Flames February Prospect NHLE 2013-14

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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.

For the previous NHLE updates, click here: OCT NOV DEC JAN. For an NHLE primer, click here. I keep a running total here.


Forwards GP Points Translation NHLE
John Gaudreau 34 64 0.41 63.3
Bill Arnold 34 44 0.41 43.5
Sean Monahan 53 26 1.00 40.2
Émile Poirier 58 80 0.30 33.9
Kenny Agostino 31 30 0.41 32.5
Markus Granlund 54 46 0.44/1.00 32.4
Morgan Klimchuk 52 68 0.30 32.2
Coda Gordon 54 66 0.30 30.1
Max Reinhart 60 45 0.44/1.00 28.4
Sven Baertschi 56 28 0.44/1.00 27.0
Mike Ferland 25 18 0.44 26.0
Corban Knight 58 37 0.44 23.1
Mark Jankowski 34 22 0.41 21.8
Ben Hanowski 52 27 0.44/1.00 18.9
Josh Jooris 56 21 0.44 13.5
Tim Harrison 31 5 0.41 5.4
Matt DeBlouw 20 3 0.41 5.0
Turner Elson 43 7 0.26/0.44 4.5

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.


Defensemen GP Points Translation NHLE
Brett Kulak 64 55 0.30 21.1
Ryan Culkin 61 46 0.30 18.6
John Gilmour 34 17 0.41 16.8
Eric Roy 61 40 0.30 16.1
Mark Cundari 45 17 0.44 13.6
Rushan Rafikov 47 20 0.25 8.7
James Martin 39 15 0.26/0.44 8.2
Tyler Wotherspoon 48 9 0.44 6.8
Keegan Kanzig 58 7 0.30 3.0
John Ramage 49 1 0.44 0.7
Patrick Sieloff 2 0 0.44 0.0

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.

  • Craig

    I posted this as well on the lambert article, but what has Ortio’s even strength save percentage on the Flames been? That’s how Ramo was primarily judged, just curious if it’s better than his .907

    • beloch

      his evsv% is .894. keep in mind that until he gets up to ~500 shots one bad or good game can swing it either way a considerable amount. true talent level for goalies takes about 3000 shots, but you can be relatively sure that a guy is better or worse than replacement level over 1500 or so.

  • Greg

    Speaking of Vancouvers’s prospects, what’s Hunter Shinkurak’s NHLE this year? I’m curious if it’s higher or lower than Klimchuk’s. It would take some of the Olli Maata / Tuevo Terravannen (sp?) fails to know that gambit is working out at least.

    • Bean-counting cowboy

      Seems to me the guy has fallen off a cliff. I calculate an NHLE of 13.20. Stats guys is that right? Over a 66 game season he would have 44 points x by 0.3, correct?

      If so, that is pretty brutal. Seems the Flames may have dodged a bullet on that one. Guy had more than twice as many points last year.

      EDIT: I was looking at the wrong year. My bad. Looks like he has been injured.

      • EugeneV

        He played the first month of the season on a busted hip, and then had surgery on it and has been out since then. His tiny sample size (w/constraining injury) this year doesn’t tell you anything.

    • I’m curious if it’s higher or lower than Klimchuk’s.

      Much, much lower. You can tell just by the fact that he didn’t even manage a point per game while he was playing. Klimchuk is scoring at ~1.3.

      To be fair, Shinkaruk was injured for, like, the whole year, and he called it a season and took the season-ending surgery after he was cut from the Canadian Junior team (which, given his performance and health, he never should have been in the conversation for in the first place).

    • beloch

      You are better off comparing Shinkaruk to Poirier, as Calgary (thankfully) passed over Hunter to pick Emile.

      The Canucks then (thankfully) passed over Klimchuck to pick Shinkaruk…..


  • beloch

    “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 haven’t done anything quantitative with Jankowski. Good college stats are hard to find! I think I did say his numbers are a tad disappointing when taken out of context, but the context is that he’s on a pretty awful team (aside from the goal-tending), and his NHLE might be lower than it should be as a result. e.g. What would his scoring look like if he were on a line with Arnold and Gaudreau?

