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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#51 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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#52 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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#53 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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#54 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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#55 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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#56 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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#57 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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#58 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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#59 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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#60 ralph
August 31 2013, 07:57AM
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Our #1 prospect maybe has top six upside. Frustrating. The team pays the scouts to scour the hockey world, and that's the best they can do.

I'd back up the Brinks truck and bring in the director of scouting from Ottawa and get him on the case. Maybe he'd bring in some players like Silverberg (second rounder I think) who can be impact players.

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#61 Fred-65
August 31 2013, 09:16AM
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Too many try to make s couting in tp a science when in fact it's much an art form as a any science.

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#62 NM00
August 31 2013, 09:31AM
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Thomas Drance wrote:

@NM00 there's also a significant selection bias at play in that methodology. Essentially you're punishing teams with better rosters, since it's less likely that draft picks play for the Boston's, Vancouver's, San Jose's of the world then they do for say Edmonton or Carolina.

That is 100% correct.

Mostly I care about how the Canucks stack up to other teams who have also been picking lower in the draft most of the time.

Since this has been an issue since the year 2000...

And it's not too hard to look at the rosters of, for example, NYR or WAS and see the players found since the 2008 draft.

Heck, even a team like SJ that has traded three 1st round picks have at least been getting games from Demers, for example.

It's much harder, though, to find a team that has been as bad as Vancouver aside from teams such as Pittsburgh and Detroit who have had inferior draft positions.

And really, who cares what Grabner, Hodgson & KConn do with different organizations?

Success from those 3 means little to Vancouver...

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#63 NM00
August 31 2013, 09:36AM
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ralph wrote:

Our #1 prospect maybe has top six upside. Frustrating. The team pays the scouts to scour the hockey world, and that's the best they can do.

I'd back up the Brinks truck and bring in the director of scouting from Ottawa and get him on the case. Maybe he'd bring in some players like Silverberg (second rounder I think) who can be impact players.

Ottawa found Karlsson (1-15), Wiercioch (2-42) and Smith (3-79) in 2008.

Kinda trumps anything the Canucks have found...

It's not hard to figure out how a team can part with prospect/draft pick capital for Bobby Ryan.

Ottawa was overflowing with young talent.

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#64 heyitsp
September 02 2013, 11:31AM
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My personal feeling Is that since defenders seem to go lower in the draft. Logic would dictate that there are better odds of drafting cornerstone defenders Later than franchise forwards. Seeing as the 2008 draft was mentioned here is a list of defenders taken after CoHo in the first round.

12 Tyler Myers 13 Colten teubert 15 Erik Karlsson 17 Jake Gardiner 19 Luca Sbisa 20 Del Zotto 23 tyler Cuma 27 John Carlsson

So of the 8 drafted only 3 didn't pan out to be legit nhlers and only one drafted before 20th spot

compared to Eberle being the only real mentionable forward drafted after CoHo in the first round.

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#65 NM00
September 02 2013, 04:14PM
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@JCDavies

Uh what?

How am I "comparing" the drafting and trading records at the same time?

My post was about draft pick utilization (and Grabner).

Antro wanted to shift the discussion to draft picks...

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#66 NM00
September 02 2013, 04:56PM
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@orcasfan

"NMOO, if you were only interested in comparing Vancouver with teams who were also picking lower in the draft, then why didn't you do so at the beginning of this discussion storm?"

I wasn't "only" interested in comparing Vancouver with low drafting teams.

A big part of the story has been traded prospects/picks.

The closest thing the Canucks have to a drafted and developed NHL regular since 2008 is Jordan Schroeder who has played all of 31 NHL games.

There isn't a single NHL team doing as poorly as Vancouver in this respect.

And for all the limitations of man game totals, actually playing is a prerequisite to value.

It's why plate appearances and innings pitched are a big component of WAR.

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#67 andyg
September 02 2013, 06:26PM
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NM00 wrote:

"NMOO, if you were only interested in comparing Vancouver with teams who were also picking lower in the draft, then why didn't you do so at the beginning of this discussion storm?"

I wasn't "only" interested in comparing Vancouver with low drafting teams.

A big part of the story has been traded prospects/picks.

The closest thing the Canucks have to a drafted and developed NHL regular since 2008 is Jordan Schroeder who has played all of 31 NHL games.

There isn't a single NHL team doing as poorly as Vancouver in this respect.

And for all the limitations of man game totals, actually playing is a prerequisite to value.

It's why plate appearances and innings pitched are a big component of WAR.

Bla ,bla ,bla.

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#68 JCDavies
September 02 2013, 09:06PM
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@NM00

"My post was about draft pick utilization (and Grabner)."

IF you were really interested in assessing the value the Canucks received from their draft picks during those seasons and you wanted to use games played as your criterion, then you would have included the value the Canucks received from their 2012 3rd round draft pick and from their 2010 1st, 2nd and 3rd round draft picks, correct? You would have included the 482 games* the Canucks received from Higgins, Lapierre, Alberts, Ballard, Bernier and Roy, right? Oh, you didn't ...

