Welcome to this week’s edition of the Canucks Weekly Prospect Report. As always I have all of your latest in Canucks’ prospect statistics and news. This time around, though, I take a deeper look at some of the #fancystats in the AHL, Utica Players Estimated TOI, Bo Horvat’s WOWY, and the NHLE Points of all of the prospects.
You can follow me at @nuckprospects on Twitter for the latest in prospect news and feel free to send me any feedback on anything prospect related you wish me to cover.
Without further ado..
The Comets opened this week against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders.
Some notes on the Tigers:
- They are currently ranked 28th in Possession (46.57%) and with a 97.4% PDO the Sound Tigers are ranked 13th in the East.
- They have on their roster top prospect Ryan Strome who has 33 points so far in 23 AHL games (and later in the week was called up to the Islanders). The closest the Comets have to that in terms of production is Pelletier with 18 points in 18 games.
- The rest of the Sound Tigers is a mismatch of undrafted players.. they are essentially the equivalent to the AHL’s Island of Misfit Toys.
The first period was fairly uneventful; even in possession, and no penalties were called. The Sound Tigers did get on the board twice to make it 2-0, once off of a bad turnover by Sauve at the end of a long shift. The second goal came from a developing 3 on 2. Nearing the end of the 2nd the score was 3-2 for the Sound Tigers but a goal with 30 seconds in the period killed any remaining momentum for the Comets.
The final score was 5-3 for Bridgeport with Utica goals scored by Mullen, Ferriero and Weber. Assists came from DeFazio, Ferrerio (2), O’Reilly, Weber, and Grenier. Shots were 32-31 in favour of Bridgeport, with Ferriero leading the Comets with 6 SOG. Eriksson was in net and made 27 saves on 32 shots. Bridgeport did not get a powerplay opportunity while the Comets scored 2 (of 3) times with the man advantage. Ferriero ended up with the 2nd star of the game.
On Saturday the Comets headed to Glen’s Falls, NY to play the Phantoms. The Phantoms heading into the game were 14th in possession (50.42%) and with a 99.4% PDO, they are ranked 10th in the conference. The Phantoms are the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Phlyers, by the way.
The first period was quiet again; no penalties, low shot totals, and a slight edge to Utica in Possession. Joe Cannata got the call in this one. After the first period the ice shifted and it was all Phantoms. Cannata did a good job of preventing the score from being higher than it could have been.
The final score was 3-1 for the Phantoms with the Phantoms leading in SOG 29-19. Jensen led the team in SOG with 5, but still doesn’t get any points to show his efforts. The lone goal came from Archibald with no assists. Cannata made 26 of 29 saves while the powerplay went 0 for 2 and the #POWERKILL went 1 for 3.
Utica Player statistics so far are:
Goalies so far:
- With the injury to Edler, Weber has been recalled by Vancouver. Weber had been playing top minutes in Utica earning over 20 minutes a night and had 7 points in 7 games (2G, 5A).
- Canucks reassigned Polasek to Utica from the KWings. I would be surprised if he gets much ice time, since he hasn’t been too impressive in the ECHL this year. So far in 14 games he has 2 points and a 1.5 SOG/G average.
Currently the Comets are in 15th place with 14 points (6-14-1-1). They have been out-scored 48 to 73 (-25), and have been outshot 4598 to 656 (-58). They are controlling 48.30% (acknowledging score effects) of the shots with an on ice shooting percentage of 8.1% and a save percentage of 89.0%. A simple version of PDO puts them at 97.1% which continues to get worse as the goaltending isn’t making as many saves as they should be. Their PP is currently at 18.99% (12th place), which has improved this week, and their PK is 74.42% (29th place) which has gotten worse. Puck possession rankings put them at 21st which is not as bad as they have been playing, but their low PDO and poor special teams continues to be a hindrance.
On Friday Tommernes was hurt and he left the game mid-way through. He did not play on Saturday which is a bit worrying. With the recall of Weber the Comets are down to seven defencemen on their roster: Andersson, Mullen, Biega, Corrado, Huskins and Sauve. The seventh is Negrin, a player the Canucks brought in in the off season who has not yet played a game. Another option would be for the Comets to call up a player from the ECHL such as Polasek. (Note: After this article was written, the Canucks re-assigned Polasek from the K-Wings to Utica).
The "Jensen Goal-Watch" is still ongoing. Jensen so far has not scored a goal in 16 games and only has 2 assists. Initially it was not too worrying as he was maintaining a high SOG/G, but that has been declining as of late. He has had success in the AHL in the past, 4 goals in 6 games two years ago, so I wouldn’t give up on him yet, especially with a sample of only 16 games.
As I am looking into the usage and context of the players the first step is to look at their estimated time on ice (which the AHL does not track). To do this I calculated the total number of goals that are scored in Utica games to figure out the team’s minutes / a goal, i.e. how many minutes it takes to score, between goals, in a single game. Since there is an average of 5.5 goals a game, this leads to 60 min / 5.5 goals = 10.9 min / goal. Next, for for each player, we know the number of on-ice goals they were on for and the number of games they played in. This gives us a players on-ice goals / game. We can multiply this by the team rate to estimate the number of minutes each players plays a game. This method has been explored by others before with a fair degree of success.
We can see which Comets are getting the most ice time, generally speaking, but there are still obviously some issues with this method as some players have a small sample size of on ice activity. Lain and Jensen are ones that stick out the most; they are not truly getting bottom minutes, but goals are just not being scored, for or against, when they are on the ice.
Back to the scope of the entire league, for comparison here is a list of #fancystats for the entire AHL up to last night. You can get a better idea of where Utica is truly sitting. Possession Close uses the shots only from the first two periods to try and eliminate score effects from the possession estimate.
