Todd Cordell

USING NUMBERS TO LOOK AT THE NHL'S FUTURE STARS

By The Numbers: Evaluating OHL Prospects With Advanced Stats

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Intro

Analytics in hockey have been growing rapidly over the last few years but there’s still a long way to go – particularly in junior hockey and with prospects.

While there are some good websites (notably Prospect-Stats.com) out there that provide more insight into what really is going on in the prospect world, there is essentially nothing available when it comes to underlying numbers on a game-by-game basis at the CHL level.

Last season I did track a fair amount of junior and college games, which allowed me to share (for the most part) small samples of numbers for many of the top draft eligible prospects. I was hoping to track a lot more this season but the streaming service I used folded about halfway through the season so I was only able to track nationally televised games down the stretch.

Nevertheless, tracking is a time consuming process and I’m fairly content with the information I was able to gather throughout the season even though it’s a little top heavy.

What Can The Numbers Tell Us?

While for most of the players I tracked there isn’t enough data available to make any dramatic conclusions, this can help give us an idea of how Player Y was utilized by his team, Player Y’s ability to drive play and why Player Y produced as much/as little as they did.

For example, it’s tougher for a player with a lot of defensive zone starts to produce offense than a player who regularly starts in the offensive zone. If Player Y is being spoon fed defensive zone starts his ability to put up points is being hindered.

In terms of zone entries if a player generates a lot of controlled entries on a per game basis it’s probably a reasonable bet to assume he’s normally good through the neutral zone.

Notes & Numbers

A few notes before presenting the data:

– These numbers include all even-strength play (i.e. 5 v 5, 4 v 4, etc.).

– I didn’t combine international hockey to a player’s numbers in North America due to different levels of competition, larger ice surfaces, etc.

– SAF and SAA are shot attempts for and against. OZS, NZS, and DZS are offensive, neutral and defensive zone starts. CE are controlled entries.

– I added sorted stats below the raw table but it’s important to note that time on ice is a very important factor with those numbers.

Without further ado here are the zone start, zone entry and shot attempt numbers from the 2015-16 season for many of the top prospects coming out of the OHL.

Data

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 9.11.04 AM

Sorted by SAF/GP

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 9.30.09 AM

Sorted by SAA/GP

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 9.29.53 AM

Sorted by CE/GP

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 9.29.06 AM

**

If you use or share this data, please cite this blog as the resource. Thanks!

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