Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports
The Leafs made as significant a trade as you could imagine today, shipping star winger Phil Kessel off to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a collection of draft picks and prospects. To be more specific, the two prospects the Leafs got in this trade are defenseman Scott Harrington and forward Kasperi Kapanen. You know what that means, right? It’s time to break out our favorite new tool and see how these players fare using PCS% metrics, which measures a prospect’s historical likelihood of reaching 200 NHL games played. Let’s begin:
NHL PPG of Comparables:
Andrei Markov, Zbynek Michalek, Filip Kuba, Kevin Klein, Brent Sopel, Mike Weber
Numbers aside, most seem to figure Harrington has a low offensive ceiling and that he has a reasonably good chance at becoming an NHL regular. Well, these numbers certainly seem to back that idea up.
And hey, we should note that Harrington also played 10 games for the Penguins this season. When you use PCS for his short stint in the NHL as opposed to the AHL (where he spent most of his season), Harrington skyrockets all the way to a 75.34 PCS%, with comparables that include Ryan Suter, Jack Johnson, and Marc Staal. This is admittedly cherry-picking as Harrington played just 10 games for Pittsburgh this season as opposed to 48 with the Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barrie, but something should be said for the fact that he’s already spent some time in the NHL less than four years after being drafted.
One more note on Harrington: if we go by his four OHL seasons, his PCS numbers are as follows (from his first OHL season to his last): 13.48%, 7.07%, 11.50%, and 3.94%. That’s a little interesting simply in the sense that he’s had, at least by the numbers, a very weird development curve.
NHL PPG of Comparables:
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of using PCS% with players in European leagues because the sample size of historical coparables is significantly lower than it is when we’re looking at CHL players, but here are Kapanen’s numbers anyways.
He’s given a 14.29% chance of reaching 200 NHL games, which certainly isn’t great, but those numbers figure to automatically increase when he plays in either the NHL or AHL for Toronto next season. His PPG of NHL Comparables is 0.45, which is actually a relatively high number regardless of what league you’re comparing in. This might back up the qualitative idea that Kapanen has real top-six upside in the NHL down the road.
As for his historic comparables, I thought it was pretty cool that his 2014-2015 season compares with the 1991-1992 season that his father Sami had over two decades ago.
We can’t discern too much from these numbers really, but they do seem to back up the idea that Scott Harrington has a relatively strong likelihood of becoming an NHL regular but that his offensive upside is limited. It also backs up the idea, to an extent, that Kasperi Kapanen is a prospect with top-six upside at the NHL level (but that he’s no guarantee to reach that potential).
All in all, the jury remains out on these players. It’ll be interesting to see how they develop within the Leafs organization in the coming months and years.