To evaluate draft eligible CHL forwards, I created a point prediction model called NHLP which predicts their career season point totals in an 82 game season. In previous posts, I applied the NHLP formula to every CHL forward selected top 10 overall in the draft since 1998.
To continue along in the series we now look at the players selected 11th to 15th overall. The results are broken down into total points and non-power play points.
NHL POINT PREDICTION (TOTAL)
- Tanguay’s NHLP of 79 points suggests a player that should be in the consideration for the 1st overall pick. However, he could not crack the top 10, despite projecting to be significantly better offensively than the forwards selected ahead of him in the 6th to 11th range. This is why you should not ignore junior stats when it comes to scouting because it does matter when it comes to forwards. I am sure fans of Calgary (Fata), NYR (Malhotra), Chicago (Bell), NYI (Rupp) and Carolina (Heerema) would have liked a do-over.
- In some draft years, first line forwards slide out of the top 10 be it due to the depth of the draft or simply being overlooked. Little, Hemsky and Brown are three of those players that projected to be 1st line players and all of them have gone on to having successful NHL careers. While it is early, Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi projects to have similar offensive upside and could well be on his way to being included in that list.
- Jake Debrusk was a player that I thought was taken too early in the 2015 draft at 14th overall. However, I did not account for the fact that he carried the Swift Current Broncos offense and that his numbers were likely understated due to this fact. While there were other players I would still have taken over Debrusk at the 14th spot, he is a solid pick for a mid-first rounder.
- The median NHLP for a pick in the 11-15 range is 60 points, which is where Brendan Perlini and Jeff Carter fall in the list. For those following along the median point totals are 75.5 for picks #1-3, 67 points for picks #4-6 and 62.5 points for picks 6-10. As you can see the median point prediction continues to fall as the draft goes along.
- There are many examples of former junior players that are unable to translate their offensive skills to the next level. Former Oilers prospects Ryan O’Marra and Michael Henrich are two examples as both projected to have 2nd line upside but neither was able to produce strong numbers at the AHL level (Henrich 0.36 Pts/G O’Marra 0.29 Pts/G).
- There are multitudes of reasons that limit players from reaching their potential. Not all of them are related to hockey as off ice issues such as substance problems can impact what were once promising careers such as the case of Zack Kassian.
- Crouse was one of the most debated players last year, as the scouting reports were more glowing than was his statistical performance. That can be the case for players that bring many qualities to the table outside of scoring. With Crouse, his size, skating, physical play and two-way game make him a very safe pick, in terms of reaching his potential. Therefore, even though Crouse projects to be a 2nd or 3rd line player, his likelihood of reaching this upside increases his value over more skilled offensive players.
- With the potential of two assists handed out, for every goal scored, it is more likely that a player ends up with more assists than goals. Michael Grabner has always had a unique goal-to-assist ratio that continued its way to the NHL level (95 goals to 61 assists).
- While Debrusk was a worthy pick at 14th overall, the Bruins took a real long shot by taking Senyshyn at 15. This was the pick of the 1st round that was the biggest head scratcher for me as I had Senyshyn ranked 42nd. Due to his playing limited minutes on a stacked Greyhounds team, I felt similar to others, that Senyshyn has more offensive potential than the numbers suggested. However, nowhere close enough to pass over more talented players such as Barzal.