Todd Cordell

USING NUMBERS TO LOOK AT THE NHL'S FUTURE STARS

Category Archives: Split Stats

By The Numbers: Evaluating OHL Prospects With Split Stats

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As someone who scouts junior hockey, I like to gather as much information about prospects as possible to help form opinions, rankings, etc.

One thing I started doing a few 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 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 because – on top of recency bias – people want to add players whose progression is noticeable.

For added context, this year I also included shots and shooting percentage.

This helps illustrate if a player’s decrease in goal scoring, for example, is a result of bad luck or a lack of shots/looks. It also helps tell us if a player’s spike in production is due to riding unsustainably high percentages.

OHL Forwards (sorted by 1st half PPG)

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OHL Forwards (sorted by 2nd half PPG)

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OHL Defensemen (sorted by 1st half PPG)

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OHL Defensemen (sorted by 2nd half PPG)

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

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2015 NHL Draft Eligibles: CHL Split Stats – Part Two

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I recently charted split stat numbers for most of the top 1st year draft eligible prospects playing in the CHL.

In that post the numbers were charted and separated by both position and league, so it was difficult to compare, say, a highly touted QMJHL defenseman to a highly touted OHL defenseman.

To make it easier to compare numbers, I tabled draft eligibles from all three leagues, and sorted by most points per game in the 1st half, 2nd half, and differential so you can see exactly whose production increased or decreased as the year went on.

Note: there are more OHLers than any other because that is the league I am most familiar with, and I originally was only keeping track of splits for OHL players.

1st Half Production – Forwards

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1st Half Production – Defensemen

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2nd Half Production – Forwards

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2nd Half Production – Defensemen

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Differential – Forwards

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Differential – Defensemen

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

2015 NHL Draft Eligibles: CHL Split Stats

Follow @toddcordell

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.

OHL Forwards

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OHL Defensemen

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WHL Forwards

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WHL Defensemen

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QMJHL Forwards

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QMJHL Defensemen

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

2015 NHL Draft Eligibles: OHL Split Stats – Part Three

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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).

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

2015 NHL Draft Eligibles: OHL Split Stats – Part Two

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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.

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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.

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

2015 NHL Draft Eligibles: OHL Split Stats

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The NHL Draft is sort of like a stock market.

Past years matter, but who is trending up or down the most when the draft rolls around often weighs heavily on which prospects are chosen where.

With that in mind, one thing I like to do every year is look at a prospect’s games played totals, divide them by two, and tally up how many points said prospect records in each half.

The OHL regular season recently came to a conclusion, so I did just that.

There is a lot that goes into production – linemates, usage, etc – and this isn’t a perfect system, but generally it gives a pretty good idea of which prospects improved as the year went on, and which prospects failed to sustain early season success.

To start, I charted the nine highest scoring draft eligibles from the OHL, and sorted them into a top-tier (OHL defensemen and the 2nd tier of forwards will be featured in later posts).

Below you will see the 1st half production, 2nd half production, and the differential – either positive or negative – for those nine prospects.

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Oddly enough, Connor McDavid’s scoring rates were identical in the 2nd half of the season. Ideally you’d like to see higher totals in the 2nd half, but McDavid is so far above the rest and sets such a high standard that it’s almost impossible to improve on his totals.

Both Mitch Marner and Dylan Strome improved on their 1st half totals, but the difference was insignificant.

Travis Konecny entered the season regarded as a potential top-5 pick – and top-10 lock – but didn’t produce much out of the gate for a variety of reasons (including injury). His production rose significantly in the 2nd half, though, as he saw the biggest differential out of all OHL draft eligibles. In the 1st half he posted a respectable .87PPG. In the 2nd half he put up points at a 1.4 per game clip. That’s over a .50PPG difference. He’ll rise in draft rankings accordingly, I imagine.

Pavel Zacha possesses a ton of talent, but due to a) playing on a mediocre team and; b) missing a bunch of time due to injuries, suspensions, and the World Juniors he never really got going. Given all he went through it’s actually pretty impressive he almost produced at a point per game clip.

Lawson Crouse is another guy who took off in the 2nd half. Part of that is the return of Sam Bennett, but Crouse’s point production was improving prior to Bennett’s return. If he wasn’t already graded so highly by most services he’d be looked at as a riser. Say what you want about him, but 6’3′ prospects who average over a point per game (for the 2nd half, anyway) don’t come around all that often.

Nikita Korostelev started the season pretty well, but his production has dipped in the 2nd half. I haven’t seen him/Sarnia enough to pin point exactly why his production has dipped, but he is still a prospect I like.

Blake Speers tore it up in the 1st half of the season, averaging over 1.2PPG. His 2nd half production dipped a fair amount, but he’s still averaging over a point per game. As much as anything, I think his decrease in production could be attributed to playing a lesser role after deadline acquisitions such as Sabres prospect Justin Bailey and Ducks prospect Nick Ritchie joined the Greyhounds.

Lastly we have Dante Salituro. He’s a very small guy – listed at 5’9′- so naturally he’s not ranked highly by a lot of people despite his impressive point totals. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes come June.

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

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