One of the things analytics folks are faced with is the idea they love the numbers more than the game. I’ve spoken enough with ‘math people’ to know that isn’t true, they do in fact value the visual. For anyone who seriously follows the draft, ‘saw him good’ is a major part of the equation. Why? Skating isn’t just ‘fast’ or ‘slow’ or ‘first step quickness’ there are all kinds of gears in between. A kid with hands is going to score goals, but how is he scoring them? Cashing from the slot via a gifted center, or contributing to the success of the goal before the final shot? Can he check? Can he skate backwards? On it goes.
‘Saw him good’ types are warming to the idea of math, or at least from what I’ve seen. One ‘math’ item most people can agree on is the value of even-strength scoring. If you can post good numbers at even strength, chances are you’re going to be successful. Here are the EV scoring numbers (by CHL league) for the top draft eligible offensive players in this year’s draft (courtesy CHL stats):
OHL (17 yr olds)
- Connor McDavid 47GP, 32-40-72 1.53
- Dylan Strome 68GP, 31-48-79 1.16
- Mitch Marner 63GP, 25-37-62 .980
- Travis Konecny 60GP, 22-26-48 .800
- Dante Salituro 68GP, 23-27-50 .740
- Blake Speers 57GP, 14-25-39 .680
QMJHL (17 yr olds)
- Dmytro Timashev 66GP, 12-52-64 .970
- Evgeny Svechnikov 55GP, 22-30-52 .950
- Timo Meier 61GP, 19-33-52 .850
- Yakov Trenin 58Gp, 12-33-45 .780
- Kay Schweri 53GP, 7-32-39 .740
- Filip Chlapik 64GP, 23-22-45 .700
- Dennis Yan 59GP, 23-18-41 .690
- Daniel Sprong 68GP, 22-24-46 .680
WHL (17 yr olds)
- Mathew Barzal 44GP, 9-25-34 .770
- Paul Bittner 66GP, 23-26-49 .740
- Jansen Harkins 70GP, 16-36-52 .740
- Jake DeBrusk 72GP, 26-23-49 .680
That’s 19 players who have scored .68/game or more in the CHL this season. There are some fantastic kids in the draft this year (Leon Draisaitl was .920 in 2013-14, Sam Bennett was 1.04). I don’t know what the Edmonton Oilers would do with this information, but we do have some reason to believe they’re looking at numbers that may help them identify hidden gems.
The top end guys we know about, they’re established and NHL teams will have had plenty of eyes on them. From the list above, I’d like to know about Dante Salituro, Blake Speers, Dmytro Timashev, Yakov Trenin, Kay Schweri. Why are those men ranked so low? WHY? Here’s how I ranked them on my final list:
- No. 27 Blake Speers
- No. 49 Dmytro Timashov
- No. 84 Dante Salituro
- No. 87 Yakov Trenin
- No. 116 Kay Schweri
If you’re the Oilers, and these are the players you’ve identified via your math template, it’s probably a good idea to crosscheck with your scouts. If the QMJHL scout hasn’t listed Timashov as an example, it probably behooves you to ask why. If the answer is ‘he’s too small’ then the organization has to make a decision based on their own priorities. Maybe the Oilers have decided they don’t need any more small forwards (a mistake) and want to pursue only big, physical players (also a mistake). We’ll know by Saturday noon. The five players above are a universal tell for all 30 teams: Who gets it, who does not?
WATCH THE GAMES, NERD!
