The Special Possibilities Of The Blue Jackets' 2013 NHL Draft

Derek Zona
February 03 2013 07:34AM

Tim Connolly
Photo by Michael Miller, via Wikimedia Commons

As I noted in the mock draft article the Columbus Blue Jackets have three first round picks in the 2013 NHL Draft. That in and of itself is not special, but with the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings both struggling, the Jackets could be in a very special position in June - they could have three of the top twelve selections in the draft.

Due to poor management, the Blue Jackets have drafted inside of the top ten in all but one entry draft since the team began play in 2000. They've picked 4, 8, 1, 4, 8, 6, 6, 7, 6, 21, 4, 2 and have traded one of their first-round picks. If their luck holds, the Jackets are set to become just the third team to hold three selections inside of the top twelve in the post-WHA expansion era.

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Power Play Opportunities Way Up In 2013

Derek Zona
February 02 2013 11:19AM

Jay Sherrers
via Wikimedia Commons

Covering the puck, interference, stick taps to the gloves, late game whistles -- referees are noticeably more picky to start the 2013 season.  The refereeing calls to mind the return of the NHL in 2005-2006 following the previous lockout when the NHL cracked down on obstruction via holding and interference calls.  The crackdown was widely viewed as a ploy to increase scoring and regain the interest of angry fans.  Power plays per team per game  jumped to 5.85, before falling back to 4.85 in 2006-2007.  By the 2011-12 season the number dropped to 3.30. 

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Luck Will Rule The 2013 NHL Season

Derek Zona
February 02 2013 10:09AM

Roulette Wheel

Colby Cosh breaks down the impact of randomness and luck in the 2013 season:

...The final league table this year will be more a product of randomness than of talent.

We should be aware that predictions about standings for this shortened season are not much good. The very best teams will be ranked high, and the very worst low: but for teams anywhere near the cutoff for the playoffs, the chances of making it into the postseason will be a lot closer to 16 out of 30, a pure crapshoot, than our lifelong experience of hockey might lead us to think.

I looked at how randomness can impact individual performances over a 48 game season in "Luck Can Dominate A 48 Game Schedule":

Brian Elliott's 2011-12 season was nothing short of stunning. His .940 save percentage was four percentage points higher than his career .901 save percentage. Ken Hitchcock was credited with saving Elliott's career and inflating his number's with a keen defensive system.  But that isn't likely.  What is more likely is that Elliott experienced the luckiest streak of his career, saving 38 more shots than pre-2011 Brian Elliott would have.  Those 38 goals account for 6 wins, which in a 48 game season can mean the difference between 1st and 10th in the conference!

Cosh's piece is outstanding - click through to read the entire thing at Maclean’s: "Randumbness? The new NHL is less predictable than you think"

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2013 NHL Mock Draft - First Look: Washington Gets Nathan MacKinnon

Derek Zona
February 01 2013 02:28PM

 

 

Sure, the NHL season is just seven games old, but for draft watchers, it's never too early to play with mock drafts.  With the posting of our most recent Consensus Top 100, we can debut our first edition of the 2013 NHL Mock Entry Draft.  For the first time since 2006, the Oilers aren't at the very top of the mock draft list, meaning some other team gets to brag about their beuild through terrible play.  This year's first candidate is the Washington Capitals, who are currently using the most prolific goal-scorer of the last 10 years in a checking capacity.

Also of note:  Columbus currently has three picks in the top 12, their own (#5) the Kings (as a result of the Jeff Carter trade) and the Rangers (as a result of the Rick Nash trade).

The mock draft uses the NHL standings as of this morning for the selection priority and the NHL Numbers Consensus Top 100 List for the picks.  The sources for the consensus list are Bob McKenzieFuture ConsiderationsISSRyan KennedyCraig Button, Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus, and The Scouting Report.  Their rankings are weight by their accuracy in ranking previous drafts: Bob McKenzie's rankings carry the most weight as he's the most accurate prognosticator in the group.

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Seth Jones and Nathan MacKinnon Still Dominating The 2013 NHL Draft Rankings

Derek Zona
January 31 2013 07:32PM

Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Ristolainen remains a fixture in the top 10.
Photo by: Tuomas Vitikainen, via Wikimedia Commons

The 2013 NHL Draft is shaping up to be a boring one, outside of the 1 vs. 2 debate, akin to the 2010 "Taylor vs. Tyler" debate.  Halifax Moosehead centre Nathan MacKinnon and Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones still have a stranglehold on the top two spots and Aleksander Barkov has locked down #3.  

Swedes are slumping, the Q is rising and as always, everyone is unsure about the Russians in the 2013 NHL Draft Consensus Ranking.

The sources for the consensus list are Bob McKenzie, Future Considerations, ISS, Ryan Kennedy, Craig Button, Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus, and The Scouting Report.  Their rankings are weight by their accuracy in ranking previous drafts: Bob McKenzie's rankings carry the most weight as he's the most accurate prognosticator in the group.

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