Trust Your Board

by Lowetide

Keith Gretzky was head scout of the Boston Bruins for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 drafts. He arrived in Edmonton late summer 2016 and joined forces with Bob Green and the Oilers scouting staff in time to contribute to the 2017 Oilers selections. I firmly believe you need five years to judge a draft (sometimes longer) but you can count arrows. Keith Gretzky has a lot of good arrows for four draft summers.

THE ATHLETIC!

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KEITH GRETZKY

Keith Gretzky joined the Boston Bruins as a scout during the 2011-12 season, and moved up to scouting director after the 2013 draft. The Bruins 2014 entry draft (David Pastrnak, Ryan Donato, Danton Heinen, Anders Bjork, Emil Johansson) is one we’ll probably be talking about for years. In 2015 the club made some big trades (Milan Lucic, Dougie Hamilton) and drafted three times in the first round and three more times in Round Two. Fans often rip Bruins scouts for not grabbing Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor, Brock Boeser and others, and there was a lot of talent passed over by Boston (and other teams). That said, early hits like Jake DeBrusk and Brandon Carlo suggest Gretzky and his crew did in fact get value from the picks. We’ll see about Jakub Zboril, Zach Senyshyn, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and others down the line.

The 2016 draft saw Boston pick Charlie McAvoy over Dante Fabbro and at the time it seemed like a big deal. It was, but the Bruins got the right guy. The rest of that draft is still matriculating but there are some good signs from Trent Frederic, who was a controversial selection at the time. I’d grade Gretzky and Co.’s three Boston drafts as A. Lots of talent here already in the NHL (Pastrnak, McAvoy, Heinen, Donato, DeBrusk, Carlo) and plenty more on the way. The Bruins gave up some exceptional NHL talent during that 2015 draft and may not have gotten 100 cents on the dollar. The bottom line is they re-set the team’s main cluster and are rebuilding on the fly effectively. Music!

In his first draft in Edmonton (and I honestly don’t know what the management structure looks like, assume Gretzky and Green work closely together), Gretzky and Green chose Kailer Yamamoto. High skill, undersized, quick, effective, 5.07, 153 on draft day. Wow. Paul Almeida from Saturday Sports Extra told me about David Pastrnak back in January of 2015 when he returned from Europe. I asked Paul to describe his game in what would have been Dec-Jan of his draft year:

  • Almeida: At the World Juniors in Malmo, Sweden Pastrnak was the most dynamic forward for the Czechs. He constantly drove the puck to the net at high speed with elite skill and never backed down from a puck battle. He often won those battles against much bigger and stronger players with his tenacity, elusiveness, fast feet and matching hands. He had an accurate shot and quick release that seemed to surprise goalies. Top talent with compete to match.

If we use Pastrnak, McAvoy and Yamamoto (skill, skill, skill) as the Gretzky draft template, perhaps we can inform ourselves a little about what may come in this year’s draft.

PRIMARY PTS (F) 2017 DRAFT CHL

The next several segments are using ‘primary points per game’ and are all available at prospect-stats.com. Oilers pursued skill at No. 22, no chance Yamamoto is available at No. 22 if he is 6.0, 180. I don’t know if he’ll work out and we’ll see about this fall, but Edmonton went skill in a big way with the first round pick in 2017. Kirill Maksimov had a primary points-60 number of 0.52 (the group above is all CHL forwards chosen in the first two rounds).

PRIMARY PTS (F) 2018 DRAFT CHL

Based on primary points per game, Svechnikov is the best CHL offensive forward this or last season. Zadina is also a solid prospect and then things fall off. Justin Almeida (he is a 1999, meaning he was eligible a year ago. I had him at No. 84 on my last list but he’s moving up) is a fascinating curio. This isn’t a good year for skill forwards in the CHL. Not many kids pushing the river. We may see the Oilers draft from Europe (Jonatan Berggren is spiking in real time) or take a defenseman.

PRIMARY POINTS FROM THE PAST

Yamamoto’s draft total above got me wondering about the previous Oilers chosen from the CHL. Here are some numbers through the years.