There are 60 (SIXTY!) teams in the CHL, so watching games and finding nuance and hitches is a full time job times (at least) three for each CHL league. I’ve heard scouts say “lots of talent but I wouldn’t take him” which sounds kind of crazy but depends on the reason. If the young man can’t skate then that’s a deal breaker. If he’s shy in the corners? I don’t know. Is that fixable? I don’t honestly recall Ray Whitney knocking people over but he was effective for over 1300 NHL games. I guess what I’m saying is some sins (speed) are more impactful than others (perimeter player) and that has to be factored in to the final number. I’m not saying draft 10 wallflowers but value is value. Let’s have a look (again via CHL stats) at least year’s group to see what we can see:
OHL (17 year olds)
- Sam Bennett 1.04
- Robby Fabbri .970
- Nikolay Goldobin .910
- Josh Ho-Sang .900
- Spencer Watson .850
- Nick Ritchie .750
- Michael Dal Colle .730
- Michael Bunting .650
- Andrew Mangiapane .630
QMJHL (17 year olds)
- Nikolaj Ehlers .920
- Vladimir Tkachev .800
- Ivan Barbashev .750
- Conor Garland .650
WHL (17 year olds)
- Sam Reinhart .950
- Leon Draisaitl .920
- Jayce Hawryluk .750
- Nikita Scherbak .740
- Chase De Leo .740
- Jake Virtanen .720
- Brayden Point .720
- John Quenneville .640
Mangiapane and Garland were not drafted but will be this year. Would Edmonton be better off today if they had passed on Liam Coughlin and Keven Bouchard, while selecting those two prospects? The answer is yes.
OILERS PICKS 2015 AND WHERE THE MAY GO
Edmonton has 10 selections in this year’s draft but it’s doubtful they use all of them. Peter Chiarelli appears to be angling for No. 33 to be used on a goalie and that makes sense (depending on the goalie coming back). Here’s a quick look at what might happen:
- No. 1 overall: C Connor McDavid. Winning that lottery might be the crime of the century.
- No. 16 overall: Evgeny Svechnikov, Jeremy Roy or Joel Eriksson Ek. The more I think about this pick, the more I believe Edmonton keeps it and gets a skill player. Lots of strong names will be there when it comes Edmonton’s turn.
- No. 33 overall: Cam Talbot or similar. Seems this deal could happen today or tomorrow.
- No. 57 overall: D Vince Dunn, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). Smart offensive defender. I think Edmonton spends this pick on skill.
- No. 79 overall: G Matej Tomek. Tomek and Jalad at Tanagra. Shaka. when the walls fell.
- No. 86 overall: L Dmytro Timashov, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) This is probably where that list above starts working.
- No. 117 overall: D Brendan Guhle, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL). Sleeping giant, range of skills.
- No. 124 overall: R Keegan Kolesar. Tough winger with some skill, Oilers looking for this type. He can play.
- No. 154 overall: R Kay Schweri, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL). Fantastic playmaker.
- No. 184 overall: C Tyson Baillie. Extreme skill, hard worker, speed only average. Could be a home run pick. Seriously.
That’s a helluva draft, ladies.
Don't expect anything will happen with Talbot before glen Sather heads to Florida tomorrow and meets with his staff to discuss all options.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 24, 2015
We’ll see. I would think this trade is so far down the road that at this point the two sides are playing chicken. This is the time when Peter Chiarelli earns his money and I’m glad he’s Edmonton’s GM.
— Blue Bullet Brad (@BlueBullet1981) June 24, 2015
Blue Bullet’s list is out! How am I supposed to get any work done now!
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
We’re drunk with guests this morning, busy busy day. Scheduled to appear at 10 on TSN1260:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Chiarelli, the draft and saying goodbye to significant men in Billy Moores, Dave Semenko and Stu MacGregor.
- Chris O’Leary, Edmonton Journal. CFL Week 1 ahead, we’ll check in on injuries and depth charts for the Eskimos.
- Antony Bent, FC Edmonton. The Brit is coming in with his Union Jack gonch and a lot of attitude. God help us! We preview Canada-England on Saturday.
- Scott Cullen, TSN. CFL week one plus the draft, both Oilers and Leafs have big weeks ahead.
- Darrin Bauming, TSN1290 Winnipeg. Expectations are high for the Blue Bombers, can they start fast again?
- Dave Jamieson, TSN1260. We’ll tee-up Dave’s show and talk about the impact of the Women’s World Cup.
10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!