Early thoughts on the 2016 top 5 forwards

Byron Bader
March 08 2016 12:00PM

Sixteen games left in the season and we can say with 99% confidence that the Flames will not be making the post-season dance. A horrendous season has nearly come and gone. Many would have guessed the Flames would have fallen back this year after the miracle season of 2014-15 but would we have guessed they would be fighting it out with Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Buffalo for last overall... probably not. It's not all bad... it's mostly bad... but at least it appears we're going to get a top five pick out of the deal. 

I have some thoughts on the 2016 top five forwards. Join me on a look at the numbers.

Your consensus top five, as of the mid-term rankings a few months ago, are:

  • Auston Matthews - 6'2'' 195 pound two-way skilled center from Scottsdale, Arizona who's been the consensus #1 for the 2016 draft for about two years now
  • Patrik Laine - 6'3'' 200 pound Finnish RW that dazzled at the most recent WJC tournament, winning gold for his country
  • Jesse Puljujarvi - 6'3'' 200 pound Finnish RW that also put on a great performance at the most recent WJC tournament
  • Matthew Tkachuk - 6'1'' 190 pound American-born son of NHL Legend, Keith Tkachuk, currently destroying the OHL, playing on a ridiculous line with Mitch Marner and Christian Dvorak
  • Alexander Nylander - 6'0'' 172 pound Swedish/Canadian son of former NHLer Michael Nylander and brother of Toronto Maple Leafs stud prospect, William Nylander

NUMBERS

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Matthews: Instead of going the typical NCAA route of American players, Matthews decided to blaze his own trail and head to the Swiss-A league to play out his draft year, presumably to earn a little cheddar. No top five eligible pick has ever done this and few NHLers have played in the Swiss-A league at a young age and jumped right to the NHL so getting a gauge on his NHLE is damn near impossible, but an equivalency of a cohort of 20 players who played more than 20 games in the Swiss-A league at the age of 27 or younger and played in the NHL right after gives us a translation of 0.61 which gives us an estimated NHLE of 65! Not to mention, as a 17-year-old, he beat Patrick Kane's USHL single-season scoring record and registered an NHLE of 44. It appears Matthews is going to be an absolute monster immediately. Like McDavid, Kane, Crosby elite monster. If the Flames get first... pick him first... definitely.

Tkachuk: Matthew Tkachuk has a very stellar NHLE of 48 playing in the OHL (conversion of 0.3 - cohort based on OHL players of the past 10 years that entered the NHL at age 20 or younger). His NHLE is incredible but there is concern that his linemates, Marner and Dvorak, are propping him up slightly or even quite drastically, like Kane did for Gagner in 2007 with the very same Knights. However, Tkachuk had a NHLE of 30 in the USHL as a 17-year-old last year, which is very, very good for the USHL and for a 17-year-old. For perspective, Gaudreau's was 24 in the same league and he was about four months older than Tkachuk by the time the season ended. I think Tkachuk will be more than fine. Gagner and Yakupov are the only relative busts (still each played over 200 games to date nonetheless) in the past 11 years that I can find of players that registered an NHLE of 45 or more in their draft year. He'd be going second overall in my world.

Laine: Laine's NHLE drops off slightly to 30 (conversion of 0.5 - cohort based on SM-Liiga players from the past 15 years that entered the NHLE at age 25 or younger). Still a fine NHLE but slightly lower than the average top five forward pick but a huge RW with raving endorsements... I would pick him third.

Nylander: Nylander has a NHLE of 34. A perfectly fine equivalency and one that very much points to a player having a long successful, point producing career in the NHL. He's probably not ready yet but I'd go fourth overall.

Puljujarvi: Puljujarvi is where things get interesting. He will likely go #2 or #3, based on everything out there. He will likely jump right into the NHL after being drafted and here's the problem. His NHLE is 23 which is the second lowest of a top five drafted forward in at least the past 26 years (Blake Wheeler was a high school player and technically had the lowest NHLE, although NHLEs for high school players are tough to come by as nobody makes that jump; J. Staal, Malkin and Yashin were also close). Who cares? Let's look at more recent data to find out why this matters.

NHLE 1st Round

Above is a look at the draft-year NHLE of first round draftees from 2004 to 2014. As well, I've included the number of players in each group to jump right into the NHL after being drafted.

