Prospect Profile: #6 Eddie Lack


Image via Matthew Henderson

For my debut post on this platform – which came just under a year ago, on August 30th, 2012 to be exact – I was charged with writing a profile on the 2nd ranked prospect in the team’s system, even though I hadn’t even participated in the rankings process. I had disagreed with how the ranking team had evaluated the system, and in particular the player in question, making the assignment a rather unenviable one for yours truly.

Here’s the result of said profile. The handful of Canucks Army writers that had been responsible for setting the rankings had Swedish goaltender Eddie Lack as the team’s best prospect behind Zack Kassian heading into this past season, which I thought was a little bit overzealous. I had him somewhere in the 5-to-7 range; but that had more to do with the position he plays – and my philosophy when it comes to valuing goaltenders – and less to do with Lack himself, who is a fine talent. 

Suffice it to say that I feel far more comfortable with where we have him in this year’s edition of the series. Read on past the jump for more on "The Stork".

Lack, a 6’5” Swedish goaltender, is the highest ranked goaltending prospect on our list this season – with Joe Cannata coming in at #16, and Joacim Eriksson at #11 – despite what can only be characterized as an disappointing 2012-13 campaign. At this time last year, he was not only coming off of a (second straight) sterling season which saw him post a .925 save%, and 2.31 goals against average for the Chicago Wolves in the AHL, but was also thought to have a very legitimate shot of backing up Cory Schneider for the Canucks once Roberto Luongo was dealt.

Well, that never happened. Instead he went back to a dysfunctional Wolves team that was marred by all sorts of issues in nearly every facet of the game. Some of the blame has to be placed on Lack, who simply wasn’t very good (.899 sv%, 3.00 GAA) in the 13 starts he made before being shelved with a hip injury that ultimately required surgery (resulting in a "Tragically Hip" headline from Drance, which was truly an all-timer). 

Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to chat with our go-to guy when it comes to all things goalies, Kevin Woodley, about Lack this time around, but I think that the quotes that he provided us with last year regarding the lanky Swede, and his development, still apply:

"We have seen this in other ‘late-blooming’ Scandinavian goalies. He didn’t have the skill and instinct coached out of him, becoming too reliant on his size. Now that he’s learning how to use that size and technique more efficiently and effectively, it should improve his consistency. Most importantly, he has maintained that extra layer of skill, especially with the hands, and the willingness to throw technique to the wind and scramble if necessary. That’s needed to succeed long-term in the NHL."

You always hate to see guys essentially lose full seasons during their most important development years (Patrick McNally is nodding his head, somewhere), and that’s basically what 2012-13 was for Lack. Getting games in to refine his technique and hone his craft were of utmost importance for him, and pretty much all of last season was a throw away. I guess only time will tell how much that impacts him going forward.

This coming season is a monumental one for the 25-year old; with the departure of Cory Schneider, there’s a back-up gig up for grabs, and I’d guess that Lack is the front-runner for the spot heading into camp. Especially due to his contract status. If you’ll recall he signed a rather savvy 2-year contract last summer, which ensured that he’d be on a 1-way deal this year(*). He’s making his $850k, regardless of where he plays, while his biggest competition, Joacim Eriksson, makes a significantly smaller figure (only $70k) if he gets send down. Lack is two years older than Eriksson, and becomes an RFA again next summer, so it stands to reason that the team would like to see what they’ve got in him before reaching another crossroads next year. 

(*) Thanks to the CapGeek waiver calculator, we know that Lack is exempt waivers for 54 more games, or 1 more year. This means that he can still be safely sent down to the minors.

While this technically has nothing to do with stopping pucks, Lack’s social media game and personality are off the charts, and nearly rival that of the incumbent. In the past he has blogged for the Canucks’ official team site, had some memorable 140-character exchanges with Strombone on Twitter, acted like a goofball while interviewing his teammates, and even participated in The Stanchion’s "Fake Season" (seriously, watch that video if you haven’t already). I even got to personally chat with him last summer, and he was a joy to talk to. If he does make the team, I’m sure that he’ll do his part in turning what many people are expecting to be a largely unentertaining season into a somewhat palatable one.

