TRUST, BUT VERIFY

When Craig MacTavish was hired as Oilers GM, he talked about advanced stats and analytics. Both David Perron and Marco Roy were what we might call ‘analytics acquisitions’ for Edmonton. A year later, Perron’s addition is universally regarded as MacT’s signature move.

  • Craig MacTavish, summer 2013 on Perron trade: “It’ll be a good test for our analytics guys. They have him with some of the game’s elite. He’s right up there with controlling the play and shots for and against differential.”  Source

Fair? If you’re Craig MacTavish, that’s got to be a good arrow for the math men, right? I would think so. In the week after the 2013 draft, I interviewed Michael Parkatti from the Boys on the Bus blog. Parkatti won the Oilers hackathon and did some numbers work for the Oilers before the draft, basically confirming what their scouts were viewing (or possibly raising red flags).

  • Michael Parkatti: “The model really liked Marco Roy. There’s a lot of things to like about the player outwardly, and if you look at the statistics diagnostically it’s not just the point production but also the situation he found himself in. The team he played for this year was very good, but it was one of those situations where he wasn’t being dragged along by anybody. The way I like to look at it was he was the good player on the team, he played an integral part on that team. And you really saw that in the playoffs.”

We’re one season into the project, and—based on what we know—things are going pretty well. Perron, with the help of the analytics guys, was a home run. Roy, who started out very well, slipped some but still has a nice future. The model worked, Roy got hurt.

Right?

The player in the photo is Rourke Chartier, who to my eye fits what Parkatti was talking about above. Right? The draft is over now, this Chartier fellow is a San Jose prospect now, the die is cast. So, question: what does Liam Coughlin, who was taken No. 130 overall by the Oilers, have that Rourke Chartier doesn’t have, beyond size?

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PRINCE ALBERT RAIDERS EXTRA SKATER, DRAFT ELIGIBLES

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Rourke Chartier is 5.11, 180. Liam Coughlin is 6.03, 201. ALL other numbers that are available to us overwhelmingly suggest Rourke Chartier is the better man. The Edmonton Oilers use analytics, we proved that at the top. They acquired David Perron in part because of it, and correctly identified Marco Roy as a quality prospect in 2013 (he was ripping the cover off the ball before injuries).

What’s up? Do we have the right to expect scouts to stand aside while the math takes over? Maybe we don’t. Maybe hiring Liam Coughlin and his big fast body then hoping he’ll learn to score is the right call. Then again, Rourke Chartier and his 2.5 EV points-per-60 estimate are going to get a chance to prove math right and Oilers scouts wrong.

Should the Edmonton Oilers trust their scouts? Of course they should. Should the Edmonton Oilers make a selection as high and outside as Liam Coughlin? I’m not so sure. I wonder if Marco Roy’s injury cost the analytics department in the amateur procurement area this season. From a Jason Gregor interview with Craig MacTavish before the draft:

  • Gregor: The Blue Jackets have a draft value chart. Do the Oilers have one?
  • MacTavish: Yes we do. It is very beneficial on draft day and it gives us a value of what a draft pick’s value is based on past drafts.
  • Gregor: When you’re looking at the history of the pick, I’m guessing there also cases where Stu MacGregor is talking to you and maybe saying, ‘Craig I really like this guy and I think that we should move up eights spots, or 10 spots for instance. How much do you still have to go on the scouting rather than just the analytics of that specific draft spot?
  • MacTavish: Well, I think the value is in the amalgamation of both departments: your analytics department and your amateur scouting department. That’s really the sweet spot in terms of evaluation of players, there’s no question about that. Stu MacGregor is a very progressive guy, a very open-minded guy as is Dan. Analytics is used as it should be by Stu MacGregor as part of the overall evaluation process and as a tool.

Source.

SAW. HIM. GOOD.

It’ll be the death of us.

I believe the smart play here is to trust (your scouts) but verify (with the math). If the math says no, you better be right.

Right?

