Reviewing Hockey Prospect’s 2014 NHL Draft Guide

Hockey Prospect‘s draft guide is out and here are my thoughts on it (for the last two year’s go here and here).  In terms of accuracy, this is how they’ve performed the last three years (compared to Red Line Report, ISS, and Hockey Prospects, all of whom also predict the entire draft): 2013 69% (1st), 2012 72% (3rd), and 2011 47% (3rd).  [Note: A few readers are confused about the nature of "accuracy" when referring to any hockey guide's success in predicting the draft when their lists are (often) intended to simply list the best players in their opinion.  The “accuracy” I’m referring to is for fans in judging which list comes closest to how the draft plays out (so how accurately their list reflects what will actually happen at the draft)–it has nothing to do with the quality of any particular guide's scouting (which would be an entirely different question). If you’re interested in draft selection versus quality of player I suggest you check out my NHL Draft Success article from April to get a sense of it, but I don't data old enough from the guides to relate their predictions to draft success yet.] Here’s their top-30 list:

1          Bennett

2          Reinhart

3          Ekblad

4          Ehlers

5          Ritchie

6          Draisaitl

7          Dal Colle

8          Nylander

9          Larkin

10        Fleury

11        Tuch

12        Milano

13        Barbashev

14        Scherbak

15        Fiala

16        Sanheim

17        Pastrnak

18        Virtanen

19        Kapanen

20        Perlini

21        Kempe

22        Bleackley

23        Honka

24        Fabbri

25        McCann

26        Lemieux

27        Dougherty

28        Schmaltz

29        Goldobin

30        Vrana

The guide has 16 unique players listed (compared to the other big guides), all of whom are peppered throughout the sixth and seventh rounds; they have much more in common with the ISS and FC player lists than the more radical Red Line Report.  Despite the girth of the guide (nearly 700 pages) it does not include any specific organisational material or a mock draft.  The contents, beyond the list, consists of scouting profiles and lengthy game reports–the latter are the one unique element in the product, but I’m dubious of its value and would rather see that cut for other content.

In general I’m not fond of HP’s guide, as they offer less than FC at almost twice the price.  If they can repeat their accuracy from last season, however, it remains a useful resource.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Reviewing Red Line Report’s 2014 NHL Draft Guide

Red Line Report is an independent scouting service who unapologetically does not aim to predict when and where players will be picked, but offers their opinion of who the best players are.  This is my look at their top-30 rankings and thoughts about the publication (for the last two year’s go here and here).  In terms of accuracy here are their last three years (compared to Future Considerations, ISS, and Hockey Prospects, all of whom also predict the entire draft): 2013 67% (3rd), 2012 73% (2nd), and 2011 44% (3rd).

1. Sam Bennett

2. Aaron Ekblad

3. Sam Reinhart

4. Leon Draisaitl

5. Michael Dal Colle

6. Nikolaj Ehlers

7. Jake Virtanen

8. Nick Ritchie

9. Robby Fabbri

10. Kevin Fiala

11. William Nylander

12. Nikita Scherbak

13. Haydn Fleury

14. David Pastrnak

15. Ivan Barbashev

16. Dylan Larkin

17. Sonny Milano

18. Nikolay Goldobin

19. Alex Tuch

20. Brendan Perlini

21. Jared McCann

22. Josh Ho-Sang

23. Jack Glover

24. John Quenneville

25. Markus Pettersson

26. Vladislav Kamenev

27. Roland McKeown

28. Jakub Vrana

29. Kasperi Kapanen

30. Brendan Lemieux

While the other comprehensive guides I’ve looked at offer full scouting reports on all listed players, RLR cuts it off at 115 (based, presumably, on the size of their print edition), although there are single lines through player 178.  This has always been a flaw in the guide, although it’s a handful more than last year; however it’s worth noting the guide lists more players than any other guide (only Central Scouting names more players).  There are significant differences in player lists compared to FC (126, so a 60% difference) and ISS (91, or 43%).

Since Ottawa has no first round pick, neither of the guide’s mock drafts offer insight.  They do offer this organisational analysis:

It seems as if the long-rumoured trade of center Jason Spezza might finally happen. Milan Michalek is expected to test free agency. The Senators should try to re-sign Ales Hemsky, particularly if Spezza is going to be dealt. The team’s defence looks set. It makes sense to move Spezza because the core of the team has grown a bit stale, but there is some risk because he generates a large chunk of offence and makes his wingers better. If Michalek does indeed go elsewhere, it becomes imperative to get scoring potential in any Spezza deal. The loss of Tim Murray will be felt at the draft table, and we’re not sure who will emerge with the most powerful voice in the war room now.

