Todd Cordell

USING NUMBERS TO LOOK AT THE NHL'S FUTURE STARS

Tag Archives: Pius Suter

By The Numbers: Evaluating Prospects With Advanced Stats

Follow @toddcordell

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 CHLStats.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 and NCAA levels.

When I’m not scouting in a rink I often find myself watching junior hockey on TV whenever the opportunity presents itself. Since I’d watch a lot of games, anyway, I decided to start tracking numbers for prospects in the games televised.

Unfortunately it’s a very time consuming process so I only tracked a handful of players per game.

I didn’t start doing this until midway through the season so I missed the opportunity to track a good chunk of games, however, I tracked a fair amount in the latter half of the season and throughout the CHL playoffs.

What Can This Tell Us?

While 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 up ice 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 gained the line with possession 20 out of 25 times it’s probably a reasonable bet to assume he’s normally good through the neutral zone.

Notes & Numbers

A couple notes before presenting the data:

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

– I sorted by league to make all the data easier to navigate.

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

– Memorial Cup numbers have been added to a player’s league numbers since the level of competition is very similar. That means Leon Draisaitl’s numbers, for example, include what he did against WHL teams as well as what he did at the Memorial Cup against OHL/QMJHL teams.

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

Without further ado here are the zone start, zone entry and shot attempt numbers from the 2014-15 season for many of the top prospects in North America.

OHL

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 7.54.00 PM

WHL

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 7.57.03 PM

QMJHL

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 6.57.53 PM

NCAA

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 3.58.14 PM

World Hockey Championships

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 4.00.52 PM

Under 18’s

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 3.59.56 PM

**

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

Advertisements

By The Numbers: Guelph Storm vs Kitchener Rangers – March 13 2015

Follow @toddcordell

Two playoff bound teams in Kitchener and Guelph squared off on Friday Night Hockey, so I took that as an opportunity to track a few under-the-radar draft eligibles, as well as St. Louis Blues prospect Robby Fabbri.

Forwards Gustaf Franzen and the recently acquired David Miller, who came over from SSM in the Justin Bailey trade, are having pretty good seasons, while Pius Suter will very likely be selected this draft as a 2nd year eligible.

Note: The game went past the time the PvR was set for so I didn’t get to track the last four minutes and change.

Final score: 5-3 Kitchener.

Zone Starts

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 1.18.51 PM

Franzen is a pretty good two-way forward, and it certainly didn’t take long to figure out Kitchener wanted him out there in defensive situations. Spending a good portion of his time against Suter, Tyler Bertuzzi (DET) and Jason Dickinson (DAL), Franzen undoubtedly was given the toughest even-strength minutes up front.

David Miller was spoon fed offensive zone starts early, but Guelph started carrying play as the game went on so he was given more defensive zone starts just to get him on the ice.

Robby Fabbri played a good portion of his minutes against Miller’s line, so he was the exact opposite. A lot of defensive zone starts early, a lot of offensive zone starts in the final 30 or so.

Suter is a pretty reliable two-way guy, but he spent most of the game alongside two of Guelph’s best players in Bertuzzi and Dickinson so naturally he was given a lot of offensive zone starts.

Zone Entries

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 1.36.05 PM

As a center who started a lot of shifts outside of the offensive zone, it was somewhat surprising that Franzen only had one entry attempt throughout. I don’t have the numbers but it looked to me like rookie Adam Mascherin was doing a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of carrying the puck up ice for that line.

David Miller is a skilled player who plays with good pace, and he did a nice job driving wide with speed and backing off the defense.

The same can be said about Robby Fabbri. He’s a very skilled, shifty player and he had plenty of zone starts outside of the zone so naturally he had quite a few zone entries. He’s the catalyst offensively for his line.

As for Suter, he started a fair amount of his shifts in the offensive zone so he didn’t have a ton of entry attempts, but showed the ability to gain the line with possession whenever he had to.

Shot Attempts

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 1.48.24 PM

Given the amount of defensive zone starts Franzen had, his possession numbers were very impressive, especially when you factor in a good chunk of his minutes were against the Bertuzzi-Dickinson-Suter line.

Miller played primarily against Fabbri’s line and had an excellent shot attempt differential early, but his numbers started to drop once he was forced to start several shifts in the defensive zone. It was still a solid performance from him nonetheless.

