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Analytics say the AHL is not a good place to develop players


matter2003
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And that the NHL is much better at doing so. Which makes some sense as you are seeing exactly what you need to work on in your game on a near every night basis.

Wonder if this played into the thought process of keeping both JJP and Quinn up here out of training camp even tho neither looked great.

Granato said something to the effect of "We think they can develop here and don't think it will take too long for them to work on what we need them to. Otherwise we likely would send them down."

Sabres seem to be big on analytics, perhaps this is something they are aware of?

https://infernalaccess.substack.com/p/the-ahl-is-a-bad-league-for-developing

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Skimmed the article.  Their thought process seems backwards.

Players who are improving more often end up in the NHL.  Players who are not more often end up in the AHL.

It’s the improvement that causes the league assignments, not the leagues causing the improvement.

EDIT:  Oh, they addressed this in the article as a possibility.  I lean that way.

Edited by Curt
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Like many things, it can be true at times and not true at others.  It might be more of a 'middle step' than anything else. Super high end kids have the talent to function in the NHL at a young age, and while they still need to develop a lot of their game, they don't need that 'middle step' so they won't be overwhelmed while they do so.

Other kids (middle first rounders and later), might be best served a year or two in the AHL, because their talent isn't 'elite' enough to be that 18 or 19 year old in the NHL without totally crushing their confidence, as well as earning the ire of their teammates for any ice time they get that turns into a disaster for the team.  Kids like this (good, but not elite talent) may be best served in the AHL while their physical body catches up to the NHL level guys so they simply aren't steamrolled (physically or mentally/emotionally) when they play in the NHL.

In the AHL, there is more time between games, less games, more time for coaches to work one-on-one with the kids.....less of that in the NHL as practice time is probably more devoted to team-centric goals and winning the upcoming game.

Edited by mjd1001
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Players develop all the time in the AHL.  Last I looked TNT and Mitts benefited from time in the A.  JJP and Quinn weren’t NHL ready a year ago and improved greatly in their time in the AHL. 

The question is ultimately do prospect learn and develop their skills in the A or do they just develop physically to enable them to compete in the NHL?  I think it’s some of both.  
 

 

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Where the AHL truly fails in preparing players is in the sheer degree of general play style. The AHL still have teams who play like its 2002 (Belleville  and others that approach things more modern style. The level of skill greatly differs from the best to the worst and I'd say it's rather obvious that playmakers will have a far harder time than scorers due to their requirement of a 2nd player with talent. 

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