  • The Last Big Bear

    Yes, that was me pointing out that treating NHL points as NHLE significantly short-changes the NHL-levels prospects.

    The only fair way to compare would be to develop a what I call an NHLEE, to project rookie+1 scoring based on rookie year, etc.

    I started a running a fairly comprehensive analysis, but came up with a very unusual answer, and real-world work interrupted before I could sort it out.

    The preliminary result was that the year-on-year improvements *increase* every year until draft+3, ie players get exponentially better for the first 3 pro years.

    Just off the top of my head, I think the rookie-to-rookie+1 conversion was something like 1.1, while the rookie+2 to rookie +3 conversion was up around 1.3 or 1.4

    I haven’t gotten around to checking my numbers and seeing if that was a spurious result, or the real trend, as I’ve got a bunch of work-related stats work on the go at the moment. But I’ll share my work once I’ve got my NHLEE sorted.

    • mattyc

      I wonder how much of that would be capturing role vs. skill. For instance, older/overage players are more likely to be given top minutes, more PP time etc.

      It’s a similar criticism that I have with the NHLE numbers. You have these prospects who are playing minutes a night, and are always on the ice for PPs and high scoring opportunity times, but once they get to the show, they’re playing 12-15 minutes, mostly at even strength. The NHLE regression should actually capture some of that since most players will get similar treatment, but guys who get more (less) opportunities will be underestimated (overestimated).

        • mattyc

          If I understand correctly what you’re trying to do, your measure (NHLEE) should just be the rate of change in NHLE (NHLE[t-1] – NHLE[t]). Essentially, is player X sticking to the development curve (above = good, below = bad)?

          I’m not sure how that deals with NHL prospects being short-changed. I’m also not sure exactly how they’re shortchanged.

          • seve927

            I think he’s just saying that when you take a non-nhl prospect, his NHLE has a year of development built in. That’s because NHLE is calculated as the points produced when a player moves from the lower league into the NHL. NHLE for a prospect playing in the NHL then, should have an NHLE factor calculated from rookie to second year numbers, rather than 1. That would be how they (rookies) are shortchanged.

          • The Last Big Bear

            okay so here’s what i’ve got: i’m going to compare the scoring of regular rookies (i.e. guys with gp >=41) aged 18, 19, 20 from the lockout and then I will compare it to the second year players within the same parameters. is that along the right line?

          • The Last Big Bear

            Well, I was just averaging the year-on-year increase of each players’ PPG, starting the year they lost their Calder Trophy eligibility, of all players who who lost their Calder eligibility since the 2005-06 season.

            I purposefully excluded age, because NHLE is not explicitly a function of age (although, as I’m sure you’re aware, Gabe Desjardins has done an age-dependent NHLE for the AHL). My calculations were done solely based on each player’s years since losing Calder Eligibility, and his PPG in the NHL over those successive years.

            I’m sure it would give you a more accurate number to account for age, and to keep cohorts age-matched (as was shown to be the case with the AHL’s NHLE). But as I said, the point is not to get a more accurate number, it’s to get a more directly comparable number for head-to-head comparisons.

            If NHLE takes no account of age, then NHLEE shouldn’t either (for this specific purpose).

            Although now that I’m giving it a bit more thought, I’m not sure if taking age into account for NHLers actually causes a problem. I’ll have to ponder that one for a while.

            Edit: Nevermind, I misinterpreted what you were saying. You’re not stratifying players based on age, you’re just limiting your analysis to players within that age range, correct? In that case, I would expand the range a bit more, since rookie years are routinely in the early 20’s (especially with college kids)

      • The Last Big Bear

        Well, I’m glad you’d have the same criticisms of an NHLEE as you do of NHLE, because that’s really what I’m trying to do.

        It’s not meant to be a *better* measure than NHLE, it’s intended to have the same kinds of limitations, to allow head-to-head comparisons with NHLE.

        As Azevedo said, hockey stats are mainly about looking for 80% solutions.

      • That’s a valid concern. NHLE is essentially blind to “role”.

        If we could actually get good data from the lower leagues, we would iterate the metric to capture that stuff. Alas.

        It’s part of the reason we also like to look at PP/ES point splits and % of team offense at FN as well. Adds some basic context.