Total tangent that I wanted to throw in because it sort of applies here alert: I don’t know about you, but for some reason I’ve always had this preconceived notion that Sweden is a nation that has produced great goaltending talent over the years. However, that really hasn’t been the case. That list is, um, less than stellar. It seems that things are about to change in that regard, though, as they have a handful of highly touted young goaltending prospects on the way (Lehner, Markstrom, Svedberg, Lack, etc.).

I did get a chance to briefly exchange some words with Woodley about this, and he basically said that their top-down national development program (modeled off of the Finnish equivalent) didn’t start until the mid-2000’s, and that there’s a whole generation of intriguing talent just turning pro/hitting draft age. It just confirms what we all knew – Sweden is awesome.

Other Prospect Profiles in This Series:

      • andyg

        Why would my feelings be hurt? Because I find you tiresome? If you spoke to anyone in the real world like you do to the commentors here, you would be promptly punched in the face. Scratch that, you’d make them feel the brief impulse of wanting to punch you in the face but it would be tempered by their pity because you’re just a lonely little ball of anger, a child with an astounding level of arrogance.

        That’s not ad hominem because the issue at this point is not one particular statement of yours about hockey. It’s your absolutely, downright crap character.

  • The Voice In The Dark

    Let it go boys. It’s well past the point of painful reading. Agree to disagree and move the feck on. This is a story about Eddie Lack for the love of Pete.

  • Wow. NM00, you’re special fella, aren’t you.

    I’m so happy to hear your word is law and any contradictory opinion is rubbish. Just wow. No, I am not limiting my opinion to these posts. I’m noting all of your posts I’ve seen in my short time here. Hey genius, there’s a chance your moronic assumptions won’t be fact. Just give it a rest already. State an opinion and stop being the twat you are.

      • andyg

        @NM00

        Oh, it is safe to assume you’re not capable of anything close to critical thinking. Please go back to your community college intro to philosophy and read the basics again. Also, please try and stay within the scope of the argument.

        Does anyone have a recent update on Lack and how he’s coming along?

      • andyg

        I have 2 questions for you.

        Are you saying that signing free agents is a waist of time?

        Do you think that Lack is a prospect of note for us and has a potential to be a good nhl pro?

        • The Voice In The Dark

          Why would signing free agents be a waste of time?

          I consider being undrafted as a 21 year old in 2009 to be a big red flag.

          But even with the way the industry is trending, occasionally somebody will fall through the cracks.

          Bobrovsky is an example.

          Jose Bautista wasn’t much of a baseball prospect.

          But every now and then the unpredictable happens and a 29 year old utility player becomes a perennial all star.

          Should we count on such an exception?

          Should we keep pointing to that one exception and say “see I told you sabermetricians! Your fancy predictive tools are imperfect!”

          Or should we just accept that every now and then stuff happens because that is the nature of sports?

          • andyg

            12% of nhl players last year were undrafted and canucks have 3 this year.

            Burrows ,Tanev,Garrison. 5 last year.

            If lack sticks as back up?

            That sounds like decent odds to me.

            3 of Tampa’s top 5 are undrafted. 2 of Pittsburgh,s top 3. Both of Anaheim,s goal tenders are undrafted.

            Clearly talent is what is important, not their draft status. Teams that went through years where they missed the playoffs can focus on the draft but teams like the Canucks need to leave no stone unturned.

            You have not said if you think Lack is a top end prospect or not?

  • My Grabovski fantasy was what? That he’d sign a one-year deal worth… $3-million? Yeah, I completely overshot that estimate by exactly zero years and zero cents.

    “It’s about the difference between top 2-4 round drafted goalies and all the other goalie “prospects” in 2013.”

    Why 2013? I get it’s 2013, but I see at this point no reason why Sergey Makarov is any less of a good bet to make the NHL in the next five years than Malcolm Subban or Oscar Dansk.

    The fact is that there are tonnes of goalies, and it is impossible to project their trajectory. The reason why higher picks appear to last longer is just that—their teams give them more chances. I could have a post on this, but a young goaltender’s chances are determined more by pedigree than by accomplishments. Survivorship bias accounts for a huuuuuge percentage of young goalies in the NHL. Think Steve Mason is kicking around if he didn’t have a good 20 games to start his career?

    • andyg

      “My Grabovski fantasy was what? That he’d sign a one-year deal worth… $3-million? Yeah, I completely overshot that estimate by exactly zero years and zero cents.”