In the past 11 years only six players have jumped directly into the NHL after being drafted with an NHLE less than 30. Four first rounders (Jordan Staal, Alexander Burmistrov, David Perron and Mikkel Boedker) and two second rounders (Patrice Bergeron and Ryan O'Reilly).  

Of those six that have jumped right into the league without a 30+ NHLE, only Bergeron and O'Reilly have turned into what I would deem a true impact scorer (registering 0.6 PPG or more over the course of his career). The other four have essentially been middle of the road scorers (30 to 45 points per year). A third overall pick that scores like Mikael Backlund or Jordan Staal. Even if he's a fantastic two-way talent (like Staal and Backlund), would we, as Flames fans, be pleased with that or would we always feel a little shorted for a top three pick?

The other thought is he amounts to a very, very good, productive player but he's not ready for the NHL for the 2016-17 season.

NHLE 30+

Puljujarvi's numbers immediately suggest he's not ready. He could go back and dominate the SM-Liiga league (with a 30+, 40+ NHLE or 50+ NHLE) in his draft +1 or draft +2 year (and given the data above you're hoping to high heavens he does that) and all of a sudden we're talking about a player that ticks all the boxes. But this means he's a few years away and assumes that he takes that next step. Fellow top five picks Ovechkin and Malkin certainly dominated when they went back and broke into the NHL a few years later as no-brainer studs but they weren't ready for the NHL right out of the gate (both had draft year NHLEs in the 20s when they were drafted first and second in 2004). They needed to go back. I think this is where Puljujarvi falls.

What about his WJC performance? What can history tell us there? I don't put much stock in a six to seven game tournament but let's entertain the notion. Puljujarvi had an incredible 17 points in seven games in 2016 which led the tournament, so let's talk about it. Calculating a rough NHLE of WJC to NHL over the past 10 years gives us a translation of 0.33. That boosts Puljujarvi's NHLE up dramatically to 65. But, again, one seven game tournament. As well most players that play in the tournament don't play the NHL right after being drafted at 18 or 19 and often don't play in the NHL right after playing in the tournament. The ones that do are the McDavids, Tavares, Matthews types.

CONCLUSION

A player like Jordan Staal is a good player. Defensively responsible and can chip in some goals. But if I'm the Flames and could be set to take the highest drafted player in club history... do I want to draft a player that resembles Staal from an NHLE standpoint? Do I want to bring him right into the NHL at which point he's likely not ready and never really hits his potential and is a 40-50 point player in his prime? I would hope for a little more with the highest pick the Flames have ever had.

If the Flames end up with that third pick, Tkachuk would probably be the player I would pick (as Laine will likely be gone). He's big, extremely skilled, can probably play right now, and there's little chance he's a "bust": especially because he already has two 30+ NHLEs under his belt, one without Dvorak and Marner. If Puljujarvi is the unanimous player to pick at three I'd be prepared for him to be sent back to blossom in the Finnish League for at least one or two more years. Tough to swallow for a team desperate for a top flight RW right now but, to me, it's the right choice.

Fb039371a1a1b706383cb72243cb4446
Byron has a background in psychology, economics and business and is a business researcher/data analyst by day. His love for hockey is as deep as the ocean is wide. Tell him your questions and let him into your heart. Twitter: @Baderader; Email: byron.bader@gmail.com
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#51 Johnny Goooooooaldreau
March 08 2016, 05:02PM
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First Name Unidentified wrote:

Any thoughts on trading Monahan and our first to Toronto for their first overall?

EDIT: or whoever is picking 1st overall? Treliving/Burke can make it happen

For this draft? Yes. For the 2015 draft? Yes. For any other draft since Crosby? No.

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#52 brodiegio4life
March 08 2016, 05:08PM
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KH44 wrote:

Because of the key word, projecting. He is not projecting to be an elite center, he is instead projecting to be a really good center. A great number two, a really good number one. My point isn't that he won't be any good, my point is he won't be ELITE. There are few elite centers in the game. If Bennett scores 30 goals and 70 points for the next 10 years, with a peak of an 85 point season in the middle, will he be a great addition to this team? Absolutely.Could he score higher than that? Yes. But that does not project as an elite player. Elite refers to maybe 25 players in the league, and maybe 10 of those are centers. Crosby, Toews, Bergeron, Kopitar, Giroux, Malkin, Getzlaf, Seguin, Tavares. McDavid will be there. Does Bennett currently project to be one of those guys? If the answer is no, and I think it is, then we can say drafting Matthews with the first pick would be ideal. If you believe that Bennett is going to be one of those guys, then pick a winger.

