USING NUMBERS TO LOOK AT THE NHL'S FUTURE STARS
In the third and final part of this mini-series, I’ll be posting split stats for the highest-scoring (and rated) draft eligible defensemen from the OHL.
All of these guys will be – or have the potential to be – chosen in the top three rounds of this year’s draft, so I decided to put them in the same tier.
As I said while charting split stats for the first and second tier of OHL forwards, there is more to the game than points. That said, the goal of hockey is to outscore the opposition, and generally points can help illustrate how well a player is performing, especially over a relatively solid sample size (ranging mostly from 30-34 games per half).
Rasmus Andersson had a whale of a year for the Barrie Colts. They’re a very high scoring team and had three players record 100+ points (Joseph Blandisi – NJ, Kevin Labanc – SJ, Andrew Mangiapane – 2nd year eligible) as well as an additional 40-goal scorer (Brendan Lemieux – WPG) but Andersson was a big reason why, playing 20+ minutes a night, and quarterbacking the top PP unit. He wasn’t great out of the gate – playing his first year of North American hockey is likely a reason for that – but the adjustment period didn’t last too long, and he started to pile up the points relatively early. He carried that on in the 2nd half, and actually upped his production en route to a 64-point campaign.
Mitch Vande Sompel posted the exact same splits while averaging over a point per game all season. He’s a very good skater and is an excellent puck mover, but he did play some games as a top-6 center this year, and also played some forward on the penalty kill, so he’s certainly a little different than the rest of these guys.
Like the rest of the Niagara IceDogs, Vince Dunn was significantly better in the 2nd half than the 1st. By that point Josh Ho-Sang (NYI) had settled in and Brendan Perlini (ARI) returned from injury, but Dunn certainly didn’t just leech off them. He possesses excellent offensive skills, and based off several live viewings – and a recent game I tracked – he can create his own offense.
Kyle Capobianco played for a horrid Sudbury team that won just 12 of their 68 games. He slowed down a little in the 2nd half, but I think that can be attributed to an already low-scoring team trading one of their best offensive players in overage forward Nathan Pancel, among others.
Travis Dermott saw a bit of a spike in production during the latter half of the season. Why? A few factors, I think. Acquiring forwards Nick Baptiste (BUF), Remi Elie (DAL) and Jake Marchment (LAK) certainly didn’t hurt his cause. Neither did Connor McDavid returning from injury/the World Juniors.
Thomas Schemitsch’s point totals went up a little in the 2nd half, but really he was pretty consistent throughout the year. Owen Sound didn’t alter their team too much, and he’s been settled into a top-4 role since Day 1, so there wasn’t really any reason to expect a big jump.
Matt Spencer’s production dipped a fair bit in the 2nd half. He plays for a highly mediocre Peterborough Petes team that traded their best player in Nick Ritchie (ANA) – though they did bring in some offense in Pancel – which certainly didn’t help his cause, but I expected more from him.
Gustav Bouramman posted identical splits in the 1st half and 2nd half. Generally you like to see a player’s production improve as the year goes on, but the Soo Greyhounds acquired arguably the best offensive defenseman in the league in Anthony DeAngelo (TB), as well as overage defenseman Connor Boland, which likely took away from some of his minutes (much more so DeAngelo than Boland, but…). All things considered he had a solid season.
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