Some things show up in a regular rotation, I guess they roll around in people’s minds and then take on a life of their own. Take Jordan Eberle and his projected point total. Man there’s been too much written on that subject. Allow me to add to the pile.
A word reasonable expectations. RE is designed to take all of the bias out of an argument and plant us in the ‘field of normal’ where we can safely discuss what is reasonable. In his latest article at Cult of Hockey, David Staples re-opens the Jordan Eberle point total discussion, linking to my RE on Eberle and also discussing Tyler Dellow’s estimate (which is similar to my estimation and can assure you was done independently of my own RE).
A few words about David Staples. David takes a lot of heat from many people, but I’m not one of them. Staples has enjoyed an interesting and varied career in the newspaper business and I’d guess he’s seen and heard enough during that time to both write several interesting books and check himself into a sanitarium. Credit to him for being a productive member of society.
I’d like to take one item from the article:
- David Staples: All that said, there is a certain class of players — I refer to refer to them as the NHL’s super snipers — who defy the general trend. They put up high shooting percentages year after year. Steve Stamkos is the most outstanding example of this kind of player. In the last three years, Stamkos has shot 17.2, 16.5 and 19.8 per cent. Does anyone expect Stamkos to crash to 10 or 11 per cent? I doubt it.
Here’s the trouble I have with David’s statement: we didn’t and don’t have three seasons of “established levels of ability” in one league from Eberle in order to project him into the stratosphere. He doesn’t have shooting percentages of 17.2, 16.5 and 19.8 in the NHL over three seasons. We have two NHL seasons, an AHL half season and his final junior season in order to project him.
I’m not on the “shooting percentage” train as much as others, for me its all about the Bill James established level of ability. Allow me to use NHLE for Eberle’s final junior season and this AHL season (using the AHL metric we used last night):
- Eberle at 19 NHLE: 82, 22-24-46 .561ppg
- Eberle at 20 NHL: 69, 18-25-43 .623ppg
- Eberle at 21 NHL: 78, 34-42-76 .974ppg
- Eberle at 22 NHLE: 82, 33-33-66 .805ppg
That’s using .3 for his final WHL season and .55 for this AHL season as per Desjardins and Tulsky, respectively. Now, let’s go back to my RE: 75, 24-31-55 .733 looks reasonable along the current line, that’s not a crazy wobble from his current number and gives greater weight to his 21-year old season than the rookie NHL season and his final year junior.
RE talks about reasonable. That’s always been the point. When we discuss this, I understand that it feels like it is personal, but it isn’t. Honest. I love Jordan Eberle’s game, its the crowning glory in the MBS draft record and you know what I think of MacGregor.
Jordan Eberle is a fine young player. I think we should be thrilled with him if he scores 55 points. That I believe to be reasonable. If he scores 90, music!