Prospect Profile: #1 Brendan Gaunce

Thomas Drance
August 30 2013 10:10AM


Image via Matthew Henderson

Brendan Gaunce clocks in as our number one overall Canucks prospect! That probably comes as a bit of a surprise considering Frank Corrado's emergence over the past twenty-four months and Vancouver's selection of Hunter Shinkaruk and Bo Horvat at the 2013 NHL entry draft. I'd add that my personal list didn't peg Brendan Gaunce as Vancouver's top prospect (I had him ranked third).

There are some legitimate concerns about Gaunce's overall upside, but I have no trouble standing behind this consensus pick from an editorial perspective. Gaunce is a powerful hockey player, and an extraordinary defensive player with NHL size. His skating is a concern for some scouts in the industry, but I generally think he has the tools and hockey smarts to develop into a play-driving forward at the NHL level. Certainly he wins puck-battles with machine-like regularity at the major junior level.

More on the other side of the jump.

Gaunce is probably the safest bet among Canucks prospects to emerge as an NHL regular. He's also probably the third most likely player on this list to see NHL action this upcoming season (behind only Corrado and perhaps Eddie Lack). The harder question to answer when it comes to Gaunce's development, in my view, is whether or not he has the offensive upside to project as a top-six forward at the NHL level.

At the OHL level Brendan Gaunce is an elite two-way forward who has consistently produced even-strength offense at a very impressive rate. In fact, among Ontario Hockey League players in Gaunce's draft class, only one skater scored more even-strength goals per game last season and that was Alex Galchenyuk (who played thirty-three games with the Sarnia Sting during the lockout). In his draft year, Gaunce produced even-strength goals at a higher per game rate than every draft eligible skater, which speaks volumes.

The big centreman had a tough, percentage driven start to the 2012-13 OHL season and missed time due to a shoulder injury. Upon his return to the lineup, Gaunce played mostly on the left-wing, moving over from his natural position down the middle to accommodate Belleville's acquisition of hotshot scoring centre Tyler Graovac.

Groavac and Gaunce had instant chemistry, with Gaunce playing setup man from the wing and Groavac pulling the trigger. The combination of the two (along with Jets prospect Austen Brassard) gave the Belleville Bulls one of the most dangerous lines in the OHL over the latter half of the season and into the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.

Gaunce in particular went off in the postseason, posting 22 points in 17 games. He scored an awful lot of garbage goals in the OHL playoffs, including two greasy ones in game six of the OHL's Eastern to force game 7 against the Barrie Colts in the OHL's Eastern Conference final. You can call that luck if you want, but I tend to give him full credit because Belleville dominated the puck whenever he was on the ice.

He has solid hands in tight and a professional quality shot, but he doesn't have a flashy finishing game generally speaking. I have, however, seen him show off high-end playmaking ability in past viewings. His vision and ability to pass out of traffic and find teammates with an assortment to saucer passes is a big reason why I'd rate Gaunce as a guy with top-six upside.

In terms of Gaunce's statistical profile, it's pretty impressive, especially at five-on-five. Gaunce was a point-per-game player last season despite the fact that Belleville's power-play was kind of woeful. In fact 70% of Gaunce's points came at even-strength, which is a pretty ridiculous number. The Bulls outscored opponents by fourteen last season with Gaunce on the ice, controlling 57% of goal events. That's a figure made even more impressive when one remembers that Gaunce was -8 through four games to begin the year.

In terms of Gaunce's skating, it's certainly not a strong suit of his game but it might not be the issue some have made it out to be. ESPN's Corey Pronman gave me a preview of his Canucks top-10 prospect list, which includes this note on Gaunce's skating: "Gaunce's skating still isn't the best. His top speed is ok but he isn't a blazer or a very elusive player."

Gaunce's skating is a weakness, or at least a perceived weakness, that he's obviously aware of. In addressing that supposed limitation Gaunce got pretty fired up in a conversation with Jim Jamieson this past spring.

Finally let's address a couple of intangible things about Gaunce, as much as that makes me shudder. Beyond Gaunce's statistical profile and on-ice performance, he is by all accounts a dedicated gym rat. He's worked out with Gary Roberts for the past three years (though he wasn't at the 2013 BioSteel camp this summer).

In speaking with him, he comes across as eloquent, mature and extremely competitive. That competitiveness can get the best of him on the ice and lead to undisciplined penalties occasionally from what I've seen, but that's to be expected of a nineteen year old who rather clearly hates losing.

What I mean to say here is that Gaunce plays the game with commendable intensity, and his work ethic, polished defensive game and maturity are major reasons why, I'd think, he'll get a long look at Canucks training camp this fall.

Needless to say, the Canucks have a gaping hole in the middle of their third-line. Gaunce may not be ready to play a top-nine role at the NHL level, but the Canucks have made noise all summer about wanting to go younger.

As such, Gaunce goes into this season with a major opportunity. If he can impress at the prospects tournament, at training camp, and in the preseason, I'd certainly think he could earn a nine-game cup of coffee in the show (the maximum number of games a 19 year old prospect can play without burning a year of their entry-level contract). And maybe more depending on how he performs.

Those are lofty goals for Gaunce, and it's more likely that he'll return to Belleville. In that case he'll also probably be considered for Team Canada's U20 team, as he impressed in a mostly fourth line role at the World Junior Development camp this past August.

With only the likes of Brad Richardson, Jordan Schroeder and Mike Santorelli to beat out for roster spots, it's conceivable that Brendan Gaunce could make his NHL debut sooner rather than later. Though of course it remains a stretch to imagine Gaunce being ready to help a good team win games in a top-nine role at only 19 years old.

This series seems to get more and more traction as each year passes, and that's because of you, the reader. Thanks for following along and keeping the comments section lively. Also, a big thank you to Mrs. Gaunce, whose first job as a member of the Nations Network - ranking every prospect in Vancouver's system, and then setting up a Top 20 for us to work with and profile - was a difficult one. Look for her next series which will be coming sometime in September, titled "Reasons Why Brendan Gaunce is the Next Big Thing".

Other Prospect Profiles in This Series:

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 Wisp
August 30 2013, 10:30AM
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Paint huffing. :)

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#2 Wisp
August 30 2013, 10:35AM
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Now that your series is done (which I enjoyed, despite the above bluster), is there a reason why you did not rank Blomstrand? I watched him in Chicago last season. He was a big body with exceptional skating. Raw in some respects, but I think him more of a promising than some of the guys you ranked.