The things that make me conclude he won't be an elite center are his scoring rates. He isn't scoring at the pace he should be to become one of these players, as with the exception of powerplay time, he has been getting chances. But who knows? Maybe he has a 45 point jump next season like Seguin did. Do you think that if the opportunity comes to draft Matthews, we should instead take one of the scoring wingers, because we are so set down the middle? I don't.

how can you honestly say that he's already "projecting" to not be an elite centre? he hasn't even played one full NHL season yet. I don't think anyone is saying we should pass on matthews anyways...

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#53 piscera.infada
March 08 2016, 05:11PM
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@brodiegio4life

Might as well pack it in boys and girls, we don't have an "elite" centre. Might as well rebuild the rebuild--failed already...

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#54 freethe flames
March 08 2016, 05:19PM
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For those discussing trading the 3 number 2's for a first, let's remember the Dallas pick could be a 1st. Don't get ahead of ourselves on this.

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#55 Bean-counting cowboy
March 08 2016, 05:25PM
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KH44 wrote:

Because of the key word, projecting. He is not projecting to be an elite center, he is instead projecting to be a really good center. A great number two, a really good number one. My point isn't that he won't be any good, my point is he won't be ELITE. There are few elite centers in the game. If Bennett scores 30 goals and 70 points for the next 10 years, with a peak of an 85 point season in the middle, will he be a great addition to this team? Absolutely.Could he score higher than that? Yes. But that does not project as an elite player. Elite refers to maybe 25 players in the league, and maybe 10 of those are centers. Crosby, Toews, Bergeron, Kopitar, Giroux, Malkin, Getzlaf, Seguin, Tavares. McDavid will be there. Does Bennett currently project to be one of those guys? If the answer is no, and I think it is, then we can say drafting Matthews with the first pick would be ideal. If you believe that Bennett is going to be one of those guys, then pick a winger.

The things that make me conclude he won't be an elite center are his scoring rates. He isn't scoring at the pace he should be to become one of these players, as with the exception of powerplay time, he has been getting chances. But who knows? Maybe he has a 45 point jump next season like Seguin did. Do you think that if the opportunity comes to draft Matthews, we should instead take one of the scoring wingers, because we are so set down the middle? I don't.

You take the best player available regardless of position

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#56 KH44
March 08 2016, 05:25PM
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brodiegio4life wrote:

how can you honestly say that he's already "projecting" to not be an elite centre? he hasn't even played one full NHL season yet. I don't think anyone is saying we should pass on matthews anyways...

Do you understand the word projected? I can honestly say projected because it is a projection. That is how they work. Based on his scoring rates from his rookie season, he has not met the scoring rates necessary to maintain the projection of an elite center. After 66 NHL games, with 33 points scored, he is averaging 0.5 ppg. Crosby in his rookie year scored 102 in 81, a 1.26 ppg. Bennett has a similar point per game to Joe Pavelski, that would be a really good but not elite center. He had a 0.61 ppg in his rookie year, and a 0.49 ppg in his second year. Nicklas Backstrom scored 0.84 ppg in his rookie year, as another really good but not elite center. Evgeni Kuznetzov, whose underlying numbers are terrible, much worse than Bennett's, scored a 0.46 ppg in his first full season. Bennett projects to be a stronger player than Kuznetsov. See, a projection works by taking what a player has done, such as there playing in junior and in the NHL, and comparing it to other players who have done similar things, and measuring their careers, to create a projection of what he may do. Currently, Bennett's projections line up more with first line centers, strong players who are great attributes to their teams, but not elite. Does this make sense?

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#57 Baalzamon
March 08 2016, 05:36PM
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@BurningSensation

If Tkachuk is Gagner 2.0, why do you still have him in the top 5? Even Gagner himself only went 6th, and 2007 was an awful draft to boot.

