The Return of Draft Analytics: The Prospect Graduation Probabilities System (pGPS)

Jeremy Davis
May 04 2016 02:55PM


The ability to predict the success of hockey prospects at young ages has long been a goal in the business of hockey. Now more than ever, the success of young players is directly related to the success of an NHL team. For the most part, rosters are built through the draft, rather than trades and free agency. Knowing who will is likely to be successful and who is likely to fail can be the difference between winning and losing in the future - and that can subsequently be the difference between employment and unemployment for the person who is choosing the players.

It wasn't that long ago (although it seems like ages) that Canucks Army had access to such a tool. PCS, the Prospect Cohort Success project developed by Money Puck and Josh Weissbock, used historical data to project players in the here and now. Unfortunately, we lost access to the system when those two were hired by the Florida Panthers.

As you may have noticed, we've been using comparable percentages to assess prospects again over the past couple of months, beginning with this article here. It's been a bit of a mystery until now, but it's time to pull back the curtain. Draft and prospect analytics are returning to Canucks Army and the Nation Network. This is not a rebirth of PCS, but instead an alternative, using similar underlying principles.

This is pGPS: the prospect Graduation Probabilities System.

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Guillaume Brisebois requests trade from QMJHL team

Ryan Biech
May 04 2016 02:44PM

It has been reported by Mikaël Lalancette from TVA sports in Quebec, that Canucks prospect Guillaume Brisebois has requested a trade from the Acadie Bathurst Titans.

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Canucks should target a goalie at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft

Ryan Biech
May 04 2016 11:00AM

The Vancouver Canucks and their fan base let out a collective sigh of relief just a few short weeks ago when Thatcher Demko was signed to an entry-level contract, closing the door to a loophole in the CBA that would afford the college standout a chance at unrestricted free agency. That move provides a significant boost to the long-term health of the Canucks crease, if for no other reason than Demko is the sole remaining goalie in the Canucks organization that qualifies as a prospect.

Then again, based on Demko's success at the college level, this isn't the worst problem to have. The San Diego, California native is well on his way to developing into an NHL goalie and in all likelihood a very good one at that. It's been proven time and time again though that one should never place all their eggs in one basket. There always needs to be a push from within the organization and succession plan in the background, mapped out in pencil.

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WWYDW: With the Fifth Overall Selection...

J.D. Burke
May 04 2016 11:00AM


The Canucks may not have landed the first overall pick, but at least they... secured the fifth overall selection. Nowhere near as earth shattering as the first and the generational talent it would have afforded them, but I wouldn't rule out the Canucks landing a fine and good piece for the foreseeable future a fifth, either.

It's not like they won't have options, either. If Pierre-Luc Dubois is available, there's that foundational piece this franchise so desperately needs. Matthew Tkachuk, though marked with quantitative red flags as he is, comes with his own high-end offensive ceiling and the potential to develop into a strong first-line winger. Less heralded, but every bit as tantalising is Alexander Nylander (brother of William, son of Michael) of the Mississauga Steelheads. This says nothing of the best defenders in the draft, like Olli Juolevi, Mikhail Sergachyov and Jakob Chychrun - to name a few.

All this is to say that the Canucks have plenty of options here in the five hole. Which of the bunch is the most appealing to you, though, and why?

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Canucks Army Year In Review: Ben Hutton

Tyler Horsfall
May 03 2016 01:00PM

Coming into this season, very few people expected Ben Hutton to crack the Canucks' roster. The 2012 fifth-round pick just finished his NCAA hockey career at Maine and was expected to be playing for the Utica Comets in the AHL. In last season's year-end prospect reviews, Hutton ranked fourteenth amongst all Canucks prospects. However, after a strong training camp the blue liner found himself on the Canucks opening day roster. Hutton quickly endeared himself to the fans and the coaching staff with his strong play.

Turning heads all year, the then 22 year-old earned the trust of Willie Desjardins and the coaching staff quickly. Come February, Hutton was leaned upon heavily. He averaged over 21 minutes per game in the month of February and saw an increase in both his power play and even strength minutes. Hutton surpassed Alex Edler's rookie season point totals, with 25 points in 75 games. 

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