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#3 G_R_R
August 30 2013, 10:48AM
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I have to say the future is promising in Vancouver. There may not be many stars on the horizon (although I think Shinkaruk has a shot at being a top-line forward), but it's nice to see the Canucks with some relative prospect depth.

The future at forward looks especially promising. Ideally the Canucks can use this season as a transition year, allowing their best prospects to further develop. By the 2014-15 season, I could see guys like Jensen, Corrado, Gaunce, Shinkaruk and Gaunce all coming in and injecting some youthful energy to supplement the veteran skill.

Think about it. By that time, the Sedins will be 34, yes, but should still be producing like top_six forwards for another few years. Kesler and Burrows are more worrisome, as they rely on their more physical attributes to be effective. However, if he can stay healthy, Kesler should have at least 4 or 5 more years of effectivness in him.

A forward line-up of Sedin-Sedin-Jensen Shinkaruk-Kesler-Kassian Gaunce-Horvat-Hansen Burrows

actually excites me. That's a lot of rookies in the top-9, so they might not be ready to contend until the 2015-2016 season, if even then.

That will be the interesting part to watch. Can the young guys develop into serviceable NHL'ers fast enough so that the Sedins and Kesler are still effective?

As I said, I think the 2015-2016 and 2016-17 seasons will be interesting to watch for Canucks fans...

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#4 JCDavies
August 30 2013, 10:50AM
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Lol at the CA writers throwing each other under the bus.

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#5 Peachy
August 30 2013, 10:57AM
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Thanks for putting this series on. It's definitely my favorite.

One suggestion: given the number of arguments that us posters have had with regards to upside vs. risk in the ranking... Do what Canucks Army does best: quantify!

Maybe use a pay-off matrix: risk vs. reward for each player, and if you're feeling ambitious, add additional dimensions for the value of a player's position, or the team's positional need.

It would give us something new to argue about.

Whatever you do though, please come back with this series next year.

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#6 Dustin
August 30 2013, 11:23AM
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Great series! I enjoyed reading all of the articles and getting to know our prospects a bit better. This year's top 20 is definitely a bit more optimistic than last years.

I too am curious about Blomstrand. From what I've heard he is a decent prospect, and to not make it in the top 20 seems strange. Was he forgotten, or are there just 20 prospects that are better?

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#7 Gunnar
August 30 2013, 11:48AM
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Great stuff, nucks future looks a lot brighter then in the past. Question though, why is Gaunce going to have to be returned to the CHL? Drafted 2years ago would he not be eligible for AHL duties?

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#8 van
August 30 2013, 11:50AM
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Amusing that everyone waited 'till they reached number one before asking where Blomstrand was

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#9 NM00
August 30 2013, 12:10PM
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While the 2011-2013 drafts show some promise, let’s not forget about the utilization of 2008-2010 draft picks. Specifically top 3 round draft picks.

Though I’d suggest it’s more important, I’m not sure there’s an argument for quality here. But let’s have a look at quantity.

Cody Hodgson was selected 10th overall in 2008. At 139 NHL games, he is currently 22nd in games played amongst the 2008 draft class.

Less than 4 years after being drafted, Hodgson, who had played 71 NHL games at that point, was traded for 2009 13th overall selection Zack Kassian, who had played 27 NHL games at that point.

Yann Sauve was selected 41st overall in 2008. At 5 NHL games, he is currently tied for 79th in games played amongst the 2008 draft class.

Jordan Schroeder was selected 22nd overall in 2009. At 31 NHL games, he is currently 43rd in games played amongst the 2009 draft class.

Anton Rodin was selected 53rd overall in 2009.

77 draftees from this class have played NHL games at this point. But that group does not include Rodin.

Kevin Connauton was selected 83rd overall in 2009. While he has yet to play an NHL game, a strong finish to the 2013 season earned him a multiyear contract.

From Dallas.

Because a 2nd round pick wasn’t enough for a handful of games from Derek Roy.

At the 2010 draft, the Canucks traded former 14th overall pick Michael Grabner and the 25th overall pick for Keith Ballard.

Over the next 3 seasons, the Canucks dished out $13.6 million on a utility defenseman until, mercifully, Ballard was bought out this past summer.

Draft picks were also used to acquire Steve Bernier (2nd & 3rd) and Andrew Alberts (3rd).

I’d suggest spending $4.5 million for two years of Bernier and around $1.5 million on 1.2 years of Andrew Alberts was at (or above) the free agent market price and, as such, should not have required draft picks.

But perhaps that is debatable.

Nobody outside of the top 3 rounds from 2008-2010 has played an NHL game yet. There is still some potential, though.

But people putting their hopes and dreams on the 2011-2013 drafts should take a look at the utilization of 2008-2010 draft picks.

It would take a major improvement to even maintain value on draft selections in terms of man games.

This is despite the fact that 1st round selections have been used exclusively on forwards. This type of strategy should be conducive to producing man games.

In 2008, 8 defenseman were drafted in the 1st round after Hodgson.

The player name is followed by man games to date: Tyler Myers (256), Colten Teubert (12), Erik Karlsson (233), Jake Gardiner (87), Luca Sbisa (236), Michael Del Zotto (250), Tyler Cuma (1) & John Carlson (234).

These 8 defenseman have an average draft position of 18.25 and have played an average of 164 games so far.

In 2009, 3 defenseman were drafted in the 1st round after Schroeder: Tim Erixon (49), Dylan Olsen (28) & Simon Despres (51).

These 3 defenseman have an average draft position of 27.0 and have played an average of 43 games so far.

In both cases, the Canucks have given up draft number and positional advantage in their losses to date.

Wave 1 (led by Hodgson/Kassian & Schroeder) and wave 2 (led by Grabner & a 25th overall pick for Ballard) have been disasters to date.

While wave 3 (led by Jensen, Corrado & Gaunce) and wave 4 (led by Hovart & Shinkaruk) look fine so far, the value is still almost entirely theoretical.

Much like Jannik Hansen (9-287) & Kevin Bieksa (5-151), Frank Corrado (5-150) is a win.

But it would take a lot more wins to balance out the losses racked up from 2008-2010.

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#10 Fred-65
August 30 2013, 12:12PM
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Good series thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't recall at any time feling so impressed with the Vcr prospects. A couple of bona fide NHL centres and some wingers that ight light it up. The depth of defence is pretty impressive to especally considering both Tanev and Edler have many years ahead of them.