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#58 Jeff In Lethbridge
March 08 2016, 05:36PM
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how can we even consider this evaluation based on NHLe, without even A SNIFF OF THEIR CORSI????

Lets see their corsi - this will determine who gets picked...

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#59 Parallex
March 08 2016, 05:56PM
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Soupy19 wrote:

Whatever happened to Daniel Tkaczuk? Like you said, he had great numbers in Junior, got picked 6th overall plus had a great World Junior tournament IIRC. How come he never made it?

Concussions

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#60 BlueMoonNigel
March 08 2016, 06:13PM
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Hell, if you listened to Lubo, Wills and Patty today, you'd think Garnet Hathaway was a top 5 forward for 2016.

Sorry, but I can't get excited about a bottom 6 forward. Kind of reminds me how Flame followers used to worship the likes of Clarke Wilm and Rocky Thompson. I guess that is what fans of stinko teams do either by choice or necessity.

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#61 brodiegio4life
March 08 2016, 06:18PM
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KH44 wrote:

Do you understand the word projected? I can honestly say projected because it is a projection. That is how they work. Based on his scoring rates from his rookie season, he has not met the scoring rates necessary to maintain the projection of an elite center. After 66 NHL games, with 33 points scored, he is averaging 0.5 ppg. Crosby in his rookie year scored 102 in 81, a 1.26 ppg. Bennett has a similar point per game to Joe Pavelski, that would be a really good but not elite center. He had a 0.61 ppg in his rookie year, and a 0.49 ppg in his second year. Nicklas Backstrom scored 0.84 ppg in his rookie year, as another really good but not elite center. Evgeni Kuznetzov, whose underlying numbers are terrible, much worse than Bennett's, scored a 0.46 ppg in his first full season. Bennett projects to be a stronger player than Kuznetsov. See, a projection works by taking what a player has done, such as there playing in junior and in the NHL, and comparing it to other players who have done similar things, and measuring their careers, to create a projection of what he may do. Currently, Bennett's projections line up more with first line centers, strong players who are great attributes to their teams, but not elite. Does this make sense?

I understand the word projection, I just give absolutely 0 value to yours

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#62 First Name Unidentified
March 08 2016, 07:03PM
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piscera.infada wrote:
I am pretty sure Matthews will be a better centreman than Monahan.

That's not an argument, but there's a serious issue here with people taking criticism of Monahan and creating this over-broad narrative that he's a horrible player.

For me, it doesn't matter how well Monahan fairs without Gaudreau (although, he did score 20 goals without Gaudreau as a rookie). Sure, he's not going to be the Toews (and he never should have been billed as such), but he's a pretty damn lethal player, and will be a hell of a 2c in time.

In short, this organization has a lot of holes. It's not in a position to be trading a good young centre, and a top-5 draft pick, for a good young centre (that although, appears that he could be better than Monahan, is not a sure bet to be better than Monahan). Now, factor in that the first overall pick is probably the most difficult thing to acquire, and you have the makings of a horrible, horrible trade.

Ok, lets not get emotional here. I can appreciate you feeling very strongly about Monahan but objectively, as a business owner, that trade proposal attracts me if I'm a Flames org member.

As an asset manager a part of my job is to assign probabilities to events and position yourself objectively to benefit from those probabilities. Because we all presumably know what the random walk theory says.

Unemotionally, trading for this year's first overall makes a lot of sense and to entice the trading partner an asset needs to be included who is perceived to be of adding value to the opposite party. You can disagree but those probabilities are currently favoring Mathews and I will unemotionally make that trade because it makes my pool of assets better in a couple years time.

Emotions result in missed opportunities. If Monahan is not going to be a Toews, and we recognize that, then why not try to use him to get a Toews? Makes sense to me.

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#63 EhPierre
March 08 2016, 07:09PM
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@First Name Unidentified

There's a flaw with your reasoning good sir. We give up Monahan for Matthews. I think everyone agrees that Matthews is the better player, there's no question about that.

The problem is, to get the first overall pick, we'd have to trade Monahan AND our pick (possibly more). Sure in the end we may get the better player in Matthews but we're still back in square one; we'd only have JG, Bennet and Matthews. No good wingers.