  • beloch

    Question: How does the contract situation in Abby look? There are a lot of good prospects graduating from college or junior leagues soon. Is there going to be a crunch?

    • EugeneV

      keep in mind that a player doesn’t need a pro contract to play in abby, likely they’d just sign the guys who don’t currently have one to a pto/ato until the season is over (unless, of course, they’re part of that june 15th deadline group). so yeah, there would be a lot of bodies but i don’t think that it’ll take away from any meaningful ice time the prospects would get anyways

  • Al Buis

    A better conclusion: Feaster and co did a decent job at the draft………Burke doesn’t have his fingerprints on any of these prospects.

    Time to show your worth Burke!


    • Burnward

      Oh you just wait and see! Burke has been very very quiet. And I’m afraid many Flames fans have under estimated him to date. By the start of next season you will not recognize half the players and the numerous changes he will make on the current Flames roster and with the prospects already in the system.

      Fans can talk all they want about the great young talent the Flames now have. Fact is that Burke is very impatient and it will take many years for that young talent to develop! Fans can talk about the current roster and the great building blocks that are already in place but fact is this is a bottom 5 team that has not made the play offs since hell froze over.

      Just wait and see…..

  • Al Buis

    It looks like our top two defensemen of Brett Kulak and Ryan Culkin should be signed and given a chance to showcase their skills in the Ahl or Echl. Maybe let someone like James Martin go. Just a thought.

  • seve927

    I had this to say about Janko last month:

    “I think Janko’s having a really good year. We don’t have advanced stats, but the closest we can get is his plus minus and shots, which both turned around at the end of November. That’s also when the team turned around, so it’s hard to say which is the result of the other, but watching highlights, he is now featured in a lot of the them, whereas last year he was pretty much nowhere to be seen. Before December, the Friar’s SF% was about 49%. Since then it’s been about 57%. Janko’s shots per game went from about 1.6 to 2.8.

    He has now been on the ice for 7 goals against this year. The team is +19 at ES, but only +4 without Janko. He seems to me to be developing into a good all around player with some high end offensive potential.”

    “Oh, and I forgot to mention that since the end of November (coincidentally about the time Gillies started to struggle), the Friars have been -13 when Janko is not on the ice, +11 when he’s on.”

    • beloch

      Good stuff! This is probably the post Justin misattributed to me. It sounds like he might be developing into a two-way possession center, and NHL teams can never have too many of those!

      • seve927

        Nate Leaman (his coach) has said that the tools are all there. He needs more weight. It’s hard to put on weight when you’re still growing, and he’s still growing.

        I don’t know how true any of that is, but it sounds pretty reasonable to me. Hopefully he can gain some weight at some point and that caveat can finally be removed.

    • McRib

      I agree with most people on here not going to make a decision on Jankowski until he gains 20-30 pounds this offseason, but when I have watched him plus stickhandling always standouts for me just needs to get into traffic with more muscle. Nice piece glad he is developing other aspects of games outside of offensive numbers, even if offense doesn’t drastically improve in the next two seasons (I think it will) I still believe he has value as a 3rd or 4th liner in the NHLer down the road.

      Here is a good stat in the ENTIRE NCAA only five players have more points than Mark Jankowski-22 this season who are younger than him (Jake Guentzal-33, J.T Compher-29, Trevor Moore-29, Hudson Faschng-27, Ryan Fitzgerald-26). Outside of Jake Guentzal no one younger than him has even cracked 30 points this season. Considering physically a Hudson Fasching is 2-3 years more mature than him (38 pounds heavier) and plays on a much higher scoring team I’ll give Mark Jankowski some time, as NHL +1 & +2 seasons really don’t apply to someone who is 3-4 years underdeveloped. Not to mention Ryan Fitzgerald is the only player in the Hockey East with more points at a younger age playing on a stacked BC Team.

  • McRib

    “By all reports, Mike Ferland is making good progress in his recovery from a shredded knee.”

    Ferland has actually been at the last two Flames games nice to see him sticking around with the big club likely getting treatment. Obviously he is why we traded Roman Horak, but after that trade gave Ferland much more ice he really stepped up for the Heat and had 18 Points in 13 Games during that time in Nov/Dec he was one of the most dominant players in the AHL period.

