Forwards and NHLE – 2010 Draft

Taylor Hall

Photo by Alesiaxx via Wikimedia Commons

Over the last couple of days, I’ve looked at all of the forwards chosen in the 2012 and 2011 entry drafts. Today, we’re moving on to the great Taylor v. Tyler debate of 2010. Two years out, those two players are still at the top of the pile, but many of the others in the top ten aren’t yet playing in the NHL. If you’ve read the methodological explanations already, feel free to skip down to the results. 

In the chart below, I’ve taken each player’s goals, assists and points, converted them to a "per game" rate, multiplied them by the league equivalency number, and then expressed them as an "NHL equivalency" assuming an 82-game NHL season. As you may have guessed, each league has a different equivalency number. I’ve used this article for the translations from the KHL (multiply offense by 0.83), SEL (0.78), CZE (0.74), FNL (0.54), NCAA (0.41), WHL (0.30), OHL (0.30) and QMJHL (0.28),and this article for the translations from the USHL (0.27), AJHL (0.16), and BCHL (0.14). With these players getting older, there are now only a few leagues that have drafted players but no translations, and if you’re playing there (ECHL, minor European league), that’s probably a bad sign.

Before I go ahead and put up the chart, a bit more explanation is needed. Not all of the players drafted in 2010 were actually the same age; in fact, several players had already passed through the draft at least once (and sometimes twice). All of these older players are included in the chart but are marked in yellow. There were also some players who were first eligible for the draft in 2009 or 2010 but weren’t drafted until 2011 or 2012. I’ve also included these players in the chart with "N/A" written in the "Draft Number" column. If 2010 was the player’s first year of eligibility, the yellow highlighting is removed.

The "Draft Number" column is not the player’s actual draft position but the player’s position among forwards. So, for example, the Carolina Hurricanes drafted Jeff Skinner 7th overall, but he was the 6th forward to be drafted, so his "Draft Number" in the chart is "6". Some of these players have also gone unsigned or been traded, so I’ll just note that the "Team" listed is the one that drafted the player.

These numbers may also be slightly different than the NHLE numbers you may have seen elsewhere for these players. That’s because I include both regular season and playoff games in the results, which I think probably gives a better estimate. None of these teams are playing a balanced schedule anyway, so it seems to me that including the larger sample of games is the way to go.

The "Rank" column is organized by NHLE. Anyone without an NHLE ranking is placed at the bottom in the order that they were drafted.

 

Points of Interest:

  • There are quite a few very promising prospects who spent last season playing in one of the best European leagues. If those players all come over (Tarasenko, Kuznetsov, Jarnkrok, Granlund, Fasth, and Larsson), it will be interesting to see whether or not their offense holds up. All six of those players are given over forty points by the translations, something that just 138 forwards achieved last season. Will these players all arrive as top six forwards? Probably not. Fasth in particular seems doubtful based on the small sample of games in 2011-12 and his past performance.
  • One of the problems with the NHLE system is that it only captures the performance of the "winners", i.e., the players who come directly to the NHL. At this time last year, Ondrej Palat, Curtis Hamilton, Tye McGinn, and Ryan Martindale were all among the top twenty-five, putting up big numbers in the CHL. None of them came directly to the NHL, and all of them struggled in the pro game. Palat survived the best of that group, finishing 94th on this list after posting 39 points in 79 AHL games. Most of the other junior players will join these four in the AHL next season, and that year of AHL experience will likely push this group back up the chart (though probably not back into the top twenty-five).
  • It is helpful, though, in reminding us to take the numbers put up by the CHL kids with a grain of salt. No matter how good Mark Stone looks playing in the OHL, the step to pro hockey is substantial, and not everyone is going to make it.
  • But not everyone makes a stop in the AHL. There are few other top picks well down this list who are already playing in the NHL. It’s safe to say that all of Ryan Johansen, Nino Niederreiter, Brett Connolly and (to a lesser extent) Alexander Burmistrov weren’t quite as good as their teams had hoped offensively in 2011-12, but all four have already played more NHL games than some of the men listed above them ever will.
  • The St. Louis Blues had a very successful draft with two players in the top ten. Adding Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko to an already excellent forward group is going to make this team very difficult to defend for at least the next four or five years (Backes, Oshie, Perron, Steen, Stewart and Berglund are all twenty-eight years old or younger).
  • Some players made a huge leap this season. Chris Wagner, for example, scored just 19 points in 41 games in his freshman year at Colgate, but upped that 51 points in 38 games as a sophomore. Other players who made a big leap include Brock Nelson and Nick Bjugstad, both of whom likely got much more ice time as sophomores than they did as frehsmen coming out of high school hockey.
  • With each league being different, it’s always fun to pick out the best guy in each league. In 2011-12, that was Taylor Hall (NHL), Vladimir Tarasenko (KHL), Calle Jarnkrok (SEL), Mikael Granlund (FNL), Jaden Schwartz (NCAA), Mark Stone (WHL), Charlie Coyle (QMJHL), 2012 first-round pick Tanner Pearson (OHL), and Ondrej Palat (AHL). 
    • DSF

