The great baseball writer Bill James wrote about the importance of large sample sizes to project the future in his Abstracts. He suggested the most recent three-year stats set, along with age, spot in the batting order and other things, could give clues about what might be expected. As I recall, James (at that time) believed hitters reached their peak at age 27.
What do the most recent three seasons tell us about Edmonton’s current forwards?
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of The Athletic, check it out here.
- New Lowetide: Swedish export Noel Gunler offers Oilers a worthy draft target
- Scott Wheeler: Why Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie is the shot creation king.
- Lowetide: How can Andreas Athanasiou — Ken Holland’s big bet — help the Oilers?
- Lowetide: What are Evan Bouchard’s chances of making the Oilers in 2020-21?
- Jonathan Willis and Lowetide: Who are the Oilers’ top 10 prospects and where do they project in the NHL?
- Jonathan Willis: How do Connor McDavid’s first five NHL seasons compare to the all-time greats?
- Lowetide: Oilers 2020 draft: Are fans ready for Oil Kings’ Jake Neighbours?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers need to keep feeding their currently rich pipeline of defensive prospects
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How a series of oddball jobs prepared Ken Holland for his front-office career
- Jonathan Willis: 2020 NHL offseason goalie market: Team needs, free agents and trade possibilities
- Lowetide: Oilers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins far more than ‘also in photo’ contributor
- Jonathan Willis: Building the best all-time Oilers roster, with a twist
- Lowetide: What are Tyler Benson’s chances of making the Oilers in 2020-21?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘They were looking outside the box’: Oilers’ distinctive third jerseys still stand out
- Lowetide: If Oilers draft for skill, Seth Jarvis likely to be best available
- Jonathan Willis and Lowetide: Should the Oilers pursue Taylor Hall this summer?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: The results are in: How you voted in our inaugural Oilers fan survey
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How the Oilers are preparing for an NHL draft in June
FIVE ON FIVE POINTS-60 THREE YEAR SAMPLE
Yamamoto has played parts of three years, so it isn’t a full sample, and Nygard and Haas have just one season. Everyone else played the last three seasons and their five on five offense is shown above (per 60). Using 2019-20 as our model, where do these names rank (first line to fourth)?
- First line (3.43 to 1.99): Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl
- Second line (1.98 to 1.62): RNH, Kailer Yamamoto, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Ennis
- Third line (1.61 to 1.26): Zack Kassian, Josh Archibald, James Neal, Joakim Nygard
- Fourth line (1.25 to 0.34): Riley Sheahan, Jujhar Khaira, Alex Chiasson, Gaetan Haas
A player like James Neal is fading by year (1.75, 0.99, 0.94) while Alex Chiasson (1.27, 1.25, 0.87) is fairly consistently delivering fourth line performances.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins three year run (1.96, 1.75, 2.23) is rock solid, that number in 2019-20 represents a career high. Andreas Athanasiou has a blip season at the end of the run (1.81, 1.97 and 1.26) but scored 21 five on five goals in 2018-19. He should recover offensively if he lands on a line with one of the top centers.
Zack Kassian is coming off a career year (1.29, 1.32, 2.21) and will probably post something in the Josh Archibald range (1.43, 1.3, 1.2) next season.
Connor McDavid (3.17, 2.82, 2.84) is beyond the blue horizon and Leon Draisaitl (2.29, 2.57, 2.89) is the rising son.
What do all of these numbers tell us? Well, I think AA probably posts a better number than Kassian in 20-21, and James Neal’s erosion has reached a point where he can’t play feature minutes. Signing Tyler Ennis (1.31, 1.85, 1.90) would help the top-six and give the entire forward group a nice value player.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning we kickstart the long weekend, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from Big Mouth Sports and Inside the Truck (coming soon!) joins us at 10:20 to talk NHL’s current situation and that Bobby Orr/Bruins documentary. Tyler Turner, newly signed BC Lions receiver from St. Albert will pop in at 10:45. Matt Iwanyk talks Oilers, the return of soccer and other sports at 11. At 11:25, Woodbine Racing CEO Jim Lawson will be talking about racing, the Queen’s Plate and more. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!