USING NUMBERS TO LOOK AT THE NHL'S FUTURE STARS
With the OHL regular season recently coming to a close, I looked at the highest scoring draft eligible forwards the league has to offer, and charted their season splits (production in 1st half v 2nd half).
As I mentioned in that post, there is a lot that goes into a player’s performance – usage, linemates, playing through injuries, etc. – and there is more to a player’s game than just points, but those totals give you a good idea of how a player is performing.
In the first part of this mini-series I looked at the top tier of OHL draft eligible forwards in terms of point production. That group included the OHL’s three leading scorers in Connor McDavid, Dylan Strome, Mitch Marner, and a plethora of others producing at a point per game clip (or close to it).
To be fair to the rest of the group that didn’t produce as much due to usage, being lower on the depth chart, etc. I separated the next tier so we’re not comparing apples to oranges.
Playing for a very young team that doesn’t score much, Mitch Stephens did some nice things in the 2nd half of the season. He’s pretty highly regarded by most for his defensive work, so those point totals go along with that nicely.
Graham Knott is a big, strong player who possesses skill and – like the Niagara IceDogs as a whole – he really took off in the 2nd half. With solid point totals and a 6’3′ frame he will attract plenty of interest leading up to the draft.
Zach Senyshyn is another player who had a strong 2nd half. Playing for a powerhouse team that loaded up at the deadline in acquiring Justin Bailey (BUF) and Nick Ritchie (ANA), among others, his ice time isn’t as high as it normally would be, and he has still produced at a high rate. He plays with good linemates (the team is so deep it’s impossible not to) and sees easier matchups, but his numbers are still impressive.
Gustaf Franzen started the year producing at a respectable rate, but his production rate decreased pretty significantly in the 2nd half. Kitchener doesn’t score a lot, and based off a few viewings – including a game I tracked – he’s asked to handle some pretty tough minutes, which would certainly factor in.
Jeremiah Addison has been pretty consistent throughout the year, but his numbers have gone up in the 2nd half. Generally he plays with either Travis Konecny or Dante Salituro – both draft eligible players averaging more than a point per game – so that certainly helps.
Unsurprisingly, David Miller’s production also increased in the 2nd half. He went from playing somewhat limited minutes on a stacked Greyhounds team to being one of Kitchener’s top offensive players, so naturally his numbers improved by a decent margin.
Trent Fox’s numbers were pretty similar in both halves. During the 1st half he played limited minutes with a high-powered Erie team, while in the 2nd half (after the trade to Belleville) he saw an increase in minutes, but on a team that struggles to put the puck in the net.
Jesse Barwell really elevated his game after being traded from Mississauga. He was one of the more talented forwards on the Steelheads, but for some reason never got consistent minutes, and he has flourished in Saginaw since getting a real opportunity.
Ethan Syzpula has been pretty consistent while playing limited minutes for Owen Sound, while Anthony Cirelli’s 2nd half production has decreased. As big of a factor as any would likely be the additions of forwards Michael McCarron (MTL) and Matt Mistele (LAK), among others.
If you use or share this data, please cite this blog as the resource. Thanks!