The question that comes to mind is will the goal tending turn out to be as advertized with 3 to select from...do we get one that will be the real thing.

In Pronmans Organizational assesement he completely missed any mention of Gaunce

http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1553

Any one know Pronmans history and why he is held in such esteem ?

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#11 Peachy
August 30 2013, 12:17PM
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@NM00

Doesn't the change that appears to have occurred between waves 2 and 3, leading to more positive results in waves 3 and 4, imply the the organization is now trending in the right direction?

(Yes, there was the Roy trade.)

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#12 Peachy
August 30 2013, 12:34PM
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Fred-65 wrote:

Good series thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't recall at any time feling so impressed with the Vcr prospects. A couple of bona fide NHL centres and some wingers that ight light it up. The depth of defence is pretty impressive to especally considering both Tanev and Edler have many years ahead of them.

The question that comes to mind is will the goal tending turn out to be as advertized with 3 to select from...do we get one that will be the real thing.

In Pronmans Organizational assesement he completely missed any mention of Gaunce

http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1553

Any one know Pronmans history and why he is held in such esteem ?

Pronman has a good record of forecasting draft order.

He has a solid base of scout contacts that allow him to amalgamate information from a variety of sources.

He does some of his own scouting / observing.

He writes almost exclusively about prospects.

I dunno, honestly, those qualities are enough to make someone an expert in the realm of "prospect evaluation for the masses." There's so much voodoo and uncertainty in the field that we'll take anything we can get.

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#13 JCDavies
August 30 2013, 12:35PM
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@Fred-65

From Pronman:

Corey Pronman ‏@coreypronman7 Jul The paragraphs are not all encompassing summaries. RT @fourthginger: @coreypronman Gaunce not worthy of top prospect mention for Van?

https://twitter.com/coreypronman/status/354029796147216384

And also:

Corey Pronman ‏@coreypronman7 Jul Most people know this who have read my work but I do extended org profiles during the offseason. That one paragraph isn't the end of it.

https://twitter.com/coreypronman/status/354027714040168448

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#14 Cam Charron
August 30 2013, 12:37PM
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Pronman has yet to do his Top 10 for the Canucks organization.

I WONDER WHERE HE PUT LUDWIG BLOMSTRAND

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#15 Peachy
August 30 2013, 12:42PM
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Cam Charron wrote:

Pronman has yet to do his Top 10 for the Canucks organization.

I WONDER WHERE HE PUT LUDWIG BLOMSTRAND

Lol, so are the CA writers going to release the "near misses" and individual rankings for us to criticize?

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#16 antro
August 30 2013, 12:50PM
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Thanks to the writers, enjoyed the series immensely, as much as everything else y'all do.

I also thought some of the commenting to be absolutely hilarious, especially when you don't take some of the central characters seriously.

I wish you didn't hate Ludwig Blomstrand so much though...

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#17 Ted
August 30 2013, 12:57PM
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Gaunce is definitely a solid prospect. He is looking to improve his skating and if he does then he could be a lock at #2 centre. He also looks like he's a playoff player. We don't have enough of those - that guy you can count on to battle and pot the ugly goals (aren't ugly goals the only type scored in NHL playoffs?).

Most of our prospects are still needing to develop and I hope they don't get rushed into the NHL.

The only thing I don't see is our future #1 centre. Horvat and Gaunce might be but who knows; they both seem to project as line 2. It'd be nice to grab that guy somewhere along the line.

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#18 Fred-65
August 30 2013, 01:03PM
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When being evaluated I wonder how often these players are actually watched in a game. Don't get me wrong I like your series very much and frankly for a hockey fan did a great job of keeping things going during the dog days of summer. I mean does Pronman ever attend games. Blomstrand may turn out to be a quality player but I think CA is right in not trying to guess his future

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#19 NM00
August 30 2013, 01:15PM
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@Peachy

Aside from Corrado, which is probably more fluke like Bieksa and Hansen than anything else, what is the evidence that the organization is trending in the right direction with picks/prospects and evaluating young players in general?

I'd suggest diluting Hodgson into Kassian, a 2nd rounder into an overager in Mallet (and explaining how its part of a bigger organizational philosophy at the 2012 draft), a 2nd rounder & okay prospect in KConn (who took a step forward in another organization) and diluting Schneider for the priviledge of selecting Horvat are recent examples that the organization isn't any better than it was in 2008-2010.

Is this group of prospects any better than what was here in 2008 with Schneider, Edler, Bourdon, White, Grabner, Raymond & Hansen?

Aside from lip service about player development and resets, where is the evidence of improvement?

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#20 antro
August 30 2013, 01:58PM
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NM00 wrote:

Aside from Corrado, which is probably more fluke like Bieksa and Hansen than anything else, what is the evidence that the organization is trending in the right direction with picks/prospects and evaluating young players in general?

I'd suggest diluting Hodgson into Kassian, a 2nd rounder into an overager in Mallet (and explaining how its part of a bigger organizational philosophy at the 2012 draft), a 2nd rounder & okay prospect in KConn (who took a step forward in another organization) and diluting Schneider for the priviledge of selecting Horvat are recent examples that the organization isn't any better than it was in 2008-2010.

Is this group of prospects any better than what was here in 2008 with Schneider, Edler, Bourdon, White, Grabner, Raymond & Hansen?

Aside from lip service about player development and resets, where is the evidence of improvement?

I don't know why I'm bothering, but here goes:

I don't get this. Your notion of comparison is meaningless. Truly meaningless, to anyone who has a sophisticated grasp of how statistical analysis is actually done (to be sure, you are not alone). Can you show us with some kind of quantification and statistical analysis that shows an adequate understanding of *statistical significance*, that the Vancouver Canucks' mgt over the last five years is doing a worse job at drafting NHL players than the other 30 other teams? By statistical significance, I mean that the quantification procedures you provide and the evidence you adduce can be shown through statistical tools to be more than random variation. (This helps to explain how the Frank Corrado's of this world get picked in the fifth round, and then trend upwards. That's just randomness, and there's only so much in drafting.)

You'll notice that to answer this question in any compelling way, you need a data set that includes all 30 teams, and some kind of testable criterion about success in drafting. That criterion could be NHL games, but probably NHL games to draft position would be far better. There are people who have tried to do this kind of thing on the interwebs, and so you probably would do well to read them instead of tooting the same points again and again.

