July 13 2016 08:49AM
Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS
Many suspect that barring several quantity-for-quality or pure dumping trades, the Toronto Maple Leafs' training camp is going to be an absolute dogfight for the various available positions. Simply put, while the Leafs might be presently lacking the top-end talent necessary to be a threat in the Eastern Conference, they have more B-Level depth than just about everyone else through a combination of taking on contracts and playing well on the draft podium.
But there's a problem here, and it's that the team might have no choice but to part ways with some players if a couple of the kids impress in September.
July 12 2016 05:30PM
The Edmonton Oilers entered the summer of 2016 with several issues on the defensive side of the depth chart. Adam Larsson was deemed to be the solution to the right side of the team’s top pairing, but there are still questions regarding how the Oilers plan to approach some of the secondary issues with the back end.
July 12 2016 02:00PM
This is a big season for Micheal Ferland.
Ferland's coming off a superficially disappointing year: just four goals and 18 points in 71 games (and an ugly -15 rating on top of it). He has just one more year left on his contract, meaning this might be his last chance to make a lasting impression in the Flames organization.
The 24-year-old LW has all the tools to be a useful NHLer: size, grit, smarts and decently soft hands. The problem is, outside of the first round series against the Canucks a year ago, he hasn't been able to put it all together yet. At least, that's what his counting numbers suggest. If we peer beneath the surface, however, we see a player who might be ready to break out.
July 12 2016 09:00AM
Yes, the Winnipeg Jets' 18th overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry draft is a low scorer. Yes, low-scorers tend to succeed less often than high-scorers selected in the same range.
However, not all have failed and probability is not destiny. There could be more to Stanley which could make him a success.
July 11 2016 02:00PM
The later round picks (round three on) in the NHL draft have provided very few true NHLers. From 1980 to 2015, 6,127 selections were taken after the second round. Of those, 815 of the 6,127 have gone on to play in the NHL in a meaningful way (150 games or more) thus far. That's a success rate of roughly 13%.
As a result, late round picks are not treated as a high commodity by teams. Late round picks are mostly used as filler in larger trades or used to acquire energy players or "room guys." Or GMs take complete gambles on extreme low-probability players with those picks.
The belief seems to be that finding an NHLer or even an elite NHLer late is a stroke of luck. You pick a player with little upside and a few years down the road, he's turned a switch and turned into something. How can you predict that?
However, if you look closely at the elite talent, namely forwards, selected late... there's a few things that stand out which suggest it's possible to improve on the extremely low probability (1.6%) of finding great talent later in the NHL draft.