The World Juniors is the premier hockey prospect tournament and gives fans an opportunity to see their country, and favorite NHL team’s top prospects perform in a playoff intensity induced environment smack dab in the middle of the hockey season.
As the World Junior Championship fast approaches, I thought I would compile a consolidated list of all of the teams’ most notable players ranked by their PNHLe statistics for the 2018-19 season. In the first part of this two-part series, I’d like to take a look at the countries in Group A, and although most of the team rosters have been pared down, at the time of writing this article only Canada has tentatively released their tournament line-up.
PNHLe is a stat that uses historical values from current NHL players to determine an estimate of a prospect’s eventual point potential in the NHL. There are many variables that aren’t taken into consideration in the current model (i.e., time-on-ice, player usage, primary points, line-mates, etc.), so before you lambaste me with why your favorite prospect should have a higher value, please understand that PNHLe is mainly used from a fantasy perspective to identify trends and infer player point potential over the course of several years – not the small sample of the start of the 2018-19 season.
It is a completely objective statistic where the top players usually trend upwards over an entire season, while others tend to fall off during grueling seasons and as competition gets more difficult. That being said, players generally see a decline as rookies while they adjust to more difficult leagues. Therefore, players that make the jump from the CHL to the AHL, or the Swedish SuperElit to the SHL, generally have a drop in value and production based on situational usage, and overall time-on-ice.
If you’d like to read more about the PNHLe stat you can do so here. If you notice a prospect that has not been listed, it may be because PNHLe is currently only calculated for eleven different developmental leagues (AHL, WHL, OHL, QMJHL, KHL, SHL, Liiga, NCAA, USHL, Allsvenska