TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #13 Zach Hyman

TLN13

I’ve developed a real soft spot for all the Marlies, particularly over the last couple of years. It’s been really interesting watching players like Zach Hyman work their way up through the minor leagues and into the big leagues. I was glad to see Hyman rank in the Top 20 Prospects, he deserved it.

The Votes

Jeff Ryan H. Shawn Ryan F. Adam Dom Jess Katy Readers
17 11 N/A 13 9 13 9 7 11

Hyman was unranked in our 2015 rankings and an honourable mention in our 2015 mid-term.

Player Bio

Position Hometown Height Weight Hand 2015 Team Acquired
C/W Toronto, ON 6’0 234 Right Toronto Marlies Trade (Jun 2015)

The Stats

 SEASON AGE TEAM LEAGUE GP G A TP NHLe PIM +/-
 2008-09 16  Hamilton Red Wings  OJHL 49 13 24 37 8.05 24  
 2009-10 17  Hamilton Red Wings   CCHL 49 35 40 75 16.32 30 17
 2010-11 18  Hamilton Red Wings   OJHL 43 42 60 102 25.29 24  
 2011-12 19  Univ. of Michigan  NCAA 41 2 7 9 6.3 12 -2
 2012-13 20  Univ. of Michigan  NCAA 38 4 5 9 6.79 8 -2
 2013-14 21  Univ. of Michigan  NCAA 35 7 10 17 13.94 12 -1
 2014-15 22  Univ. of Michigan   NCAA 37 22 32 54 41.89 10 24
 2015-16 23  Toronto Maple Leafs  NHL 16 4 2 6 30.75 18 0
  23  Toronto Marlies  AHL 59 15 22 37 24.17 24 31

Last year was a roller coaster for the entire Leafs organisation. But through it all, the Marlies were a high point. By that virtue, Hyman was one of the high points of the Marlies. He didn’t have William Nylander or Nikita Soshnikov’s flair, but he was still a vital part of the team. And his stats show that, 15 goals and 22 assists is a pretty solid effort. 

Projection Stats

pGPSn pGPSs pGPS% pGPS PPG pGPS PP82 pGPSr
743 (1/18) 149 (1/18) 20.1% (13/18) 0.37 (17/18) 30.25 (17/18) 7.40 (15/18)

  • pGPSn: The number of matches between the subject and the player-seasons (one season by a single player, i.e, John Tavares 2008 OHL) in the historical sample.
  • pGPSs: The number of statistical matches that became NHL regulars. This is determined by playing 200 NHL games.
  • pGPS%: Simply s divided by n, this is the percentage of statistical matches that successfully became NHL players.
  • pGPS PPG: The NHL points per game of successful matches.
  • pGPS P82: The same as pGPS PPG, but stretched over 82 games.
  • pGPSr: A bit of a hybrid number, this pGPS Rating combines the percentage and points per game to produce a number that includes both likelihood of success and potential upside.

Based on the success of his historical comparables, Hyman is projected to become a fourth-line forward.

To learn more about the Prospect Graduation Probabilities System, check out this post.

The Eye Test

One of the things I noticed about Zach Hyman was how much I didn’t notice him. Yeah, I know. Makes no sense. But stay with me. I noticed William Nylander, I noticed Nikita Soshnikov, everything about their play is flashy and showy and larger than life. Zach Hyman, though,  just kept popping up, unobtrusive but constant. Ready with the assist, ready with the goal, ready to dig the puck out of the corners.

From James Mirtle’s Globe and Mail article – University of Michigan Coach, Red Berenson…

“It’s not just that they’re from privileged backgrounds. There are some kids that just expect things to be handed to them because that’s how they’ve been brought up. That’s the thing about Zach Hyman. He’s from a privileged background, but he doesn’t act like that. When he shows up at the rink, he works hard. He’s a low-maintenance player. He’s a coach’s player. He’s going to play a blue-collar game, even though when he walks into the rink, he may not look like a blue-collar person.”