      Hilarious.

      1. The Canucks never had $3 million to spend on him (barring something like LTIR Booth or moving other money).

      2. Read Grabo’s comments about why he chose Washington.

      Shockingly, it was because he can be the #2 pivot in an offensive role (something the Canucks can’t guarantee him without completely changing Kesler’s role and getting Grabo to believe them).

      3. Your $3 million estimate was based on your poor attempt to calculate his buyout money.

      But it’s not as though somebody didn’t point out the obvious a few hours before Grabo took his talents to the Capitals…

      “Why 2013?”

      Because we’re talking about Lack’s environment.

      Not Lundqvist’s and certainly not Roloson’s.

      “The fact is that there are tonnes of goalies, and it is impossible to project their trajectory.”

      I’m not talking about predicting success, though.

      I’m talking about predicting failure.

      And I’m talking about categorizing top 2-4 round picks as a seperate entity from the rest of the pack.

      I gave this stat to a commenter earlier:

      Based on my previously noted save percentage/qualified goalie criteria since 2010-2011, 82% of the goalies under the age of 30 were found in the top 100 picks.

      33% of the goalies over the age of 30 were found in the top 100 picks.

      Which goes with everything I said in my original post on the subject:

      There was a time when finding North American starters late in the draft/undrafted was realistic.

      It’s been next to impossible for years.

      There was a time when finding European starters late in the draft/undrafted was realistic.

      But they have also become exceptions looking at the goalies under 30.

      If you want to tell Joe Cannata to look at Brian Elliott, be my guest.

      But it would be a poor advice.

  • No, I want you to admit the plausibility of a Black Swan, undrafted goalie, I don’t want to risk money. I am willing to pay you money every year until there is such a swan.

    You HAVE to be able to understand that it’s possible a goalie under the age of 30 can make the NHL despite being undrafted, and that it is plausible such a goaltender could be considered one of the best in the game.

    I don’t know WHO that is, or when it will happen. Your parameters are closed and contained. You need to think outside them, because something is going to happen that is going to ruin your argument in the next ten years and you’ll have to start all over again.

    • The Voice In The Dark

      “You HAVE to be able to understand that it’s possible a goalie under the age of 30 can make the NHL despite being undrafted, and that it is plausible such a goaltender could be considered one of the best in the game.”

      Your strawmen just keep getting flimsier.

      Considering I mentioned Bobrovsky and Halak IN MY ORIGINAL POST on the subject of goalies under 30, stop making up BS about “I guarantee there will be an exception!” as though that is what the argument has been this entire time.

      That’s never been the argument.

      It’s about the difference between top 2-4 round drafted goalies and all the other goalie “prospects” in 2013.

      Your Grabovski fantasy may have been premised on wish fulfilment and illogical reasoning.

      But at least it was harmless rosterbation that placated the delusional portion of Canuck fans.

      Ignoring goaltending trends is another thing altogether.

      If you want to grow as a writer, avoiding fallacious reasoning should be your #1 focus.

  • Your proposed bet makes no sense. I only make bets where I have limited risk but maximum reward, because I’m not going to put $100 up to what’s basically a coin flip.

    There are some things you can predict with numbers. The save percentage of undrafted goaltenders under the age of 30 isn’t one of them.

    • Ugh.

      Read again.

      You get all goalies drafted after pick 100 AND all undrafted goalies.

      Your team inherently has more potential members than mine.

      “I only make bets where I have limited risk but maximum reward, because I’m not going to put $100 up to what’s basically a coin flip.”

      I’m willing to give you the better reward.

      I’ll bet $200 and you only bet $100.

      Considering the size of your team as well as the 2-1 odds, it seems like the type of bet a man who believes goaltending is a pure crapshoot would make.

      Not that I want to put words in your mouth…

  • Mantastic

    Sometimes injuries, especially ones in a crazy strike shortened free for all, don’t have to be all bad. Playing goalie is a very mental game and sometimes just practicing and practicing aren’t enough. Golfers sometimes get a different perpestive on the game by not playing and analyzing their approach. Luo has tried to practice and work through his struggles, especially his low glove hand and balance. Here’s hoping that Lack took sometime to work on his mental approach and that he will be ready to work at training camp.