  1. Connor McDavid 2015 (OHL) 2.00
  2. Taylor Hall 2010 (OHL) 1.44
  3. Leon Draisaitl 2014 (WHL) 1.34
  4. Nail Yakupov 2012 (OHL) 1.29
  5. Kailer Yamamoto 2017 (WHL) 1.17
  6. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 2011 (WHL) 1.00
  7. Marco Roy 2013 (QMJHL) 0.85
  8. Tyler Benson 2016 (WHL) 0.77
  9. Daniil Zharkov 2012 (OHL) 0.62
  10. Greg Chase 2013 (WHL) 0.61
  11. Tobias Rieder 2011 (OHL) 0.60
  12. Jackson Houck 2013 (WHL) 0.59
  13. Kirill Maksimov 2017 (OHL) 0.52
  14. Curtis Hamilton 2010 (WHL) 0.42
  15. Mitch Moroz 2012 (WHL) 0.36
  16. Kyle Platzer 2013 (OHL) 0.29
  17. Travis Ewanyk 2011 (WHL) 0.28

Interesting list, seems 1.00 primary points per game is an indicator based on this quick look. Kailer Yamamoto was 0.96 in the previous season so the offense is bona fide. Two final takeaways: Someone should sign Nail Yakupov, there’s talent there. Also, Tobias Rieder is the only player on the list to produce less than 1.00/game primary points and have a substantial career. It would be worthwhile to drill down on why he beat the odds.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. A huge day across the sports and we have you covered. Scheduled to appear:

  • Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. NFL Draft Day!! We’ll tee up one of the truly amazing events in sports.
  • Seerat Sohi, The Athletic and SB Nation. Raptors calmed the waters and won a big game last night.
  • Rob Vollman, ESPN and NHL.com. Looking forward to the final four series and projecting winners.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Leafs out, Bruins move on, draft lottery and what it may mean.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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limit

Genjutsu: The forwards are much improved. The Defence is much worse.

What if we drafted Carlo or Dermott in 2nd round instead of Reinhart

Genjutsu

limit:
All the best to you rickithebear.

Speaking of Trust your board…

Nuge McDavid Puljujarvi
Hall Draisaitl Yamamoto
Slepyshev BarzalEberle
ReiderKhairaPitlick
Benson

Klefbom Petry
NurseSchultz
Davidson Osterle
Bear

Dubnyk
Svoboda

The forwards are much improved. The Defence is much worse.

Genjutsu

rickithebear,

Sad news friend. I’ve always appriciated your prospective on things. We’re all pulling for you.

limit

All the best to you rickithebear.

Speaking of Trust your board…

Nuge McDavid Puljujarvi
Hall Draisaitl Yamamoto
Slepyshev Barzal Eberle
Reider Khaira Pitlick
Benson

Klefbom Petry
Nurse Schultz
Davidson Osterle
Bear

Dubnyk
Svoboda

slopitch

rickithebear,

All the best Ricki

russ99

Best wishes, Ricki, hope you get well soon.

Yeti

Very best of wishes to you, Ricki.

Jaxon

Lowetide,
VOR,
–hudson–,
Munny,
stephen sheps,
rickithebear,

Great posts! Lots of inspiration from cancer survivors. As much as it may be the biggest time suck in my life, sometimes I really love this little corner of the internet. Stop in and say hi every once in a while, Ricki. You got this!

Derek
€√¥£€^$

Ricki

My thoughts are with you.

If you can post when you can, please do. Your view is valued and appreciated, as you are.

hags9k

Best wishes to Ricki, one of my favorite posters. I hope you make a full recovery. Cancer is tough but remember you are a bear.

flyfish1168

rickithebear:
Shitty day at docs yesterday.

Middle sons friend walked up to me!

“ here you have cancer”

Me “Yup”

“Cancer sucks”

Me “Yes it does”

“It killed my grandma”

Me “we had quit a few sleep overs cause grandma got tired”

“That was fun”

Me “I am tired right now”,” you boys go play in the back yard”, “ don,t hurt each other”

“We won,t”

“can we get Supper”

Me, “Yup”

———————————————-

I will continue to read!
Probably won,t post anymore.

