NHLe is a neat little stat that helps you, on a very basic level, project how the production of a given player would translate to the NHL. And since there are NHL translation numbers available across many leagues, perhaps more useful in NHLe is the fact that it allows you to compare prospects in a given draft class across leagues.
It has its limitations, though, and it’s not any sort of catch-all statistic. Still, it’s more grist for our mill, and can be useful on a basic level for fans and scouts alike.
Without further ado, what I’ve done is calculate the NHLe for 65 of the top-rated prospects in this year’s draft class. So, a player’s given NHLe number is what the tool says a player’s production would be translated to an 82 game NHL season.
The list isn’t meant to really influence your views or anything like that but rather give you just a few more numbers to have at your disposal so you can enjoy this year’s draft a teeny bit more.
Here you go ( * = European Rankings)
- As we can see, one of the limitations of NHLe is that it often undervalues younger players playing in European leagues. Laine has an NHLe of 17 and Puljujarvi has an NHLe of 13.
- I’m gonna go full confirmation bias here and say the table further backs up the idea of Adam Mascherin and Vitali Abramov as two overlooked players in this draft. They’re the first to pop up among the consensus group of elite forwards in this draft (Gambrell and Brooks technically are but they’re not first-time draft-eligibles).
- Just giving the table a quick scan it’s comforting to know that the more you produce, the higher you’re typically going to be ranked. The aforementioned limitations of NHLe with younger players in European leagues toys with this a little bit, but for the most part, the further down the list you go the less enticing the names are.
- Cam Dineen, Frederic Allard, and David Quenneville are all names I hear at least some people say are underrated and the production level certainly backs that up. In the case of Quenneville, his draft stock is really hurt by the fact that he’s 5″8′.
- Girard, obviously, is also very productive, and similar to Quenneville size is maybe the biggest detractor there (he’s 5″9′). I only saw him once this year, in the top prospects game, so I really can’t speak to him. But as a guy who’s liked by most as a late first-rounder, the production certainly provides further intrigue.
- Charlie McAvoy’s numbers compare quite nicely with the other top defensemen in this draft.
- I’m not big on Libor Hajek or Logan Stanley because I don’t think there’s enough offense or general puck skills to make them more than bottom-pairing guys in the NHL. Obviously, the numbers back that up in this case.
There are no conclusions to be made from this. NHLe is a useful surface-level tool, particularly because it allows you to adjust for league and better compare prospects across them. This article is more just a way to make some of the NHLe numbers for this draft class more available so you can have them at your disposable and make your own judgments based off of them.
*=among European skaters