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46 Responses to "TRUST, BUT VERIFY"

  1. justDOit says:

    Saw these tweets earlier today, and because I’m still pissed that Steve whats-his-name has a job, I thought I’d post them here:

    Retweeted by Scott Cullen
    Dan Rosen @drosennhl · 2h
    Babcock on use of analytics: “The bottom line is the NFL and Major League Baseball, they have been way ahead of us in this area.”

    Retweeted by Scott Cullen
    Dan Rosen @drosennhl · 3h
    Babcock said the Wings “will for sure” have to hire an analytics guy. “We just have to.” He said he’s a fan of it. “I love the information.”

    I can just imagine a Simmonds/Babcock interview…. “SET THE STAT SHEET ASIDE, AND RECOGNIZE BOLLAND AS A CUP WINNER, MIKE!!!! HE WAS ON THE ICE IN THE LAST MINUTE OF A SC GAME 6 FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!”

  2. godot10 says:

    The Oilers use analytics? MacT uses analytics? Then why did MacT have no clue that they were screwing up Taylor Hall last year till a radio host asked him a question about Dellow’s deconstruction of the mess Eakins had made of Hall.

  3. RexLibris says:

    Trust but verify.

    Absolutely, that is religion for journalism (at least most journalism *coughFoxcough*).

    However, for management, sometimes I think that there are situations where you give someone just enough rope to either hang themselves or succeed.

    The Liam Coughlin pick may be one asset in MacTavish’s inventory that he deemed expendable to use on determining the amount of leverage he will provide to some of his scouting sources in the future.

    I think the Mark Fraser and Matt Hendricks acquisitions could also have been moves made in the same category.

    The math guys won on Perron and may be vindicated by Roy, provided injuries are factored in to the final equation.

    The seen-him-good guys (and let’s just be honest, we online commenters are probably all thinking about Morey Gare and Dave Semenko when we mention this) fall more in the pro-scouting department and have, by my reckoning, the Hendricks deal to boast of right now.

    I think Fayne and Pouliot are analytics hires and Purcell is a grab-and-dash trade. The draft picks? Not sure where they fell in the scouting spectrum, we may have to wait for comment on specific picks.

    Ideally, though, and I’ve mentioned this before, I’d like to see a collaboration of the two approaches. Seen-Him-Scouts draw the lines, analytics colours in the space. Consilience is the term that I’d used and I think still applies.

    NHL history is full of damned good scouts who did their work without the fancy stats, so if you don’t have a Hakan Andersson hanging around to feed you Hall of Fame defenders in the 5th round every once in awhile then taking the scouting group you have and running their information against the numbers only makes sense.

    Trust but verify – both ways, to the old school scouts and the new math number crunchers.

  4. Vince says:

    Gregor asking the right questions for sure, this was great post LT. Short, Simple and makes an important point….trust but verify, love it.

  5. RexLibris says:

    justDOit:
    Saw these tweets earlier today, and because I’m still pissed that Steve whats-his-name has a job, I thought I’d post them here:

    Retweeted by Scott CullenDan Rosen @drosennhl·2h
    Babcock on use of analytics: “The bottom line is the NFL and Major League Baseball, they have been way ahead of us in this area.”

    Retweeted by Scott CullenDan Rosen @drosennhl·3h
    Babcock said the Wings “will for sure” have to hire an analytics guy. “We just have to.” He said he’s a fan of it. “I love the information.”

    I can just imagine a Simmonds/Babcock interview…. “SET THE STAT SHEET ASIDE, AND RECOGNIZE BOLLAND AS A CUP WINNER, MIKE!!!! HE WAS ON THE ICE IN THE LAST MINUTE OF A SC GAME 6 FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!”

    Heh, when Simmons said that about Bolland I wanted to shout at him “Do you now pay Alec Martinez $6 million a year because he scored the Cup winning goal for L.A.?”

    Then I thought reductio ad absurdum probably wouldn’t work on Simmons. It’d feel too much like his own intellectual backyard.