Started meds today.
Making me tired

I hope the Oiler’s win the Lottery, then have an awesome season to go along with a parade next June to bring you good news. Happy and good news is the tonic you need. Get well soon.

unca miltie

may I add my best wishes Ricki. also a survivor. radiation did the trick There is hope.

jp

rickithebear,

Best of luck Ricki, hope to see you back to posting soon.

Munny

rickithebear,

That is a shitty day.

I was diagnosed for the first time at 27. They said I had spotted it early enough so no need for Chemo, had it cut out, did follow-ups with an oncologist for 5 years to be sure and then they told me everything should be fine, have a good life.

Two years after that it had metastasized to a lymph gland. I felt a bump one Sunday night, went to a nearby clinic the next day, and was in surgery a week later. This time the prognosis was 30 percent chance of surviving 5 years if I spent a year on Interferon. Which bizarrely was a drug that I had found fascinating earlier in my life… I had written a High School essay and a Uni paper on it.

I did the year of injections while promising myself a trip to Stonehenge once I got through the ordeal.

That was 18 years ago now.

This time on meds is going to be tough, but you can do this. Cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. You’re not your average bear.

Best wishes to you and your family. My thoughts are with you.

Ribs

Great story, Vor 🙂

This blog is the best.

VOR

–hudson–: My advice to you is to keep track of the error in your model.The difference between predicted primary points and actual primary points are your residuals.If you square those and sum them all up, then you have your “sum of squared residuals (SSR)”.That’s one stat to track your models performance.Also look at R squared, RMSE, and correlation.

Another thing I would suggest is validating your model by breaking up the database of 2833.Take 10% of those players and set them aside, then recreate your model on the other 90%.How does the SSR, RMSE, etc. change on the 90% of players?More importantly how does it do on the 10% you’ve set aside?

Repeat those experiments several times, shuffling different players in the 90/10 split.Also try different splits of 80/20, 70/30, etc.

It’s fairly easy to build models that can fit data you feed it.You’ll want to use some methods to ensure your model isn’t cheating.

Hudson,

Great answer. One I will try to implement in my own work.

Total aside, the moment I knew I wanted to be a scientist was when I read Nevil Shute’s brilliant book about a modeller who is on a transatlantic flight when he realizes his model predicts the plane he is flying in is over due to experience disintegration from metal fatigue. I forget which part is about to fail but I was fascinated by how you could possibly know with certainty exactly when it would happen.

I have come to be extraordinary cautious about my own modelling.

Thinking about poor Ricki I was remembering as a young man being full of myself and giving a woman a death sentence.

Jean had breat cancer. The tissue was rounded up. Her LCAMS were terrible. She was receptor negative and node positive and she had evidence of metastatic spread to her bones. Clinically at that time there was no hope at all. The clinicians were offering her false hope and proposing incredibly invasive treatment, slash, burn, and poison.

I was just in the room to observe. My grad supervisor’s idea. To force me to put a human face to my research. But Jean asked me what I thought. The doctors in the room begrudging let me answer.

I walked Jean through each step of the model telling her what it meant for her odds of survival and how we knew that. They I walked her through the likely timeline. My point came through loud and clear.

“I am going to die and very soon and all the treatment your colleagues are recommending will do is make me desperately ill for the few extra months I’m alive.”

“Yes.”

Jean declined all treatment and went home to prepare to die. That was in January of 1988.

Every year at Christmas I get a postcard from Jean from some exotic location. It just says “Still not dead. Jean 1, Math 0.”

The first one caught me off guard. I responded. We started writing back and forth.

The strangest thing happened. We became friends. Once a year we spend a week or more hiking somewhere in the Rockies. We chat once or twice a month on the phone and text or email every few days. We meet in person whenever we can.

The math told me I was talking to a dead woman. The real world decided it was introducing me to my best friend. For thirty years I have been glad I was wrong that bleak January day.

The thing is I still think the model was perfect. Then it met Jean.

We have this running joke. I sign my emails and letters CSM and she signs hers TBS. I am the Cock Sure Mathematician and she is The Black Swan.

Richard S.S.

How extensive will the changes be, after all PP and PK sucked badly? When McDvid doesn’t score, the Oilers almost always lose. When McDavid’s not on the Ice, this is not even an AHL team. I think other than Peter Chiarelli, Todd McLellan, Keith Gretzky and a few scouts, everyone else goes.