To just list names of prospects/young players from 2008 and 2013 is unbelievably inadequate to the claims you make about Gillis' time as GM.

Now, if you truly wanted to make the case, with both data and analysis, that would be interesting to read.

Of course, if I may add a friendly, if snide, critique, you might need to learn something about paragraph structure to make it more readable.

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#21 Ted
August 30 2013, 02:12PM
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NM00 wrote:

Aside from Corrado, which is probably more fluke like Bieksa and Hansen than anything else, what is the evidence that the organization is trending in the right direction with picks/prospects and evaluating young players in general?

I'd suggest diluting Hodgson into Kassian, a 2nd rounder into an overager in Mallet (and explaining how its part of a bigger organizational philosophy at the 2012 draft), a 2nd rounder & okay prospect in KConn (who took a step forward in another organization) and diluting Schneider for the priviledge of selecting Horvat are recent examples that the organization isn't any better than it was in 2008-2010.

Is this group of prospects any better than what was here in 2008 with Schneider, Edler, Bourdon, White, Grabner, Raymond & Hansen?

Aside from lip service about player development and resets, where is the evidence of improvement?

Ugh. Looks like the short bus just let some people off at the internet cafe.

@NM00, do you ever read your own posts? Do you not realize how stupid/uninformed/ignorant they are!?

I was going to comment on your post but I just can't. I can't. It's too painful. It's pointless. If you haven't figured it out by now then it's just not going to happen.

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#22 GeezMoney
August 30 2013, 02:16PM
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@antro

@antro

No. He cannot.

The Canucks aren't doing any worse than any other NHL team. I look at everyone's favourite draft team, the precious Detroit Red Wings.

You take away Zetterberg, Franzen and Datsuyk and that's a pretty bad team. All three of those guys weren't drafted in the first round. So, to take NM00's theory to its full extent "Aside from Corrado, which is probably more fluke like Bieksa and Hansen, than anything else" the corralling of such precocious talent as Zetterberg with a 7th round pick was a fluke.

But would NM00 ever say Detroit has been lucky with its late round draft picks? No. Because when Detroit does it, it's skill. When the Canucks do it, it is luck -- with nothing but opinion to back that up.

Thus is the hater-ology. Thus it shall always be.

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#23 JCDavies
August 30 2013, 02:27PM
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@antro

I wonder how big a sample size (how many draft classes) would be required to account for the random nature of a draft...

It is unlikely any GM (Lamoriello?) lasts long enough to experience this.

"Now, if you truly wanted to make the case, with both data and analysis, that would be interesting to read."

I would be interested in reading this also.

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#24 JFR
August 30 2013, 02:29PM
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Very good series Canucks Army..... Story started out a little shakey, but definitely made up for it at the end. Gaunce obviously was the top pick because he is the forward that we have watched the most and will most likely see time in a Canucks uni. The skating question doesn't bother me as much because the NHL has gone back to its trap and hold tough guy days. If the refs were calling obstruction like they did pre-lock out, sure, but the don't, so teams like Boston and LA thrive. I see both Gaunce and Horvat as all around players in a Trevor Linden or Steveie Y mold, not a Ovie or flashy Bure type. Guys were the sum of the parts are more important than speed or certain skills. I believe Gaunce could benefit from starting at Utica and getting minutes in all situations, since we know PP and PK he will probably take a seat. I have a feeling Santorelli might surprise some folks because he is a good face off guy and did well when paired with Booth in Fla. Never underestimate chemistry with forwards. Either way, the future looks a lot brighter with Gaunce, Horvat, Corrado and Shinkaruk around for sure. Go Nucks

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#25 Peachy
August 30 2013, 02:33PM
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@GeezMoney

Detroit has been lucky with their late round picks, yes. (Frankly, if they had even an inkling that Datsyuk and Zetterberg would become the players they are at the draft, there's no way in hell they wait until the 7th round to take them.) On the other hand, they appear to have maintained a better system than most, largely on the back of drafting. Performance is more impressive when compared to their draft order.

http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1573

(Not to defend NM00 or anything, just saying.)

Also, and again not necessarily relevant, but the Canucks' prospect depth has been improving relative to other teams according to Hockey Prospectus. (Again, inexact science, no statistical backing, only one source, so take it for what it's worth).

2013 - 20 2012 – 24 2011 - 26

I can't find earlier assessments. Given Vancouver's performance over the last ~7 years, it's not surprising to see them in the bottom tier of teams.

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#26 elvis15
August 30 2013, 02:47PM
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@Ted

I can see the same concern for a future #1 center, but even if the Sedins retire we still have Kesler to fill that role. I don't think we're in dire straits to have either of Horvat of Gaunce to be that guy.

As far as Gaunce though, how many people do you see wishing we'd go after Iginla, Morrow, Clowe, etc.? It's not even that they're wishing we had those players in their prime, but rather who they are right now. While Gaunce might not be proven like those players are, he's definitely in that style and he should end up being an excellent version of them for us.

I can't wait to watch a bunch of the Young Stars games and see how some of these guys stack up!

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#27 NM00
August 30 2013, 03:22PM
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@antro

This isn't about 2011-2013 and this isn't merely about drafting.

It's about how 2008-2010 draft picks were utilized, using man games as a starting point and seeing where it leads.

I'm not trying to do what you are suggesting.

For starters, man games is a terrible measure.

Mike Brown has played more NHL games than Cory Schneider. Who do you prefer?

But I am working from the premise that the 10th overall pick being used on the 10th best player, for example, is maintaining value.

Quantity (man games) is the starting point. I would have gone further if I felt there was any argument for quality.

And, as you may have noticed, half of what I consider to be sunk costs pertain to traded picks & Grabner.

"Of course, if I may add a friendly, if snide, critique, you might need to learn something about paragraph structure to make it more readable."

Pasting things onto this site isn't very user friendly :)

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#28 NM00
August 30 2013, 03:32PM
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@GeezMoney

That's actually not the same thing.

If a team such as the Detroit Red Wings with late round Europeans or the Atlanta Braves with pitching for a very long time appear to have an organizational advantage, I'd definitely give them some credit.

Finding one late round NHLer every 5 years isn't the same thing, though.

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#29 NM00
August 30 2013, 03:47PM
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JCDavies wrote:

I wonder how big a sample size (how many draft classes) would be required to account for the random nature of a draft...

It is unlikely any GM (Lamoriello?) lasts long enough to experience this.