  6. RexLibris says:

    godot10:
    The Oilers use analytics?MacT uses analytics?Then why did MacT have no clue that they were screwing up Taylor Hall last year till a radio host asked him a question about Dellow’s deconstruction of the mess Eakins had made of Hall.

    He might have chosen not to pile on his coach in a public forum. Or perhaps respecting Eakins’ authority over player deployment within the game.

    Hesitation in answering a questions that relates to analytics does not negate an earlier statement that explicitly outlines the role that analytics played on two significant player acquisition decisions.

  7. Marcus Oilerius says:

    godot10:
    The Oilers use analytics?MacT uses analytics?Then why did MacT have no clue that they were screwing up Taylor Hall last year till a radio host asked him a question about Dellow’s deconstruction of the mess Eakins had made of Hall.

    It’s really disconcerting how the bloggers are ahead of the Oilers in identifying this team’s problems.

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/04/22/taylor-hall-had-two-different-seasons-for-the-edmonton-oilers/

    But the timing is suggestive. Basically within a week of the blogs keying in on this problem, Hall was back to doing what he always does. That, in concert with the Eakins quote above, suggests to me rather strongly that the coaching staff came to the same conclusion at about the same time (perhaps independently) and changed their approach in handling the player.

    As I look back on this season, I think it’s obvious that a sane management group would have Eakins under the microscope.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Rex: Agree. However, if we’re going walkabout in a year where value hung in the air a long damn time, I would like them to ask the scout who found Chase what he likes. Maybe they did, but it doesn’t look the same.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Marcus: That’s why Craig Ramsay is so important.

  10. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Are we still mad about the 130th pick in a weak draft?

  11. Lowetide says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Are we still mad about the 130th pick in a weak draft?

    Apparently.

  12. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Lowetide:
    Marcus: That’s why Craig Ramsay is so important.

    Ramsay as second sober thought? A potential replacement? A fire under Eakins’ ass?

  13. Lowetide says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Ramsay as second sober thought?A potential replacement?A fire under Eakins’ ass?

    I don’t think he’s here as a replacement, but certainly someone to throw things by once in awhile. The swarm, the wonky possession on Hall’s line (which iirc was bad all year, so whatever the fix it needs to be tightened) those sorts of things.

  14. speeds says:

    Lowetide: Apparently.

    The issue isn’t the pick itself; no matter who EDM picks at that point in the draft they aren’t all that likely to be selecting a future superstar (although it happens from time to time).

    The issue is the decision making process and criteria, which we don’t have a look at, but are trying to glean from a small number of picks. You can argue that it’s a small sample size, and it is. I would argue that any process that leads you to pick Abney over a number of the players available at that point is in need of at least a tweak or two.

  15. justDOit says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Are we still mad about the 130th pick in a weak draft?

    I think madness is a prerequisite to being an Oilers fan!

  16. bendelson says:

    Trust your scouts and verify with the math.

    Do the scouts live in a world without math?
    At some point down the line, won’t the best scouting departments spend their resources concentrating their ‘saw him good’ eyes on players that math also likes?

    Are we not there yet?

  17. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: I don’t think he’s here as a replacement, but certainly someone to throw things by once in awhile. The swarm, the wonky possession on Hall’s line (which iirc was bad all year, so whatever the fix it needs to be tightened) those sorts of things.

    Eakins said he fixed everything about how the Oilers were going to play this year during the Olympic break. Nothing new, no changes in training camp.

  18. godot10 says:

    The OIler are NOT using analytics if they don’t have real time analytics on their best player, and go half a season and have a blogger have to tell them things are screwed up.

    The OIlers, MacT, and their analytics department #FAIL verification.

    Sault St. Marie and that Dubas guy seemed to be able to use analytics in near real-time.

  19. bendelson says:

    godot10: Eakins said he fixed everything about how the Oilers were going to play this year during the Olympic break.Nothing new, no changes in training camp.

    That comment was b.r. (before Ramsey).
    Eakins admitted to Ramsey pointing out a flaw in the system during the job interview I do believe.

