Title photo credit to NHLPA.com and Getty Images
Over the past month, I’ve been re-evaluating, recalculating and re-examining my PNHLe model, which is used to predict a prospect’s NHL point potential in the prime of their career.
With the conclusion of every hockey season comes with it a massive allocation of new data that can be used to make the model more accurate. Many NHL players hit new career highs, while others show consistency in their point production.
Looking back to the leagues they toiled in prior to making the leap to the NHL can give great insight into what a typical point production looks like for many current prospects playing in different developmental leagues.
Simply put, PNHLe tries to gauge a prospects point potential in the NHL. It questions, “If I’m an 18-year old prospect in the OHL who posted a point per game, what does that translate if I make it to the show?” By using current NHL players and how their production translated from their prospect years, we can get a better sense of what to expect from players around the world. PNHLe allows us the ability to compare prospects from different leagues, at different ages and different positions to give a snapshot of just how good a prospect is doing. As a fantasy guru, you can use that knowledge to take advantage and grab prospects before anyone else in your league has even heard a whisper of their names.
Obviously, projecting prospect potential is no easy task. Players develop at different rates and are given different opportunities based on, teammates, coaching deployment and team systems. A single stat like PNHLe is not entirely accurate at trying to predict the ceiling of a player sometimes six or seven years down the road. However, year after year PNHLe develops a trend for a single player that can be used to evaluate the likelihood that they’ll hit their top potential. As a fantasy GM, you can use this to decide when it’s time to cut bait on a prospect that isn’t continuing to develop, or mine a gem that is a late bloomer and has come out of nowhere.
At the 2019 entry draft in June, each NHL team added an average of seven new players to their prospect pool, and in doing so, increased their depth. I thought it would be an interesting activity to evaluate which teams have the best system that could translate into NHL point totals in the near future by using PNHLe.
In order to do this, I averaged their top five prospects to help give a somewhat decent representation of organizational strength. By using an average, a single superstar player can have a larger impact on an entire team’s rankings – see Jack Hughes – which obviously skyrockets the team’s overall value. I arbitrarily chose the top five prospects ranked by PNHLe because at any given time a team probably has somewhere in the range of five prospects that will make a long term impact down the road.
I should mention that these rankings would not correspond to my own personal list of either fantasy or real-life rankings, but is strictly dependent on the PNHLe statistic. You will notice that there are several teams that are much higher/lower than those rankings but I try to explain why that outcome resulted while also taking a look at a few of the prospects from each team.
Without further ado, let us