June 23 2016 12:00PM
Every year, everybody and their dog post a mock draft on their hockey blog and swear theirs is the best. Then, the NHL Draft actually starts and it all ends up looking nothing like any of the mock drafts, because the draft itself is wacky and unpredictable. Nonetheless, mock drafts are a lot of fun to read and really amp up the anticipation to the real thing.
Like every year, I made one of my own. Two years ago (2014) was my Mock Drafts coming out party. I nailed the Top 7 (woo), got 9 of the Top 10, and 26 of my projected first rounders ended up going in the Top 30, with two of them (Brendan Lemieux  and Ivan Barbashev ) being selected in the Top 33, so I was feeling good and confident going to into 2015. However, we experienced a bit of a sophomore slump, having my prediction busted as early as 5th overall. I still managed 24/30 correct first rounders but considering there's about 15 or so that are always locks to go Top 30, it wasn't that impressive.
I suspect I let my love for certain players (Rantanen at 5, Barzal at 6 and Kylington at 10 specifically) distort my rationality. I attempted to block out any bias and just use my research into the particular teams do the predicting this time around.
June 23 2016 11:00AM
The 2016 NHL Entry Draft is just a few days away and the Nation Network Draft Profiles are finally complete. We know that things can get a little crazy on draft day and you won't want to be running all around the internet looking for our super great taeks on the best prospects available at this year's draft.
So I've compiled them all in one spot. Here we have a top 60 list with a little bio info, some stats and some pGPS projection numbers, a beautiful new magazine, as well as a brief summary of each prospect in our top 60 and links to the full profiles. Eat your hearts out draft lovers, the big day is nearly upon us.
June 23 2016 10:11AM
It happens all the time: you look back at the selections in an NHL draft from a few seasons ago, notice someone with 400 NHL games under his resume amidst a sea of players with zero games played, and think “How did this guy go in the 5th round?”
June 23 2016 09:00AM
The Washington Capitals enjoyed arguably their best regular season in franchise history last year. Key word, though, regular. The Caps were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Pittsburgh Penguins, well shy of their ultimate goal of winning their first-ever Stanley Cup, making it difficult to call 2015-16 a success.
The easy thing to do here is to point fingers, yell and scream, and say that the team totally messed up, or that they couldn't get the job done. But sometimes, you’re a damn good team that plays well, and you just don’t come out on top because the other team is also damn good, they also played damn well, and, you know, things happen.
Thankfully for the Caps, their window didn’t slam shut after they were dropped by the Penguins. They're going to get another go at the prize with this group again next year, but after that? That’s anybody’s guess.
June 22 2016 11:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks season has long since passed, but the data that helps us connect the dots that drew their third-last finish are just starting to come together. I'm talking about microdata that points to the 'hows' and 'whys'. In this case, neutral zone statistics.
If you've been paying close attention, you'll have noticed that I've been providing periodic updates on how the Canucks have fared through the neutral zone this season. Specifically, how well they've performed at attacking the opposition's blue line. I collected this data by accounting for every zone entry, noting which player is responsible, how they entered the zone and how often they failed.
It's taken me quite some time, but I've finally collected that data for all 82 of the Canucks games this season -- and another 150 or so for other teams. I'll share the results and make sense of my findings, on the other side of the jump.