Keeping Monahan, and drafting in the third seed or fourth seed would be better in terms of asset management than giving up more for just one player. By keeping Monahan, we fill our need for a winger by drafting Tkachuck or Nylander or whomever. Obviously as of now, none of the players we select will be better than Matthews but in terms of asset management we're able to improve by finding a solution for our scoring winger need.

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#64 freethe flames
March 08 2016, 07:17PM
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Someone discussed the idea that Monahan can't play w/o Johnny. He scored 20+ as a rookie plying with Colborne and Hudler. He will be fine and he needs to get on the weights.

Speaking of Colborne he is often trashed here but is having his best season as a pro, Should the Flames resign him?

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#65 First Name Unidentified
March 08 2016, 07:19PM
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EhPierre wrote:

There's a flaw with your reasoning good sir. We give up Monahan for Matthews. I think everyone agrees that Matthews is the better player, there's no question about that.

The problem is, to get the first overall pick, we'd have to trade Monahan AND our pick (possibly more). Sure in the end we may get the better player in Matthews but we're still back in square one; we'd only have JG, Bennet and Matthews. No good wingers.

Keeping Monahan, and drafting in the third seed or fourth seed would be better in terms of asset management than giving up more for just one player. By keeping Monahan, we fill our need for a winger by drafting Tkachuck or Nylander or whomever. Obviously as of now, none of the players we select will be better than Matthews but in terms of asset management we're able to improve by finding a solution for our scoring winger need.

I absolutely understand your reasoning and it's very tempting to go for " current needs" but, again, i disagree.

As Ari pointed out recently, we are still is search of an elite center (it could be bogus but we've been looking for that center sice Joe Nuwy). Monahan is currently valued very highly around the league. Why not "make hay while its still available"? We have been selling at the bottom forever, why not sell at the top for a change. I believe Treliving is very prudent, he could pull someing like this off.

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#66 KACaribou
March 08 2016, 07:33PM
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KH44 wrote:

With Bennett predicting to be a good, but not elite, center, the idea of Monahan, Bennett and Backlund as 1,2,3 is not as amazing as I was hoping with the 6th and 4th overall pick. Their HERO charts suggest two really good centers that can score 30 and 70, maybe even 80, but 25 and 60 seems to be the standard. I was excited all season for the idea of Bennett becoming an elite center and drafting a big, scoring RW, but the idea of getting Matthews has now become the dream. he would change everything for this team.

He would be such a waste on the Oilers! Matthews, McDavid, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov, not acceptable. The NHL has to be getting tired of this.

Who on earth is saying Bennett is "predicting to be a good, not elite, centre"?

He's 19 for chrissake!

Nobody knows for sure that Matthews will be better than Bennett even. Don't forget the sure things in Edmonton: Hall, Nuge, Yak, ... all game changers right?!

Bennett is fantastic. I wouldn't trade him for an unproven Matthews.

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#67 piscera.infada
March 08 2016, 07:42PM
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@freethe flames

Speaking of Colborne he is often trashed here but is having his best season as a pro, Should the Flames resign him?

I'm pretty much ambivalent towards Colborne. He doesn't bug me that he's here (when he's playing the right role), yet I think the organization could do a lot better.

In the most neutral way possible, I'll answer that statement by saying: just because he's having his best season, doesn't mean he's having a good season.

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#68 calgaryfan
March 08 2016, 07:47PM
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I think all these projections of Bennett are premature, you have to remember who the coach is and how he does not use his players properly. I will give Sam another year to see how he does before proclaiming him not a # 1 centre, maybe even wait until the Flames hire a real NHL coach.

If the Flames want to move up to 1st pick in the draft it should not take their pick and Monahan

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#70 KACaribou
March 08 2016, 07:48PM
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piscera.infada wrote:
Speaking of Colborne he is often trashed here but is having his best season as a pro, Should the Flames resign him?

I'm pretty much ambivalent towards Colborne. He doesn't bug me that he's here (when he's playing the right role), yet I think the organization could do a lot better.

In the most neutral way possible, I'll answer that statement by saying: just because he's having his best season, doesn't mean he's having a good season.

I'd resign Colborne. No team is full to the brim with stars. You need your role players. Big Joe is edging a little better each year, and he's a great young man who is liked and a great example for his teammates in the dressing room from all reports.

