USING NUMBERS TO LOOK AT THE NHL'S FUTURE STARS
As someone who scouts junior hockey, I like to gather as much information about prospects as possible to help form opinions, rankings, etc.
In saying that, one thing I started doing a couple years ago is splitting draft eligible’s seasons into two halves, and comparing the production between the two.
Points aren’t everything, but they are important, and generally a player’s production can help illustrate how well said player is performing. Not to mention, the goal in hockey is to outscore your opponent, and if a player isn’t producing much at the junior level, it’s probably not realistic to expect them to do so in the NHL.
Another reason I started doing this, is that the NHL entry draft is sort of like a stock market. Prior years of performance factor in, but who is trending up or down the most often determines where a prospect goes come June. For example, would you rather have a player who posted 40 points in 34 games during the 1st half and 25 in 34 games during the 2nd half, or someone who tallied 25 points in the first 34 games, and 40 in the latter half? Most will pick the guy who produced more in the 2nd half, I think, because prospects are all about development, and you want to add players who are progressing rather than regressing.
Anyway, I recently did a three-part mini-series where I broke the OHL’s top rated draft eligible forwards into two-tiers – top scorers being in the 1st tier, and the next wave being in the 2nd tier – and charted their split stats. I did the same for the OHL’s top point producing draft eligible defensemen.
You can get a quick explanation of why each OHL prospect produced more/less in each half by clicking those links, but I won’t be doing the same for the WHL and QMJHL because I don’t follow the league’s closely enough to know when a player’s linemate went down, he was battling through injuries, etc.
The reason I’m lumping all these charts together in one post is for conveniency purposes.
Note: only 1st year eligibles are charted.
If you use or share this data, please cite this blog as the resource. Thanks!