May 27 2014 11:47AM
Nathan Smith played just 4 career games with Vancouver after being drafted 23rd overall in 2000.
By now, you've all read my last article wherein Sham Sharron outdrafts the actual Vancouver Canucks in a neat little thought exercise meant to illustrate just how poor the Canucks' amateur scouting has been since 2000. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read it here. You can also read real-life Cam Charron's follow-up that addresses why an exercise like this may yield the surprising results it does here.
The point of that article wasn't to say "this is how Vancouver SHOULD have drafted", which some apparently took it as. It was instead meant to point out that if such a(n admittedly) faulty method - which ignored half of the world's hockey talent - can produce better results than what Vancouver was actually doing, there is a massive problem in the Canucks' amateur scouting that must be addressed immediately.
What the last article didn't do though was put into perspective how woeful Vancouver and their scouting department has been at finding any NHL talent through the draft relative to the rest of the NHL. That is what we'll do here. Read past the jump to be filled with even more sadness and regret.
May 26 2014 01:05PM
Courtesy of @GoalieWays
Welcome back to this weeks Journal of Hockey Analytics to help with all your boring Mondays at work, and all your future hockey analytics research. In this week we look at how simple drafting rules can beat scouts, reviewing some raw season long zone entry data and even some junior level analytics to analyze Griffin Reinhart.
For all your links, continue past the jump!
May 23 2014 04:59PM
New Canucks general manager Jim Benning faced the fans and media for the first time on Friday, and it was quickly apparent that his commendable accomplishments over a long career in hockey stand out far more than his public speaking skills. Though he was forthright and balanced, Benning doesn't seem to have the sharpest tongue. He ducked multiple questions on Friday with the old "it's my first day on the job!" dodge, he started a large number of sentences with a distracting, drawn out "well," and his syntax is littered with "like" and "y'know."
In a telling moment towards the end of the Q&A with season ticket holders that preceded Benning's formal introduction on Friday, the modest lifelong scout was asked about his immediate plans for the near future and he listed an itinerary. No seriously.
"From here I'm going to the announcement," Benning joked, "then on Sunday we're flying to Toronto, and we start the scouting combine on Monday, so we're going to be there through the following week interviewing the players for this years draft, after that we'll start in on interviewing for the head coaching position and from there we'll head right up to our meetings in Whistler, and that's about where it ends for me right now..." at which point Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden jumped in, put a halt to the rambling, and talked about "definitely hitting the ground running" and interviewing "the next crop of Vancouver Canucks, which is really exciting." Essentially, or at least as it seemed to me, Linden threw his new general manager a lifeline in that moment.
Read on past the jump.
May 23 2014 02:48PM
It's Friday again and I know how much you guys look forward to the weekly Nation Drafts update! As expected, I have absolutely nothing happening in my pool since the only player I have left is Drew Doughty. It's a sad state of affairs. I can't even blame Chris Kelly anymore since the Bruins are out. The only thing that would make me happy is if one of you had Dan Carcillo on your roster since he, quite possibly, got the dumbest 10 game suspension in the history of ice. Elbowing a linesman for reasons unknown? Genius!
May 23 2014 10:23AM
If you've watched a television report on the Jim Benning hire over the past week, be it TSN or CTV or Sportsnet, you've probably noticed that there isn't much in the way of quality stock footage featuring the low-profile Boston Bruins assistant general manager. "I guess he's kind of beside Neely here, and he fist pumps, so... yeah."
For those of us, like myself, who produce reams of digital copy daily - the challenge is similar: if you squint or treat the image like a magic eye, you can maybe make Benning out on the far right. Here's the image we're using over at theScore for the Benning hire, and here's the original photo by Charles LeClaire courtesy of the US Presswire. When I searched Getty's embed-able images of Benning for this post, I found better quality photos of his wife Rhonda than I did of the incoming Canucks general manager...
It's telling that Benning has been such an anonymous figure during his long career as a scout and front office executive, and on Friday that will change. When Benning is introduced in Vancouver he'll be thrust into the harsh glow and officially complete the transition from a no-profile front office functionary in Boston, to the general manager of one of the most heavily followed and scrutinized hockey clubs in the world in Vancouver. Linden's presence and customer service focus may insulate Benning from the burden of media responsibilities in a once-ravenous hockey market somewhat, but he couldn't go Greg Sherman in Vancouver even if he tried. (Who is Greg Sherman? Exactly).
Anyway, let's look at three major decisions facing Vancouver's formerly anonymous general manager right off the bat, and evaluate if he'll even be the guy making them.
Read on past the jump.