Ribs

Sorry to hear, Ricki. Wishing the best of luck to you and your family.

--hudson--

rickithebear,

Thoughts and prayers are with you!

Rebilled

RonnieB,

Think I was still drunk from last night.

Ted Lindsay.

VOR

Ricki,

Tough break man. Like Stephen I am a survivor. In my case melanoma. The disease is terrible, the treatment is hell. My prayers are with you.

Bling

Wilde,

I like the idea of having the same system at both the AHL and NHL levels.

Makes me think that Gulutzan and Yawney is happening.

Wilde

Looks like news is breaking on the coaching staffs front:

———————————————————————————–

Elliotte Friedman

Verified account

Not sure the overall impact and all moves, but hearing EDM assistant coach Jay Woodcroft will become head coach at AHL Bakersfield.

———————————————————————————–

Bob McKenzie

Verified account

Phase One of EDM (assistant) coaching shuffle expected, perhaps as early as Friday. Multiple moves, including (as has previously been speculated) Jay Woodcroft to be new head coach in Bakersfield (AHL). No replacement hiring(s) just yet.

I’ll go with Woodcroft to Bakersfield and 2 new guys in Edmonton.

Wilde

I’ll add to the (well earned) well wishes sent your way Ricki, you’re a unique voice and the discussion here misses something in the in-betweens of your posts.

Bling

rickithebear,

All the best, Mr. Bear. Your posts will be missed, but health comes first!

Psyche

rickithebear,

Ricki,

All the best to you on the journey ahead.

I always enjoy reading your comments and thoughts.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

stephen sheps

rickithebear,

my thoughts are with you right now, Ricki. Survivor of that wretched condition myself. I’m with you in this fight, for what its worth.

Kinger_Oil.redux

rickithebear,

– Sh$t Ricki…Keep us posted please. Your a beaut, long been one of my favourites here

– Depending on what your diagnosis is, there’s so much available today than compared to when we were younger. I wish you and your family only good things

OmJo

rickithebear,

Best of luck in your battle, Ricki… The entire forest is rooting for you.

All the best..

Jaxon

rickithebear,
Sorry to hear that Ricki. Pardon my language, but #fuckcancer!

frjohnk

rickithebear,

Sorry to hear that Ricki.

All the best in your fight.

Confused

rickithebear,

Good luck man, keep up the fight.

Everyone here is pulling for you.

leadfarmer

rickithebear,

Sorry to hear that. Good luck with treatment.

Scungilli Slushy

rickithebear:
Shitty day at docs yesterday.

Middle sons friend walked up to me!

“ here you have cancer”

Me “Yup”

“Cancer sucks”

Me “Yes it does”

“It killed my grandma”

Me “we had quit a few sleep overs cause grandma got tired”

“That was fun”

Me “I am tired right now”,” you boys go play in the back yard”, “ don,t hurt each other”

“We won,t”

“can we get Supper”

Me, “Yup”

———————————————-

I will continue to read!
Probably won,t post anymore.

Started meds today.
Making me tired

Sorry to hear that Ricki. I wish you health and happiness.

Halfwise

rickithebear:
Shitty day at docs yesterday.

Middle sons friend walked up to me!

“ here you have cancer”

Me “Yup”

“Cancer sucks”

Me “Yes it does”

“It killed my grandma”

Me “we had quit a few sleep overs cause grandma got tired”

“That was fun”

Me “I am tired right now”,” you boys go play in the back yard”, “ don,t hurt each other”

“We won,t”

“can we get Supper”

Me, “Yup”

———————————————-

I will continue to read!
Probably won,t post anymore.

Started meds today.
Making me tired

Ricki, you have been an impact player here. Thank you.

Best wishes as you protect your own HD area. Godspeed.

Pescador

rickithebear:
Shitty day at docs yesterday.

Middle sons friend walked up to me!

