To help wash away the..unpleasantness of last night, here’s an update on some Flames prospects.
We’ve been breathlessly tracking Sven Baertschi’s incredible season a lot in this space and the exploits of John Gaudreau and Bill Arnold werementioned by Ryan Lambert a couple of weeks back. To put their output in context, I decided to calculate their NHL equivalencies this season, based on past work done by the venerable Gabriel Desjardins.
The purpose of NHLE is to compare kids across leagues by controlling for the relative strength or weakness of each league in question. In the table above, you see the "translation" ratio for each player based on his current league. The final NHLE number is each guys current point per game pace, multiplied by the translation factor and then applied to an 82-game NHL season. For Baertschi, for instance, an NHLE means his current output in the WHL is the equivalent to a 49-point, 82 game regular season in the NHL.
– Baertschi’s rate is obviously the cream of the crop and is likely one of the best of his draft class. By looking at his points splits, we know he’s scoring a lot at even strength and has accounted for 40%+ of his team’s scoring while in the line-up. All good news.
– Ferland was named WHL and CHL player of the week recently after scoring nine goals and 13 points in a four game stretch. The former 5th round pick is having a massive season beside Mark Stone (40 goals, 83 points in 58 games) for the Brandon Wheat Kings and is rapidly climbing up Calgary’s prospect charts. Originally drafted because he was big and mean, Ferland is adding a few more bullet points to his resume this year.
– Gaudreau and Markus Granlund are putting up pretty good numbers in rather diffult leagues. The Finnish elite league is professional and populated with grown men, making Granlund’s 0.71 PPG pace and 31 NHLE especially notable. Not only is it tough for teens to play against fully developed players, but it’s usually pretty tough for them to get ice time. Same goes for freshmen in College hockey, albeit to a lesser extent.
– Elson, Patterson and Howse were mostly added mainly for context.
– Nemisz is the oldest of the bunch, so further along his development path and therefore ceiling compared to everyone else. His NHLE is fairly disappointing.
– Max Reinhart is the oldest of the minor league prospects, but he also plays on the lowest scoring team. We’ll take a closer look at his point splits down the road to see how much he scores at ES vs the PP.
– Excluded here are defensemen and goalies for obvious reasons. Points don’t tell the story with most rearguards and goalies are a mystery at the best of times. I also skipped guys like Horak, Byron and Bouma who had split their time between the AHL and NHL this year.