March 13 2014 03:30PM
Via halifaxdrunk on Flickr
Somehow, they've improved.
Last month, I talked about the overall health of the prospect system, particularly at forward. Well, since then, we've seen an NHLE increase across the board (mean of 25.7 to mean of 26.6), the debut of a defenseman in the NHL and a couple of goalies step up their game. The on-ice results may not be there right now, but there's a good chance they will be in the future. We're using stats from last month, but I'm writing this on the 11th - so excuse the disconnect.
John Gaudreau and Bill Arnold both had great seasons this year for the Hockey East Champs, who went 16-2-2 in league play. Gaudreau finished the season on a 29 game point streak (something like 52 points, which is insane) and Arnold had a dominant senior season. We'll hold off on the in-depth analysis now, because we'll probably have to wait until at least the Frozen Four for the Eagles' season to be over.
I saw one commenter (Big Bear?) bring up an issue regarding Monahan's NHLE: I'm just using his NHL points per game in this exercise, so there's no extra noise being introduced. The point of NHLE is to try and standardize scoring to NHL levels; so, yes, hopefully we're not too far off from what his performance in the OHL would have been this year (excepting ice time, PP time, etc.). Obviously there will be anomalies and streaks within a season (and bigger equivalencies [i.e. "1"] means bigger NHLE movement month-to-month), but I feel like getting 80% of the way there is better than 0%, right? In saying all of that, Monahan improved month-to-month and is sniffing the +1 NHL"E" bump that an "elite" player tends to get. "But his underlying numbers!" you yell. "He's 19, god damnit," I yell back. The fact that he has any positive results in the NHL at the age of 19 is a sign of good things to come. Still should have sent him back, though.
Émile Poirier has already eclipsed both the 40-goal and 40-assist plateau. His season has been destructive. There's still about 15 games left in Gatineau's schedule, so hopefully he gets 50 and 50.
We talked a little earlier in the year about how bad Yale sucks. Well, Yale sucks less and Kenny Agostino's totals have risen. He is this team's straw, so I'm not too concerned about the drop year-over-year.
Markus Granlund's SH% has stayed pretty high the entire year, even though he's generating a crazy amount of shots per game (more than 2.5 per). This makes me think that it is possible Granlund is an above-average to very good AHL shooter, which is a very good arrow for an NHLer. The run he's been on since coming to the NHL is probably a little more than what we should expect for him at this stage of his career - a .25-.35 points per game rookie season is where I'd peg him, probably 23 or so, depending on usage. The reason for the huge NHLE bump this month is his 2 points in 4 games at the NHL level. He'll settle in around 30, I think.
Morgan Klimchuk has increased his NHLE month to month, but his team scoring percentage didn't really increase. I don't think that's a big deal, that just means that other people not playing with him on the Pats are giving him some help. He's inching closer to "elite" territory.
Coda Gordon continues to increase his NHL marginally month-to-month, but his specific issues still plague him.
Max Reinhart has taken on new life this season. He was sent back to Abbotsford with the terms of his emergency recall expiring. His NHLE is probably a little low due to the NHL numbers: his AHL-only NHLE is 28.8. He's also producing an insane amount of shots.
There's still no reason to panic when it comes to Sven Baertschi. He's increased month-to-month and is on a bit of a tear right now. 35 is probably a little too far gone, but he'll get back to 30.
By all reports, Mike Ferland is making good progress in his recovery from a shredded knee.
Corban Knight's strong play was finally rewarded with a call-up, but I'm not totally sure what our expectations should be of him yet. He generates a good amount of shots, is 6'2, and had a nice scoring arc in college. I believe 3C will still be his eventual landing spot - but due to the way the roster is constructed, that likely won't happen right away.
I've said everything that can be said of Mark Jankowski for right now. We'll just have to see how he plays in the Frozen Four to determine if his defensive game has actually improved or that's just conjecture. Beloch, I think, did a pretty nice analysis in last month's comment section to give some numeric backing to that statement. I remain unconvinced for right now, but we'll go super in-depth before the draft.
Ben Hanowski still seems to lack the speed he'll need if he wants to stick as an NHL regular. I think he's probably done enough to earn another contract, but I wouldn't pencil him into the NHL lineup for next year.
With the amount of prospects currently up with the big club, Josh Jooris' offensive expectations and responsibilities should increase marginally. He's looking like he may be a career tweener.
Tim Harrison's Colgate finished 2nd in the ECAC.
Matt DeBlouw played his first games in quite a while this month, registering an assist.
Turner Elson was sent to the ECHL for a while, scored, then came back to Abbotsford, where he continued not scoring.
Brett Kulak and Ryan Culkin are performing roughly the same as last month. There's been a bit of a drop, but that was likely just the percentages evening out. Pike covered some of the finer points here, but the point is - not much to update as their team scoring rates and PPP% have remained pretty constant. Both of their teams should be playoff bound.
John Gilmour started the season on a torrid pace, as you all remember - scoring 8 points in his first 12 games. Well, in the 23 games since he's just barely been able to double it. I mentioned in November that his scoring pace would likely stabilize due to the large amounts of good luck he had early on. Well, now it's gone the other way a little bit, but don't expect to see his total jump more than half a point either way (which leaves it in "okay!" territory). We'll see how he looks in the tournament.
Eric Roy had another consistent month. He's shown well in his +1 season.
Mark Cundari's pace has slowed since his arrival in Chicago. It's fairly obvious that the organization no longer thinks highly of him.
Rushan Rafikov's team, Loko, has started their first-round MHL series. He had an okay year, but due to how bad the MHL might be, I don't think we can base too much on what we've seen point-wise thus far. He's also the only defenseman that I haven't watched this season. Hopefully he can move up to the KHL team next year.
James Martin's season has been unremarkable. He's had a good scoring pace in the ECHL, but as we all know, the guys who spend time in the ECHL rarely turn out to be anything in the NHL. He's had poor AHL results, too.
Tyler Wotherspoon has looked okay in his couple of games thus far, but it's obvious he's got a lot of work to do. It seems like he is progressing nicely as a guy who could be a good bottom-pairing defenseman.
Keegan Kanzig is on a tear, you guys. Well, in the relative sense.
RIPD to John Ramage, who is 24 and has one more AHL point than I do. I know that there's the argument that he doesn't have to score to be effective, but consider this: it is harder to score an NHL point than it is an AHL point, right? Well, here's the entire list of defensemen who have had comparable NHL seasons to what is happening with Ramage (i.e. one point or less over ~75% of the schedule or more). If you don't feel like clicking through, know that the list is four players long and that all were out of the league in the next 2 seasons. If he's having this level of trouble being effective at the AHL level, how is he ever going to be able to adapt to the NHL level? Either a.) he is just having four-times-in-a-century bad luck or b.) he's not that good. I'm going to guess the latter right now.
Patrick Sieloff may not play again this year - what does 71 games in three years get you in terms of development? I'm going to guess not much.
I believe the average NHLE of the Flames forwards up to this month (26.6) is more than any Canucks prospect other than Bo Horvat this year.