When considering who the Avs should draft in the 2011 draft, it is worthwhile looking at how the top draft prospects perform in certain situations. To do this I taken 6 forwards which are considered to be top 10 selections - 2 from each of the major junior leagues (WHL, OHL and QMJHL). I looked at Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan Strome from the OHL, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sven Bartschi from the WHL and Sean Couturier and Jonathon Huberdeau from the QMJHL.
Firstly, as mcarson recently did with Landeskog, Nugent-Hopkins and Couturier, I split the statistics of the top prospects into even strength, powerplay, shorthanded and empty net points scored at even strength. Statistics are current as of today's playoff games.
Situation EV PP SH EN Total
Landeskog 50 20 2 4 76
Strome 69 45 2 1 117
Nugent-Hopkins 51 65 0 1 117
Bartschi 74 24 0 1 99
Couturier 63 35 8 1 107
Huberdeau 81 38 6 2 127
However, as is obvious, Landeskog suffers by this metric. Accordingly, these figures were converted in point per game figures:
Situation EV PP SH EN Total
Landeskog 0.83 0.33 0.03 0.07 1.27
Strome 0.90 0.58 0.03 0.01 1.52
Nugent-Hopkins 0.65 0.83 0.00 0.01 1.50
Bartschi 0.96 0.31 0.00 0.01 1.29
Couturier 0.93 0.51 0.12 0.01 1.57
Huberdeau 1.04 0.49 0.08 0.03 1.63
What is interesting about these results is that the top two forward prospects according to the most recent Central Scouting rankings for 2011 in Nugent-Hopkins and Landeskog actually have the lowest Even Strength point per game averages out of the six skaters examined. This could possibly suggest that scouts are paying too much attention to the powerplay performance of a prospect (Nugent-Hopkins) or are banking on the fact that injuries have hurt their rate of scoring (Landeskog). As the CHL does not publish time on ice data - there is no way to know how many minutes each player was playing.
By this metric, both the QMJHL players in Huberdeau and Couturier look very good.
However, I also wanted to attempt to standardise the amount of points scored by players in different leagues. Two methods were adopted to do this. First, I calculated the number of goals scored across the three leagues for the regular season and then standardised the points per game figures using the different between the OHL and the other leagues.
Goals Scored by League:
QMJHL: 4112 goals in 612 games, 6.72 GPG. 1 QMJHL point is worth 1.08 OHL points
OHL: 4934 goals in 680 games, 7.26 GPG
WHL: 5356 goals in 792 games, 6.76 GPG. 1 WHL point is worth 1.07 OHL points.
As we can assume the amount of assists for a goal is constant across the leagues, we can work out a ratio of how many points a point in the OHL is worth (I have used the OHL as it is the highest scoring league) and multiply all of the point per game scores by this, getting the following results:
Standardised Points Per Game
- Landeskog: 1.27
- Strome: 1.52
- Nugent-Hopkins: 1.61
- Bartschi: 1.38
- Couturier: 1.70
- Huberdeau: 1.76
This has caused the gap between Landeskog and the other skaters to increase again. Of course, this does not account for any differences in the average skill of skaters in the respective leagues. In order to consider this I looked at the percentage of offence contributed by each prospect - in the hope of providing context to their point per game figures by comparing to the rest of this team. To get team points per game I took the goals per game and added 1 and 3/4 assists for each goal.
Here are the results:
Team Goals Team GPG Team PPG % Points Contributed
Landeskog 256 3.76 10.35 12.23%
Strome 273 4.01 11.04 13.76%
Nugent-Hopkins 268 3.72 10.24 14.65%
Bartschi 303 4.21 11.57 11.11%
Couturier 251 3.69 10.15 15.50%
Huberdeau 324 4.76 13.10 12.43%
It appears that Couturier has suffered by virtue of his team having an average offence: a QMJHL team's average GPG is 3.4GPG, Couturier's team only averaged 3.69GPG.
Nugent-Hopkins stands out using this metric, whilst Huberdeau suddenly looks less exceptional.
Finally, I wanted to do home and away splits for these prospects for 3 things: total points, multipoint games and zero point games
Points Multipoint Games Zero Point Games
Home Away Home Away Home Away
Landeskog 51 25 17 7 8 11
Strome 62 55 19 17 9 7
Nugent-Hopkins 64 53 22 15 8 12
Bartschi 44 55 9 16 9 8
Couturier 58 49 18 17 6 8
Huberdeau 70 57 22 18 8 6
Landeskog's numbers are a bit odd. His home/away games split is not even by virtue of his injury with 32 home games played compared to 28 away games - but a half a point per game difference is significant (1.6 PPG at home v 1.1 PPG away). His multipoint games could be inflating this variance - as his split of zero point games are roughly normal. His injury can't be used to justified this result - as his games prior to the injury are split 50/50 in home and away games and his first 4 games back from injury were home games.
I think it is possible that Landeskog's number reflect that he did not respond very well to away coach's being able to match lines against Landeskog, whereas at home Steve Spott (Kitchener's coach) could control who he was sent out against.
Bartschi is the only player with better performances on the road across the year. This could be he is on a loaded Portland Winterhawks team and is effectively on the 2nd line of this team (Niederreiter is probably the 1st line LW). Accordingly, he could have been slipping under the radar slightly and not being matched against the oppositions top line. Also, his playoff performance has probably skewed the numbers, as 4 out of 5 multipoint games he has had in the playoffs were on the road, and he has only been scoreless at home during the playoffs (4 times).
If you are looking for a consistent performance by a prospect again - the top 2 prospects aren't very successful at this with Landeskog going scoreless in a 32% of his games and Nugent-Hopkins failing to record points in 26% of games. There is a 5% gap to Bartschi, with Huberdeau the best at 18% of games scoreless. Again, this reiterates that the scouts are probably utilising other metrics to calculate performance.
So who would you choose from these numbers? Personally, I think that Couturier looks pretty good from these numbers, but I think any of these guys would be okay for the Avs. What are your thoughts?