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 15 overall in the draft since 1998.
To continue along in the series we now look at the players selected 26th to 30th overall. The results are broken down into total points and non-power play points.
NHL POINT PREDICTION (TOTAL)
- At the top of the list is Ramzi Abid who is a player that demonstrates that it does not matter if you have magic hands if you cannot get to where you need to be. Abid is not the prettiest of skaters to say the least and it is what can separate a player from being a superstar like Lecavalier from a cup of coffee player like Abid.
- There are twelve players on the list that project to have 60-point potential. What is most interesting to me about that is six of these players were only drafted in the last three years. This means there could be some late round gems popping up in the NHL soon, which may include the likes of Goldobin, Scherbak, Beauvillier, Ho Sang, Klimchuk and Merkley. Of the other six players, the aforementioned Abid and Bruins prospect Zach Phillips appear to be the weak selections of the group. The other four forwards of Tyler Ennis, Corey Perry, Justin Williams and Steve Downie have combined for over 2400 games and 1600 points in the NHL.
- There are definitely cases of players that exceed their offensive potential based on their junior production. Three examples of this are Nick Foligno, Scott Gomez and Jonathan Cheechoo. My model suggests that all three players were most likely to have second line mid-50 point upside. Instead, all three players have been first line players at one point or another in their career with career season ranging between 73 and 93 points.
- The median NHLP score for a forward in this range is 57 points, which is in between Danault and Namestnikov. For a forward in the 16-20 range it is 56 points while a forward in the 21-25 range has a median NHLP of 59 points. There is very little difference in the offensive potential of a forward selected in the bottom half of the draft and the numbers suggest that you can get as good an offensive player in the late first as the late teens. Trading down in the first round and collecting assets seems like a good solution to consider when drafting in the 16-25 range.