Predicting Future NHL Scoring Success with NHLe Thresholds & Related Factors

Byron Bader
July 17 2015 12:00PM

NHL Equivalency (NHLe) is a formula used by some in the hockey analytics community to normalize scoring rates in different prospect feeder leagues. The object of finding a similar "score" for players across different leagues is to help project future NHL scoring/performance. It’s a method developed by Gabe Desjardins of a number of years ago and has been expanded upon by hockey analytics pioneers like Rob Vollman and Kent Wilson. Here's Gabe's original piece to give you a context if you're not fully versed in NHLe.

Previously, I looked at draft year NHLe and forwards drafted in the first round from 2005 to 2010. In that investigation, I found that of players who had scored a career 0.6 PPG or higher in the NHL (approximately 50 points or more a season) 22 of 32 in total had an NHLe of at least 34 in their draft year.  

In fact, of all the first round forwards who had an NHLe of 34 or more in their draft year, only five hadn’t scored at a rate of 0.6 PPG or higher in the NHL to that point, though all had already made the NHL. While draft year NHLe provides certain insights, I was curious how you could project future impactful point producers (0.6 PPG or higher) overall, beyond the 1st round and beyond a player’s draft year equivalency.  

The following analysis provides insights into the following questions:

  • Are there differences between players who score a high equivalency in their draft year compared to later on? 
  • Do elite scorers tend to hit certain NHLe thresholds (e.g., 30+ or 40+) more often and/or more frequently than average, replacement-level scorers and busts?
  • What impact does age have in hitting an equivalency threshold and future NHL success? 

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
July 17 2015 07:00AM


Kesler's new contract and the Dave Nonis effect, Leafs salary cap situation, Flames new guys provide more options, what the numbers predict for Vancouver next season, Oilers interested in Seabrook, have no one to blame but themselves for Justin Schultz and more in this week's Roundup.

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Talent Left on the 2015 Draft Floor

Josh W
July 14 2015 02:02PM

Every year at the NHL Entry Draft a number of teams make really smart decisions on their picks (Islanders, Jets) while other teams seem to fall on their face (Bruins).  At the end of the 210 picks, inevitably there are players every year who are not chosen despite showing potential to be better than average picks.  This makes these players currently Unrestricted Free Agents and available to be signed to contracts by teams who feels they have potential.  

Looking back at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, MoneyPuck used PCS to look back at those players who had a high chance of success at the NHL level.  (Un)surprisingly many were invited to teams camps and many went on to become important players on their teams, invited to World Juniors, and some were even signed to NHL teams.

With a current baseline of 8% of forwards and 5.6% of defencemen drafted move on to become NHL regulars, we can use PCS to look back at the 2015 draft and see players who should be invited to camps and are good bets to spend an ELC on.

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
July 10 2015 06:30AM


Canucks front office moves, the Leafs re-sign Martin Marincin, the Oilers take Justin Schultz to arbitration, the Flames cap crunch and more in this week's Roundup.

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Who's Left? Unrestricted Free Agent Defencemen Still on the Market

Cam Lewis
July 08 2015 03:19PM

All in all, 2015 has given us a pretty tame offseason so far. The crop of unrestricted free agents wasn’t too strong, and as a result of a lower than expected salary cap ceiling, there wasn’t as much money to be spent as usual. As a result, a match made in heaven where teams didn’t massively overpay for the average to above average players on the market. Aside from Ryan O’Reilly’s bizarre, bulletproof contract with the Sabres, there haven’t been many ugly contracts handed out over the past week. 

Although a good chunk of the top talent from this year’s UFA class is off the board, a few big names are still floating around on the market. Some of the guys available flying under the radar would make great additions and could really be worth top dollar, while others seem like the types who should be avoided like the plague. 

After the jump I’ll take a look at some of the interesting names left of the 2015 UFA defenceman crop.

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