Flames Weekly Prospect Update: showing love to the ECHL

By the way people talk about the league, you’d figure the ‘E’ in ECHL stood for “exile.” It’s a league synonymous with the worst that pro hockey has to offer.

All of this is unfair slander. If you’ve been following these prospect updates, you’d know that the Stockton Heat are playing very bad hockey. For your consideration, the Adirondack Thunder won a game 10-4 this past weekend. Stepan Falkovsky has score more goals in the past three weeks than most Stockton players have scored in 2017. Their social media presence, as we will find out, is on top of things. 

It’s time to start appreciating the ECHL, and what better time than today?

Last week, fancy table. And if you haven’t yet, check out Taylor’s great article on big man Stepan Falkovsky and what he’s been doing in his first year of pro hockey.

Forwards

  • Your Stockton Heat Goal of the Week™ was scored by Mark Jankowski. He was the only Flames prospect on the Heat to record a point this week.
  • And you can expect that well to dry up soon anyways. Janko’s shooting percentage has creeped back up to just about 19%, about where it was at before the Heat started crashing. It’s going to fall back down to 10-12% again, meaning you can expect even less from the Heat.
  • If it’s any consolation, we should expect to see Hunter Shinkaruk, Daniel Pribyl, and Morgan Klimchuk break out soon enough.
  • One source of optimism is the WHL, which we’ll run through super quick:
    • Matt Phillips scored three goals this past weekend.
    • Eetu Tuulola scored two of the three Everett goals this past weekend. Imagine what he would be like if he wasn’t playing third line minutes.
    • Dillon Dube had three assists this past weekend. Imagine what he would be like if he wasn’t playing second line minutes.

Defenders

  • Rasmus Andersson took a puck to the face and has skipped the current Stockton road trip, though he is not expected to miss any more time.
  • Keegan Kanzig was sent back down to the ECHL, being unable to find a spot in the lineup.
  • We haven’t said Oliver Kylington’s name in a long time, which is quite unfortunate. He’s been a steady blueliner for the Heat.
  • Adam Fox and the Harvard Crimson beat Brandon Hickey and the BU Terriers for the Beanpot title. Fox scored the final goal of the 6-3 Harvard victory, while Hickey recorded an assist.
  • Stepan Falkovsky scored four goals in three games this week, two of them coming in a 10-4 demolition of the Manchester Monarchs. As a result the guy who runs the Manchester Monarchs Twitter account got very, very mad:

@ECHLThunder So there’s no excuse to act like a mite when he scores. Good to know. He’s a rookie so he really has never been there before.

Goalies

  • If you want the bright side from the Stockton Heat slipping, we can look at Jon Gillies and David Rittich, who have been holding down the fort. Gillies stopped 32 of 35 shots and Rittich 31 of 33 this weekend. Now if only the team in front of them could get more than 27 and 23 shots, respectively.
  • Tyler Parsons now leads in the OHL in SV%. That kid is something special.
  • Mason McDonald returned from a long injury absence to the Adirondack net. He stopped 19/21 and 19/22 shots in his return; par for the course for the rookie goaltender.

Finding the ECHL’s NHLe

For those of you who check out the fancy table in depth every week, you have probably noticed that there was a simple NA for the ECHL players. This is because ECHL players never go straight from that league to the NHL, making translation difficult.

However, an inquiry from our good pal Taylor McKee prompted me to at least give it a shot, and whaddya know, we found a working number.

Check out this fancy table. In it, we have every player since 1990 who played in the ECHL one year and then the NHL the next. As a rule, 20 games in each league make for a good comparison. We only had 10 hits of that, so I broadened to scope to be 10 games in each league. As a result, we have 30 hits which gives us an NHLe of 0.28.

I’m working on making a better version of it (following Kent’s method), and early returns look to confirm a number +/- 0.01 of the 0.28 NHLe. For the meantime, we can use 0.28 as a handy gauge for the ECHL. If you click the table at the top of the article, you’d notice that all the NA is gone. We have actual working numbers, which is a step in the right direction.

    • His NHLe heading into this season was 36.08 (0.44 translation factor).

      I’d say his numbers have taken a hit due to injuries. Torn ACL before the season started, out for a month and a half with a hip injury, and then out for three weeks with a concussion. Rough season, but I still have plenty of hope for him.

  • Parallex

    “In it, we have every player since 1990 who played in the ECHL one year and then the NHL the next. As a rule, 20 games in each league make for a good comparison. We only had 10 hits of that, so I broadened to scope to be 10 games in each league. As a result, we have 30 hits which gives us an NHLe of 0.28.”

    Why can’t you do an assumed NHLE? I mean I assume you have a relatively large data set of ECHL->AHL right? Or at least larger then 10/30… So use that to calculate an AHLE and then use the AHLE as a baseline to make an NHLE. Or am I missing something that makes that an invalid approach?

  • DangleSnipeCelly

    Falkovsky scored as many goals in three games last week as the entire Stockton Heat have scored in their last seven games. Think about THAT for a second…

  • McRib

    When you are playing in a league with pink ice, excessive goal celebrations should be encouraged!!! One interesting thing about the ECHL is the league attendances aren’t really all that far off the AHL and in some cases are better. The Flames are definitely setting a precedent by putting legitimate talent in ECHL, I have friends who have played in both leagues and they say the level of competition is not far off in ECHL and the AHL is just more political (being a prospect of NHL Teams). Mikkel Aagaard is having a good year for a young 21 year old as well.