  20. godot10 says:

    The analytics #FAIL on Hall last year means the mantra should NOT be “Trust, but verify”, but “Show me”. Hall should be Taylor Hall again, dominant in Corsi relative and chances relative.

    That is the proof now required to demonstrate that the Oilers have properly integrated analytics.

  21. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    The analytics #FAIL on Hall last year means the mantra should NOT be “Trust, but verify”, but “Show me”. Hall should be Taylor Hall again, dominant in Corsi relative and chances relative.

    That is the proof now required to demonstrate that the Oilers have properly integrated analytics.

    Trust, but verify was brought up by me in regard (in this case) to the scouts. Rave on, but I thought it might be of interest to point out no one actually said trust but verify in regard to Dallas Eakins.

  22. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: Trust, but verify was brought up by me in regard (in this case) to the scouts. Rave on, but I thought it might be of interest to point out no one actually said trust but verify in regard to Dallas Eakins.

    What is more important?

    1) Using your analytics department’s limited resources trying to distinguish between the 130 and the 140th best players in a draft class OR

    2) Evaluating which players to sign or trade.

    3) Insuring that the play of your best player is optimized.

    The best teams (like the Blackhawks and Kings) are arguably at the #3 stage already.

    MacT and his analytics department were caught with their pants down in the middle of last season by a blogger.

    It is not “trust” time. It is “show me” time.

  23. Lowetide says:

    godot10: What is more important?

    1) Using your analytics department’s limited resources trying to distinguish between the 130 and the 140th best players in a draft classOR

    2) Evaluating which players to sign or trade.

    3) Insuring that the play of your best player is optimized.

    The best teams (like the Blackhawks and Kings) are arguably at the #3 stage already.

    MacT and his analytics department were caught with their pants down in the middle of last season by a blogger.

    It is not “trust” time.It is “show me” time.

    I don’t think the analytics department extends to the coaching staff. Have you heard anything about that? I know this post will receive another rant, but as I mentioned in the article you didn’t read, the Oilers use analytics (From what we can prove) in the pro and amateur scouting department.

    Cue rant.

  24. FastOil says:

    speeds: The issue isn’t the pick itself; no matter who EDM picks at that point in the draft they aren’t all that likely to be selecting a future superstar (although it happens from time to time).

    The issue is the decision making process and criteria, which we don’t have a look at, but are trying to glean from a small number of picks.You can argue that it’s a small sample size, and it is. I would argue that any process that leads you to pick Abney over a number of the players available at that point is in need of at least a tweak or two.

    ^^^^
    You will never find a late round gem if you pick a player who has fundamental reasons as to why they won’t play int he NHL. This is a simple question of reasoning. As speeds said it’s about the decision making more than the player.

  25. belcolt91 says:

    OLD HABITS DIE HARD. We’re making fair less of these types of selections under MacG, but this selection clearly indicates we’ve still not cleared the woods of walkabout picks. But hey, atleast analytics seems to be increasingly more influential with our decision-making.

  26. Woodguy says:

    NOTE: I’ve never seen these players play, I only have their resulting boxcars via hockeydb.com and extraskater.com

    LT,

    I was going to ask “Are you sure you pegged the right guy?”

    Chartier was 72gp 58pts for .806pts/gm in his draft year

    His team mate, Tyson Baillie, also in his draft year scored 55pts in 56gp for .982pts/gm

    Baillie is an Edmonton guy and was born in Nov 95 less than 5 months before Chartier

    Everything I know about rating kids is pts/gm is everything.

    Roy was 1.046pts/gm in his draft year btw.

    Even after the scouts re-jig the list based on what they see, in time the list tends to re-jig itself via pts/gm in their draft year because talent.

    That being said, I went and had a look at TOI/gm because extraskater is awesome.

    If that site can be trusted then we get this:

    Baillie was 19.2min 5v5/gm and Chartier was 15.3.

    Baillie put up 3.0pt/60 5v5 and Chartier put up 3.1pts/60

    So Baillie was getting the cherry minutes, but Chartier was more like Roy in that he was producing on the 2nd line. Good catch.