      You’re comparing apples and rutabagas.

      In his first season with the Bruins, Seguin was brought along slowly playing mainly third line minutes while Hall was thrust into the fray immediately because the Oilers had little choice.

      Hall’s TOI in his rookie season:

      ESTOI/G – 15:26

      PP/TOI/G – 2:06

      Seguin’s TOI in his rookie season:

      ESTOI/G – 10:49

      P/TOI/G – 1:21

      So, we can see that Hall played a whopping 5 minutes more per game in 2010/11

      In 2011/12, things look somewhat different as Seguin was moved to the first line.

      Hall:

      ESTOI/G – 15:06

      PPTOI/G – 3:03

      Seguin:

      ESTOI/G – 14:27

      PPTOI/G – 2:27

      So, in 2011/12 Hall is still playing about one minute more per game but the gap has narrowed significantly.

      Now, let’s see how they performed with that ice time.

      Hall:

      P/60 5V5 – 2.07

      P/50 5V4 – 5.95

      Seguin:

      P/60 5V5 – 2.69

      P/60 5V4 – 4:09

      Seguin has a clear edge at evens while Hall has a clear edge on the PP but, since most of the game is played at evens, I would certainly give the nod to Seguin.

      But let’s also look at what really matters…outscoring.

      It’s fine and dandy to score a lot but if you’re giving up just as much as you score it doesn’t mean much.

      Hall:

      GFON/60 – 2.73

      GAON/60 – 2.86

      Seguin:

      GFON/60 – 3.38

      GAON/60 – 2.97

      Obviously, Hall is getting outscored pretty handily while at even strength while Seguin is the definition of an outscorer.

      Now, you can argue Seguin plays for a better team and that is valid, but what you can’t argue is that Hall is a better player than Seguin because he isn’t when the icetime is balanced.

  • BurkeTheTurd

    Seguin is a very good player, got more ice time last year and put up some good numbers. But after two years, I still think Oilers made the better decision by picking Hall. However, would of loved to have them both.

  • Taylor Hall is one trampoline bounce away from being a vegetable. Seriously, dude plays like he’s a man among boys and pays the price. It’s good to have confidence but not to the point where you make dangerous plays and do stupid sh!t.

    He gets all jacked up and fights Derek Dorsett (great idea, btw), and takes a high ankle sprain. Misses 17 games. Not an injury that is easy to recover from and tends to be re-occurring.

    No helmet during warmups and takes a skate to the face (was he just laying on the ice, high on blow, telling people to cut him because he couldn’t feel it?). Many stitches, misses a couple games.

    Shoulder injury on a hit, requiring surgery, and out for 5-6 months. Also, was concussed by Sarich on a routine hit.

    Do we see a pattern here? Hall has taken several major injuries in only 2 years of NHL play. Two more years and he might be a vegetable.

      • Woah, a string of touchy comments, we hit a nerve there?

        I never called Taylor Hall small. Even once. Re-read what I said. He’s received several major injuries, correct? It’s because he plays with an edge because he wants to win, correct?