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#71 piscera.infada
March 08 2016, 07:51PM
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First Name Unidentified wrote:

Ok, lets not get emotional here. I can appreciate you feeling very strongly about Monahan but objectively, as a business owner, that trade proposal attracts me if I'm a Flames org member.

As an asset manager a part of my job is to assign probabilities to events and position yourself objectively to benefit from those probabilities. Because we all presumably know what the random walk theory says.

Unemotionally, trading for this year's first overall makes a lot of sense and to entice the trading partner an asset needs to be included who is perceived to be of adding value to the opposite party. You can disagree but those probabilities are currently favoring Mathews and I will unemotionally make that trade because it makes my pool of assets better in a couple years time.

Emotions result in missed opportunities. If Monahan is not going to be a Toews, and we recognize that, then why not try to use him to get a Toews? Makes sense to me.

I'm not getting emotional at all (and I kind of resent that label).

Unemotionally I know a few things:

- Monahan has scored 74 goals, and 142 points in 221 NHL games.

- Monahan is 21 years old.

- Monahan is not very good in his own zone.

- Many individuals unfairly labelled Monahan as the next coming of Toews or Bergeron without any evidence showing that at all.

- Now that people are starting to realize he is not Toews or Bergeron, they feel as though he has failed, and are thusly willing to overlook a player who has put up very substantial offensive numbers in his first three years in the league.

- Matthews is a good prospect.

- Matthews has scored 0 goals, and 0 points, in 0 NHL games.

- People always want the shiny, new toy, and often look towards that toy without thinking rationally about the cost to acquire it.

- Essentially trading a very, very good young centre to move up two draft spots to draft a player that you hope will become a very, very good young centre seems unwise.

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#73 piscera.infada
March 08 2016, 07:54PM
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KACaribou wrote:

I'd resign Colborne. No team is full to the brim with stars. You need your role players. Big Joe is edging a little better each year, and he's a great young man who is liked and a great example for his teammates in the dressing room from all reports.

Given that he's not very good at puck possession, and his ability to use the skills we all know he has at his disposal appears fleeting, I'm not sure I would. Again, I'm not absolutely dead-set against it, but I 100% believe a player like Agostino could give you much more when given the same kind of chances Colborne has.

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#74 piscera.infada
March 08 2016, 07:58PM
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@Byron Bader

Are you doing a piece on the defenders?

I'm interested in Chychrun simply because I don't get what anyone sees in him really. Granted, I've only seen him on TV a couple of times, but I don't ever see what his scouting reports seem to. He doesn't seem overly quick or explosive--in fact, it always looks like he's labouring around the ice to me. His decisions are suspicious at times. I don't know, my brain must just be predisposed against him, or something.

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#76 Baalzamon
March 08 2016, 08:08PM
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@piscera.infada

That actually sounds a lot like what I said about Olli Maatta leading up to the 2012 draft. He always looked ghastly whenever I saw him.

Two years later, he was in the NHL full time. Weird how things work out, sometimes.

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#77 KACaribou
March 08 2016, 08:09PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

Given that he's not very good at puck possession, and his ability to use the skills we all know he has at his disposal appears fleeting, I'm not sure I would. Again, I'm not absolutely dead-set against it, but I 100% believe a player like Agostino could give you much more when given the same kind of chances Colborne has.

Respectfully and indirectly quoting the logic of piscera.infada and placing it in reference to Agostino.

- "Agostino (Matthews) has scored 0 goals, and 0 points, in 0 NHL games."

- "People always want the shiny, new toy, and often look towards that toy without thinking rationally..."

I think Agostino has earned a chance this season, but I think it can be done without guaranteeing he will be better than Colborne.

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#78 Baalzamon
March 08 2016, 08:26PM
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@KACaribou

Actually Agostino has 1 goal and 1 assist in 8 NHL games.

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#79 piscera.infada
March 08 2016, 08:36PM
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KACaribou wrote:

Respectfully and indirectly quoting the logic of piscera.infada and placing it in reference to Agostino.

- "Agostino (Matthews) has scored 0 goals, and 0 points, in 0 NHL games."

- "People always want the shiny, new toy, and often look towards that toy without thinking rationally..."

