February 11th, 2015

Austin Wallace


College gems, prospect analytics and more…



Edit: Evander Kane has been traded to Buffalo, and part of the return are prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux. Their profiles have already been updated to reflect the trade.




Ryan Murphy will be out four weeks with a leg injury. He had been playing much better as of late, and looked to have secured a spot in the NHL with 7 points in 21 games and improving posession numbers. Hopefully this won’t be a long-term injury for the former 11th overall pick. Especially if Sekera leaves, Murphy should be able to secure powerplay time and a consistent top-four role next season. While the Hurricanes aren’t the greatest team, there is enough talent to support two fantasy relevent defensemen. 





Brendan Perlini has had a pretty great week with eight points in three OHL games for the streaking IceDogs. He is sixth in OHL points per game with 40 points in 26 games. Arizona’s 12th overall pick this past June has really stepped into another gear recently, after a broken hand kept him out to start the year.







Seth Jones is finally finding his stride with 10 points in 13 games. A little over a year of terrible luck should not have been able to lower his fantasy value below where it was when he was drafted, but fantasy hockey players are fickle beings. I maintain that he has a skill level on the same level as Ekblad and would not count out his multi-cat production over the next couple of years. Hopefully, he can force management’s hand in making more room for him. He played 25 minutes last night, and I think he could easily eclipse 40 points next season with good minutes (big big if).





Nikolaj Ehlers. Talked about him last week, but he is still ridiculous. 64 points on a 27 game point streak. This really should be his last year in the CHL; the only thing he could have left to show is whether he could score every single game of the season.




Nathan Walker, the first drafted Australian player, will have knee surgery. I was excited for him to do well and hopefully expand the NHL’s popularity down under. Unfortunately, he was toiling in the AHL and this surgery is not only a season-ender, but could make him miss summer development camp with the Capitals. Not really a fantasy prospect, but I’m still rooting for him.





Casey Bailey is an undrafted college free agent that is drawing interest from NHL teams. It seems that his slap-shot is his top offensive weapon, and he could have upside in the NHL given his size and his 19 goals this year. The 23 year old junior is a long shot to even end up as an NHL regular… But he is shooting the puck just over six times a game.


That is ridiculous. The next top shooter has almost a full shot per game less. The two players behind him are both shooting just over five a game, and no player has finished with even five a game in the past couple NCAA seasons. Shooting three times a game is a very good indicator in the NCAA, so six is a mixture of dominance, and a lot of forcefeeding.




None of Jimmy Vesey, Zach Hyman or Jimmy Vesey are doing things quite as spectacularly, but they are all doing quite well for themselves in the NHL and already belong to an NHL club.


Larkin is probably the best known after his WJC performance, and because Detroit. He is shooting it over four times per game and scoring almost one and a half times per game. Most of these top college players seem to be having their percentages inflated a bit, but Larkin only has a 10% shooting percentage, which is lowest among the top 30 NCAA in points per game. Big things are in this kid’s future, and is worth grabbing even in shallow farm leagues. Soon, I am going to update Detroit’s top 10 prospects. Where do you think he fits?


Zach Hyman might be the least known of all the three, but he is leading the Hobey Baker vote and is a senior on Larkin’s line. He is third in points per game with 1.54, and should get a crack at the Panther’s roster after a year or two in the AHL. Make sure you read this excellent article on him by the Detroit Free Press.


Jimmy Vesey has also been dominant, with the second highest points per game in the nation behind Eichel and also shoots 4.5 times a game. He had a 21 game point streak going until a recent shutout, which is remarkable considering the legnth of a NCAA season. A third round pick by Nashville, he is certainly worth a pickup in most farm leagues.





Great piece on yet another Detroit gem, Tyler Bertuzzi, from former DobberHockey writer, Peter Harling.




With the news that the NHL will definitely be including 35 advanced statistics, it got me wondering again how we could apply analytics to prospects. For me, analytics is using statistics and/or data in an intelligent way to predict future outcomes.

All accross the blogosphere, people are attempting to use numbers to predict prospects


What those numbers don’t always cover are grit, heart, drive, smoothness, intelligence, and all of those other terms scouts use to describe players. While having anything more than points and PIMs for prospects is a relatively new phenomonon, scouting reports have been around for a long long long time. 


Looking back as far as digitized records go, I would like to analyze whether any buzzwords, descriptors or combinations thereof have any effect on future performance when controlling for points. Will two players with the same OHL point total, but only one of whom is described with phrases like “defensively sound”, “excellent compete level”, etc. have significantly different NHL statistics? 


If some combination of praises are a genuine predictor for future NHL or fantasy success, even holding for production and any other external factors, that would be extremely useful. 

Are there any easily searchable databases that go back a fair ways?



Andrei Vasilevskiy with one of the saves of the year:

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Thanks for reading, and Brendan will be back in his usual spot later this week.

You can follow me @austeane





Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Xavier Bourgault 7.5 8.0
Jake Chiasson 5.0 4.0
Roby Järventie 7.0 6.0
Kevin Mandolese 6.2 5.2
Jérémy Davies 4.0 7.0
Brandon Biro 6.5 7.0
Maxime Lajoie 4.5 8.0
Mac Hollowell 5.5 7.0
Benoit-Olivier Groulx 4.5 8.5
Carson Meyer 5.0 3.5