Flames Comparables: Bouwmeester, Giordano and Babchuk

Robert Vollman
October 06 2011 10:25AM

 

 


Every Thursday we're using the Snepsts system to project how many points each of the Flames may score this year. The Snepsts system, explained over at Hockey Prospectus, searches history for players with similar statistics (adjusted for era scoring levels) and uses their future performance as yardsticks for today's.


We've already looked at most of the Flames key forwards, including Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, Olli Jokinen, Lee Stempniak, Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Rene Bourque and Curtis Glencross. This week we'll be looking at David Moss and Brendan Morrison.  Today we'll look at the key defensemen: Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano and Anton Babchuk.

Jay Bouwmeester

Last year the average historical projection for the league's 4th richest defenseman was 10 goals and 37 points, but instead JayBo dropped even further back from his 37-46 point four-year track record in Florida.  In the end he managed just 4 goals and 24 points, not much better than his worst-case scenario, a 17-point Richard Smehlik-like season (Richard Smeh-like?), smack dab in the middle of Glen Wesley and Rick Lanz territory.
 

This year Snepsts has essentially given up on Bouwmeester's upside, so brace yourself for something like the following, likely over the full 82 games just like the six previous seasons.


Age Player         Season  GP  G  A PTS
26 Gus Mortson     1950-51 60  3 12  15
27 Rick Lanz       1988-89 32  1  7   8
30 Bill Brydge     1931-32 48  2 14  16
26 Jim Morrison    1957-58 70  3 21  24
29 Brian Engblom   1983-84 80  1 20  21
27 Wally Stanowski 1946-47 51  3 18  21
29 Phil Russell    1981-82 71  3 18  21
27 Marty Burke     1931-32 48  3 11  14
27 Jason York      1997-98 73  3 14  17
29 Bucko McDonald  1943-44 50  5  8  13

VUKOTA                     72  5 20  25
Worst (York)               82  3 16  19
Best (Stanowski)           82  4 29  33
Average                    82  4 20  24

The comparables are very clear, and very tight: expect 19-33 points, much like Rick Lanz, whose statistic bear an eerie resemblance to Bouwmeester's.


Jay Bouwmeester
Season   GP  G  A  PTS
2002-08 389 38 123 161
2008-09  82 15  27  42
2009-10  82  3  26  29
2010-11  82  4  20  24

Rick Lanz
Season   GP  G  A  PTS
1980-85 325 40 127 167
1985-86  75 15  38  53
1986-87  61  3  25  28
1987-88  75  6  22  28

Rick Lanz was a 7th overall pick (Bouwmeester was 3rd) scored 29 points in his rookie season with Vancouver at age 19 (Bouwmeester scored 16).  After a similar sophomore season, Lanz went on to score 10-18 goals and 48-57 points in 3 of the following 4 seasons, much like JayBo.  Then, like Bouwmeester, Lanz was shipped off to another team – Toronto in this case - where he managed a couple of sub-30 point seasons, before washing out. 

Of course, Jay Bouwmeester is far better defensively than Rick Lanz, and a far more complete player all around.  Nevertheless, there's ample historical evidence that his high scoring days are over.

Mark Giordano

Last year Mark Giordano's high-water scoring prediction was 8 goals and 37 assists for 45 points, using Duncan Keith's historical similarity – and he practically nailed it (just 2 assists short)!  Could the Flames really have a Duncan Keith on their hands?
 


Age Player         Season  GP  G  A PTS
26 Duncan Keith    2009-10 82 14 54  68
28 Kurtis Foster   2009-10 71  8 33  41
28 Marty McSorley  1991-92 71  5 18  23
27 Brent Sopel     2003-04 80 11 34  45
27 Tomas Jonsson   1987-88 72  4 31  35
30 Steve Smith     1993-94 57  4 19  23
28 Ted Green       1968-69 65  7 36  43
27 Dan McGillis    1999-00 68  4 14  18
27 Jason Woolley   1996-97 60  6 29  35
28 Igor Kravchuk   1994-95 36  6 10  16

VUKOTA                     71  8 27  35
Worst (McGillis)           82  5 17  22
Best (Keith)               82 14 54  68
Average                    82  9 34  43

For once VUKOTA is the pessimist!  There's historical precedent in both directions, but it is all centred around his current performance – scoring in the low-40s.  And take a look at the upside – his statistics match Duncan Keith's almost perfectly.


Mark Giordano
Season   GP  G  A PTS
2005-09 113  9 26  35
2009-10  82 11 19  30
2010-11  82  8 35  43

Duncan Keith
Season   GP  G  A PTS
2005-07 163 11 41  52
2007-08  82 12 20  32
2008-09  77  8 36  44

The next year for Keith was the big one – 14 goals, 55 assists, 69 points and a Norris Trophy!  We're not saying that Giordano is the next Duncan Keith, we're saying that history suggests he has a very big upside.

Anton Babchuk

We can't run standard Snepsts comparables on Anton Babchuk since it requires at least two consecutive NHL seasons, and Babchuk was in the KHL in 2009-10.  However, he has scored 35 points in each of his past two NHL seasons, although that was while playing highly sheltered ice-time.

Instead we'll search for all players within a year of his age last season (26), who scored within a goal and an assist of Bachuk's 11 goals and 24 assists in 82 games – era-adjusted for scoring levels, of course – and see what happened to them.

VUKOTA projects 7 goals, 23 assists and 30 points in 68 games, but the 31 players we found together averages 11 goals and 23 assists for 82 games.  One of the better case scenarios is Dan Boyle's 54 points in 77 games, or Lubomir Visnovsky's 31 points in 58 games.  On the other hand, Babchuk could find himself more like Fredrick Olausson or Michel Petit, and be lucky to crack 20 points.

Coming Up

Tom Kostopoulous, Tim Jackman, and Mikael Backlund
Cory Sarich, Chris Butler, Scott Hannan and Brett Carson
Derek Smith, Clay Wilson, T.J. Brodie and Brendan Mikkelson
Lance Bouma, Stefan Meyer, Paul Byron and 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 Monaertchi Gaudnett
October 06 2011, 11:21AM
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I haven't read the post yet, but had to comment on the picture.

Fantasmic.

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#2 Kent Wilson
October 06 2011, 11:34AM
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@Monaertchi Gaudnett

One of the Gio photoshop entries this summer.

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#3 marty
October 06 2011, 12:20PM
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with the sheltered mins and pp time i do think that anton will crack the 30 point mark. although this will also depend on tangs on the point. which will help gio's point total more so. either way just want some red mile time in april, may and god willing june. one final time thanks for june boston (forever a place in my heart) and please pitt start the season of where it ended for the sucks. go flames go.

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#4 Kent Wilson
October 06 2011, 12:35PM
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@marty

I may do a "reasonable expectations" for the blueline tomorrow.

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#5 xis10ce
October 06 2011, 12:43PM
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I see Bouwm breaking his projection if the Flames keep up their new tactics that we saw during the preseason with him jumping in as the 4th man to make odd man situations.

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#6 FireOnIce
October 06 2011, 03:46PM
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Looks like Gio got the A today... next up is the C! Congrats to Gio

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#7 Graham
October 06 2011, 03:55PM
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If J Bo was a $4 - $4.5 million d man, I would be relatively happy with 33 points and all his ice time. At $6.7 million not so much... It reminds me of Phaneuf, great value around $1 million (on his entry level contract), lousy value at $6.6 million. The Flames have and continue to, make really bad contract decisions.

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