2016 NHL Draft: NHLe Numbers

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)

FORWARDS

Player Rank League Position NHLe
Matthew Tkachuk 2 OHL LW 49
Alex DeBrincat 21 OHL RW 44
Auston Matthews 1* NLA C 42
Dylan Gambrell 67 NCHC C 39
Adam Brooks 72 WHL C 37
Alex Nylander 3 OHL LW 35
Pierre-Luc Dubois 1 QMJHL LW 34
Brayden Burke 63 WHL LW 34
Logan Brown 7 OHL C 33
Adam Mascherin 42 OHL RW 33
Vitali Abramov 29 QMJHL RW 31
Taylor Raddysh 36 OHL LW/RW 29
Michael McLeod 13 OHL C 28
Luke Kunin 11 Big-10 C/W 27
Tage Thompson 20 Hockey-East RW 27
Pascal Laberge 28 QMJHL RW 26
Will Bitten 43 OHL C/RW 25
Nathan Bastian 35 OHL RW 24
Maxime Fortier 145 QMJHL RW 24
Julien Gauthier 12 QMJHL RW 23
Max Jones 14 OHL LW 22
Sam Steel 30 WHL C 22
Dillon Dube 41 WHL C/W 22
Noah Gregor 45 WHL C 22
Simon Stransky 48 WHL LW 22
Brett Howden 22 WHL C 21
Tyler Benson 24 WHL LW 21
Boris Katchouk 25 OHL LW 21
Jordan Kyrou 34 OHL RW 21
Dmitri Sokolov 129 OHL RW 20
Yegor Korshkov 7* KHL RW 19
Vladimir Kuznetsov 55 QMJHL W 18
Jack Kopacka 33 OHL LW 17
Timothy Gettinger 37 OHL LW 17
Hudson Elyniuk 68 WHL LW 17
Patrik Laine 2* SM-Liiga LW 17
Givani Smith 54 OHL LW 16
Jordan Stallard 65 WHL C 16
Carl Grundstrom 6* SHL LW 16
Carsen Twarynski 64 WHL 15
Nicholas Caamano 69 OHL RW 15
Cliff Pu 75 OHL C/W 13
Jesse Puljujarvi 3* SM-Liiga RW 13
Rasmus Asplund 4* SHL LW 13
Beck Malenstyn 73 WHL C/W 8
  • 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.

DEFENSEMEN

Player Rank League Position NHLe
Samuel Girard 38 QMJHL LD 24
Cam Dineen 39 OHL LD 23
Mikhail Sergachyov 8 OHL LD 22
Jakob Chychrun 4 OHL LD 21
Charlie McAvoy 6 Hockey-East RD 21
Jake Bean 15 WHL LD 21
Frederic Allard 32 QMJHL RD 20
Olli Juolevi 5 OHL LD 19
David Quenneville 144 WHL RD 19
Lucas Johansen 26 WHL LD 16
Victor Mete 74 OHL LD 15
Kale Clague 27 WHL LD 14
Maxime Lajoie 44 WHL LD 13
Luke Green 40 QMJHL RD 12
Markus Niemelainen 52 OHL LD 11
Sean Day 59 OHL LD 10
Riley Stillman 66 OHL LD 9
Libor Hajek 31 WHL LD 8
Logan Stanley 19 OHL LD 7
Keaton Middleton 71 OHL LD 3
  • 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.

CONCLUSION

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

  • Newleafs

    NHLe is way off for Matthews.

    Take Eichel who scored 56 NHL rookie points and expect more from Matthews. Matthews out scored Eichel by a significant margin at the same age.

    I am expecting 60-70 points for Matthews next year.

    It will be interesting to compare the top 3 draft picks production next year but expect big things from Matthews who was nearly the MVP of the NLA and put up impressive numbers there.

    • magesticRAGE

      It depends on the situation you come into as well. Matthews should have a good chance to put up points right away because he will likely be given every chance to. He could be the top line centre by seasons end and I imagine he will start on the top powerplay with the Leafs because they just don’t have many other better options. Eichel, on the other hand, started in a situation where Buffalo already had some other fairly established centers and offensive players in general and he wasn’t relied on as heavily. I think Eichel will be looked to more this year and probably put up some pretty good totals.

      • magesticRAGE

        Matthews may get increased responsibility, but Kadri will get “1st line” duties for the duration of next season. In other words, Kadri will get the toughest minutes.

    • Mitch92

      That may be but the NHLe ratings for Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi are embarrassingly off at 17 and 13 points respectively. If those two players play full NHL seasons they will both top 30 points no problem. If things go well for them they could both top 50 points.

  • Newleafs

    the non-CHL numbers are obviously not ‘adjusted’ properly; I think they should ‘adjust’ based on the points in international tournaments. also strange is not adjusting for over-agers and under-sized players. last year’s list was ten times better, with only provorov mis-rated. obviously, laine, matthews and puljujarvi are at one level, tkachuk and nylander at the next. asplund, benson and korshkov are question marks. dahlen should be at the next level, with grundstrom and mascherin. it looks like mascherin and dineen will be the steals.

  • Mcline

    As an Oilers fan, I think you need to take a step back, way too much is expected of these players. When Hall started playing for the Oilers, I use to watch teams 3rd and 4th line players going after him, whacking his wrists when ever they could. He took a real beating while the reffs turned a blind eye.
    Rookies don’t get protected by the reff’s as a rule.
    The 2 players that drove McDavid into the boards and caused him to miss half the season could have slowed down, they chose to make sure he was hurt instead. and they were , yes you got it, grinders.
    As a top draft pick he will be a marked man, yes he is big and strong, but playing against bigger and much physically stronger and meaner players in the NHL will take some getting used to.
    The one thing he has going for him is he is playing in the east, The West might have finally lost the Stanley Cup but its still the tougher of the two divisions.