        My opinion is that his consistent injury history is similar to that of other players. Eric Lindros, Paul Kariya, Tim Connolly, Marc Savard. 3 of the 4 had their careers cut short because of recurring trauma to important parts of their bodies – head, face, ankles, shoulders. Hall needs to cool it a bit – it’s one thing to play with an edge, another to be reckless.

        And yes, you are correct, the 2011-12 Flames are indeed small. I don’t necessarily see it as a problem if they can score consistently but if they run the dump and chase over and over, it may prove completely useless. Like, lottery pick useless. Jankowski is huge though and may make up for our small team, in time. I mean, this season’s Flames are basically 2010-11 Montreal Lite.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    There’s been a lot of talk around FlamesNation how Calgary’s drafting has improved the last 2 drafts. This is somewhat verfified here as there are 3 Calgary picks in the top chart – & we didn’t have a pick until the third round.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Hall (playing on edmonton)

    GP = 126
    G = 49
    A = 46
    Total = 95 points
    0.75 ppg

    Seguin (playing in boston)

    GP = 155
    G = 40
    A = 49
    Total = 89
    0.57 ppg

    I would say Hall is best bang for your buck

  • Spydyr

    As much as I realize something has to be posted over the dog days of summer.It sure would be nice if something happened with the Oilers ,hell even a worthwhile trade somewhere in the NHL.

  • RexLibris

    One of the nicest luxuries the Oilers have going into this season is that a player of Hall’s calibre can slide between the 1st and 2nd line depending on matchups.

    The depth provided by having Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle as a first pairing along with Gagner and Hemsky as a second pairing gives a tremendous amount of flexibility to Krueger in how he’ll deploy Yakupov, Hall, Paajarvi or Smyth.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Just to play a bit of devil’s advocate – what kind of minutes was Seguin playing for Boston as compared to Hall?

    It is well known that Renney tended to shelter the minutes of the “kid line” as much as possible with high zone starts.

    With Seguin playing on a better team, would we not expect his numbers to be a little lower?

    Just throwing it out there.

  • SmellOfVictory

    @Sizzler: unscientific. Hall has been given top 6 minutes since the moment he stepped into the league. Seguin was relegated to the 3rd/4th line his rookie season, which throws off his ppg pace dramatically.

    • McRib

      That is exactly right. Seguin had to earn his ice time and was required to be responsible defensively. Most hockey people were saying that Seguin has clearly pulled ahead of Hall last year. Unless Hall somehow improves his hockey sense, his one dimensional game will not allow him to move to the next level.

    • McRib

      That is exactly right. Seguin had to earn his ice time and was required to be responsible defensively. Most hockey people were saying that Seguin has clearly pulled ahead of Hall last year. Unless Hall somehow improves his hockey sense, his one dimensional game will not allow him to move to the next level.

  • beloch

    It’s also interesting to look for high picks at the bottom of the chart. e.g. For a high 2nd round pick (34th overall) Curtis Hamilton isn’t doing so well, and the islanders got absolutely boned by blowing a #4 pick on Nino Niederreiter.

    • McRib

      Wasn’t Ferland in this draft as well? As good as the 2010 draft looks for the Flames, the 2011 draft looks even better. Hopefully they can acquire some more picks for 2013 and all of a sudden be really stacked with quality prospects.

  • McRib

    @Smell of Victory – don’t forget that Boston is a better team, quality of competition each faced vs. those minutes played, etc.

    Hard to compare 2 players when 1 is on recent Cup winner and the other is at the bottom of the league.

    Too many variables and not enough time gone by yet IMO.

    @McRib – Certainly Baertschi is hard to argue with, even at this early stage, but until the chickens actually hatch I wouldn’t start counting the eggs. Been down that road way too many times: Boyd, Kobasew, Tzcachuk, Hoglund, Dominechelli (59 goals/148 points), etc.

    Fata I always knew was a bad choice.

    That article is terrible btw. ‘Subjective’ doesn’t even begin to describe it.