"Now, if you truly wanted to make the case, with both data and analysis, that would be interesting to read."

I would be interested in reading this also.

As you know, there would be limitations...such as accounting for traded draft picks beyond a footnote :)

It would be fruitless to attempt any hard and fast analysis on drafting since 2008.

The best time to consider the value ascertained with any draft is once every single player has retired.

We don't have that benefit, though.

5 years is simply too small of a lag

Also, games played is an absolutely terrible measure.

And you'd have to consider comparing forwards to forwards and goalies to goalies etc.

The Canucks since 2008, for example, have used 1st rounders exclusively on forwards.

Theoretically, that is going to help in the man games count even though it leaves the value question unanswered.

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#30 Ruprecht
August 30 2013, 04:03PM
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Excellent piece. Thanks to you and all of the writers that took the time to write these. My parents have been Bulls Season ticket owners for the better part 3 decades...they want their boy back for another run. They love the kid. That speaks volumes to me.

As for Blomstrand, my guess is it was Colonel Mustard, in the Study, with the Candle Stick Holder.

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#32 Ted
August 30 2013, 05:31PM
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Thomas Drance wrote:

@NM00

I do think MG and co have done reasonably well to find solid Dmen prospects in unconventional places (Tanev, Corrado, and I really like Subban+Cedarholm). But yeah, Gillis' drafting has been average to below average during his tenure, no doubt.

@Thomas

While the jury is still out on many of these picks, I am not a fan of what Gillis has done. His drafts seem somewhat suspect but if you look at the organization, you'll see they have a poor draft history. It has been weak for decades. It is obvious they have drafted very few star NHLers. I'm hoping Gillis bucks the trend with the latest crop. When you compare Gillis to previous Canuck regimes then you see he actually hasn't been that bad.

I, too, am looking forward to the Young Guns tourny.

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#33 Ted
August 30 2013, 05:45PM
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@antro

No. He cannot.

The Canucks aren't doing any worse than any other NHL team. I look at everyone's favourite draft team, the precious Detroit Red Wings.

You take away Zetterberg, Franzen and Datsuyk and that's a pretty bad team. All three of those guys weren't drafted in the first round. So, to take NM00's theory to its full extent "Aside from Corrado, which is probably more fluke like Bieksa and Hansen, than anything else" the corralling of such precocious talent as Zetterberg with a 7th round pick was a fluke.

But would NM00 ever say Detroit has been lucky with its late round draft picks? No. Because when Detroit does it, it's skill. When the Canucks do it, it is luck -- with nothing but opinion to back that up.

Thus is the hater-ology. Thus it shall always be.

Well said...well said. One day the troll will go away.

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#34 NM00
August 30 2013, 06:19PM
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@Thomas Drance

I am definitely a fan of the fact that the Canucks appear to be more aggressive in signing free agent prospects since Gillis arrived.

It's not just Tanev. Lack, Eriksson, the Sweatts etc.

These were all free assets just like Alex Burrows was.

As much as I'd like Gillis to be fired based on what I've seen from him in 5+ years, I hope the organization continues to compete over free agent prospects with other big market teams.

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#35 antro
August 30 2013, 06:27PM
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Thomas Drance wrote:

@NM00

I do think MG and co have done reasonably well to find solid Dmen prospects in unconventional places (Tanev, Corrado, and I really like Subban+Cedarholm). But yeah, Gillis' drafting has been average to below average during his tenure, no doubt.

By what or who's measure?

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#36 NM00
August 30 2013, 06:33PM
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@Ted

"His drafts seem somewhat suspect but if you look at the organization, you'll see they have a poor draft history."

I'd suggest this isn't true if you look at the 5 years prior to Gillis getting the GM job.

The Canucks found Kesler, Schneider, Edler, Hansen Raymond & Grabner from 2003-2007 when their lone top 20 pick was used on Bourdon (RIP).

Considering Mason Raymond is arguably a top 30 player from his draft class, that should give you a sense of how difficult it is to find quality NHLers in general and, especially, without the benefit of high picks.

Starting with 2000, these are the top 20 selections the Canucks have had:

Umberger (1-16), Bourdon (1-10), Grabner (1-14), Hodgson (1-10) & Hovart (1-9).

As you are probably aware, the Canucks have received very, very little production from those players.

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#37 NM00
August 30 2013, 06:36PM
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antro wrote:

By what or who's measure?

Agreed Antro.

At least the fanatical NM00 feebly attempted to create a starting point.

Drance is just making an unsubstantiated claim and expecting us to believe him!

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#38 NM00
August 30 2013, 07:15PM
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@antro

"To answer this question in any compelling way, you need a data set that includes all 30 teams, and some kind of testable criterion about success in drafting. That criterion could be NHL games, but probably NHL games to draft position would be far better."

Ask and ye shall receive.

Well, only because I've already looked at this.

Here are the total games played so far by draft picks from 2008-2012:

1. NYI (1,392) 2. LAK (972) 3. TBL (876) 4. COL (873) 5. EDM (801) 6. WPG (793) 7. NYR (775) 8. BUF (731) 9. OTT (728) 10. NAS (656) 11. WAS (631) 12. ANA (624) 13. PHI (571) 14. PHO (555) 15. FLA (556) 16. CBJ (515) 17. TOR (500) 18. NJD (487) 19. CAR (429) 20. STL (384) 21. BOS (369) 22. MIN (349) 23. SJ (322) 24. CHI (314) 25. CAL (247) 26. DAL (247) 27. VAN (180) 28. MTL (161) 29. PIT (83) 30. DET (72)

The above gives credit to the drafting team (i.e. the Canucks get full credit for Hodgson).

As for the games to draft position part, I have also looked at it, weighted based on potential games played (i.e. a 2008 draft selection has had the opportunity to play 376 games while a 2012 draft selection has had the opportunity to play 48 games), and put a +/- score to show the difference between the weighted average draft position and total games played.

2008 - 2012 has been weighted at 35/28/20/12/5:

1. NYI (0) 2. WPG (-4) 3. TOR (-14) 4. EDM (-1) 5. CBJ (-11) 6. FLA (-9) 7. LAK (+5) 8. TBL (+5) 9. STL (-11) 10. COL (+6) 11. PHO (-3) 12. OTT (+3) 13. MIN (-9) 14. BUF (+6) 15. NAS (+5) 16. CAR (-3) 17. CAL (-8) 18. DAL (-8) 19. ANA (+7) 20. NYR (+13) 21. VAN (-6) 22. BOS (+1) 23. NJD (+5) 24. CHI (0) 25. MTL (-3) 26. WAS (+15) 27. SJ (+4) 28. PIT (-1) 29. PHI (+16) 30. DET (0)

There is a big limitation, though, in that this does not account for traded draft picks.

