January 07 2013 04:44PM
This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web almost every day.
Welcome to your first post lockout links. In this space you will be able to find the best analytical hockey writing from around the internet on a close-to-daily basis. Subject matter will include statistical evaluation, financial analysis, contractual issues, and (sometimes) closely-related tangential works. If you have something you would like to submit for a future edition (your writing or that of someone else) feel free to send it to me via Twitter @JoshL1220 or leave a comment.
The NHL season reportedly is to get underway January 19th. Until then we have all sorts of hot stove action to discuss. Among the topics being thrown around today is the 2013 NHL Draft. At Hockey Prospectus, Corey Pronman released his midseason Top 50 rankings. His top three are as follows:
1. Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Halifax-QMJHL (Previous Ranking: 1)
MacKinnon is an elite prospect in every sense of the word. He can do everything at such a high level and has the tools to potentially be a star if not a superstar. However, this top spot ranking was not an easy call for me. In fact, I would rate it as a coin flip scenario between MacKinnon and Drouin for now, and leaned MacKinnon as he is the safer call. If the positive signs for Drouin keep flowing in at the same pace for another half a season, it will make a tough debate even tougher.
2. Jonathan Drouin, Left Wing, Halifax-QMJHL (Previous Ranking: 5)
MacKinnon's teammate is also an extremely talented player, with elite puck possession and skating abilities. He has been great from the Ivan Hlinka tournament onwards and has the looks of a special talent. I really liked Drouin in the summer, which is why I ranked him fifth, but he has surpassed my expectations. As usual, when the talent levels are even close, I always lean toward the forwards because there is less development risk. That's why I prefer the two Halifax forwards over Seth Jones.
3. Seth Jones, Defense, Portland-WHL (Previous Ranking: 2)
Jones is a unique defense prospect with tremendous hockey sense plus mobility and intriguing physical abilities. He probably steps into an NHL lineup next year and may even be one of those rare defensemen to be above-average right away.
You should follow the link to check out the rest. As always, it's packed full of valuable information. After the jump, training camp previews are beginning to surface! Let's read on.
* At Hockey Prospectus, Ryan Wagman looked for potential buyout candidates for the Western Conference teams.
* At Defending Big D, I previewed Dallas Stars camp by trying to project the 26 invitees.
* Japers Rink had an interesting take on depth charts. They put the Capitals depth chart together in Venn Diagram form. Neat.
* The FlamesNation training camp preview can be found here, courtesy of Ryan Pike.
* Broad Street Hockey talked about every single player on the Flyers roster.
* Lighthouse Hockey continues telling the story of the NHL Lockout through the eyes of Lord of The Rings with their final tale: "The Return of the League".
* Finally, Tyler Dellow of mc79hockey tries to determine if the Oilers are a playoff team this season. His conclusion is surprisingly optimistic.
Optimism must really be in the air. Then again, I think the Stars are too.
Blame the lockout.