Last week, I used my point prediction model (NHLP) to predict the rookie scoring of Connor McDavid. By comparing the NHLP score of McDavid, relative to 16 CHL forwards who were all selected in the top three and made the immediate jump to the NHL, I was able to come up with a point prediction of 71 points in 77 games. Using these projections for Connor McDavid, is it possible to come up with a rookie scoring prediction for the young American phenom Jack Eichel?
To come up with a rookie prediction for Jack Eichel, the first item needed is a NHLP score. To accomplish this, we will apply the NHLP score using Eichel’s numbers at Boston University, but first adjusting for NHL equivelency due to playing in a tougher league than the CHL (Hockey East 0.33 vs OHL 0.30). Therefore, the NHLP score of Jack Eichel is:
WHAT WE SHOULD EXPECT
McDavid’s prediction for if he progressed at an average pace relative to the 16 players he was compared against was:
46 Non-PP points
21 PP points
For Jack Eichel, the ratio of 58/67 for non-power play scoring and a ratio of 25/30 for power play scoring will be used. Therefore, if Jack Eichel progresses at an average pace, he projects to have:
40 Non-PP points
17 PP points
However, Eichel is similar to McDavid and has a good chance of progressing at an above average pace for a top three pick. Therefore, the bottom four players were removed from the comparison which gives results for Eichel of:
45 Non-PP points
20 PP Points
And for those who think Eichel will be lights out and we only should compare him to the progress of the top 8 players, the results are:
49 Non-PP points
22 PP Points
So which one you choose is based on how much belief you have in Eichel. Once again, I will choose the middle option, as I did for McDavid, which is a 65 point total over an 82 game season.
WHAT ABOUT GOALS AND GAMES PLAYED?
If Eichel has 65 points, what will be the number of goals to assists? Using the ratio of goals to assists as he received in Boston University last year, Eichel will score over an 82 game season:
Non-PP Goals: 19 goals/46 points X 45 non-pp points = 19 goals
Non-PP assists: 26 assists
PP goals: 7 goals/25 points X 25 non-pp points = 6 goals
PP goals: 14 assists
As for games played, I used the average of 77 for McDavid. For Eichel, I have chosen 80 games.
Therefore, my prediction for Jack Eichel’s rookie season is:
With McDavid projected to be a 71-point player and Eichel a 63-point player, the race for the Calder trophy should be a close and entertaining race. Like with 2005-06 with Ovechkin and Crosby, it is time for NHL fans to pick their side and let the arguments begin.