Todd Cordell

USING NUMBERS TO LOOK AT THE NHL'S FUTURE STARS

Tag Archives: Vladimir Tkachev

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!

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By The Numbers: Kelowna Rockets vs Quebec Remparts – May 29, 2015

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Intro

Players tracked:

*2nd year eligible

Quebec – F Vladimir Tkachev (2015*), F Dmytro Timashov (2015)

Kelowna – F Leon Draisaitl (Oilers), F Nick Merkley (2015)

Final score: 9-3 Kelowna

Zone Starts

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Vladimir Tkachev started the game on a line with Dmytro Timashov but midway through they were separated and Tkachev didn’t play much in the latter half.

Dmytro Timashov started almost all of his shifts outside of the offensive zone until the very end of the game. He had three offensive zone starts (a couple as a result to icings) in the final few minutes. It was clear that Quebec had no problem with him starting outside of the OZ and they relied on him heavily to drive play up ice.

Nick Merkley and Leon Draisaitl are linemates and were once again relied upon to do the heavy lifting for the Rockets. They fared extremely well in doing so, which you’ll see below.

Zone Entries

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Vladdy Hockey had four controlled entries in the first eight minutes of the game, and just one in the final 52. More than anything that was a result of almost no ice time in the latter half of the game. Despite limited ice he was still excellent through the neutral zone and did a good job moving the puck in the right direction.

It’s not hard to see why Timashov started the majority of his shifts outside of the offensive zone. He’s a very good skater with excellent puck skills so he’s able to dance around defenders even when challenged.

Merkley was absolutely dominant through the neutral zone. He’s a great skater and his speed regularly forces defenders to back up and give him the line. There’s also always the option of dishing it off to Draisaitl which defenders have to respect. That often gives Merkley more space to work with.

Draisaitl wasn’t perfect but was once again very good through the middle of the ice. He’s not a burner but he has a great set of hands on him which makes him tough to defend in space.

Shot Attempts

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Tkachev didn’t bring his best possession game to the table, however, he went huge chunks of minutes without a shift at times which probably didn’t help his cause. One shift he was caught out for seven shot attempts against vs the Merkley/Draisaitl line and that killed his numbers. Beyond that one shift he was actually pretty good and his neutral zone work was excellent.

Timashov played about as well as you can in a 9-3 loss. He was effective through the neutral zone, came out positive in possession despite a good chunk of defensive zone starts and he also chipped in a power play goal.

Merkley somehow didn’t get on the scoresheet despite an excellent showing. He was perfect through the neutral zone and dominated in possession while starting just one of 17 even-strength shifts in the offensive zone.

Last but not least we have Leon the beast Draisaitl. He was excellent in all aspects of the game and that shows up in his underlying numbers. For the standard stat crowd he scored a goal, added two assists and recorded six shots on goal while also winning over 60% of his faceoffs. He was a man amongst boys in this one.

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

By The Numbers: Rimouski Oceanic vs Quebec Remparts – May 27, 2015

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Intro

Players tracked:

*2nd year eligible

Quebec – F Vladimir Tkachev (2015*), F Dmytro Timashov (2015)

Rimouski – F Frederik Gauthier (Maple Leafs)

Final score: 4-0 Rimouski.

Zone Starts

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Vladimir Tkachev started the game playing on Antony Duclair’s line but moved to Dmytro Timashov’s line in the 2nd period. As a result they had similar zone start numbers. Both are good through the neutral zone and generally far well in possession in the games I track so starting them outside of the offensive zone isn’t a cause for concern.

Rimouski was the better team and carried play for most of the night so as a whole the team had a lot of offensive zone starts. Still, Frederik Gauthier was spoon fed as many defensive zone starts as he could handle. He played primarily against the Tkachev-Duclair line early on, and shifted his focus to the Tkachev-Timashov duo when they were put together.

Zone Entries

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Tkachev made good of his only entry attempt in this game. For the most part he’d carry the puck up through the neutral zone and dish it off to someone else before gaining the line.

Timashov was very good through the neutral zone. He’s a good skater and he possesses excellent hands which allowed him to elude defenders if he was challenged.

Gauthier was surprisingly good through the neutral zone. He’s not a burner and doesn’t ooze puck skills but he used his big, strong frame to power through contact and stick checks when necessary. I don’t see him as a dominant NZ guy but he was good in that aspect during this game.

Shot Attempts

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Tkachev didn’t get on the scoresheet but he was excellent in this game. His speed made him very tough to contain, and he was creating chances almost every time he touched the ice. It’s pretty hard to defend a guy when he’s setting up teammates while laying on the ice.

Timashov was in the same boat as Tkachev. He didn’t get on the scoresheet but he was still quite good in this game. When you can drive play at a near 60% clip despite starting more shifts in the defensive zone than offensive zone you’re doing something right.

Gauthier played the best game I’ve seen from him in the Memorial Cup. His possession numbers won’t ‘wow’ anyone but when you factor in he was spoon fed defensive zone starts and was perfect through the neutral zone it’s hard not to be impressed.

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

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