  • I wonder if Tyler Bunz will read this thread and quit hockey. He was, after all, drafted with the very first pick of the fifth round in 2010. According to NM00’s projection systems, that means he basically has no hope. Too bad he wasn’t taken a pick earlier by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    • Mantastic

      For the hat trick

      https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman

      On a more serious note, if you happen to know Tyler Bunz, you should advise him not to bank on an NHL career.

      He has only Brian Elliott and Ben Scrivens as recent role models.

      “NM00’s projection systems”

      It’s description.

      It’s shocking that someone who writes about statistics is so averse to logic.

      They are on the same continuum.

        • “You can talk all you want about Tyler Bozak’s fancy stats and compare it to historical averages, but you have no evidence to suggest that that’s what he will do in the NHL next year, the year after or the year after.”

          That would be pretty wilfully ignorant for someone to say in 2013, would it not?

          Ignoring the changing trend in regards to NHL goaltenders is no different.

          Talking about the era in which King Henrik, Rinne & Backstrom were found under the radar has little to do with where the industry is today.

          Just like finding a franchise forward such as Bure, Datsyuk or Zetterberg later in the draft is a lot harder than it was 10-20 years ago.

          Damn near impossible and completely unpredictable, in fact.

  • @NM00

    Goalie scouting is total voodoo so his undrafted status doesnt tell you much here, I think.

    My view: there’s some evidence that Lack could be a good backup or even a below average starter in the NHL. He’s faced roughly 3k AHL shots while stopping .923% of them over 112 appearances. Using Stephen Cooper’s AHL sv% translation numbers, that would suggest that Lack has performed about as well as an average starter over a sample that is beginning to be large enough for us to call it “talent” with some degree of confidence.

    • If goalie scouting is “total voodoo” as you say, why are the better goalies under 30 in the NHL not slipping past the top 100 picks for the most part?

      From my previous post:

      Since 2010-2011, 41 of the 90 qualified goaltending seasons by save percentage have come from 22 goalies that will be under the age of 30 on opening day in 2013-2014:

      Fleury (1-1), Lehtonen (1-2), Price (1-5), Dubnyk (1-14), Rask (1-21), Varlamov (1-23), Ward (1-25), Schneider (1-26), Neuvirth (2-34), Harding (2-38), Pavelec (2-41), Crawford (2-52), Howard (2-64), S. Mason (3-69), Quick (3-72), Bishop (3-85), Holtby (4-93), Reimer (4-99), Halak (9-271), Elliot (9-291), Bobrovsky (undrafted) & Scrivens (undrafted)

      Look at the above list.

      Not all of them are starters, mind you. But every goalie under 30 that has put up even a good backup season in the last 3 years is on that list.

      Lack could be an exception of course.

      But every single NHL team has exceptions (i.e. goalies selected outside of the top 100 picks) floating around their organization.

      Based on where goalies are coming from these days, how can you honestly think that not being drafted (in the top 2-4 rounds specifically) isn’t a gigantic red flag?

  • “While this technically has nothing to do with stopping pucks, Lack’s social media game and personality are off the charts”

    Tru dat. He’s already a fan favourite among those who already follow him on Twitter, and I think he’ll be quite well loved once the wider fan base gets to know him.

  • Fred-65

    Hate to load you with expectations but we’re pulling for you and maybe put an end to the goalie circus in Vcr. Who knows maybe in a year we can all say Roberto or Cory…who ? and stick to just hockey

  • Mantastic

    Lack shouldn’t be anywhere in the conversation with Lehner & Markstrom.

    There is one starting goalie in the NHL under the age of 30 on opening day that went undrafted in Bobrosvky.

    Unlike Lack, Bobrovsky went undrafted as a 17 year old in the 2006 draft. Quite possibly because of the difficulty in signing Russian players.

    Lack was passed up as a 21 year old at the 2009 draft.

    Being drafted in the top 2-4 rounds like Lehner & Markstrom were is a pretty big deal these days.

    • andyg

      Being undrafted is is not important.His talent level is all that matters.
      Go tell Alex Burrows he should not be mentioned in the same sentence with other top players in the nhl.(or Tanev)
      Why not just give Gillis congrats on finding a prospect of note with out giving anything up.