This isn’t very informative about the prospect pool or what the team would look to do at the draft, but it’s better than nothing.  On the plus side, the guide looks at a pair of older European players still eligible for the draft (Victor Arvidsson and Kasimir Kaskisuo), as well as European free agents who might be signed (they suggest ten players; it’s something I looked at a few weeks ago)–we both identified Michael Keranen who was just signed by Minnesota.

Overall I quite like Red Line Report, but it’s not inexpensive ($50) and does lack some of the scouting depth draft fans might want for prospects–it’s definitely not worth it for casual fans.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Reviewing the ISS 2014 NHL Draft Guide

Clocking in at a ridiculous $99 price (far more than any other guide, even for those who pre-ordered and received a 40% discount), what has ISS added to its previous guide to justify the huge increase?  A slight expansion of their scouting reports (instead of just a consensus description, they include a few lines from specific scouts), expanded their organisational analysis in a very cheap way–simply added a draft list to their meaningless grade and “best picks” in recent history; and that is that.  Are the additions enough for the price?  Not even close.  Other lists do the same (or more) for less.  There is no reason to pay for the guide.

Putting price aside, here’s a look at their top-30 rankings and my thoughts about the publication (for the last two year’s go here and here).  In terms of accuracy here are their last three years (compared to Future Considerations, Red Line Report, and Hockey Prospects, all of whom also predict the entire draft): 2013 65% (last), 2012 70% (last), and 2011 60% (2nd).  Last year I considered their guide the second worst deal next to McKeen’s.