Hyman plays a solid game. There’s that word again. His stats are decent, he moves the puck well, he’s willing to go hard into the corners. For all intents and purposes, Hyman is willing to do anything it takes, and be anything a coach needs from him. And when you have an up and coming team of Nylanders, Soshnikovs, Matthewses, and Marners… sometimes a steadying presence like Zach Hyman is exactly what’s needed.

As Seen on TV

The Buildup

The 2015-16 season was the season of the call-up for the Leafs. Towards the end of the season, more than a few of the Marlies got called up for a shot at the NHL, just to see how they’d do. Hyman was one, getting called up to the Leafs to replace one of the (many) injured forwards, and playing 16 games. He scored four goals and two assists in those games, making his performance… Here’s that word again… solid. 

He wasn’t always considered so dependable, though. In his time with the Hamilton Red Wings, before moving onto the University of Michigan, Hyman considered himself a scoring forward. He scored 102 points with the Red Wings, but then completely fell off the radar in his college years.

From Steve Simmons’ National Post Article

“[University of Michigan coach] Red said, if you’re not scoring, you’d better be doing something else,” said Hyman, the power winger. “I started working on the something else.”

And it appears ‘working on something else’ has worked for him.

Next Season

When it comes to the 2016-17 Toronto Maple Leafs, I can’t even begin to guess what’s going to happen, or what the lines are going to look like, or who is even going to be on the team besides the very obvious superstars. Hyman is on a two-way contract with the Leafs organisation. His cap hit (as per General Fanager) is $900,000. So ideally for me, Hyman does exactly what he did last year. He stays with the Marlies and gets called up to the Leafs as needed. At least for this season. In 2017-18, he’s an RFA, so… we’ll see. 

Closing Thoughts

I ranked him higher than the 13th he ended up falling, but I think its been established that I’m pretty biased towards the Marlies. Hyman is worth keeping, at least for now. He’s an affordable two-way player that does well in both the NHL and AHL. 

Also, did you know he was a children’s book author? I didn’t until recently. But now, I’m pretty sure my nephews all need copies of Hockey Hero. 

The Rankings So Far

  • DJ_44

    Hyman is the rookie that has a shot at making the team. His 4 goals and aggressive fore checking should get him a job on the 4th line as a center
    or right wing

    • DJ_44

      From what I understand, he’s probably a bottom six guy with some scoring touch. Probably similar to a guy like Daniel Winnik with a better “Leo-esque”, piss you off capabilities, and less offensive capabilities.

  • Stan Smith

    I don’t get to watch Marlies games on a regular basis, with the exception of the playoffs last season, which I am hoping will repeat this season, but watching him with the Leafs I wonder how could you not notice him. He played such a high tempo, energy type of game I’m hoping he gets a bigger chance this season. However, with the present situation with the team, with so many prospects, and him with a 2 way contract and not having to clear waivers, he probably is destined to start the season with the Marlies.

  • Stan Smith

    Hyman should make the team this year. Part way through last season Babcock said Hyman and Nylander could have made the team out of camp but were kept down for team building, chemistry etc etc. Even with everyone competing for a spot I think Hyman would make it over Brown *cough*Vesey*cough* and maybe Rychel. He is a steady reliable player and Babcock likes steady reliable players. A lot.

  • Stan Smith

    Hyman is the kind of player you win Championships with (hold on before you jump on me).

    Every team needs their stars to carry the load but you need guys that are also willing to do whatever it takes for the team to win – The Holmstorms, Laichs, Komarovs, Shaws. Relentless effort and purposeful shifts. Doesn’t seem to be a guy that cares where the coach plays him, just give him TOI and he will reward the coach in return with his play.

    What was the quote Babcock said about being a NHL player 340 (don’t remember the number) days a year when he first arrived. Hyman fits that line of thinking.

  • magesticRAGE

    Trust me, Hyman will be a Leaf for quite a long time, starting this season.
    He’s a perfect 3rd line utility player like Komarov. As a coach, you don’t want a player like him on the 4th line, you want him to have at least 3rd line minutes, as his pressure is too dominant. He’s a keeper.