I think Agostino has earned a chance this season, but I think it can be done without guaranteeing he will be better than Colborne.

Haha fair enough. Although, I also never "guaranteed", I "100% believe".

I feel it is necessary to mention (as I have on threads previously) that I have always been high on Agostino. When he was part of Iginla return many people were treating him as the "throw-in" piece to that trade (like, worse than Hanowski...). I had friends attending Yale at the time that had watched him play many, many times over. The kid has what it take to be a very good middle-sixer. He has a good shot, uses that shot a lot, is responsible in his own end, is a powerful skater, he's not afraid to be physical, his cycle game is strong, and he's well-known as a leader. So I don't really see Agostino as the "shiny, new toy", because I've been pulling for him to get a real shot as early as training camp last year.

None of that is to say he'll turn into a better NHLer than Colborne. It think it's pretty safe to say we know what Colborne is--a mid-twenty point scorer, who's not particularly proficient in his own zone. He (Colborne) is frustrating because he'll have stretches like he's having right now, where he plays (I'll admit) pretty good hockey--he uses his size, his reach, he makes the right reads--but honestly, it's too few and far between for my liking.

As an aside, I'll also point out that people keep throwing out "this is Colborne's best year". I guess? Kinda? He has 27 points in 57 games, last season he had 28 points in 64 games (he also had a much better plus/minus, if you're into that kind of thing).

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#80 First Name Unidentified
March 08 2016, 08:43PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

I'm not getting emotional at all (and I kind of resent that label).

Unemotionally I know a few things:

- Monahan has scored 74 goals, and 142 points in 221 NHL games.

- Monahan is 21 years old.

- Monahan is not very good in his own zone.

- Many individuals unfairly labelled Monahan as the next coming of Toews or Bergeron without any evidence showing that at all.

- Now that people are starting to realize he is not Toews or Bergeron, they feel as though he has failed, and are thusly willing to overlook a player who has put up very substantial offensive numbers in his first three years in the league.

- Matthews is a good prospect.

- Matthews has scored 0 goals, and 0 points, in 0 NHL games.

- People always want the shiny, new toy, and often look towards that toy without thinking rationally about the cost to acquire it.

- Essentially trading a very, very good young centre to move up two draft spots to draft a player that you hope will become a very, very good young centre seems unwise.

I still disagree when you say Matthews is pretty much what Monahan is. I would give up a not Toews and a pretty good winger to get an elite center (potentially Tavares or Toews) to play with an elite Gaudreau and an amazing Bennett, potentially? Add Gio and Brodie and Hamilton. Thats certainly a winning combination in my eyes?

Would you not give up Monahan today to get a Tavares, only 5 years or so younger? I would and i believe Treliving would too. He objectively understands Monahan's value.

And when you actually say that you "resent" something, it in itself is emotional. Think about it.

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#81 Jumping Jack Flash
March 08 2016, 08:54PM
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@freethe flames

Colbourn would be a interesting signing. He has soft hands for a big guy. He clearly can't play top 6 minutes but he is better than a 4th liner. He is playing well but it is easier to play well when there is nothing on the line. The flip side is, I would hate to give up on him a year too early. I would sign him because he fits well.

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#82 Greg
March 08 2016, 09:27PM
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First Name Unidentified wrote:

I still disagree when you say Matthews is pretty much what Monahan is. I would give up a not Toews and a pretty good winger to get an elite center (potentially Tavares or Toews) to play with an elite Gaudreau and an amazing Bennett, potentially? Add Gio and Brodie and Hamilton. Thats certainly a winning combination in my eyes?

Would you not give up Monahan today to get a Tavares, only 5 years or so younger? I would and i believe Treliving would too. He objectively understands Monahan's value.

And when you actually say that you "resent" something, it in itself is emotional. Think about it.

If I can add my two cents, I don't think it's a preposterous trade proposal. To get an elite, all-world type Center like Matthews could be, you do have to over pay a bit. Giving up two really good pieces (ie monahan and a top 5) is likely what it would take to land such a big fish. Just think back to the package the Flyers had to give up to land Lindros.

But also, don't forget to think back on what Forsberg accomplished in his career versus what Lindros did. Even if you think it's a good trade, that should give you pause.

