Two of my favorite hockey observers recently discussed a subject near and dear to my heart: A reasonable prospect rating system. All of the sites and or blogs do a top prospects list, but it is somewhat unsatisfactory and can be prone to bias (see Reinhart, Griffin on this blog and reaction to same).
Steve ‘Dangle’ Glynn did a thing about the prospect pyramid and Jeff Veillette wrote some words. Both are here and worth a look. The idea being that a top 20 (or 25) forces the author(s) to make choices that take away from the overall discussion. Instead of talking about the player, we are talking about why he is ranked at a certain number. Great idea Steve, and great retort Jeff.
Many moons ago (back in the HF era) I stole an idea from Bill James (his system was used to rank MVP-calibre seasons and to estimate trade value) for prospect evaluation. Here goes.
- Entry level junior/college player (Mark Pysyk) (Jayden Platz)
- Fringe level junior/college/2nd div Euro player (William Quist) (Jordan Dawson)
- Regular in junior/college/2nd div Euro player (Phillippe Cornett) (William Lagesson)
- Quality junior/college/2nd div Euro player (Alex Plante) (Haydn Fleury)
- Impact junior/college/2nd div Euro player (Jordan Eberle) (Christian Dvorak)
- Depth Minor League/Elite Euro league Player (Johan Motin) (Ben Betker)
- Regular Minor League/Elite Euro league Player (Rob Schremp) (Anton Slepyshev)
- Quality Minor/Elite Euro league Player (Linus Omark) (Frank Vatrano)
- NHL Fringe Player (Liam Reddox) (Anton Lander)
- NHL Role Player (Marc Pouliot) (Mark Letestu)
- NHL Regular (Ethan Moreau) (Teddy Purcell)
- Above Average NHL Player (Ales Hemsky) (Connor McDavid)*
- Impact NHL Player (Jarome Iginla) (Sidney Crosby)
*I know, I know. He should be 13.
CURRENT OILERS PROSPECTS
The original post (or one of the originals) is here, I tweaked a little (took away player of unknown quality). There are certain things that help the viewer, like:
- No. 1-5 means the player is either in junior, college or Euro second division. Pro starts at six.
- No. 6-8 means pro but outside the NHL.
- No. 9-13 is varying degrees of NHL.
- I left the old timey names as a curio, fun to see how many climbed the mountain (and how far).
A few advantages:
- This isn’t comparing prospect to prospect, but rather comparing a prospect against his own established past. If Jujhar Khaira has an uneven development but still ends up an 8 early in his pro career, well that is part of his record we can instantly recognize as meandering. Where he was ranked each Christmas (or summer) is immaterial. Its kind of like comparing your own previous golf score on a specific course to the round you played today.
- Long development timelines (Brossoit, Oesterle) may look like a bad thing, but if a player arrives at No. 8 during the entry-level deal he has a chance. That is the goal for depth picks (remember, the stars of AHL development are guys like Jason Chimera, Kyle Brodziak, Brandon Davidson).
- Euro kids who make it to pro hockey over there look more prominent than maybe they are. Rasanen is coming over to the USHL, but if he stayed in Finland we might be hanging a 7 on him this winter. Kind of deceiving.
- The system can make it appear that a player is stalling, like Caggiula or Reinhart, when in fact they are developing in a specific league.
I used to post this and say ‘thoughts?’ but have long given up on this becoming a thing. Too bad, because I do believe there is something here.