          • It’s hard to take your bet seriously when the offer was preceded with this:

            “The problem with your argument is that it takes for just one undrafted goaltender under the age of 30 to become a starter to render your argument invalid.”

            Another strawman. Not my argument at all.

            But I’ll gladly make a bet with you since you seem so confident.

            I am confident as well actually.

            $100 to the charitable cause of the winner’s choice.

            Based on the number of goalies under the age of 30 on opening day to put up a top 30 qualified save percentage season in 2013-2014.

            I get every goalie drafted in the top 100 picks.

            You get every goalie drafted outside of the top 100 picks as well as all undrafted goalies.

            If your team has more goalies in the top 30 at regular season’s end, you win.

            Let me know if this works for you and/or if you would like to tweak the bet.

          • If you say “there are no undrafted goalies under the age of XX” in the league, the problem is that it only takes ONE to do it in the next year to render that point moot, in which case you have to change the parameters.

            Then there’s survivorship bias. If Jonathan Bernier had the career he did after being a sixth round pick, you think the Leafs give up as much as they did for him? No, it’s only because he’s a first round pick he’s worth going for. Goalies that have slow starts that are likely to stay on are disproportionately high picks. I’ve looked at this data going back to 1998 when we had ES shot numbers available.

            I’d be more than comfortable to suggest that over half of the top 30 goalies in the world didn’t get drafted in the Top 100 picks of the draft. The problem is that there’s no way to measure it.

            I’m not suggesting that it’s preferable to be a lower pick, which you seem to think. I’m suggesting that the way goalies are scouted is flawed, and there are enough goalies that slip through the inefficiency to become a star at some point. My gamble is to bet that another one will. Whether it’s Eddie Lack, or Michael Houser, or Sergey Makarov, I don’t know, but the point is somebody is going to come in and force you to change your parameters that you’ve conveniently set.

            Why are you looking at goalies under 30? Because Viktor Fasth is 30. If Fasth were 27, I’d be willing to bet you’d be making the same argument with a different number.

          • andyg

            “Why are you looking at goalies under 30?”

            Because Lack is under 30!

            I’ve made it abundantly clear numerous times (starting with the post in the Eriksson article) that the focus is on where goaltending is now and where it appears to be going.

            Shockingly, I consider goalies in their 20s to be more applicable to a discussion about Lack and his late round/undrafted contemporaries than goalies in their 30s (Lundqvist, Rinne, Backstrom) and 40s (Joseph, Roloson, Thomas).

            In case you haven’t noticed, goaltenders have evolved quite a bit in the last decade.

            “I’m suggesting that the way goalies are scouted is flawed, and there are enough goalies that slip through the inefficiency to become a star at some point. My gamble is to bet that another one will.”

            Thank you captain obvious.

            I’d make that bet, too.

            But would you take my proposed bet for 2013-2014?

            I’m gladly willing to put money on this.

    • Mantastic

      also i don’t think Markstorm will even pan out to be an NHL starter. i believe in Lehner a lot more.

      goaltending projections are also witchcraft. more often then not, they flame out horribly. Lack at 6 makes sense just because there really isn’t any other prospect with a higher ceiling ranked below him besides maybe Subban

      • Dimitri Filipovic

        That’s just the nature of the position, though.

        There are only 60 goalie jobs in the NHL and maybe 20ish starters at any given time.

        By comparison, there are around 390-420 forward jobs and 210-240 defenseman jobs.

        It’s easy to look at the way the NHL is trending and say that nearly all goalies selected outside of the top 100 or so picks will fail to become NHL starters.

        It’s a lot harder to predict which of the goalies selected in the top 100 picks will succeed, though.

        • “It’s easy to look at the way the NHL is trending and say that nearly all goalies selected outside of the top 100 or so picks will fail to become NHL starters.”

          You can simplify this sentence by saying that nearly all goalies selected will fail to become NHL starters.

          • I don’t see any evidence. You’re relying on anecdotes to build a case.

            About midway through the second round, rankings are thrown out and teams start selecting prospects they like. A player ranked 60th on a team’s list may be 180th on another team’s list, but by virtue of the No. 59 player being available for Team A, the player falls all the way down to the 180th pick.

            Does that affect his chances? Does that change the player he is in any way? Your methodology seems to assume it does.