    I still say that both Chartier and Coughlin are middling prospects and the determining factor was making the call in 4 years as opposed to 2, but Chartier looks like the better option.

    How much better is the question, and I really don’t know.

    Interesting.

    Also,

    Nick Merkley was 16 years old on Kelowna and put up 3.3 5v5pts/60, good for 5th on the team.

    Might be one to watch next year.

    Also,

    2 other draft eligible (17 year olds) players put up similar/better 5v5pts/60 than Chartier

    Kris Schmidli 3.4pts/60
    Justin Kirkland 3.3pts/60

    Schmidli is 5’9″ 165lbs and was not drafted
    Kirkland is 6’3″ 190lbs and was drafted 62nd (3rd round) by NSH.

  27. wheatnoil says:

    42. As a follow-up to that, when asked what he wants to see different about his team’s play next season, Hextall replied, “How we enter the offensive zone.” There are some Flyers bloggers who are really horny about that stuff, and I’m pretty sure he’s aware of it. – Friedman’s most recent 30 thoughts

    Apparently the Oilers aren’t the only franchise that is borrowing free information from their bloggers. I think that’s kind of fun! New age we live in!

  28. Gordies Elbow says:

    I think the answer is which stats they’re looking at, and the roles that they perceive need filling.

    From a points perspective, no question that Rourke is the better pick. But from a grit perspective?

    Liam Coughlin led his team in penalty minutes, with 70 this year.

    Rourke Chartier has 16. In his last two seasons.

    With the 130th pick, where the “offensive player” has an NHL RE of around 7 goals and 17 points, perhaps it’s time to look at organizational balance?

    (PS: Looking at players past the fifth round has me understanding why Buffalo drafted that great player from the Tokyo Katanas. 7 rounds might be too many.)

  29. B S says:

    Woodguy:
    Baillie was 19.2min 5v5/gm and Chartier was 15.3.

    Baillie put up 3.0pt/60 5v5 and Chartier put up 3.1pts/60

    So Baillie was getting the cherry minutes, but Chartier was more like Roy in that he was producing on the 2nd line.Good catch.

    Not sure where you’re getting “cherry minutes” from based on pts/60 or TOi. Baillie seems like the better prospect since he’s playing more minutes he’ll be more likely to face harder opponents, and he’s still getting points at the same rate.

    Great comparison of stats across junior prospects though. Thanks WG.

  30. sliderule says:

    I would think when trying to make a pick that there are all sorts of factors to consider in addition to analytics .
    Current size and projected size.ie Leon vs Bennett
    Age difference.
    Attitude.does the player want to put in time and effort required or is he a Daigle.
    Gregor had an interview with the Devils scout and he thought that the players attitude was one of the most important factors

  31. Lowetide says:

    WG: I just grabbed someone taken after No. 130 who I could find out about via Extra Skater’s CHL stuff. All of the guys on that team that SHOULD have been drafted is a coincidence.

  32. Deadman Waiting says:

    Lowetide:
    I would like them to ask the scout who found Chase what he likes.

    That’s the problem. We’re not privy to the discussion at the pitcher’s mound. We think it’s all “saw him good”, but really they’re talking a lot about candlesticks.

    The real problem is that everyone involved has a human motivation to project an image of contributing value. Imagine you have a scout sitting at the table, his turn comes up to summarise his gleanings, he clears his throat and says “on my beat, pretty much every player looks just like the math says he looks”.

    Fat scout: Did you actually attend any games?

    Thin scout: I heard he’s writing a book on the side discussing the four different types of Texas BBQ.

    Fat scout: That’s what napkins are for, so you can eat at your desk in the lower bowl … and still watch the game.

    It’s the same problem we have looking at this from the outside, concerning the whole group. Inside the group, they’re looking at each other trying to decide who is pulling his weight and who is screwing the pooch.