The next week will be busy with four games. The B-Sens will be heading to Utica tomorrow night. Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre the Comets will play the Penguins’ squad and then the Comets then head back to Utica for a Sunday afternoon game vs.the Lake Erie Monsters. Finally, next Wednesday, the Comets will be playing the Heat for the third time this season, this time at home.
Gaunce continues his strong play in Erie where he is mainly on the second line with Conner Brown. He does see some special teams time but for Erie prime time is usually given to McDavid. Since his trade, Gaunce is "determined to win" with the Otters and he continues to settle in with Erie.
After near two weeks hiatus with an injury Cassels is back and playing for Oshawa. In his first game back he came out strong, making up for missed time by earning 4 points. He is going to make the US wish they had selected him for their World Junior Championship (WJC) team.
When the Canucks drafted Horvat this past summer there were some concerns that his play was driven by Max Domi. With the WJC selection camp out last week I thought it was interesting that Horvat was invited and Domi was not. So I looked at all goals for London that happened this year to see what the Goal-For % for Horvat and Domi were, together and apart. Obviously the "devil is in the usage" (as Thomas Drance put it) so I am working on calculating QualComps for the CHL and the AHL and maybe then we can understand Horvat’s usage better.
Thomas Drance wrote an article on Horvat on Canucks.com this past week.
In the OHL East, Oshawa is first with 50 points, Kingston is 3rd with 35 points, North Bay is 5th with 33 points and Belleville is 10th with 18 points. In the West, Erie is first with 55 points and London is 3rd with 48 points. In the BMO CHL standings Erie is ranked first overall, Oshawa is 8th and London is 9th.
The stats of the players in the last week are as follows:
And so far this year the stats of these players are:
|Miles Liberati||D||North Bay||8||1||0||1||0.13||1||6|
Cederholm engaged in another fight, albeit a short one, this week, defending a teammate after a hit.
Shinkaruk has not played this week, it appears he is resting his hip/shoulder for the WJC at the end of the month. This is good as it has clearly been affecting his production and pushing through it has seemed stupid.
Shinkaruk does have haters already, such as this dedicated twitter account just to him.
Medicine Hat is ranked fourth in the East with 41 points while Portland is 2nd in the West with 48 points. Portland is 4th in the BMO CHL rankings this week.
And so far this season the players stats in the WHL are:
|Hunter Shinkaruk||L||Medicine Hat||18||5||11||16||0.89||-2||29|
Ben Hutton continues his productive play, scoring another goal and earning three shots on goal. Maine plays twice this week against American International on Friday and Saturday. LaBate rivals Hutton in production earning three assists this week, in two games, as well as 9 SOG. Both players have over 3 SOG average on the season. LaBate and Wisconsin played Penn State where Williamson got to play in his sixth game of the year, earning an assist. Beattie played two games for a less productive 2 assists and 5 SOG. Yale and Harvard played this weekend which ended up in a 2-2 tie. McNally earned 2 assists and 5 SOG.
Statistics of NCAA players:
|Mike Williamson||D||Penn State||6||1||2||3||0.50||1||8||1.33||11|
Corbeil acted as a backup for the two game the Nailers played this week. He has only played in one game for them. Wheeling plays three times this week, tonight, Saturday and Sunday.
While Steven Anthony has been impressive, in his first eight games back, he is continuing a high production pace that could get him called up to Utica this year.
The K-Wings played four games this week. Pacan had a very impressive week scoring a number of goals, notching a number of assists and has stepped up his production from the previous 13 games. It could just be a small sample size. Blomstrand had a quieter week, started off the week with a goal but was silent after that. Polasek was completely shutdown, if he wasn’t on the box score I wouldn’t have known he had played this week at all. The K-Wings play three games this week on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday.
Gwinett will play two games this week on Friday and Sunday.
I have been trying to track down Wes Myron as he basically disappeared. He was released from the Comets training camp at the beginning of the year and no news has been heard since. Canucks.com has him listed as injured and playing for the K-Wings but I have not seen him on the IR or the ECHL Transactions
Statistics of players in the ECHL so far are:
|Anthony||F||CHL St Charles||8||2||4||6||0.75||-2||20||2.50||2|
Statistics of Corbeil on the year:
|Mathieu Corbeil||ECHL Wheeling||G||1||60||0||0||1||0||0||39||1.00%|
|Mathieu Corbeil||CHL St. Charles||G||6||236||21||5.35||0||2||1||103||0.831|
Anton Rodin continues his high output in the SHL which has made me wonder if the Canucks will try and bring him back next year. Talking with @tsetse_fly, a local Swede who actively pays attention to the SHL, points out that Rodin’s success is a large part of his high TOI (18:39, most on the team) while having a high QoT. He is the third wheel on that line with a low shot total for one with that much TOI.
Rodin had success in Sweden before, and then didn’t translate that to the AHL. He is having success again back in Sweden and it makes me wonder if he would even be able to have any luck in the NHL.
The other European Canuck prospect, Ronalds Kenins, has broken his jaw and will not be playing until January.
|Anton Rodin||W||SHL Brynas||22||26||9||16||25||0.96||0||22|
|Ronalds Kenins||LW||Swiss ZSC||22||25||5||11||16||0.64||9||12|
Before we go and I leave you with some extra readings, here are the current NHL Expectancy points for these prospects. These are basically how many points the prospects would have scored in the NHL based on their performance in their current leagues this year so far. You can read about this more here and here.
It’s been an extremely busy week for Canucks in the OHL, with plenty of activity everywhere else. Hopefully soon I will have calculated the QualComp of our Comets and we can analyze their usage even further. Make sure to follow me at @nuckprospects for all the latest in Canuck Prospect news. Until next week!