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LGR4GM

NHLe and Sabres Drafting

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I was doing something completely unrelated and stumbled on a very interesting article. They simply use NHLe and then go through the Sabres drafts to see who would do better. The NHLe only method has drawbacks and are stated in the article but the outcome was interesting. 

https://lastwordonhockeyprospects.com/2020/06/30/buffalo-sabres-drafting-vs-nhle/

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NHLe is a simple yet powerful concept that means NHL equivalency. The general idea is simple, how much is a point in any league worth compared to a point in the NHL. It can also be called a league’s “translation factor” because it roughly translates scoring in any given league to NHL scoring. For example, the KHL has an NHLe of 0.63. This tells us 10 points in the KHL are worth about 6.3 points in the NHL. Exact estimates vary, but this post will use CJ Turtoro’s “Network NHLe” translation factors.

NHLe.thumb.PNG.9eaee89858df0dfe001cf531c4a89385.PNG

Edited by LGR4GM

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I saw that article.  I honestly think that in the later rounds of the draft (4-7), teams should put a lot of weight into advanced stats, such as NHLe.

I wish I could see something like this for entire drafts.  We know the Sabres have drafted pretty poorly, but how does this NHLe drafting stack up vs the entire leagues drafting, especially after the 1st round.

Edited by Curt
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44 minutes ago, Curt said:

I saw that article.  I honestly think that in the later rounds of the draft (4-7), teams should put a lot of weight into advanced stats, such as NHLe.

I wish I could see something like this for entire drafts.  We know the Sabres have drafted pretty poorly, but how does this NHLe drafting stack up vs the entire leagues drafting, especially after the 1st round.

I think you need it in all rounds. I will say that using advanced stats and cohort modeling with SEAL adjusted scoring starting at say pick 10 is probably good practice. 

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Took a quick skim.  Not sure how the article came to the conclusion that NHLe drafted better.  I didn't see it that way in the results.  Both were pretty miserable overall.  Buffalo had a clear advantage in 08, 09, 12, 13 IMO.

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Interesting read, but the method is shady AF, which the author recognizes, but then ignores when wielding judgement.  The author lays out the weakness:

Quote

The third drawback of this method will be no positional adjustment. This method will never draft a goalie and will have a 0 percent chance of selecting high upside picks like John Gibson. Additionally, it will be unable to discern the difference between defencemen and forwards. So take Ryan Ellis for example. He scored at a historic rate for a draft-eligible defenseman in 2009 OHL season. This gave him the statistical profile of an elite defensive prospect. Despite this, the NHLe method would still take a 20-year-old forward in his draft plus 2 season over Ellis if the forward outscored him, even just slightly.

But then smashes Buffalo for taking Brayden McNabb instead of Mike Hoffman, because defensemen don't score points.

Additionally, the method characterization is not performed round by round, because it loses, badly, where it counts.  The Sabres clearly beat the hell out of this method in the first two rounds.  Summing up the WAR for the top-60 picks, the Sabres outscore this method by 22.6 to 8.3.  It's an overly simplistic approach and the author over simplifies the analysis of its effectiveness. 

It also ignores many real draft pick benefits not measured by NHLe, such as, meeting organizational depth needs.  I'm not sure Rochester would ever get any defensemen if BUffalo exclusively used this technique.

However, like any good fiction, it does raise an interesting philosophical question.  Regarding later rounds, should teams ignore organizational depth needs in later rounds to try to swing for the fences for the NHL team?

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Oh I agree the method is bad, I just found it thought provoking. It is a good example of why you can't just run some raw number and say you are all set. 

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19 minutes ago, IKnowPhysics said:

Regarding later rounds, should teams ignore organizational depth needs in later rounds to try to swing for the fences for the NHL team?

Wasn't that pretty much GMTM's stated draft philosophy in mid to late rounds?

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35 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

I think you need it in all rounds. I will say that using advanced stats and cohort modeling with SEAL adjusted scoring starting at say pick 10 is probably good practice. 

I think you should use all information available in all situations.  I was just saying that, for the most part, higher draft picks are so heavily scouted that there is a lot more known about them and they tend to have more uniquely good skills.

In the later rounds you are trying to pick between a bunch of players without as much surface level stuff separating them.  In that situation, I would say lean on the analytics even more.

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8 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Oh I agree the method is bad, I just found it thought provoking. It is a good example of why you can't just run some raw number and say you are all set. 

It is.

Speaking of which, Dominik Kahun finished the season with 3.36P/60, which was good enough for 15th best in the league.  If he plays the same time on ice per game as Eichel, he should finish next year's 82 game season with 101 points.

 

 

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4 hours ago, IKnowPhysics said:

It is.

Speaking of which, Dominik Kahun finished the season with 3.36P/60, which was good enough for 15th best in the league.  If he plays the same time on ice per game as Eichel, he should finish next year's 82 game season with 101 points.

 

 

... things I don't know but yes... all the yes.

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Isn't DR's terrible drafting late in his Buffalo career the reason we tanked and DR ultimately got fired?  Not much of a challenge for even this awful model.  

Got to love the fruit of the video scouting era.  Awful.

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The other thing to keep in mind is Mitts hit his NHLe in his first season. The problem is he stagnated after that. 