    “There’s this one kid, see, that’s a little different. The math doesn’t see it, but when you watch the kid, he stands out. Time after time he catches your eye with some subtle move you didn’t expect. It’s hard to understand why the math can’t see it.” So you keep and eye on the kid. You hang around. You talk to people. You review the game footage. This great mystery captivates you. Pretty soon you’ve got a hunch, and then the hunch metastasizes into a small theory …

    Originally you’re just trying to sell “I was there” 1001 Arabian Nights-style. But gradually as you spin this story, you become fond of your creation. The story grows on you.

    “I was there” ground beef enters the machine at one end, and pretty soon “saw him good” sausage links emerge from the other end. Pretty soon you’ve got six cats arguing over three mice.

    I also think it’s not just the man, but also the cut of the suit. You have to put the right prospect into the right story in order for the prospect to yield his full potential. By the time you call out a kid’s name, you better have a pretty good idea of how the organized is going to value the prospect and what opportunities and challenges he’ll be given.

    I’m dubious about most of the stories of young kids being ruined by being brought up too quickly. These narratives are fundamentally too retcon. What’s a lot less dubious is young men being ruined by too much time spent sitting at the lonely end of a cold wooden bench.

    Not because the coach doesn’t like the kid, but he’s got to win some games to justify his own existence, and right now in this very minute he’s got other guys bringing more to the party. Bench warmer gets extra attention in practice, but can he ever really catch up on the tally sheet of the coach’s in-game gut instinct if he’s never out there on the ice?

    If you’re a scout, you better make sure than any selection people remember as your call around the table is argued to the front of the bench.

    The disconnect between the math and what you see is obvious now: the guy just needs more in-game experience, so that his special skills and the math are happily wed. A lot more in-game experience.

    Now the thin scout is thinking to himself, “wait a minute here”. “Fat boy has just argued his rescue dog into defensive zone face-offs, shutdown assignments, second unit PP, and reserve PK all the way from the minor leagues to OKC. When is my fundamentally more sound prospect ever going to see a shift?”

    Math doesn’t stand a chance until it’s equally involved in the downstream politics. “Saw him good” is also an alias for “deserves an extra helping of organizational TLC”.

    We tend to presume that organizational TLC is a zero-cost item. You just need to be smart and it works itself out. It never happens that a badly timed injury orphans a good player at the back of an ugly log jam. “Sorry guy, it’s the stretch run and we’re two games back. Tomorrow’s team is a big, fast skating opponent, and you’re awfully rusty; we’ll just have to slot you in as best as we can at six minutes per game until you’re feeling the old magic.”

    Math would have to evaluate the player’s present ability, the expected outcome conditioned on the opportunity the player is giving within the organization’s development pipeline (statistically weighted against chance and happenstance), and assign a cost term associated with the opportunity invested.

    A one-year rescue dog is worth way more than a four-year rescue dog, even if they’re eventually posting the same numbers far down the road. How many other deserving prospects chilled at the end of a cold bench while the four-year rescue dog was brushed, clipped, bathed, and fluffed?

    Somehow we all fall into the trap of presuming that life inside a black box is intrinsically different than life outside the black box.

    All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten

    One of those lessons that sticks with us:

    Every black box is a tree fort of self-congratulating natural-born geniuses gone feral.

  33. Lowetide says:

    DMW: That was beautiful. :-)

  34. Gordies Elbow says:

    Deadman Waiting,

    Wow. Great post!

  35. justDOit says:

    Woodguy,

    Nick Merkley is my neighbor’s son’s friend, and I had the chance to informally meet him a while ago. That young man already has a very solid build (guessing 190 lbs), and he won WHL rookie of the year. I’m told he’s draft eligible next year.

  36. Woodguy says:

    B S: Not sure where you’re getting “cherry minutes” from based on pts/60 or TOi. Baillie seems like the better prospect since he’s playing more minutes he’ll be more likely to face harder opponents, and he’s still getting points at the same rate.

    Great comparison of stats across junior prospects though. Thanks WG.

    I meant Cherry minutes in that his coach is using him a lot. He’s getting a boatload of ice time.

    He’s playing a ton 5v5 and is trusted by the coach.

