Flames Comparables: Reserve Defensemen

Robert Vollman
October 27 2011 11:17AM

 

 

Every Thursday we're using the Snepsts system to project how many points each of the Flames may score this year. Now that we've moved on to players with limited NHL, we're switching to AHL-to-NHL Translations.
We've already looked at most of the Flames key forwards and key defensemen, and this week we'll look at some of their reserve defensemen: Derek Smith, Clay Wilson, T.J. Brodie and Brendan Mikkelson.

Derek Smith

Undrafted 27-year-old defenseman Derek Smith has just 11 NHL games, all with Ottawa, but has 142 points over 272 AHL games.  Here's how the data converts to their NHL equivalent.


Season  GP G A PTS
2007-08 52 1  6  7
2008-09 75 4 11 15
2009-10 76 6 17 23
2010-11 80 4 19 23

Smith's VUKOTA projection calls for 2 goals, 5 assists and 7 points in 27 games, most likely as a temporary 3rd-line injury call-up, which would extrapolates to the same 23-point scoring level his last two AHL seasons would suggest he could achieve.

Clay Wilson

Another undrafted defenseman, this time 28 years old, is Clay Wilson, who has managed 8 points in 31 NHL games over four seasons with three teams (Columbus, Atlanta and Florida).  Wilson has scored 279 points in his 421 AHL games since 2005-06, here's how they translate to their NHL equivalent, adding in his NHL action to the AHL translations.


Season  GP G A PTS
2005-06 60 5 13 18
2006-07 79 5 17 22
2007-08 78 7 16 23
2008-09 77 6 15 21
2009-10 77 5 17 22
2010-11 81 8 17 25

If he had been an NHLer all these years, he could have just enjoyed his fifth straight 20-point season.  VUKOTA's projection has Wilson down for 3 goals, 7 assists and 10 points in 31 NHL games, roughly the same scoring pace as he's established in the AHL translation.

T.J. Brodie

21-year-old T. J. Brodie, Calgary's 4th round selection in 2008, played 3 games for the Flames last year, and 68 more for the Abbotsford Heat, leading all their defensemen by a wide margin, and finishing just one point shy of centre Matt Keith for the team scoring lead – with 34 points (yeah, the Heat kind of sucked).

All together that would work out to a season with 71 games, 3 goals, 14 assists and 17 points – not bad for a kid.  VUKOTA predicts 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points in 25 games.

Brendan Mikkelson

Brendan Mikkelson, whose father Bill owns the single-season record for worst plus/minus, was 23 last season, playing his 86th game, with no goals and only 6 assists to show for it.

VUKOTA predicts 1 goals and 4 assists for 5 points in 34 games, which certainly looks reasonable given the following seasons based on partial NHL data, and AHL-to-NHL translations.


Season  GP G  A PTS
2007-08 66 3  5  8
2008-09 65 1  7  8
2009-10 77 4 10 14
2010-11 28 0  2  2

Mikkelson is about as much of a scoring threat as Mike Ricci at his high school prom.  Mikkelson needs to be far better defensively than he is to stay in their line-up with offensive capabilities clearly inferior to their other options.

Coming Up

Lance Bouma, Stefan Meyer, Paul Byron, Greg Nemisz
Raitis Ivanans, Guillaume Desbiens and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond.

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Rob Vollman of www.HockeyAbstract.com is a regular feature writer on ESPN Insider, co-author of Hockey Prospectus 2010-11 and 2011-12, and regular contributor to NHL Numbers, Flames Nation and Arctic Ice Hockey. Innovator of Player Usage Charts, Quality Starts, GVS (Goals Versus Salary), the Snepsts Projection System, and known for work in League Equivalencies (NHLE). Twitter: @robvollmanNHL
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#1 ChinookArch
October 27 2011, 06:58PM
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Not exactly numbers that will light the world on fire, but then again they are all defensemen. I hope to see another step forward from Brodie this year, and with a Better supporting cast, we just might.

Is Mikkelsen the odds on favorite as the first call up, if the big club needs a defensemen, or are their brighter lights there?

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