Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #1 Connor McDavid

Rhys Jessop
June 11 2015 06:14PM

Since there is no doubt as to who we'll have ranked as the best prospect available for the 2015 NHL Entry draft, we'll start at the top. 

Connor McDavid is a special talent and the consensus best available player, possessing an obscene amount of skill. He's exceptional, not only for what he can do with the puck, but also for his blinding speed, which few players in all of hockey can currently match.

For a first-time draft eligible skater, McDavid's production in the OHL was nearly unprecedented. He absolutely torched junior hockey to the tune of 120 points in just 47 games - numbers that would make people say, "nah, that's unrealistic" if he were a character in EA's NHL 15.

Join us after the jump as we profile the most dynamic talent currently outside the NHL. 

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2015 Entry Draft: Industry Consensus Rankings

Rhys Jessop
June 11 2015 11:00AM

With the 2015 entry draft rapidly approaching and our own draft coverage about to kick off in the very near future, it's important to have an idea of what the scouting world generally thinks about a certain player. While everyone has their own personal opinions, it's always good to get a consensus to help iron out any significant outliers.

As such, our friend MoneyPuck went through a variety of different draft rankings to compile this year's consensus top-90 draft-eligible prospects, according to the scouting community. Click past the jump to see the list.

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Babych Please - June 11th, 2015

Grainne Downey
June 11 2015 09:00AM

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This week, for once, the Canucks were not the team with the most goaltending drama. Despite being outshone by Ben Bishop's mysterious body and Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Canucks and their fans had fun this week, with dogs, dancing, and a prosthetic leg! For real!

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Utica Comets Calder Cup Postgame: Comets Continue Strong, Finally Get Rewarded

Rhys Jessop
June 10 2015 09:22PM

After a strong performance on Sunday in which the Comets simply couldn't solve Manchester Monarchs keeper Jean-Francois Berube, Utica continued to look like an elite team on Wednesday evening and were rewarded for their efforts with a 3-2 win to pull the series to two games to one.

Much like Sunday's game, the Comets were very strong early before tailing off late, but this time they were able to give Jacob Markstrom enough goal support to secure the win. The game wasn't the only thing the Monarchs lost however, as Utica's physical play may have cost them two key players. Read past the jump to see what went down.

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Draft Theory: Re-Defining the Roles of Scouts and Stats

Rhys Jessop
June 10 2015 02:30PM

View image | gettyimages.com

Numbers and scouts would seem to be at odds over Pavel Zacha. But are they really?

I don't know precisely why this is, but I think I have a pretty good idea. Whenever we talk about looking at prospects through the lens of statistics and quantitative analysis, the discussion almost inevitably turns to "stats vs. scouts." Often times, people like myself are as guilty of going here as anybody. "Can you believe those idiots ranked Lawson Crouse ahead of Mitch Marner," I'll begin. "Don't they know that the numbers say this is insane?"

The thing is, going down the stats-against-scouts road is missing the point entirely. This isn't a pissing contest to see who's right more often. It's a continuous journey towards consistently identifying the best talent that has the highest chance of contributing at a significant level in the NHL. Numbers and watchers-of-the-games shouldn't be at odds with one another, since our end goal is the same - to identify the junior-aged players that project to be the best future NHLers.

As such, although the Twitter snark is fun, the actual debate when we're trying to advance our knowledge shouldn't be centred on who's right and who's wrong. Instead, we should be trying to leverage the strengths of every angle we can look at talent identification from to build a drafting and scouting approach that is as accurate, precise, and predictive as we can possibly make it. We want to use numbers to get the most out of our scouts, and we want to use scouts to get the most out of our numbers.

So how should we go about constructing a talent identification system that is grounded in quantitative analysis and also takes advantage of a rigorous qualitative approach? Let's explore after the jump.

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