            Like your post back there showed, there are tonnes of starting goalies that come from means other than Rounds 1-through-4 of the draft. Last season, the Vezina Trophy nominees were two undrafted goaltenders and a 7th round pick. In 2012, the Vezina nominees were a 3rd, 7th and 9th rounder. In 2011, they were a 1st, a 7th and a 9th, and in 2010, a 1st, a 2nd and a 5th.

            It’s almost completely random, and it’s clear no team has figured out the secret behind goaltending. Think the Rangers knew what they were getting out of Lundqvist when they drafted him after they selected high school prospect Brandon Snee? No, not at all. He was a total fluke.

            Goalies that make the NHL are Black Swans, and there’s no way to forecast them as juniors. At age 21, Jonas Hiller was in the Swiss ‘B’ League, Dwayne Roloson was a backup goaltender for a particularly mediocre U-Mass Lowell team, and Steve Mason was polishing the Calder Trophy he’d won a season before as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

            The truth of it is that “we don’t know” when it comes to goalies. Läck is ranked where he is not because he’s the next big thing, but because he’s already provided some organizational depth at his age, will surely make the NHL, and that’s more than you can say about Prospects No. 7 to No. 20 on the list. Will he be better than Joacim Eriksson? I don’t know, and frankly, I don’t care. The Canucks are bringing a goalie into their system each year, exposing themselves to the potential of benefitting from a Black Swan.

            Maybe they will. They probably won’t.

          • “I don’t see any evidence. You’re relying on anecdotes to build a case.”

            Uh what?

            Look at the part about goalies under 30.

            All of your goalie examples (King Henrik, Roloson, Hiller) are over 30.

            Did you read the entire thing?

            Clearly I’m talking about where the goaltending landscape is going and not where it has already been.

          • The problem with your argument is that it takes for just one undrafted goaltender under the age of 30 to become a starter to render your argument invalid.

            We could make a bet. For each year that there is no goalie starting 50%+1 of his team’s games, I will pay you $50. And I will continue paying you $50 until the end of time.

            As soon as a goalie under the age of 30 starts 50%+1 of his team’s games, you pay me $1500 and I cease payment.

            Would you make that bet?

          • Cam you’re better than this.

            “The problem with your argument is that it takes for just one undrafted goaltender under the age of 30 to become a starter to render your argument invalid.”

            I’m quite sure you know this is a strawman.

            My argument is pretty simple.

            Look at the goalies in the NHL under the age of 30 on opening day 2013-2014.

            My claim is that based on where the NHL is RIGHT NOW, the overwhelming majority of quality goalies are being selected amongst the top 100 or so picks.

            I’ll repeat my evidence:

            Since 2010-2011, 41 of the 90 qualified goaltending seasons by save percentage have come from 22 goalies that will be under the age of 30 on opening day in 2013-2014:

            Fleury (1-1), Lehtonen (1-2), Price (1-5), Dubnyk (1-14), Rask (1-21), Varlamov (1-23), Ward (1-25), Schneider (1-26), Neuvirth (2-34), Harding (2-38), Pavelec (2-41), Crawford (2-52), Howard (2-64), S. Mason (3-69), Quick (3-72), Bishop (3-85), Holtby (4-93), Reimer (4-99), Halak (9-271), Elliot (9-291), Bobrovsky (undrafted) & Scrivens (undrafted)

            That’s 18 goalies selected in the top 100 picks compared to 4 goalies outside of the top 100 picks.

            This isn’t about the NHL when North American starters could be acquired late in the draft or go undrafted altogether.

            These goalies, such as Joseph, Thomas & Roloson, were first draft eligible over 20 years ago.

            This also isn’t about the NHL when European goalies could be found late in the draft or go undrafted altogether.

            In my original post on the subject, I named King Henrik, Rinne, Vokoun, Backstrom, Hiller, Niemi etc.

            These goalies were first draft eligible over 12 years ago.

            We care about where the NHL is now and where it appears to be going, right?

            My evidence is based on where the recent quality goalies are coming from.

            I believe the most logical explanation is that Europe is too thoroughly scouted these days to find goalies like Rinne and Backstrom on a regular basis.

            There are exceptions.

            As I have noted, Bobrovsky is an exception.