Well then, I guess you would have adjusted your expected value formula to reflect this decision. Oh, you didn't do that either ...

(*note: This number does not include the 332 games the Canucks received from Higgins', Lapierre's and Alberts' 2nd contracts with the Canucks.)

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#69 pheenster
September 03 2013, 01:35AM
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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 :)

What a complete and total non-reply to the original post. You're blowing smoke here and everyone knows it.

And regards the whole comparison of the current prospect group to that of 2008, there was already a thread about that. You blew smoke in that one too.

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#70 NM00
September 03 2013, 11:34AM
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@JCDavies

The post was about 2008-2010.

And I did mention Ballard, Alberts, Bernier and KConn (who was later traded for Roy).

With Ballard, Alberts & Bernier, each player's market value fell/plateaued after being acquired by Vancouver.

That should give you a pretty good idea about how much surplus value the Canucks received in these transactions.

As I said, "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."

Just look up the dollars the Canucks paid to Bernier & Alberts.

Where is the surplus value provided on those contracts?

Fangraphs has numerous articles on the price of free agent wins.

Teams shouldn't be giving up assets to acquire players that aren't providing (financial) value above that which can be found in free agency.

And the Ballard trade doesn't need to be explained to anyone aside from the wilfully ignorant, does it?

The Canucks would have been better off trading Grabner and their 2010 1st rounder for a 7th round pick.

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#71 NM00
September 03 2013, 12:50PM
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@JCDavies

I may be missing a smaller trade or two here...

Ballard ($13.6 million for 3 seasons)

Bernier ($4.5 million for 2 seasons)

Alberts ($1.5 million for 1.2 seasons)

Roy ($1.375 million for 0.25 seasons)

Pahlsson (0.6625 million for 0.25 seasons)

Higgins ($0.4 million for 0.25 seasons)

Lapierre ($0.225 million for 0.25 seasons)

Considering the salary cap at the time the Canucks were paying each of these players, I don't see the surplus value from those players collectively.

In my opinion, the Canucks paid around free agent market value to that group collectively when ignoring Ballard.

And once Ballard is factored in, well, it's not pretty.

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#72 JCDavies
September 03 2013, 01:31PM
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@NM00

"Considering the salary cap at the time the Canucks were paying each of these players, I don't see the surplus value from those players collectively."

Speculation, prove this with actual numbers.

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#73 JCDavies
September 03 2013, 01:32PM
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@NM00

"Where is the surplus value provided on those contracts?"

Speculation, prove this with actual numbers.

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#74 JCDavies
September 03 2013, 01:33PM
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NM00 wrote:

The post was about 2008-2010.

And I did mention Ballard, Alberts, Bernier and KConn (who was later traded for Roy).

With Ballard, Alberts & Bernier, each player's market value fell/plateaued after being acquired by Vancouver.

That should give you a pretty good idea about how much surplus value the Canucks received in these transactions.

As I said, "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."

Just look up the dollars the Canucks paid to Bernier & Alberts.

Where is the surplus value provided on those contracts?

Fangraphs has numerous articles on the price of free agent wins.

Teams shouldn't be giving up assets to acquire players that aren't providing (financial) value above that which can be found in free agency.

And the Ballard trade doesn't need to be explained to anyone aside from the wilfully ignorant, does it?

The Canucks would have been better off trading Grabner and their 2010 1st rounder for a 7th round pick.

If you want, for whatever reason, to exclude any return the Canucks received for the draft picks mentioned above, that is your choice. You have yet to explain why you haven’t adjusted you expected value formula to account for that decision.

There was no mention of Alberts, Ballard or Bernier in post #38 or the many other times I have seen your “weighting system” or why you didn't include some measure of their value (positive or negative).

“Suggestions” and perfunctory statements such as: “There is a big limitation, though, in that this does not account for traded draft picks” (“big limitation” is a heck of an understatement here, by the way) shouldn't give you license to use whatever misleading numbers you like. The burden isn't on the reader to determine if your numbers have any value; it’s on you as the author.

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#75 NM00
September 03 2013, 02:00PM
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@JCDavies

"If you want, for whatever reason, to exclude any return the Canucks received for the draft picks mentioned above, that is your choice. You have yet to explain why you haven’t adjusted you expected value formula to account for that decision."

Because it's easy to use as a starting point in a discussion.

Footnoting traded 1st rounders should give you an indication of this.

And, again, aside from wilful ignorance, I don't see a reason to believe the Canucks struggling to get games from draft selections, relative to other teams that have picked later in the draft, relates to the rate at which they yield draft picks in trade.

People can determine the validity of this on their own.

People can look at the games received from draft selections by Anaheim, New York, Boston, New Jersey, Chicago, Montreal, Washington, San Jose, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & Detroit and compare it to Vancouver.

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#76 NM00
September 03 2013, 02:11PM
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@NM00

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

2. 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.

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

4. 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.

The above, which was part of the original post, considers draft position relative to games played amongst one's draft class.

Nobody else has played NHL games from the 2008-2010 class.

If you want to shift the discussion strictly to draft selections from the 2008-2010 drafts...