1 REINHART, Sam C 11/6/1995 R 6.00.75* 185 Kootenay WHL

2 EKBLAD, Aaron RD 2/7/1996 R 6.03.5* 216 Barrie OHL

3 DAL COLLE, Michael C 6/20/1996 L 6.01.5* 182 Oshawa OHL

4 BENNETT, Sam C 6/20/1996 L 6.00.25* 178 Kingston OHL

5 NYLANDER, William RW 5/1/1996 R 5.11 176 Modo SweE

6 DRAISAITL, Leon C 10/27/1995 L 6.01.5* 204 Prince Albert WHL

7 VIRTANEN, Jake RW 8/17/1996 R 6.00.75* 208 Calgary WHL

8 FABBRI, Robby C 1/22/1996 L 5.10.25* 170 Guelph OHL

9 PERLINI, Brendan LW 4/27/1996 L 6.02.75* 205 Niagara OHL

10 RITCHIE, Nicholas LW 12/5/1995 L 6.02.25* 226 Peterborough OHL

11 EHLERS, Nikolaj LW 2/14/1996 L 5.11* 162 Halifax QMJHL

12 FLEURY, Haydn LD 7/8/1996 L 6.02.5* 203 Red Deer WHL

13 KAPANEN, Kasperi RW 7/23/1996 R 6.00 181 Kuopio FinE

14 TUCH, Alex RW 5/10/1996 R 6.03.5* 213 USA Under-18 NTDP

15 LARKIN, Dylan C 7/30/1996 L 6.00.75* 190 USA Under-18 NTDP

16 MILANO, Sonny LW 5/12/1996 L 5.11.5* 183 USA Under-18 NTDP

17 MCCANN, Jared C 5/31/1996 L 6.00.25* 179 S.S. Marie OHL

18 HO-SANG, Joshua RW 1/22/1996 R 5.11* 175 Windsor OHL

19 BARBASHEV, Ivan C 12/14/1995 L 6.00* 180 Moncton QMJHL

20 FIALA, Kevin LW 7/22/1996 L 5.10 180 HV71 SweJE

21 VRANA, Jakub RW 2/28/1996 L 6.00 187 Linkoping SweE

22 KEMPE, Adrian LW 9/13/1996 L 6.01.5 187 Modo SweE

23 MCKEOWN, Roland RD 1/20/1996 R 6.00.75* 195 Kingston OHL

24 SCHMALTZ, Nick RW 2/23/1996 R 5.11.5* 172 Green Bay USHL

25 MACINNIS, Ryan C 2/14/1996 L 6.03.25* 183 Kitchener OHL

26 BLEACKLEY, Conner C 2/7/1996 R 6.00.25* 192 Red Deer WHL

27 SCHERBAK, Nikita RW 12/30/1995 L 6.01* 175 Saskatoon WHL

28 GOLDOBIN, Nikolay RW 10/7/1995 L 5.11.75* 178 Sarnia OHL

29 KAMENEV, Vladislav C 8/12/1996 L 6.02 185 Magnitogorsk Rus Jr

30 SANHEIM, Travis LD 3/29/1996 L 6.03* 181 Calgary WHL

ISS’ mock draft doesn’t extend beyond the first round, so they have nothing to say about Ottawa (although, without any reasons given, they rate the Sens organisation as a B+).  Unlike Future Considerations (which I discussed last week), there’s no effort to address the draft class as a whole (although many comments have been made about how weak it is, particularly after the top-ten).  Speaking of FC, there are 58 players in ISS’ list of 220 (10 more than the former) that they list which don’t appear in FC–these difference begin late in the third round.

The guide includes profiles of 220 players, although they continue their irritating separation of goaltenders from skaters (something no other guide does, although it echoes Central Scouting’s practice).  These profiles are expanded from previous seasons, but that small difference is simply not worth the cost.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Future Considerations 2014 NHL Draft Guide

Future Considerations 2014 NHL draft guide is out and here’s a look at their top-30 rankings and my thoughts about the publication (for the last two year’s go here and here).  In terms of accuracy here are their last three years (compared to ISS, Red Line Report, and Hockey Prospects, all of whom also predict the entire draft): 2013 68% (2nd out of 4), 2012 71% (3rd), and 2011 44% (4th).  Last year I considered their guide the best deal available for fans and we’ll see how this one holds up.

1). D Aaron Ekblad, Barrie (OHL), 6 ‘4, 215

2). C Sam Reinhart, Kootenay (WHL), 6 ‘1, 185

3). C Sam Bennett, Kingston (OHL), 6 ‘0, 180

4). RW William Nylander, MODO (SHL), 5 ‘11, 170

5). C Leon Draisaitl, Prince Albert (WHL), 6 ‘2, 210

6). C Michael Dal Colle, Oshawa (OHL), 6 ‘2, 180

7). LW Nick Ritchie, Peterborough (OHL), 6 ‘2, 230

8). LW Nikolaj Ehlers, Halifax (QMJHL), 5 ‘11, 165

9). D Haydn Fleury, Red Deer (WHL), 6 ‘3, 200

10). C Jake Virtanen, Calgary (WHL), 6 ‘1, 210

11). LW Brendan Perlini, Niagara (OHL), 6 ‘2, 205

12). C Jared McCann, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL), 6 ‘0, 180

13). LW Kevin Fiala, HV 71 (SHL), 5 ‘10, 180

14). C Dylan Larkin, USNTDP U18 (USHL), 6 ‘1, 190

15). C Robby Fabbri, Guelph (OHL), 5 ‘10, 165

16). LW Ivan Barbashev, Moncton (QMJHL), 6 ‘1, 185

17). LW Sonny Milano, USNTDP U18 (USHL), 5 ‘11, 185

18). RW David Pastrnak, Sodertalje (Allsvenskan), 5 ‘11, 170

19). RW Alex Tuch, USNTDP U18 (USHL), 6 ‘3, 215

20). RW Josh Ho ‘Sang, Windsor (OHL), 5 ‘11, 165

21). RW Conner Bleackley, Red Deer (WHL), 6 ‘1, 195

22). G Thatcher Demko, Boston College (NCAA), 6 ‘4, 180

23). RW Nikolay Goldobin, Sarnia (OHL), 6 ‘0, 175

24). D Jack Dougherty, USNTDP U18 (USHL), 6 ‘1, 185

25). C Jakub Vrana, Linkoping J20 (SuperElit), 5 ‘11, 185

26). RW Kasperi Kapanen, KalPa (SM JLiiga), 5 ‘11, 170

27). C Adrian Kempe, Modo J20 (SuperElit), 6 ‘2, 190

28). D Roland McKeown, Kingston (OHL), 6 ‘1, 200

29). D Anthony DeAngelo, Sarnia (OHL), 5 ‘11, 175

30). C Eric Cornel, Peterborough (OHL), 6 ‘2, 175

In FC‘s mock draft they have Ottawa selecting Marcus Pettersson in the second round, saying:

They need skilled defenders and a couple [of] high-end talents at the forward positions.

Last year they expected Ottawa to take Samuel Morin, but he was not available when Ottawa made their selection (Philadelphia picked him at 11th overall).