For example, Toronto's terrible +/- is based almost entirely on the Kessel trade.

In case you are wondering, here are 1st round picks yielded in trade (by bottom 10 teams in terms of WADP) excluding 1st rounders traded for multiple later round draft picks:

SJ (2008, 2009, 2011), PHI (2009, 2010, 2011), BOS (2010, 2011), MTL (2008), PIT (2008), VAN (2010), NJ (2010), WAS (2011), DET (2012), CHI (N/A).

And there are the other obvious limitations (SSS, positional differences, man games being a poor proxy for value etc).

This can at least give you a sense of where the Canucks stack up relative to other teams with poor draft picks.

Though that is only a small part of my criticism of the organization.

The Canucks may have drafted Grabner, Hodgson & KConn. But another team will reap that value.

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#39 antro
August 30 2013, 07:33PM
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NM00 wrote:

This isn't about 2011-2013 and this isn't merely about drafting.

It's about how 2008-2010 draft picks were utilized, using man games as a starting point and seeing where it leads.

I'm not trying to do what you are suggesting.

For starters, man games is a terrible measure.

Mike Brown has played more NHL games than Cory Schneider. Who do you prefer?

But I am working from the premise that the 10th overall pick being used on the 10th best player, for example, is maintaining value.

Quantity (man games) is the starting point. I would have gone further if I felt there was any argument for quality.

And, as you may have noticed, half of what I consider to be sunk costs pertain to traded picks & Grabner.

"Of course, if I may add a friendly, if snide, critique, you might need to learn something about paragraph structure to make it more readable."

Pasting things onto this site isn't very user friendly :)

Yeah, you didn't get my critique. I figured that would happen.

Look, I haven't seen a single good quantitative hockey blogger use draft position as a measure of value. Not one. If you can show me one, even a bad one, it'll make your case a little more compelling. My guess though is that the thing doesn't exist.

What good quantitative bloggers do is try to count something, at least points in junior, or try comparatively to use Gabe Desjardins' old NHL equivalence. More sophisticated quantification gets into Corsi or Fenwick analysis, and now the even more sophisticated quantitative stuff is looking at on-ice scoring chances, zone entries, and the like.

A sentence like the following is absolutely meaningless: "But I am working from the premise that the 10th overall pick being used on the 10th best player, for example, is maintaining value." What on god's green earth is "maintaining value" here? That you can trade a 10th overall pick from one year for the same pick the next?! There are a zillion reasons that this isn't a good method, starting from the point that this isn't actually testable as a criterion. You have no way of knowing, except gut feeling, whether someone is or isn't "maintaining value." Gut feeling isn't testable.

My critique was not whether you use "man games" or not, if you read carefully, but that you do not provide a testable criterion, nor explain how you test it in any true statistical sense. Statistics isn't quantification. Statistics is a method of testing hypotheses based on theories of how events are arranged around a determining factor (called the normal curve, or a bell curve). You have way more confidence in your conclusions than your methods allow you to have. Which is to say, your methods shouldn't allow you anything more confidence than "educated guess." And I'm being nice.

So, I don't understand why you repeat your educated guesses over and over again as if that makes them feel more objective. Go read Irreverent Oiler Fans and Behind the Net, among others. These were the guys who *actually* did the statistical proofs that a lot of quantification is now based on. Some of their blog posts don't include names or hockey analysis beyond the statistical testing. It's not scintillating reading. But it had a huge impact. Most quantitative blogging is simply building on the things they were able to prove (although to be honest, most hockey bloggers who use quantification in their analysis aren't really aware of the limitations to their analysis).

Or, if you really want to show us what you are made of, go take a course in statistical reasoning online, and actually show us how you get to your conclusions. Or don't. But maybe stop being so repetitive, or at least couch your ideas as something other than god's truth.

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#40 JCDavies
August 30 2013, 07:44PM
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@NM00

"It would be fruitless to attempt any hard and fast analysis on drafting since 2008."

"5 years is simply too small of a lag"

I agree that the time frame makes analysis difficult, which is why I haven't passed judgement on Gillis' drafting record yet. (His trading record is another story, however.)

"But I am working from the premise that the 10th overall pick being used on the 10th best player, for example, is maintaining value."

My concern about this line of thinking is the massive amount of variance attached to it.

Is the value of the 10th overall pick, the 10th best player in the draft or the the 10th best chance to select a top-ten player?

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#41 JCDavies
August 30 2013, 07:46PM
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NM00 wrote:

"To answer this question in any compelling way, you need a data set that includes all 30 teams, and some kind of testable criterion about success in drafting. That criterion could be NHL games, but probably NHL games to draft position would be far better."

Ask and ye shall receive.

Well, only because I've already looked at this.

Here are the total games played so far by draft picks from 2008-2012:

1. NYI (1,392) 2. LAK (972) 3. TBL (876) 4. COL (873) 5. EDM (801) 6. WPG (793) 7. NYR (775) 8. BUF (731) 9. OTT (728) 10. NAS (656) 11. WAS (631) 12. ANA (624) 13. PHI (571) 14. PHO (555) 15. FLA (556) 16. CBJ (515) 17. TOR (500) 18. NJD (487) 19. CAR (429) 20. STL (384) 21. BOS (369) 22. MIN (349) 23. SJ (322) 24. CHI (314) 25. CAL (247) 26. DAL (247) 27. VAN (180) 28. MTL (161) 29. PIT (83) 30. DET (72)

The above gives credit to the drafting team (i.e. the Canucks get full credit for Hodgson).

As for the games to draft position part, I have also looked at it, weighted based on potential games played (i.e. a 2008 draft selection has had the opportunity to play 376 games while a 2012 draft selection has had the opportunity to play 48 games), and put a +/- score to show the difference between the weighted average draft position and total games played.