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#77 JCDavies
September 03 2013, 03:37PM
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"If you want to shift the discussion strictly to draft selections from the 2008-2010 drafts..."

I can't speak for you or anybody else but my comments were always directed at this wonderful piece of work:

"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) "

"Footnoting traded 1st rounders should give you an indication of this.

And, again, aside from wilful ignorance, I don't see a reason to believe the Canucks struggling to get games from draft selections, relative to other teams that have picked later in the draft, relates to the rate at which they yield draft picks in trade."

This is a weak excuse you use to allow you to post misleading numbers with little value.

It is also speculation.

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#78 NM00
September 03 2013, 06:56PM
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If the intent was to "post misleading numbers with little value", what would be the rationale for footnoting trades involving 1st round picks to show what Vancouver has been doing compared to other low drafting teams?

Trying to find a logical explanation isn't the same as 'speculation'.

For example, as I suggest above, I don't believe there was surplus value (collectively) provided in the picks traded for Ballard, Higgins and the rest.

And I think if you look at the next contract each player signed, you'd get a sense of the surplus value (or lack thereof) each player provided Vancouver.

Of course, you'd also have to consider age and the salary cap among other things.

I'd suggest Ballard's contract with Minnesota was more reflective of what he did in Vancouver as opposed to his age and the declining salary cap.

But all three factors contributed to his paycut, in my opinion.

That's all "speculation", though.

The numerical proof you are asking for would still require you to make a logical connection.

If you are interested in determining whether or not traded picks is the reason the Canucks are 27th in man games from draft selections since 2008, go for it.

If you are interested in determining whether or not the traded picks have provided surplus value, again, go for it.

Skepticism is healthy.

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#79 JCDavies
September 04 2013, 01:11AM
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"If you are interested in determining whether or not traded picks is the reason the Canucks are 27th in man games from draft selections since 2008, go for it.

If you are interested in determining whether or not the traded picks have provided surplus value, again, go for it."

I am not trying to prove or disprove any arguments relating to the Canucks' draft picks, that is just the way the discussion developed based on the forum. My arguments have always been directed at your definition of value and your expected value formula and the conclusions that you draw from them.

If this were a Capitals blog, I would argue that the +15 is likely unreasonably favorable and if it were a Blues blog, that the -11 isn't reliable and that it can't confidently be used to form conclusions. And so on...

Back in July, you began a similar post by writing: "How much value has Vancouver received from Mike Gillis' draft picks so far?" and then you used the exact same numbers posted above to show that the Canucks haven't kept pace with other teams.

While this may be true, as I have mentioned above, I have been questioning the ability to arrive at that conclusion, with any confidence, using the numbers you have posted above.

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#80 NM00
September 04 2013, 11:34AM
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Yes and, once again, what would be the rationale for footnoting 1st round picks for low drafting teams if I were not aware that trading picks affects this?

If this were meant to be hard and fast (though I'd be very skeptical of anything allegedly "concrete" about drafts that began in 2008) as opposed to a discussion starter (i.e. are traded picks the reason the Canucks have been struggling so far to get man games from draft selections?), there would be another way to go about this.

For example, I could round up the 31 NHL games for Jordan Schroeder and make that the baseline for an NHL regular.

I could then set the criteria as "drafted and developed NHL regulars" and have the Canucks come in at 30th of 30 NHL teams.

I encourage you to look that up if you don't believe me.

And then people could determine how important it is to draft and develop NHL regulars, whether or not Schroeder legitmately qualifies as an NHL regular and to what degree the Canucks draft position is part of the story.

And then the discussion could shift to the draft selections the Canucks have had relative to other low drafting teams.

Other teams have had it worse than the Canucks, by the way. Again, I encourage you to look it up if you don't believe me.

And then the discussion would naturally shift to the general manager's trading record of picks, Grabner, Hodgson, KConn & whether or not value has been recouped in trade.

As I've said through out these two discussions, I don't see an argument for quality, recouped value through traded picks or that the Canucks have been yielding more/better picks than other contending teams as the explainer for their low man game total.

Again, skepticism is healthy. Look it up for yourself if you are curious.

If I may make a recommendation, look at the draft selections made by Anaheim, New York, Boston, New Jersey, Chicago, Montreal, Washington, San Jose, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & Detroit and compare it to Vancouver.

And I'd also suggest you put a value on the work performed by Ballard et al to determine whether or not value was recouped in trade.

Make the determination for yourself.

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#81 JCDavies
September 04 2013, 12:47PM
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@NM00

There are actually some really good suggestions in there that are much more clear than what you have done up to this point.

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#82 NM00
September 04 2013, 01:14PM
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Well I've made every suggestion in post #80 prior to post #80...but it seems like enough of a consensus to end this pissing contest.

By the way

"Uh what?"

This could explain quite a bit, actually."

I found this hilarious fwiw

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#83 Sean
September 06 2013, 09:22AM
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This choice was terrible. First game of the young guns game shows horvat is already closer to being in the NHL than gaunce. Heads should be shaking

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