    Didn’t mean it in terms of easy minutes.

    Thanks for making me clarify, it wasn’t clear.

  37. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: I just grabbed someone taken after No. 130 who I could find out about via Extra Skater’s CHL stuff. All of the guys on that team that SHOULD have been drafted is a coincidence.

    Serendipity then because its interesting to look at and suss out.

  38. leadfarmer says:

    The Oilers may use advance stats but continue to apply “saw him well evaluations” as well, cause advanced stats dont show Nikitin well, especially not for that price.

  39. B S says:

    Woodguy: I meant Cherry minutes in that his coach is using him a lot.He’s getting a boatload of ice time.

    He’s playing a ton 5v5 and is trusted by the coach.

    Didn’t mean it in terms of easy minutes.

    Thanks for making me clarify, it wasn’t clear.

    I get you now. Different use of the term was all. It jives with the rest of the comparisons you were making.

    Personally, if I was drafting, when I hit the 6-7 rounds I’d just look at pts/game, or pts/60 or 5v5 only just pick a metric and, accounting for different leagues, whoever is remaining with the highest score, I’d ask the scouts if there was any reason other than size NOT to take him, if there was a good one (not a “Jim, Scouting for Boston he saw him fall trying to skate backwards”, but a “he plays on a good team against poor competition and his linemates pad his stats”, or “gasses easily in the third period, looks sloppy, even when the score is close”) next kid down the list, if not, pick him.

  40. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    The Oilers may use advance stats but continue to apply “saw him well evaluations” as well, cause advanced stats dont show Nikitin well, especially not for that price.

    That’s a great point. They’re making progress but old habits die hard.

  41. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Lowetide,

    Bob McKenzie on the advanced stats debate:

    http://mremis.ca/bob-mckenzie-on-how-nhl-teams-use-analytics/

  42. leadfarmer says:

    Hey LT I was wondering if MacT addresses the holes at center before the start of the season are you going to change your predictions. With the current roster make up I dont think the oil give up as many goals as last year but it will be difficult to score points as well. Injuries happen especially to positions were you cant afford them, and this team is an injury to Gordon or Nuge away from disaster. These great wingers that this team has might spend considerable time being centered by the BeLander triangle, a rookie, or Papa Smurf (Arco) none of which has been able to play the position at the NHL level for a season.
    Shoring up the center position will really do a significant change in point production, IMO.

  43. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Hey LT I was wondering if MacT addresses the holes at center before the start of the season are you going to change your predictions.With the current roster make up I dont think the oil give up as many goals as last year but it will be difficult to score points as well.Injuries happen especially to positions were you cant afford them, and this team is an injury to Gordon or Nuge away from disaster.These great wingers that this team has might spend considerable time being centered by the BeLander triangle, a rookie, or Papa Smurf (Arco) none of which has been able to play the position at the NHL level for a season.
    Shoring up the center position will really do a significant change in point production, IMO.

    Yes. I’ll run them now and then post a final final. The final final post would get the adjustment, and I’d probably do a new RE (while shaking my fist at MacTavish) for the new hire. :-)

  44. rickithebear says:

    When you take a repetitive look at taller players. A 12 to 18 month shift can be needed for determining them.
    RE: performance curves and age projections.

    PS:
    Wizaed Quest in WISC DEL, Wisconsin?
    Who knew!
    Wrigley and Navy pier were awesome!
    Off to the Golden Dome!

  45. j says:

    The problem with analytics is they are contextual – particularly for junior players. There are many examples of players looking poor on the stat sheet because they are being deployed by a coach with a different agenda. However, a good scout can see the potential even if the player is being miscast. At the NHL level, the analytics are probably much more accurate and more in alignment with the ‘saw him good’ approach. The two sides would be considerably less divergent at the pro level. That said, Hemsky will sure look/stat good with Seg and Benn!!

  46. Bruce McCurdy says:

    DMW: Another terrific read. Keep doing what you’re doing. Loved the Calvin & Hobbes strips at the end too.

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