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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

The other thing to keep in mind is Mitts hit his NHLe in his first season. The problem is he stagnated after that. 

If you look at the Mitts thread from the summer of 2018, the type of season Casey had as a rookie was no surprise, and really only a mild disappointment.

What has been disappointing was the lack of growth the following off-season.

What is mildly surprising is how many people have chosen to define him by the two.months of hockey he played last fall under a new coach. Sam Reinhart certainly wasn’t defined by his first two months under Phil Housley.

Not saying he’s going to end up like Reinhart, but I am saying there are still many paths his career could take. 

Edited by dudacek
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1 minute ago, dudacek said:

If you look at the Mitts thread from the summer of 2018, the type of season Casey had as a rookie was no surprise, and really only a mild disappointment.

What has been disappointing was the lack of growth the following off-season.

What is mildly surprising is how many people have chosen to define him by the two.months of hockey he played last fall under a new coach. Sam Reinhart certainly wasn’t defined by his first two months under Phil Housley.

Not saying he’s going to end up like Reinhart, but I am saying there are still many paths his career could take. 

I would agree but I think he requires a full AHL year. If the AHL isn't happening, send him to Europe, preferably the SHL  or Liiga. 

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On 7/9/2020 at 9:53 AM, dudacek said:

If you look at the Mitts thread from the summer of 2018, the type of season Casey had as a rookie was no surprise, and really only a mild disappointment.

What has been disappointing was the lack of growth the following off-season.

What is mildly surprising is how many people have chosen to define him by the two.months of hockey he played last fall under a new coach. Sam Reinhart certainly wasn’t defined by his first two months under Phil Housley.

Not saying he’s going to end up like Reinhart, but I am saying there are still many paths his career could take. 

It's so refreshing to see someone else understands this.

Mittelstadt had a rather normal rookie season...last year he was under a new coach AND playing with bums as his wingers.

He put up 5 points in 6 games playing with Eichel and Reinhart when he first came out.

GIVE THE KID SOME TALENT AND LET HIM WORK.

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1 hour ago, OhMyDahlin said:

It's so refreshing to see someone else understands this.

Mittelstadt had a rather normal rookie season...last year he was under a new coach AND playing with bums as his wingers.

He put up 5 points in 6 games playing with Eichel and Reinhart when he first came out.

GIVE THE KID SOME TALENT AND LET HIM WORK.

I disagree.  It’s possible that Mittelstadt ends up being a useful player, but the situation is not as simple as give him some talent, let him work, he is fine.  Mittelstadt has been a bad NHL player, like....very bad, and it’s not that his line mates are dragging him down.  He is dragging them down!  He needs to make real improvements to get to a place where he is a good NHL player.

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41 minutes ago, Curt said:

I disagree.  It’s possible that Mittelstadt ends up being a useful player, but the situation is not as simple as give him some talent, let him work, he is fine.  Mittelstadt has been a bad NHL player, like....very bad, and it’s not that his line mates are dragging him down.  He is dragging them down!  He needs to make real improvements to get to a place where he is a good NHL player.

Mittelstadt should not have been in the NFL unless it was for a short stint as an introduction to NHL play. After his one year in college he should have been in Rochester getting a lot of playing and grinding it out with the other prospects. When he played for the Sabres it was apparent that he wasn't physically and emotionally ready to play against men. There were brief episodes of play where he displayed some nifty offensive skills. But usually he was an invisible and no impact player. That's not a good sign for a first round pick.  

I don't know if he will ever develop into the player the organization hoped for when he was drafted. With the extended offseason he needs to come into the late camp physically ready with a determination required for a player in a do or die situation. If he can finally make the leap it would be such a big bonus for the team. 

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2 minutes ago, JohnC said:

Mittelstadt should not have been in the NFL

I couldn’t agree more!

Seriously though, I agree with everything you said.  Overall, I personally am not optimistic.  If I was Buffalo, I would seriously consider trading him.

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2 minutes ago, Curt said:

I couldn’t agree more!

Seriously though, I agree with everything you said.  Overall, I personally am not optimistic.  If I was Buffalo, I would seriously consider trading him.

As on display I do have my stupido verbal gaffe moments. Since I am prone to these type of mistakes I readily accept and embrace my moments of confusion. 🤡

My worry with trading him so soon is that he would eventually mature and get the focus required to play in this tough bruising league and benefit another team. The one young player on the roster who based on his play at the end of the season I am intrigued with is Kahun. Another player that I am enamored with in the organization that I hope can surprise is Arttu Ruolsalainen. This self-sabotaging franchise needs some unexpected good luck from some of its young players. 

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8 minutes ago, JohnC said:

My worry with trading him so soon is that he would eventually mature and get the focus required to play in this tough bruising league and benefit another team. The one young player on the roster who based on his play at the end of the season I am intrigued with is Kahun. Another player that I am enamored with in the organization that I hope can surprise is Arttu Ruolsalainen. This self-sabotaging franchise needs some unexpected good luck from some of its young players. 

Yeah, I get.  He does have some value.  It all depends on the deal.  I wouldn’t dump him for a 3rd rounder or anything, but I may actively try to insert him into any trade talks regarding a 2C, for example.

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