Todd Cordell

USING NUMBERS TO LOOK AT THE NHL'S FUTURE STARS

Tag Archives: Travis Dermott

By The Numbers: Evaluating 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 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

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WHL

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QMJHL

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NCAA

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World Hockey Championships

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Under 18’s

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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!

By The Numbers: Erie Otters vs Niagara IceDogs – March 22, 2015

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Two of the better teams in the OHL met on Sunday when the Niagara IceDogs hosted the Erie Otters on the final day of the regular season.

Both teams entered this contest having won nine of 10, and it was easy to see why throughout this back-and-forth and highly entertaining game.

While the Otters did sit a few regulars (notably Connor McDavid, along with some OA defensemen) they still had a ton of talent in the lineup. Draft eligibles Dylan Strome and Travis Dermott were among those dressing for Erie, along with Alex DeBrincat (2016 eligible), Nick Baptiste (BUF), and a handful of other well known names.

On the other side, Niagara was still fighting for home ice in their 1st round series vs Ottawa, so they dressed a full lineup that featured Brendan Perlini (ARI), Josh Ho-Sang (NYI), Ryan Mantha (NYR) and draft eligible defenseman Vince Dunn, among others.

As usual, I tracked four players in this one. For Erie I kept my eye on projected top-5 pick Dylan Strome, and defenseman Travis Dermott (likely a 2nd or early 3rd round pick) while for Niagara I tracked the always exciting Josh Ho-Sang, as well as rising defenseman Vince Dunn.

Final score: 8-7 Erie.

Zone Starts

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Dylan Strome was flanked by a pair of highly skilled, responsible wingers in DeBrincat and Baptiste, so starting this line away from offensive zone didn’t seem like much of a concern. Erie’s coaching staff didn’t really have much choice, though, as Niagara carried play at even-strength for much of the game, and spent a lot of time in Erie’s zone.

Travis Dermott Erie’s best offensive defenseman, and the Otters trailed for much of the game, so naturally a good portion of his shifts started in the offensive zone. They wanted to put him in a position to create offense whenever they could.

Dunn is also the best offensive defenseman on his team, and it isn’t close. As you’d expect, he started a lot more shifts in the offensive zone than defensive zone, but part of that can probably be attributed to Niagara getting so many offensive zone starts.

Josh Ho-Sang’s line was asked to do the heavy lifting for Niagara. Given his ability to drive play up ice, which you’ll see below, it was probably the right decision.

 Not bad. Again, shall we?

Zone Entries

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Strome was by no means a neutral zone king in this one, but he put forth a respectable effort. He had a few good entries that led to scoring chances despite clearly being the No. 1 focus for Niagara’s defense. As soon as he got close to the blue line Niagara’s defensemen would aggressively step up, and either stick check him or lay the body. Vince Dunn seemed particularly good at preventing entries, though I don’t have the exact numbers.

Dermott started a lot of shifts in the offensive zone, but this was a very back-and-forth wide open game, so he had plenty of opportunities to rush the puck up ice. He enjoyed pretty good success while doing so.

Dunn is a very smooth skater with good puck skills, so Erie’s defense was forced to back off regularly when they saw him rushing the puck up ice.

Lastly we have Josh Ho-Sang, who put on a clinic through the neutral zone. You’ve already seen a couple examples of what he did in this one, so not much else needs to be said.

Shot Attempts

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Strome spent a good amount of his shifts chasing the puck in the defensive zone, and certainly didn’t have his best possession game. That said, he still managed to put up a career-high six points (four goals, two assists). I think that speaks volumes as to how good Strome really is. Despite having some key players out of the lineup, and playing tough minutes against a very good team, he still managed to pile up the points. He didn’t have a ton of opportunities, but because of his high-end skill he was able to make the most of pretty much all of them.

Dermott had a rough night and was crushed in possession despite getting plenty of offensive zone starts. I guess no Connor McDavid + playing primarily against Brendan Perlini’s line and Josh Ho-Sang’s line will do that to you. Dermott still managed to get on the scoresheet, though, as he scored the eventual game-winning-goal late in the 3rd on a power play.

Dunn put forth arguably the most dominant effort I’ve seen since I started tracking junior hockey games. Sure he started a fair chunk of his shifts in the offensive zone, but he was exceptional through the neutral zone in both a) rushing the puck and; b) preventing zone entries. He scored on an absolute snipe off the far post and in, and also recorded an assist in what turned out to be a losing effort.

Ho-Sang was exceptional, too. He used his dynamic skating ability and puck skills to dominate the neutral zone, and he crushed Erie in possession despite a good chunk of defensive zone starts. It looks like the Islanders have another very good, young forward on the way.

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

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