            Halak is another in that he would have not been drafted in a 7 round draft.

            However, both goalies were passed up at age 17 and 18 respectively.

            Lack was passed up at age 21.

            With all due respect, anyone categorizing a top 2-4 round goalie like Markstrom and Lehner to a scratch and win ticket is being pretty wilfully ignorant of the way the NHL has been trending the last few years

          • Mantastic

            ‘That’s 18 goalies selected in the top 100 picks compared to 4 goalies outside of the top 100 picks.’

            What would you expect the numbers to be? That is hardly overwhelming. 4/22 isn’t bad, especially when you consider those 4 were either undrafted or drafted after the 7th round. Far from adequate evidence to be writing off Lack and Eriksson.

          • Mantastic

            “What would you expect the numbers to be?”

            If you look at goalies over the age of 30 beginning with 2010-2011 (based on being in top 30 qualified save percentage at least once), you have the following being found outside of the top 100 picks:

            Backstrom, Lundqvist, Rinne, Vokoun, Niemi, Hiller, Fasth, Miller, Thomas, Roloson, Hedberg, Clemmensen, Smith, Kiprusoff, Nabokov & Sanford for a total of 16.

            Compare that to the goalies found inside the top 100:

            Luongo, Anderson, Theodore, Bryzgalov, Boucher, Giguere, Emery & Ellis for a total of 8.

            82% of the goalies under the age of 30 were found in the top 100 picks.

            33% of the goalies over the age of 30 were found in the top 100 picks.

            That’s a pretty massive difference.

            “Far from adequate evidence to be writing off Lack and Eriksson.”

            It’s not about writing them off.

            It’s about putting them in their proper context as massive exceptions to the way the NHL has changed recently.

          • Mantastic

            In all fairness, Cam didn’t even touch on the selection bias issues with NM00’s argument.

            Undrafted goalies aren’t going to get an opportunity to “prove” themselves to NHL teams until they’re 21, compared to 18 for a drafted goalie.

            It only makes sense that they take longer to “develop”.

            Which begs the question – by taking shots at these goalies earlier, are the Canucks exploiting a market inefficiency? Put another way, was a guy like Thomas really that bad until his mid-30s, or was he likely that good earlier, but just wasn’t able to display it for whatever reason?

          • Mantastic

            Canucks definitely aren’t exploiting a market inefficiency due to fact they still draft goaltenders and that developing goaltenders is inefficient in itself. Lack is the only example of signing a FA undrafted goalie for the Canucks in this list.

          • Mantastic

            Well, it’s not as simple as saying they’re still drafting goalies, ergo they aren’t exploiting an inefficiency.

            I didn’t really clarify, but my intended point was only that by spending more, less valuable resources compared to other teams (i.e. signing an undrafted goalie or picking a goalie in a later-round pick every year) on the hunt for NHL-quality puck-stopping, the Canucks might be trying to exploit an inefficiency. Obviously, there are a ton of assumptions underlying that premise.

            I’ll let others debate whether or not that inefficiency actually exists (one of the aforementioned assumptions), but suffice to say that there’s good evidence to suggest that NHL teams have great difficulty evaluating goalie talent, and even more difficulty (as you noted) developing it. It’s a plausible strategy.

          • Mantastic

            if you look at most teams now and days, that is the strategy across the board. very rarely do you see goalies being drafted in the first round, let alone 2nd. for example; last season, highly touted goalie prospect Fucale was projected as top 10 overall talent but didn’t get drafted until the 2nd round.

            my point was that it isn’t an exploitation if everyone or the majority is following suit.

          • One more thing – the Canucks draft board from a couple years back allegedly had Jack Campbell as one of the top talents, indicating that they would have taken him very early in the first round, if they’d had the opportunity.

            Our observations of the Canucks’ draft strategy may be skewed by small sample sizes and the possibility that the best player available in early rounds (from the Canucks’ perspective) has always been a skater.

          • Mantastic

            While I did think about the selection bias aspect of this, I didn’t bother putting it in any of my posts.

            I felt that by going up to age 30 as the cut off it would hopefully take care of most of it.

            As for the market inefficiency part, the Canucks and the Rangers are the only two teams in the NHL devoid of a top 4 round goaltender under the age of 30 anywhere in their organization.

