TIL (Today I Learned)
- Out of Michael Dal Colle's 95 points this season, 39 of them came on the powerplay (41%). Now, there's two ways to look at this. Either 1) he's a talented powerplay scorer who uses the man advantage to his (and his team's) advantage, or 2) his stats are inflated because he scores more on the powerplay, playing on a talented Oshawa team, compared to other prospects playing with less skilled teams. (Ex. Only 28% of Sam Bennett's points came on the powerplay) The issue is more complex if a full answer is desired, but the simplified answers come down to that. I tend to lean more towards the first answer, as players who excel on the powerplay are used more on the powerplay, less during 5 on 5, and will have lower 5 on 5 TOI, and thus more powerplay points and less 5 on 5 points.
Stuff to Look at
- Yahoo's Buzzing the Net blog produces an annual "Jeff Skinner" rankings, which is a mathematical calculation of NHL expected point totals based off of a prospect's age, point production in juniors and strength of competition. The calculations seem more like guesses at first, and a deeper look into them reveals that, at times, they are just that; guesses. There's much more that goes into determining whether or not a prospect is NHL ready, such as defensive responsibilities and skating abilities. Players such as Devante Smith Pelly, Tyler Toffoli, and Greg McKegg (Who?.... Exactly.) have seen high rankings from the JSR. On the flip side, however, they can be disturbingly accurate. One reason they are labeled the "Jeff Skinner" rankings is because he topped the list the first year they were released, while he happened to be ranked out of the top 30 (34th) on NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. He was drafted 7th overall, and went on to put up 63 points his rookie season. True, he hasn't matched the overall production of others in his draft year, (Hall and Seguin both have more total points and a higher point per game total than Skinner) but he has been hampered by injuries and he definitely deserved a ranking higher than 34th going into draft day. Other strong notes for the JSR include identifying the offensive abilities of Alexander Khoklachev (2nd round, expected to make it into the NHL by 2014-2016) Charles Hudon (5th round, skilled, considered to have top 6 potential) and our very own Vincent Trochek. All three of these players were ranked in the top 25 of the JSR, while they were ranked nowhere near there on the draft boards, as shown by their draft positions. Another common theme for the JSR is placing smaller forwards higher on the rankings, as Jeff Skinner, Trocheck, Hudon, and Khoklachev were all under 6 feet. When the rankings are finalized, they will definitely be something worth taking a look at, as they seem to have a knack for finding small, talented forwards who can score that NHL CSS seems to skip over. It will definitely be interesting to see where Nikolaj Ehlers falls in particular.
- Adam Gretz looks into why buying free agents to fill in the top spots on a roster is a bad idea.
ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)
- Nick Bjugstad had 2 goals and 1 assist in the Panthers 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs.
- Justin Holl scored his first goal of the season for Minnesota last night against North Dakota - Shorthanded, with .6 seconds left, to send his team to the national championship game. #clutch