2008 - 2012 has been weighted at 35/28/20/12/5:

1. NYI (0) 2. WPG (-4) 3. TOR (-14) 4. EDM (-1) 5. CBJ (-11) 6. FLA (-9) 7. LAK (+5) 8. TBL (+5) 9. STL (-11) 10. COL (+6) 11. PHO (-3) 12. OTT (+3) 13. MIN (-9) 14. BUF (+6) 15. NAS (+5) 16. CAR (-3) 17. CAL (-8) 18. DAL (-8) 19. ANA (+7) 20. NYR (+13) 21. VAN (-6) 22. BOS (+1) 23. NJD (+5) 24. CHI (0) 25. MTL (-3) 26. WAS (+15) 27. SJ (+4) 28. PIT (-1) 29. PHI (+16) 30. DET (0)

There is a big limitation, though, in that this does not account for traded draft picks.

For example, Toronto's terrible +/- is based almost entirely on the Kessel trade.

In case you are wondering, here are 1st round picks yielded in trade (by bottom 10 teams in terms of WADP) excluding 1st rounders traded for multiple later round draft picks:

SJ (2008, 2009, 2011), PHI (2009, 2010, 2011), BOS (2010, 2011), MTL (2008), PIT (2008), VAN (2010), NJ (2010), WAS (2011), DET (2012), CHI (N/A).

And there are the other obvious limitations (SSS, positional differences, man games being a poor proxy for value etc).

This can at least give you a sense of where the Canucks stack up relative to other teams with poor draft picks.

Though that is only a small part of my criticism of the organization.

The Canucks may have drafted Grabner, Hodgson & KConn. But another team will reap that value.

*sigh*

I thought we were making progress.

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#42 NM00
August 30 2013, 08:05PM
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@antro

Why on earth do you think I am trying to do what you mention in your above rant?

"I haven't seen a single good quantitative hockey blogger use draft position as a measure of value. Not one. If you can show me one, even a bad one, it'll make your case a little more compelling."

What does this have to do with...anything?

Draft position as a measure of value?

"A sentence like the following is absolutely meaningless: "But I am working from the premise that the 10th overall pick being used on the 10th best player, for example, is maintaining value." What on god's green earth is "maintaining value" here? That you can trade a 10th overall pick from one year for the same pick the next?! There are a zillion reasons that this isn't a good method, starting from the point that this isn't actually testable as a criterion. You have no way of knowing, except gut feeling, whether someone is or isn't "maintaining value." Gut feeling isn't testable."

This is a false dilemma. How is anyone going to go about proving something about draft picks from 2008?

We're talking about players in their early 20s who aren't even eligible for unrestricted free agency.

As for the 10th pick being used on the 10th best player as maintaining value, with what do you disagree?

The fact that you and I may disagree on what constitutes the 10th best player?

People debate over WAR as a proxy for baseball value.

And that's in a statistical community where the discourse is far, far ahead of the discourse in hockey.

Something tells me that the hockey analytical community doesn't have an uber-stat that can end all discussions.

And what exactly could any single stat tell you about drafting that started in 2008?

As for these "conclusions", the book obviously isn't closed on 2008 - 2010 (or 2012) draft picks.

Does this mean we can't have a look at how teams are doing so far?

"you need a data set that includes all 30 teams"

I've done this. Twice now.

Yes, the original post had a data set that included all 30 teams.

Saying "Hodgson is currently 22nd in games played amongst the 2008 draft class", for example, inherently includes all 30 teams.

But draft "success" is a small part of this.

It's why I mentioned all the trades.

For the 2nd (or maybe 3rd) time, I'm not trying to do what it is you are ranting about...

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#43 NM00
August 30 2013, 08:12PM
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@JCDavies

"I agree that the time frame makes analysis difficult, which is why I haven't passed judgement on Gillis' drafting record yet. (His trading record is another story, however.)"

By the time you can legitimately "pass judgement", Gillis won't even be in the organization.

I'm not trying to attribute drafting as a repeatable skill to Gillis.

The NHL is constantly changing. A GM may have had success being ahead of the curve in one instance and behind the curve in another.

"My concern about this line of thinking is the massive amount of variance attached to it.

Is the value of the 10th overall pick, the 10th best player in the draft or the the 10th best chance to select a top-ten player?"

Let me put it this way.

If we agree that Crosby is the best player in his draft class (and for all I know we don't), then what would you call Pittsburgh selecting him 1st overall?

Aside from a "no-brainer" that is.

I would call it maintaining value on the pick. They had the #1 pick and took (so far) the #1 player.

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#44 NM00
August 30 2013, 08:14PM
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@JCDavies

"*sigh*

I thought we were making progress."

What now?

Aside from going over old ground and stuff to which I have already agreed.

Yes, this is limited.

Yes, it's too short of a lag.

And, no, I'm not looking to "prove" whether or not this is a repeatable skill or lack thereof.

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#45 antro
August 30 2013, 08:54PM
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@NM00:

"1. NYI (1,392) 2. LAK (972) 3. TBL (876) 4. COL (873) 5. EDM (801) 6. WPG (793) 7. NYR (775) 8. BUF (731) 9. OTT (728) 10. NAS (656) 11. WAS (631) 12. ANA (624) 13. PHI (571) 14. PHO (555) 15. FLA (556) 16. CBJ (515) 17. TOR (500) 18. NJD (487) 19. CAR (429) 20. STL (384) 21. BOS (369) 22. MIN (349) 23. SJ (322) 24. CHI (314) 25. CAL (247) 26. DAL (247) 27. VAN (180) 28. MTL (161) 29. PIT (83) 30. DET (72)"

I find this list interesting, but it doesn't tell us anything about what should be expected in a draft pick for position in the draft. How can you tell that this isn't just random variation? Is 180 games for VAN reasonable given how many games are usually played by draft picks in the draft order that VAN picked in? That is, what is the expected number of games played by every draft pick, based on history of the draft, and how much does Vancouver's drafting vary?

Adding up games based on a hypothesis that a draft pick could have played all games after they are drafted is clearly unreasonable ("potential games played"), so the weighting doesn't make much sense.

I can't find it now, but Scott Reynolds once had a post that showed how the chances of getting a NHL player went down substantially after the first 20 or so picks. Scott's post jibes with everything I've seen. If you want to weight, you have to weight by looking at this actual history, rather than making up a world where draft picks "potentially" play every game after being drafted. That is meaningless.

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#46 antro
August 30 2013, 09:01PM
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@NM00

"For the 2nd (or maybe 3rd) time, I'm not trying to do what it is you are ranting about..."