    He is easily the most underrated prospect in our system and if healthy I think he will likely be with the big club full time next season he just stoodout all over the ice with the puck for me when I watched him. If bounces went his way he would have had twice as many points during that stretch. He was on another level always had the tools but really got in shape this past season and skating went to another level, don’t sleep on this kid as long as he improves quickly coming back from surgery, which considering the treatment the Flames can give him is not much of a concern he will recieve NHL time next year. He had some shifts I watched weere he was as impressive as anyone I have seen in the AHL the last 5 years. Where he had the puck on his stick for what seemed like the entire game.

    During that stretch of games in Nov/Dec when he started to get decent ice time before his injury he had a NHLE of 49.96. Which would leave him second behind only Johnny Gaudreau in the entire system. This kid is going to suprise people he would have been a first rounder his draft year if not for concerns of skating and lazyness now that he has addressed those in a big way the tools he showcased to get those mentions are starting to come out. I know someone who works for the Flames and they say that incident was the best thing to ever happen to him in Cochrane and he is as highly regarded as any prospect in the Flames eyes for good reason.

  • The Last Big Bear

    NHLE predicts a player’s subsequent-year NHL production. It is what he can be expected to produce by the end of *next year*, were he to play in the NHL. A year of development is built in to NHLE.

    So if you want to compare NHLE of prospects to NHL players, you need to compare it what the NHL player can be expected to produce by the end of *next year*.

    If you treat NHL points the same as NHLE, you get a number of problems.


    The total number of points scored by NHL rookies will approximately equal the previous year’s sum total NHLE for those players.

    Thus if you treat rookie NHL points interchangeably with NHLE, we are forced to conclude that, on average, there is no development or progress made by rookie NHLers.

    Last year’s Sean Monahan will have the same NHLE as this year’s Sean Monahan, despite being a much less developed player. If we are using NHLE to compare where players are in their relative progress, we will find that all rookie NHLers are at about the same stage of development (and have on average the same NHLE) as next year’s crop. This is clearly not correct.

    • EugeneV

      Well then the same MUST apply to the NCAA or AHL. Why use the same multiplier for Jankowski as you use for Bill Arnold who is 2 1/2 years older, has played a season in the USHL plus 4 seasons at Boston College. Surely the differences need to be taken into account when calculating NHLE?

      • The Last Big Bear

        because the skill gap in the nhl between a rookie and crosby is significantly more than random whler x and nic petan; i.e. the difference level of competition is decidedly less. if guys are “too good” for a lower league, they move up to the nhl. keeps it pretty constant.

        • EugeneV

          Justin, I am asking why the same multiplier (.41) is used for a sophomore as for a senior? (Jankowski vs Arnold)
          Surely the multiplier, along with expectations must change as a player gains experience?

        • EugeneV

          Justin, I am just saying that the multiplier (.41) should be different for a Sophomore than it is for a Senior (jankowski vs Arnold).

          You have Arnold second on your NHLe list ahead of the likes of Monahan, Poirier and Granlund and I don’t believe he will ever score more than them.

          Let’s compare apples with apples though.

          Bill Arnold stats and league

          Year Team League GP G A pts NHLe
          2008-09 Nobles Prep USHS 29 28 27 55
          2009-10 USNTDP Jrs USHL 26 8 15 23 25
          2010-11 BC NCAA 39 10 10 20 17

          Mark Jankowski stats and league

          2011-12 Stanstead CAHS 41 31 26 57
          2012-13 Providence NCAA 34 7 11 18 17
          2013-14 Providence NCAA 36 12 12 24 23

          I could EASILY make the point that the 3 years above match up if you count Jankowski’s first year at NCAA level to be HIS USHL season which he didn’t play but Arnold did. If this is the case then I think you can actually say that Jankowski is AHEAD of Arnold in terms of scoring when you consider that his share of Providence team scoring was much higher than Arnolds at the same points in their development.

          In fact I believe that within the next year Mark will be safely on his way and even the FN team will be on board regarding his potential to be an above average NHL player.

          I’m not cutting Arnold up, just elevating Jankowski in terms of where he is REALLY at.

          He has been going very well lately.