USING NUMBERS TO LOOK AT THE NHL'S FUTURE STARS
Though the QMJHL is the best of the three CHL leagues when it comes to tracking data – they have shot and dangerous shot totals, among other numbers – there isn’t much data available at the junior level.
With that in mind, I PvRed last night’s game between Shawinigan and Quebec and decided to track even-strength numbers when I arrived home from scouting Barrie @ Mississauga.
It would take far too long to track everyone, so I decided I’d only track draft eligible forwards Anthony Beauvillier (SHA), Dennis Yan (SHA) and Dmytro Timashov (QUE), all of whom are producing at high rates and should be top-90 picks.
I should note I only tracked the even-strength numbers for the first 55 minutes of the game, as my PvR stopped recording with five minutes remaining; though almost all of it was spent with the special teams units on the ice.
It was clear that Shawinigan wanted Beauvillier in the offensive zone as much as possible, as he is their most prolific offensive player. He started quite a few shifts in the defensive zone while taking a regular shift on the PK, but again, they wanted him in offensive situations at ES. He led all players with 8SOG so it’s not hard to see why.
Dennis Yan started a lot of his early shifts in either the NZ or DZ, but started to get more offensive zone starts as the game went on, and Shawinigan was pushing to tie the game. He took a few shifts on Beauvillier’s line late.
As for Dmytro Timashov, he didn’t seem to get as much ice as you’d expect a guy with over 70 points in 53 games would get, but that’s likely a product of playing on a team loaded with star power. That also falls in line with the numbers CHLStats.com has, as they project he gets less than 10 ES minutes per game.
Looking at the zone entry numbers, it’s not hard to see why Yan started a lot of shifts outside the offensive zone early in the game. He’s a good skater and is clearly good at driving play up ice and carrying it into the OZ to set up shop.
Timashov and Beauvillier both enjoyed some success with zone entries, but their sample sizes were rather small.
Beauvillier was controlling play at a high rate for the first 35 minutes or so, but he was caved in as the game went on. When he started playing every other shift in the 3rd period his numbers really plummeted. Playing heavy minutes against an elite team will wear on you, and I think that was the case in this one.
Yan started slow – I believe only one of the first five attempts were by Shawinigan – but he got better as the game went on, as his OZS% started to rise late when Shawinigan was trying to come from behind.
Timashov’s numbers were very impressive, and he started to take over the game as it went on. Playing primarily against Shawinigan’s top-6 forwards Timashov was able to control play despite starting only one shift in the offensive zone at even-strength.
I’m not sure how often I’ll be producing these articles, but Sportsnet airs 1-2 (typically two now) CHL broadcasts per weekend, so I’ll try and track the top draft eligibles from most of the games they air.