There’s no assessment of the various NHL organisations (or their scouting staffs), but they do offer a comment about the quality of this year’s draft:

The truth of the matter is, while there are no sure-fire ‘Next Great NHL Superstar’ types of talents available, there are a few kids who project to have very strong NHL futures ahead of them. Sure [many of] these prospects all have the potential to bust, but that potential is realized more than a handful of times in every draft class. The forward prospects are the real strength of this draft class with big power forwards, smaller skilled pivots and goal-scoring wingers deep into the third or fourth rounds. Also, add the odd agitating winger or two-way specialist into the mix and the forward position should be well represented in Philly. Plenty of strong goaltending prospects are also available this year. The list includes a couple calm and poised technical tenders, the bigger bodies with raw but potentially impressive upsides, as well as the more acrobatic types who are less blocker and more old school reflex stoppers. Defense is a weak area of this draft as there are very few guys who look like they can be developed into impact NHLers, but instead there appears to be a few blue-chippers and a bunch of guys who could be bottom-pairing contributors or career minor leaguers.

The guide contains profiles of varying extent for all 210 prospects listed and once again it’s very reasonably priced ($20.99).  I haven’t seen the other guides yet, but they are all more expensive than FC so it’s likely it will be the best bet for fans again this year.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Judging Player Production in Europe

In my last post I made fun of efforts at translating production from other leagues to the NHL–it’s not that I don’t laud the effort, but I have yet to see a formula that can be applied to basic stats that makes sense.  To illustrate the point, I decided to highlight top North American performers in European leagues using this season to provide some insight (I’ve given their stats from this past season and then their best NA results and career totals; their current age is also in brackets).

KHL
Brandon Bochenski (32) 54-28-30-58 (NHL 41-13-11-24 06-07; NHL 156-28-10-68)
Nigel Dawes (29) 54-26-23-49 (NHL 66-14-18-32 09-10; NHL 212-39-45-84)
Kyle Wilson (29) 49-17-27-44 (NHL 32-4-7-11 10-11; AHL 427-149-170-319)
Dustin Boyd (27) 49-18-20-38 (NHL 71-11-11-22 08-09; NHL 220-32-31-63)

None of the players here truly established themselves as NHL regulars (although Dawes and Boyd did get to 200 games); that marginal existence (or in Wilson’s case, strong AHL career) has carried over to being excellent KHL players.  Does Bochenski’s domination of the KHL mean other players who dominate the league are Bochenski’s?  He out produced Ilya Kovalchuk, who was nearly a point-per-game in his last NHL season (12-13), but clearly isn’t anywhere near as talented as the Russian, so how much do their numbers matter?

NLA
Brett McLean (35) 50-18-26-44 (NHL 82-9-31-40 05-06; NHL 385-56-106-162)
Robbie Earl (28) 46-20-18-38 (NHL 32-6-0-6 09-10; AHL 313-66-103-169)
Alexandre Giroux (32) 46-20-18-38 (AHL 69-50-53-103 09-10; AHL 771-368-336-704)
Ahren Spylo (30) 47-16-22-38 (AHL 50-25-11-36 04-05; AHL 137-43-25-68)

These players have a less distinctive background in North America, being primarily AHL stars.  Joe Thornton was slightly better than a point-per-game player in the NLA (04-05), but this doesn’t mean Brett McLean is just a notch below him.  Not to beat my point to death, but clearly raw numbers from the league aren’t particularly useful in translating their production at the highest level

SHL
Chad Kolarik (28) 53-30-18-48 (AHL 76-31-37-68 12-13; AHL 277-98-111-209)
Ryan Gunderson (28) 54-8-33-41 (AHL 74-5-20-25 09-10; ECHL 156-9-98-107)
Rhett Rakshani (26) 55-13-25-38 (AHL 66-24-38-62 10-11; AHL 120-44-69-113)
Ryan Lasch (27) 54-20-16-36 (AHL 30-6-4-10 12-13; NCAA 161-79-104-183)

These players are quite similar to those above and I won’t bother making the point I’ve already made twice above.

Liiga
Ben Maxwell (26) 49-16-26-42 (AHL 73-22-36-58 08-09; AHL 296-68-140-208)
Corey Elkins (29) 54-15-25-40 (AHL 76-18-26-44 10-11; AHL 173-43-48-91)
Dan Sexton (27) 39-16-21-37 (NHL 41-9-10-19 09-10; AHL 144-36-64-100)
Aaron Gagnon (28) 48-17-19-36 (AHL 78-27-31-58; AHL 328-74-98-172)

The caliber here is quite Similar to the SHL.