Fabrics numbers were terrible early, and he was on for several goals against as a result. Once Guelph started to drive play a little bit (perhaps due to score effects) his numbers climbed back up over the 50% mark. It wasn’t a banner night for Fabbri, but he was still pretty good. You can do worse than a 54CF% and three points on three goals.

Suter’s numbers weren’t great given his linemates and all of the offensive zone starts, but he chipped in a goal on the power play to help offset his mediocre even-strength performance.

**

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 1.56.04 PM

I recently tracked Suter’s game vs London, so I figured I’d throw his combined totals into this post for a larger sample size.

**

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

By The Numbers: Guelph Storm vs London Knights – Feb 27 2015

Follow @toddcordell

It took a little longer to get to than expected, but I finally had some time to track Friday night’s game between the Guelph Storm and London Knights.

These are two of the better teams in the OHL’s Western Conference (ranked 3rd and 4th respectively) and both teams feature plenty of star power – Mitch Marner, Max Domi/Christian Dvorak (ARI) for the Knights, Tyler Bertuzzi (DET) & Jason Dickinson (DAL), among others, for Guelph – so there were certainly plenty of tracking candidates.

Marner and Bertuzzi aside, I decided to track some lesser known names in draft eligible defenseman Garret McFadden and 2nd year eligible forward Pius Suter.

I wanted to get data for some draft eligible talent, and decided to track those guys instead of some stars because Domi/Dvorak play with Marner and Bertuzzi plays on a line with Dickinson, so there wouldn’t be much variation between the numbers.

Final score: 6-2 London.

Zone Starts

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.18.29 PM

Marner’s line carried much of the load defensively in this one, as head coach Dale Hunter wanted his top guys handling the tough assignments and relied on them to drive play up ice.

Despite playing on different lines, Bertuzzi and Suter had almost identical zone start splits. I think that would be an indication of Guelph having confidence in each of their top two units and their ability to (for the most part) control play for a good portion of the game.

McFadden is a 17-year-old defenseman and was barely used at all last season. Due to some trades (notably moving Sens prospect Ben Harpur and Chadd Bauman to Barrie) and injuries McFadden is being relied upon to play a lot more minutes this season. He’s not a high-end prospect and clearly is someone Guelph feels they need to shelter at this point in his career, especially going up against one of the better teams in the OHL.

Zone Entries

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.34.24 PM

When you can dominate through the neutral zone the way Marner did vs the Storm it’s not hard to see why Hunter gives him so many starts outside the offensive zone. He was flying through the NZ, and forced opposing defensemen to back off giving him the line on several occasions. Marner plays with two OHL stars, too, so that takes away some attention from him, which certainly doesn’t hurt.

Bertuzzi didn’t really do much of the neutral zone work in this one. He’s always struck me as a guy that needs help driving play up ice and that he’d do his damage once set up in the offensive zone, and that appears to be the case; at least in this game.

Suter was the big play driver on his line, and had no troubles gaining the line and setting up shop whenever he started outside the offensive zone.

McFadden is a defenseman and started a good portion of his shifts in the offensive zone, so naturally he had zero carry-in attempts.

Shot Attempts

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.41.01 PM

Given Marner’s limited offensive zone starts, he put on quite the performance. Especially when you factor in his dominant neutral zone play, and that he was on the ice for six or seven shot attempts against before his line first recorded one. For a draft eligible player going up against a pretty good squad Marner’s performance was impressive, and is the kind of game you’d expect to see out of a guy who will likely be chosen top-5 come June.

Overall Guelph controlled play while Bertuzzi was on the ice, but London had the territorial advantage in the final 40 minutes when he was on the ice. He had a few shots/quality chances but had nothing to show for it in terms of production. He played a pretty good game, though.

Suter continues to impress me and make a case to be chosen as a 2nd-year entry. He drove play up ice, was very good through the neutral zone and he also tallied an assist. He’s up to 34 goals in 54 games and doesn’t play on Guelph’s scoring line, which makes his numbers even more impressive.

McFadden had a real rough go at it. Despite being sheltered by a good chunk of offensive zone starts, he was crushed in possession. He hasn’t played a ton of hockey over the last couple seasons and is still young in his development stage – not to mention he played almost exclusively against London’s top-6 forwards – but you’d like to see better results than that.

**

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

%d bloggers like this: