The NHL Draft: Boys Playing in a Man's League

money puck
January 28 2015 11:00AM

Recently, Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced that young Czech phenom David Pastrnak would be staying with the Bruins for the duration of the year. This comes as little surprise given his four goals scored in his first two games back with the Bruins after an excellent showing in the World Junior tournament. It should also come as a slightly bitter pill for the Canucks, as the Bruins selected Pastrnak 25th overall in the 2014 draft, exactly one spot after the Canucks selected Jared McCann, who is actually putting together a very strong year for the OHL Western Conference leading Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

You could consider this miss a bit of a one off, if not for the Canucks passing on Canadian-born, American trained, Swedish international William Nylander to select Jake Virtanen 6th overall as well. Nylander, another World Junior tournament standout who recently made his AHL debut with the Toronto Marlies, was recently ranked by Corey Pronman as the top NHL prospect in his recent rankings, whereas Virtanen clocked in at 19th and McCann failed to make Pronman’s top 50 or honorable mention list.

This got me thinking about whether the Canucks have missed a pretty important trend. And after digging around on Eliteprospects.com, it hit me. These two absolutely owned when playing against men in two of Europe’s top leagues. Pastrnak happened to be the top scoring U18 player in Allsvenskan (Swedish second division) history, and Nylander owned the highest points per game mark before jumping to Sweden's top professional league midway through the year.

So, is playing against men as a teenager in one of Europe’s top leagues an indicator of future success in and of itself? Read past the jump to find out.

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Finding a new home for Mike Richards

Cam Lewis
January 28 2015 08:30AM

Richards

Has Mike Richards really fallen that much? When you look at his numbers, aside from simple goal and assist totals, it doesn’t really seem like it. 

His statistics suggest that he may be a casualty of his environment and he may be able to resurrect his offensive production on a new team. As we all know, the two-time Stanley Cup champ and former Olympic Gold Medalist was placed on waivers by the Los Angeles Kings on Monday morning, and he made it all the way through the wire unwanted. 

Surely somebody in the NHL could use Mike Richards’ services, but as his passage through waivers suggests, nobody is going to take the risk (five more years at $5.75) without giving the Kings some salary back in return.

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Size Does Matter: Defencemen

Josh W
January 27 2015 09:30AM

In MoneyPuck’s most recent article, he analyzed the NHL success rate of CHL forwards based on their size and point production .  We know that offensive production is not the single determining factor as to whether an NHL player is good from an analytics perspective, but MoneyPuck demonstrated that point production in the CHL is a good indicator of NHL success.  Similarly, a player who is taller than average also increases their chances of success.  If you combine both factors positively in a young CHL forward, their chance of success rises greatly.

In our previous experiment, we split forward and defencemen data, as they are two different types of players and their success rates are different.  In this article, I will continue where MoneyPuck left off to present you the success rates for CHL defencemen, broken down by their height and CHL scoring rate. 

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Nation Network NHL Power Rankings: All-Star Break Edition

Thomas Drance
January 26 2015 11:48AM

Steven_Stamkos_2014-03-22
Photo Credit: Mike Miller/Wikimedia Commons

They've been called "the Glenn Healy" of NHL Power Rankings, they've been furiously annotated and derided as useless. And now they're here. Available across the Nation Network: it's NHL Power Rankings!

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First Star, Worst Star: January 25th, 2015

jeanshorts
January 25 2015 02:08PM

asg123457_325

First Star. Worst Star. All-Star. All-Star Weekend. It's the All-Star Weekend Edition of First Star, Worst Star! 

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