“ here you have cancer”

Me “Yup”

“Cancer sucks”

Me “Yes it does”

“It killed my grandma”

Me “we had quit a few sleep overs cause grandma got tired”

“That was fun”

Me “I am tired right now”,” you boys go play in the back yard”, “ don,t hurt each other”

“We won,t”

“can we get Supper”

Me, “Yup”

———————————————-

I will continue to read!
Probably won,t post anymore.

Started meds today.
Making me tired

Truly sorry to hear that Ricki,
You have many friends on this blog whether they agree with you or not.
Hang in there, best of luck to you and your doctor.
You’ll be telling him “there’s a better way to do that”
in no time ?

rickithebear

GO OILERS!

rickithebear

Shitty day at docs yesterday.

Middle sons friend walked up to me!

“ here you have cancer”

Me “Yup”

“Cancer sucks”

Me “Yes it does”

“It killed my grandma”

Me “we had quit a few sleep overs cause grandma got tired”

“That was fun”

Me “I am tired right now”,” you boys go play in the back yard”, “ don,t hurt each other”

“We won,t”

“can we get Supper”

Me, “Yup”

———————————————-

I will continue to read!
Probably won,t post anymore.

Started meds today.
Making me tired

Bling

WayneKenov:
Wasn’t Yamamoto looking better than that? I thought it was primary pts/60, but maybe it was something else that VOR posted earlier in the year.

Yamamoto (1.20) was 10th in primary points/60 in the entire WHL this season (all game states). There were only two players younger than him in the top 10. Kole Lind, a 2017 Canucks second rounder (1.45) and Aleksei Hepniemi, a 2017 Panthers second rounder (1.39).

http://prospect-stats.com/WHL/2017-18/skaters

Yamamoto (1.60) was also 7th overall in the WHL in overall points/60 this season (all game states)

At evens, he was thirteenth in the WHL.

Good arrows. I still think he’ll need another year in the A, but I guess we’ll see at training camp.

rickithebear

Almeida,s is a draft + 1
So you divide his numbers by 1.4
It equates to .77 from this years draft players.

Age matters!

Crazy Pedestrian

Scungilli Slushy:
The Pen’s speed and pace of play really neutralize the Cap’s size advantage.

BOOO PENS!!
GOOO CAPS!!!

sliderule

Bulging Twine:
ArmchairGM,

Lowetide,

sliderule,

Dobson, Smith, Bouchard – who’s the best skater?Who would be third best?By best skater I mean, agility, fluidity, acceleration.(Like Montour)

Dobson and Smith are similar with Smith the smaller man perhaps having better agility.

Bouchard is smooth but slower which you would expect from a big man

Scungilli Slushy

The Pen’s speed and pace of play really neutralize the Cap’s size advantage.

Scungilli Slushy

Key to being a top defencemen especially now with most forwards being able to skate, strong fore checking common, and D partners not being able to obstruct forwards to gain time for their partners puck retrieval is top end skating forward and backward.

Good edges and stop starts are key as well. The best D gap tight and disrupt entry and if it’s chipped past they can pivot with speed and get to the puck first or at the same time.

If D don’t trust their skating they gap far and tend to defend positionally going to the net front. It works but they tend to give up a lot of chances and play a lot in the D zone and likely struggle with break outs as moving quickly to open lanes is also key under a heavy fore check and a team playing tight.

Having height and reach helps, and of course mostly being calm under pressure and having good vision or hockey IQ. And showing defensive awareness, being able to disrupt attack somehow and play top players with success.

It’s a lot and why the position is so hard to play. I would avoid any D that had any skating deficits as to me that is the player who will drop off the most in today’s game. Some guys overcome that by being smart and efficient, but again they are outliers and fewer each season, don’t try to draft one.

Bulging Twine

Pink Socks: Great stuff thank you.I agree, if it’s down to Dobson or Bouchard, I take Bouchard every time.

Why?

RonnieB

Rebilled,

Lindsay Lohan ?

Rebilled

and Lucic.

ArmchairGM

Bulging Twine:
ArmchairGM,

Lowetide,

sliderule,

Dobson, Smith, Bouchard – who’s the best skater?Who would be third best?By best skater I mean, agility, fluidity, acceleration.(Like Montour)

Of the three players mentioned, I would think Smith is the best skater with Dobson a close second, from the little I’ve seen of these players.