eberle top line.

    Assuming that a “Hall Nuge Eberle top line” is a problem [and the evidence for that is scant],
    Lawson Crouse and his like are unlikely to be the solution.

  49. Westchester Oil says:

    “Print off the Bob McKenzie list and compare it to your own list. If a player is ranked on the McKenzie list, and not on the Oilers list, why? There should be a very good reason and it can’t be ‘saw him bad’ or ‘he never looks good when I see him’ and that’s for sure. Have a good long look at the Pronman list, too.”

    As an student of the art of decision-making, I think this is a very valid approach. Humans, especially GM’s and scouts, are very prone to biases. If i was a GM, I would take it a bit farther and take the average rankings of McKenzie,Pronman, Button and maybe 1-2 others (e.g. Lowetide) as a starting point. I might give a marginally higher weight to one, if I had confidence that they had better predictive value based on their past successes. Then, if you took the best player available based on this aggregated list, I can pretty much guarantee you that you would do better than the average NHL GM. If you’re going to spend time & money using scouts, then they have to prove that they can add value over this approach. (Similar analogy is investing in an index fund compared to investing in a mutual fund).

    If you want to read the best book on the planet regarding decision-making and biases, take a look at “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahnemann.

  50. Ryan says:

    Woodguy:
    This is an interesting post regarding predicting which draft eligible players will be NHL Dmen using pts/gm

    I think now that EVpts/gm and Primarypts/gm are available, this tool will be able to be honed a little sharper.

    As always there are outliers on each side and they are interesting too.

    http://thats-offside.blogspot.ca/2013/06/defense-defensemen-and-draft.html

    I would surmise that there’s tremendous value in analyzing progression year-over-year from the draft -1 season onwards.

    Plante had zilch offense in his draft -1 and plus 1 seasons.

    Zadarov had a big spike in production in his draft +1 season (0.83 ppg) and so far appears to be breaking the 0.6 ppg draft year model. 89 gp already.

    It’s interesting that the Oilers didn’t see the floundering offense of Reinhart in his draft +1 and 2 seasons as a red flag.

    Then again the Oilers tend to value qualities like ‘grit’, pedigree, poise, leadership abilities over analytics.

  51. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Ryan: It’s interesting that the Oilers didn’t see the floundering offense of Reinhart in his draft +1 and 2 seasons as a red flag.

    Yeah, but he had to play tough opposition and got little PP time in his draft +1 and 2 seasons.

  52. kinger_OIL says:

    Frank the dog,

    – This intuitively makes sense. If you have ever played hockey at a high level, all the players know that scoring is the hardest thing to do. To score at an exceptional rate, you have to be doing something “better” than your peers.

    – I always tell this story: when I was in High School, in Ontario we had grade 13. This little kid who played Defense, he was in grade 9, and he dominated the league: his skaing, puck handling and shooting was off the charts, even compared to kids who were 19-20 (some did a Grade”14″, so they would be in some cases 20!)

    – So this defensemen, who played on the high-school team as a lark, and didnt’ tell his Junoir team that he was playing on it: he actually played in the NHL, and had a great career. He played for 15 years, never scored more than 8 goals, and was considered a “stay at home D”. It was crazy how good he was.

    – We had this set play where I would be take face-off at centre ice, and just try and keep the puck there, and he would skate up, pick the puck and go through the D at speed.

    – So he made the NHL, becasue he had amazing skill, and by the time he got there, he had the talent to repackage his skills and play that role. Talent and work ethic trump all else.

    – I will say this:” a skilled hockey player, if he has to become a “grinder” to make the NHL, all things being equal, he’s going to be better at becoming a grinder, than the guy who has been a grinder in Junior because he has more skills. Even a “grinder” in the NHL has crazy good skills”

    – Skill matters in elite sport, and scoring scores is the most difficult skill: It makes sense that there is some decent R-squared for scoring in Junoir and playing the NHL

  53. Ryan says:

    Klima’s_Bucket: Yeah, but he had to play tough opposition and got little PP time in his draft +1 and 2 seasons.

    I don’t know about relative PP toi/game (if someone has the data please share), but Nurse posted 0.92 ppg in his draft +2 season (playing against top comp) and he’s not exactly tracking as an offensive dynamo at the NHL level.

    If less than 0.6 ppg draft year dmen portends a risky investment per that blog, then I can’t imagine that spending a 16 and 33 on a guy who posted 0.47 ppg in his draft +2 season was a savvy investment.

  54. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Ryan,

    I’m trying to play devil’s advocate, and am failing miserably at it, most likely because I don’t think Reinhart will ever live up to his draft position, or what Edmonton paid to acquire him.

  55. Ryan says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Ryan,

    I’m trying to play devil’s advocate, and am failing miserably at it, most likely because I don’t think Reinhart will ever live up to his draft position, or what Edmonton paid to acquire him.

    I often wonder about Dellow’s previous role with the Oilers.

    I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when/if someone bounced that trade proposal idea off him.

  56. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Ryan,

    I get the feeling that he wasn’t listened to.
    Or if they listened to him, they didn’t take to heart what he was saying.

  57. GCW_69 says:

    Woodguy:
    This is an interesting post regarding predicting which draft eligible players will be NHL Dmen using pts/gm

    I think now that EVpts/gm and Primarypts/gm are available, this tool will be able to be honed a little sharper.

    As always there are outliers on each side and they are interesting too.

    http://thats-offside.blogspot.ca/2013/06/defense-defensemen-and-draft.html

    David Musil come on down. Not sure Dillon Simpson is that far behind. His offence in college was weak, if I recall correctly.

  58. Centre of attention says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 3m3 minutes ago
    The #Oilers have signed defenceman Matthew Benning (@GoNUmhockey) to a two-year, entry-level contract.

    official.

  59. Lowetide says:

    Post on Benning is up.

  60. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide:
    Post on Benning is up.

    I deleted my comment and reposted it in the new one 😛

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