A) I'm not ranting. I answered your points, and explained (and you freely admit) that you don't have any proof for the positions you hold. How do you know whether Bo Horvat wasn't the 9th best player taken in the draft? Maybe Vancouver did maintain value (whatever that could possibly mean).

B) It isn't very clear what it is that you "trying to do". So far, everything you bring up is absolutely meaningless because you don't understand how statistical analysis works. This isn't ranting, it's just a fact. Cam Charron said this to you in another thread, btw.

But you repeat it anyhow! Sorry to tell you that knowing things is hard. Stupid of me for trying to reason with you.

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#47 Ted
August 30 2013, 09:45PM
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antro wrote:

@NM00:

"1. NYI (1,392) 2. LAK (972) 3. TBL (876) 4. COL (873) 5. EDM (801) 6. WPG (793) 7. NYR (775) 8. BUF (731) 9. OTT (728) 10. NAS (656) 11. WAS (631) 12. ANA (624) 13. PHI (571) 14. PHO (555) 15. FLA (556) 16. CBJ (515) 17. TOR (500) 18. NJD (487) 19. CAR (429) 20. STL (384) 21. BOS (369) 22. MIN (349) 23. SJ (322) 24. CHI (314) 25. CAL (247) 26. DAL (247) 27. VAN (180) 28. MTL (161) 29. PIT (83) 30. DET (72)"

I find this list interesting, but it doesn't tell us anything about what should be expected in a draft pick for position in the draft. How can you tell that this isn't just random variation? Is 180 games for VAN reasonable given how many games are usually played by draft picks in the draft order that VAN picked in? That is, what is the expected number of games played by every draft pick, based on history of the draft, and how much does Vancouver's drafting vary?

Adding up games based on a hypothesis that a draft pick could have played all games after they are drafted is clearly unreasonable ("potential games played"), so the weighting doesn't make much sense.

I can't find it now, but Scott Reynolds once had a post that showed how the chances of getting a NHL player went down substantially after the first 20 or so picks. Scott's post jibes with everything I've seen. If you want to weight, you have to weight by looking at this actual history, rather than making up a world where draft picks "potentially" play every game after being drafted. That is meaningless.

He enjoys taking random stats then making them fit his needs. He doesn't do any actual research nor does he have any real facts to support his rambling on. He tends to write lengthy, pointless dribble and then believes he is making sense.

Anyway, this season should be interesting even if we didn't make any significant roster moves (well, other than a few). The new coach, different play style/philosophy.

I think many people forget last year was a short season. I don't know if the standings and Cup winners would've been the same after 82 games. Many teams fade at the half way point while others start to gel. Last year was a bit of an aberration so that gives us a bit of hope :) We're usually a strong regular season team and we may have done better in the playoffs with a longer reg season. Who knows!

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#48 NM00
August 30 2013, 09:54PM
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@antro

"Is 180 games for VAN reasonable given how many games are usually played by draft picks in the draft order that VAN picked in? That is, what is the expected number of games played by every draft pick, based on history of the draft, and how much does Vancouver's drafting vary."

You realize that the "history" of the draft constantly changes, right?

There was a time when Bure, Datsyuk & Zetterberg could be found in later rounds.

As I'm sure you know, there are limitations with using historical averages as well.

And we're talking about draft picks starting in 2008. Any glimpse is obviously incomplete.

"Adding up games based on a hypothesis that a draft pick could have played all games after they are drafted is clearly unreasonable ("potential games played"), so the weighting doesn't make much sense."

A 2008 10th overall pick has had more opportunities to play games than a 2012 10th overall pick.

It's not a "hypothesis that a draft pick could have played all games".

Until every player retires from a given era (such as 2008-2012), picks need to be weighted to account for the potential opportunities to play games.

"How do you know whether Bo Horvat wasn't the 9th best player taken in the draft? Maybe Vancouver did maintain value (whatever that could possibly mean)."

Considering I started by talking about 2008-2010 and then went on to 2008-2012 (because I already had the data), what does Horvat have to do with this?

And what would winning, losing or maintaining value over a single draft selection mean anyways?

"What good quantitative bloggers do is try to count something, at least points in junior"

Not that I care about what "good quantitative bloggers" do (whatever that means), but

1. Games played is a counting stat & 2. Points in junior is also a counting stat

And points in junior is a limited measure, as well, isn't it?

What about different game states? Quality of competition? Quality of teammates? Opportunities to play in general?

These all have limitations, do they not?

Shockingly, a look at draft picks since 2008 is extremely limited.

Does that mean it cannot be used as a starting point to look at how the Canucks are doing relative to other teams?

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#49 JCDavies
August 30 2013, 09:58PM
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@NM00

"What now?

Aside from going over old ground and stuff to which I have already agreed."

I don't know what was agreed upon because if you really understood what I was trying to say, you wouldn't still be posting those same stats expecting to convince people of your argument.

But I can take 100% ownership in my inability to get my point across. That's on me.

"maintaining value"

I'm with antro, I don't really get this either.

The expected value of a draft pick is never an NHL player. Even a "no-brainer" like Crosby has a small chance of not making it to the NHL. If a team actually ends up with an NHL player, they have done more than "maintain value". They've won the lottery.

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#50 NM00
August 30 2013, 10:11PM
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JCDavies wrote:

"What now?

Aside from going over old ground and stuff to which I have already agreed."

I don't know what was agreed upon because if you really understood what I was trying to say, you wouldn't still be posting those same stats expecting to convince people of your argument.

But I can take 100% ownership in my inability to get my point across. That's on me.

"maintaining value"

I'm with antro, I don't really get this either.

The expected value of a draft pick is never an NHL player. Even a "no-brainer" like Crosby has a small chance of not making it to the NHL. If a team actually ends up with an NHL player, they have done more than "maintain value". They've won the lottery.

Inevitably every draft will produce a certain number of NHL players.

For argument's sake, let's say we can all agree on a proxy for value.

Be it games, minutes, points, WAR or whatever.

I have no idea what the hockey equivalent is, but lets use WAR.

If a team has the 1st overall pick and, once everyone from a given draft has retired, ends up having used the 1st overall pick on the WAR winner, how is that better than maintaining value?

To take it a step further, let's say that the draft order and WAR order are the exact same.

So the 2008 10th overall pick is 10th in WAR, the 20th overall pick is 20th in WAR and so on.

In this fantasy, I'd argue every single team has maintained value with a given draft selection.

That is, it's a zero sum game and nobody would be winning or losing at the draft.

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