Hopefully though we just win the lottery and it's all moot! :)

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#83 oddclod
March 08 2016, 10:24PM
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suba steve wrote:

Daniel Tkaczuk, no relation.

At the time of this post... 7 trashes 3 props for the above response.

If McDavid's name was Tkaczhuk and Calgary had first overall last year 7 out of 10 Nation members would pass.

My Euro friend calls Calgary a glorified Hutterite colony and in moments like these I hang my head in shame.

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#84 Dan the Drunk
March 08 2016, 11:29PM
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@First Name Unidentified

Why would anyone trade Matthews' NHL years on an ELC (900k + bonus for ~$3M) to grab Monahan's RFA years at ~$5M? Is the change of picks an incentive?

Anyone giving up on Matthews is looking to fill another position ie: Oilers would swap for a right handed defenceman.

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#85 Mullen7
March 09 2016, 04:55AM
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Jumping Jack Flash wrote:

Colbourn would be a interesting signing. He has soft hands for a big guy. He clearly can't play top 6 minutes but he is better than a 4th liner. He is playing well but it is easier to play well when there is nothing on the line. The flip side is, I would hate to give up on him a year too early. I would sign him because he fits well.

I don't mind keeping Colborne to fill out the bottom six. My only fear is that as long as Hartley is coach then Colborne will get minutes and powerplay time that he doesn't deserve at the expense of other players getting legitimate chances.

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#86 KACaribou
March 09 2016, 06:05AM
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oddclod wrote:

At the time of this post... 7 trashes 3 props for the above response.

If McDavid's name was Tkaczhuk and Calgary had first overall last year 7 out of 10 Nation members would pass.

My Euro friend calls Calgary a glorified Hutterite colony and in moments like these I hang my head in shame.

What's your friend got against Hutterite Colonies? They are Euro based.

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#87 Burnward
March 09 2016, 07:07AM
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@KACaribou

And how do you let a Euro shame you?

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#88 Hubcap1
March 09 2016, 07:41AM
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Has anyone considered a scenario where Calgary get the first pick and Arizona jumps in with 'an offer you can't refuse' What would that trade look like to you?

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#89 Jeff In Lethbridge
March 09 2016, 08:08AM
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Hubcap1 wrote:

Has anyone considered a scenario where Calgary get the first pick and Arizona jumps in with 'an offer you can't refuse' What would that trade look like to you?

as i mentioned in another post, my ideal scenario would be to trade the first overall and whatever combinations of 2nd round picks and prospects to get the 2nd & 3rd overall picks.

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#90 Parallex
March 09 2016, 08:50AM
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Hubcap1 wrote:

Has anyone considered a scenario where Calgary get the first pick and Arizona jumps in with 'an offer you can't refuse' What would that trade look like to you?

Domi + OEL (and they take Raymond and Smid).

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#91 Hubcap1
March 09 2016, 09:06AM
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Parallex wrote:

Domi + OEL (and they take Raymond and Smid).

Very much what I was thinking. I would add that they give us their first as well.

It will be fun to speculate for which ever team gets first as long as it isn't Arizona because they would never trade that pick with their home town guy there for the taking.

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#92 Hubcap1
March 09 2016, 09:09AM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

as i mentioned in another post, my ideal scenario would be to trade the first overall and whatever combinations of 2nd round picks and prospects to get the 2nd & 3rd overall picks.

Jeff I think you missed the concept that you can't trade one pick, the first overall, to two different teams. Unless you think someone is going to trade the 2 or 3 pick for seconds.

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#93 EhPierre
March 09 2016, 09:32AM
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Does anybody know what McDavid's/Crosby's NHLE were at their draft years? I just wanted to compare what theirs were with Matthews NHLE of 65.

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#94 Christian Roatis
March 09 2016, 10:18AM
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EhPierre wrote:

Does anybody know what McDavid's/Crosby's NHLE were at their draft years? I just wanted to compare what theirs were with Matthews NHLE of 65.

67 for McDavid, 58 for Crosby using Vollman's numbers. Byron uses some sort of age adjusted NHLE so idk how he came up with his numbers. Matthews is at 42 by regular NHLE numbers.

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#95 EhPierre
March 09 2016, 12:25PM
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@Christian Roatis

Perfect, thank you. McDavid's NHLE is just frightening

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