If you’re new to this blog let me give you a brief overview. The idea here is to ignore the urge to get excited about a player because we “saw him good” and let the math tell us about a player. It’s the main reason why I don’t have Jeff Petry well ahead of guys like Chorney and Wild despite most (not all, the latest Hockey News ranks Petry about where I have him slotted) publications and blogs ranking him as the top Oilers prospect.
Since he was drafted, I’ve ranked Schremp #1 (fall 2004), #4 (spring 2005), #2 (fall 2006), and have had him at #5 since the summer of 2007 (the last three rankings, to the right).
If those lists were based solely on being NHL ready, Schremp would be #1. The math tells us that much and the math we use here is from Gabriel Desjardins. His NHL equivalencies suggest as AHL player will retain about 44% of his offense, a WHL player 30%. These numbers do not change from year to year (based on current offensive level) and assume a player would have the same time on-ice and same level of importance on the roster that he enjoyed in his minor or junior league.
It works extremely well. Desjardins’ number nailed the 2007 draft:
- Patrick Kane, OHL: 26-36-62 (ACTUAL: 82gp, 21-51-72)
- Sam Gagner, OHL: 16-39-55 (ACTUAL: 79gp, 13-36-49)
- David Perron, QMJHL: 13-14-27 (ACTUAL: 62gp, 13-14-27)
Those three players went right from junior to the NHL and delivered a performance that was extremely close to the projected number. It also did a good job projecting Oilers minor league players from their 06-07 NHLE’s to what they did in the show in 07-08:
- Robert Nilsson, AHL: 10-27-37 (ACTUAL: 71gp, 10-31-41)
- Andrew Cogliano, NCAA: 17-19-36 (ACTUAL: 82gp, 18-27-45)
- Kyle Brodziak, AHL: 15-20-35 (ACTUAL: 80gp, 14-17-31)
The Nilsson and Brodziak NHLE’s are solid and Andrew Cogliano exceeded his projected number by enough that we can call it a miss, although those could easily be two seasons by the same player. It’s “in the range”.
Below are the Desjardins’ NHLE for each prospect (who played in a measurable league) coming to Oilers camp. Should any of these men win an NHL job and get playing time similar to the minutes enjoyed in their league one year ago then Desjardins suggests these are the expectations (per 82gp):
- Rob Schremp 11-26-37
- Marc Pouliot 15-19-34
- Bryan Lerg 16-15-31
- Ryan Potulny 12-15-27
- Jordan Eberle 15-11-26
- Liam Reddox 9-17-26
- Jamie Bates 9-17-26
- Jean Francois Jacques 11-14-25
- Tyler Spurgeon 3-22-25
- Gilbert Brule 11-12-23
- Slava Trukhno 9-13-22
- Jacob Micflikier 4-17-21
- Carl Corazzini 8-12-20
- Stephane Goulet 9-6-15
- Cory Urquhart 8-7-15
- Colin McDonald 6-6-12
- Ryan O’Marra 3-9-12
- Milan Kytnar 3-5-8
- Tim Sestito 3-4-7
- Garet Hunt 3-4-7
- Hans Benson 3-3-6
I did not include: ECHL players, 20-year old juniors, and I nicked the older AHL players like Carl Corazzini because history tells me to do it.
The list is not as impressive as one year ago. In the summer of 2007, 5 AHL players (Nilsson, Schremp, Pouliot, Jacques and Brodziak) all had NHLE’s north of 30 points and so did Alexei Mikhnov, Andrew Cogliano, Sam Gagner (his 55 points led all NHLE’s) and Slava Trukhno. That’s a pool of 9 men who came to training camp with some kind of qualification to compete for a big league job. If 30 points is the line in the sand for forwards, there are 3 players this fall who qualify.
- Schremp and Pouliot return from one year ago. For their sakes and mine, let this be the last time we’re talking about them as possible NHLers.
- Schremp went 14-28-42 on the PP so his being able to put up the projected Desjardins would depend heavily on getting 1line PP time.
- Lerg is new and I think he’s been somewhat overlooked so far by Oiler fans. This guy is a shooter on a team that badly needs one and there’s a chance Lerg plays at some point this season.
- Also of interest among the forwards are Ryan Potulny, who has a good chance to make the big club but perhaps is a little shy offensively in a race against someone like Schremp.
- Jamie Bates does well by this metric and we don’t know much about him.
- Gilbert Brule does not do well and that’s going to be an interesting story this fall, as he was acquired for a veteran NHL talent and if he can’t deliver offensively then he’s a energy 4th line player and that is not a lot of return for Raffi Torres.
- Jordan Eberle is among the leading goal scorers in the group. He is unlikely to be a factor this fall and it really puts Gagner’s NHLE from a year ago in perspective.
- Tyler Spurgeon always performs well via Desjardins but he needs to stay healthy.
- Colin McDonald needs to learn the knuckleball.
- Who is Hans Benson?
- Cody Wild 4-19-23
- Sebastien Bisaillon 6-13-19
- Taylor Chorney 2-17-19
- Josef Hrabal 4-12-16
- Robbie Bina 1-15-16
- Mathieu Roy 3-11-14
- Theo Peckham 4-5-9
- Jordan Bendfeld 2-7-9
- Jake Taylor 1-5-6
- Brad Farynuk 0-5-5
- Bryan Young 0-4-4
- Mike Gabinet 0-4-4
- Alex Plante 1-1-2
All of Tom Gilbert, Taylor Chorney, Denis Grebeshkov, Josef Hrabal and Mathieu Roy were above 20 points Desjardins a year ago. This season, we’re at 1 with two more very close at 19.
- Wild does well by Desjardins and it’ll be interesting to see how much playing time he gets on the powerplay in Springfield. He certainly had a fine season last year.
- Bisaillon’s season was shortened by injury but he was impressive when playing and if he returns at a similar level he’s an option based on the math.
- Chorney is a guy whose numbers never really cover the scouting report.
- Hrabal’s numbers came in a very good league and I can’t wait to see where he lands in pro hockey.
- Robbie Bina could put up stunning numbers in the ECHL and you have to wonder about how far he can go.
- If the Oilers place Roy on waivers there’s a chance someone takes him. And then there’s a chance he has a career. Seriously. Concussions are the wild card.
- Peckham scored 2 of those goals on the powerplay, so the expectations for him at EVs in the NHL should be Smid-level.
Based on this year’s Desjardins projections, I’d say we’ll see Schremp, Pouliot, Lerg and Potulny play some in the NHL at some point in 08-09 among the forwards. From the blueline, any of the top 4 could play in the show based on the numbers.