Flames 2012-13 Prospects NHLE – October 23, 2012


I shared some qualitative observations of Calgary’s AHL prospects in the post below, so it’s about time I spiked that with some quantitative stuff. Of course, it’s much too early in the season to take anything substantive from a players stats line so far, but I plan to establish this database now and update it regularly as the year progresses.

As usual, I will be employing NHL equivalency (NHLE) to compare kids scattered across various leagues. If you’re unfamiliar, Gabriel Desjardins’ original article on the subject can be found here (warning, .pdf). Short version: it’s a method of translating a players output based on the quality of his league.

To the tables!

Flames Forward Prospects NHLE

Forwards League PPG Translation NHLE
Sven Baertschi AHL 1.50 0.55* 68
John Gaudreau NCAA 1.67 0.41 56
Roman Horak AHL 1.00 0.55* 45
Coda Gordon CHL 1.07 0.3 26
Markus Granlund SM-liiga 0.57 0.54 25
Mark Jankowski NCAA 0.75 0.41 25
Max Reinhart AHL 0.25 0.55* 11
Bill Arnold NCAA 0.33 0.41 11
Greg Nemisz AHL 0.00 0.55* 0
Paul Byron AHL 0.00 0.55* 0

NHLE = potential NHL point total over an 82-game schedule

For the purposes of this exercise, I excluded some guys who aren’t prospects anymore (Backlund) or who aren’t going to rely on offensive output in any real way to make their way to the show (ie; low impact, replacement level guys) such as Lance Bouma or Akim Aliu.

Also, the AHL has a different translation factor than usual (0.55 vs 0.4) because the league measurably improves during lock-outs. Eric T investigated this issue recently and came up with the new, lock-out specefic ratio of 0.55 at NHLNumbers. O f course, if the lock-out ends sooner rather than later, the AHL NHLE will revert to its typical rate.

Finally, as mentioned in to the intro, nobody on this list has played enough for his numbers to be very meaningful. Baertschi, Gaudreau and Horak are off to goo starts, which is encouraging, but the sample size is way too small to attach any significance.

Also, remember that Nemisz and Byron have yet to play a game this year.

Flames Defense Prospects NHLE 

Defensemen League PPG Translation NHLE
TJ Brodie AHL 1.00 0.55 45
Ryan Culkin CHL 1.09 0.3 27
Tyler Wotherspoon CHL 0.70 0.3 17
Brett Kulak CHL 0.50 0.3 12
Patrick Seiloff CHL 0.23 0.3 6
John Ramage NCAA 0.00 0.41 0
Brady Lamb AHL 0.00 0.55 0

Point totals and translation factors are obviously less important for defenders, but since the organization has a couple of guys in the system who have the "two-way" label attached to them, I figured it would be worthwhile to look at anyways.

Again, early in the season, small sample, blah blah blah…

I plan to re-post these tables, perhaps monthly, as we move along. If anyone wants a certain player added to the analysis, please let me know.

  • Sobueno

    Thanks Kent. The quantitative data is always appreciated to help confirm (or dispute) fan observations. I’m definitely looking forward to how this season progresses for our prospects.

    Since I recently moved to Van, I’ve been itching to go to a Heat game. Now that Mr. Baertschi is there tearing it up I’m for sure planning on seeing one of their November games against the baby Oil. I know I shouldn’t be hoping for extensions to the lockout but… I wouldn’t mind seeing RNH et al. when they come to town!

    • To be clear, Stephen Cooper did take a stab at AHL to NHL save percentage translations here.

      He didn’t find much though. The best guess is only a “minor” loss off SV% from moving to the NHL from the AHL (0.7%)…so a .917 goalie in the AHL could be expected to be roughly a .910 goalie in the NHL.

      As far as I know, no one has looked at the other leagues from a SV% perspective.

  • I take it that these qualitative observations are meant to reflect a educated assumption of the growth of a young player who has not yet hit his peak performance? For instance, someone like Kolonos,who will likely be a top performer in ABB ,but his stats, would not be reflected properly in this system,due to the fact that his performance has peaked?Or,is there another reason these vet players stat,s don,t reflect proportionately to the NHL?

    • Yeah, there’s not much to gain by looking at older guys with NHLE, in part because they won’t improve and in part because they are almost never afforded the chance at the NHL level to get translate their output.

    • SmellOfVictory

      Young dudes aren’t as physically mature for the most part, nor are they used to the pro game. When you’re an AHL vet who’s been around a few years, there isn’t really room for adaptation of any kind (you’ve been a pro for a while, you’re physically mature, etc). There are also some guys who just don’t translate well from lower leagues into the big leagues scoring-wise, and if you’re a scoring AHL vet in your late 20s and not in the NHL, you’re probably one of those guys.

      As to goaltenders: although there may be no real quantitative measures for comparing NHL to other leagues, I think it’s a safe assumption to say that the KHL is the closest comparison in terms of player ability, so it’s a good sign if any goaltender (ie Ramo) is doing well there. Particularly this season when you’ve got some very good NHLers playing in the league.