            The 3rd round selection used on David Honzik is the only draft capital Gillis has used on a top 4 round goalie.

            While I haven’t looked it up, I’m guessing the Canucks use of top 4 round draft selections on goalies is at one of the lowest (and quite possibly lowest) rates in the NHL.

            Whether or not it works, the Canucks are going completely against the emerging trend in the industry.

            And Voros McCracken makes another appearance:

            “You want to know more things than your competition. What you don’t want is to know something your competition doesn’t, and it’s wrong. If everybody is wrong about something it doesn’t hurt you too bad, but if you’re the only one, you have 29 teams taking advantage of your mistake.”

            http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/sloan-analytics-cuban-mccracken-jedlovic/

      • I suspect, throughout his life, NM00 missed the point more often than not.

        Having said that, I still enjoy watching him rant on and expect us to take his word as gospel. These are the same types of people that like to be ‘off the grid’ or ‘disappear’ or that you hear of down the road when some atrocity has occurred. Real special folk!

        • The Voice In The Dark

          That’s just because “the point”, to NM00 anyway, is always:

          -Mike Gillis stinks

          -Mike Gillis is a terrible GM

          -Mike Gillis traded the wrong goalie

          -Mike Gillis traded the wrong young forward

          -Mike Gillis eats babies

          -Mike Gillis traded for the wrong defenceman

          -Mike Gillis drafted the wrong goalie

          -Mike Gillis drafted the wrong forward

          -Mike Gillis drafted the wrong defenceman

          -Mike Gillis hired the wrong coach

          -Mike Gillis mentored under Bin Laden

          -Mike Gillis hired the wrong scouts

          -Mike Gillis hired the wrong waterboys

          -Mike Gillis should be fired

          -Mike Gillis signed the wrong undrafted goalie

          -Mike Gillis signed the wrong undrafted forward

          -Mike Gillis signed the wrong undrafted defenceman

          -Mike Gillis doesn’t manage assets well

          -Mike Gillis doesn’t manage money well

          -Mike Gillis is ugly

          -Mike Gillis is the worst GM in the team’s history

          -Mike Gillis is responsible for the rain in Vancouver

          -Mike Gillis has a bad trading record

          -Mike Gillis has a bad drafting record

          -Mike Gillis has a bad FA signing record

          -Mike Gillis deserves no credit for the team’s success under his term

          -Mike Gillis deserves all blame for the team’s lack of recent playoff success

          -Mike Gillis kicked my dog

          -Mike Gillis will lead the team to the bottom of the league

          -Mike Gillis should never have been hired as GM

          -Mike Gillis didn’t do anything positive for the team. Everything good in his term has been because of Burke and Nonis before him, or because of Gilman since

          -Mike Gillis is a terrible GM

          -Mike Gillis should be fired

          So you see? NM00 does stick to “the point”, all the time. Any deviation from “the point”? yourlogicalfallacy.is STRAWMAN!!! BANDWAGON!

          • The Voice In The Dark

            Double-triple-quadruple props buttons–where are these buttons when you need them?

            This was absolutely hilarious! And now that I see this list all in a row, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion who NM00 is: Brian Burke! Am I right?

            Brian, aren’t you busy with lawsuits against internet rumour-mongers? And Rugby Canada? Why come here and rant about Gillis? You have a cup and he doesn’t. Take solace in that.

            And PS: as Cam said, Brian, you don’t understand how statistical analysis works, and what is considered significant and what might just be a coincidence. And you have absolutely no idea what context means, or why it is important. And you have no ability to realize when you’re wrong. Maybe that’s why you were fired from the Leafs…

          • andyg

            Aw, I’m hurt. You mean that apart from absolutely not understanding anything about statistical analysis, especially as used by some of the sophisticated hockey bloggers (not all are equal), you have no sense of humour? I can’t imagine why no one takes you seriously, Brian. 😉

      • Mantastic

        “It seems that things are about to change in that regard, though, as they have a handful of highly touted young goaltending prospects on the way (Lehner, Markstrom, Svedberg, Lack, etc.).”

        You’re putting two goalies selected in the top 50 picks next to two goalies that went undrafted.

        And categorizing all 4 in the same “highly touted young goaltending prospects” pool.

        In 2013 that’s insane.