DEL
Adam Courchaine (30) 51-29-45-74 (ECHL 42-21-28-49 05-06; ECHL 45-21-30-51)
Kevin Clark (26) 60-32-40-72 (AHL 72-12-19-31 11-12; AHL 160-26-60-56)
Blaine Down (31) 48-26-25-51 (AHL 54-8-13-21 02-03; AHL 134-18-28-46)
Derek Hahn (36) 52-12-34-46 (CHL 64-35-79-114 05-06; CHL 238-124-201-325)

This is a significant fall-off compared to the leagues above, as middling AHL and top ECHL players can make a big impact in the league.

The point of this isn’t to suggest we should give up the effort of understanding how a player’s performance in Europe translates at the next level, but as it stands all we can say with certainty is that big numbers in the top leagues (KHL, NLA, SHL, and Liiga) do translate at the AHL level (as they do in reverse).  Whatever limitations various players from either side of the Atlantic have, it seems like success in those leagues (or the AHL) easily moves back and forth, but that production does not have an obvious ratio at the next level.  I’m not sure what the solution to the conundrum is, but the problem shouldn’t come as a big surprise: massive point totals from junior players rarely translate to the NHL, but sometimes they do–the only certainty is that an absence of production at a lower level guarantees it will continue at the next.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Behind the Numbers of Binghamton’s 2013-14 Season

I wrote about Binghamton’s season back in April and then graded the prospects a week ago, but I return to the topic because Manny has gifted us with analytics via Josh Weissbock for the AHL.  Weissbock’s methodology is not included in the blog (just a link to his Twitter), but by the power of Internet I went and found an article he wrote for nhlnumbers which gives us somewhere to start:

To create a proxy for possession in the AHL, I looked at all games that have been played so far this year, added up each teams Shots For and Shots Against and calculated their Shots For %. This means there are some obvious limitations. These numbers also include special teams (not just even strength) and don’t take account score effects. So this a very rough proxy for the possession numbers we usually use for the NHL.

There’s clearly more to it now, but it sheds some light on where Weissbock’s numbers come from (he did Tweet how he calculated TOI).  I’m not going to break down each player comparing my thoughts to Manny’s because the differences aren’t extreme enough for that.  Instead I’ll highlight differences and reinforcements that I consider significant.

Goaltenders

I thought Andrew Hammond was solid in net and the numbers agree, although Manny believes more is needed from him next season; conversely I thought Nathan Lawson was average that was far too kind to the UFA.

Blueliners

No surprises here at all; I didn’t think much of Mark Borowiecki‘s season, nor is it a surprise to know he faced the toughest opposition in the league–I still expected more from him.

Forwards

I didn’t think much of Darren Kramer, Wacey Hamilton, or Corey Cowick‘s seasons and their underlying numbers are awful.  The former two comes as no surprise to anyone, but I think the data here makes it clear that Cowick cannot effectively handle a checking role (he was also a drag for Derek Grant and David Dziurzynski).  Jean-Gabriel Pageau was a monster against the toughest opposition.  It’s worth listing Binghamton’s forwards by the level of competition they faced (the number in brackets is where they finished in points-per-game in scoring by forwards; I’ve bolded the top-scorers):
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (4)
David Dziurzynski (11)
Derek Grant (9)
Jim O’Brien (8)
Corey Cowick (12)
Mark Stone (2)
Cole Schneider (5)
Matt Puempel (7)
Darren Kramer (14)
Wacey Hamilton (13)
Stephane Da Costa (3)
Buddy Robinson (10)
Mike Hoffman (1)
Shane Prince (6)
It would have been nice to see where Andre Petersson fit here before he left, but while excluded from Manny’s list his name appears amongst the bubbles of QoT/QoC and he slots ahead of Schneider above.  It’s worth pointing out that I gave Puempel and Prince equal grades and it’s clear the former had a better season given his QoT; Grant warranted a bit more generosity as well.

The last thing I want to address is the NHL Equivalency number included in the final chart.  These numbers are derived from a now gone-from-the-web Gabe Desjardins article, but Manny got his formula via Justin Azevedo:

chart

I have no doubt Desjardins put a lot of work into this, but as a cautionary tale for taking this chart as gospel, it predicts that Brandon Bochenski (KHL) is a 72-point producer at the NHL level (hell, Nigel Dawes is a 61-point player); or, for an AHL-example, Martin St. Louis should have been a 42-point NHL player.  I don’t think there’s a useful way to take statistics from one league and apply them to another, although it’s still fun to try.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

European Free Agents of Interest

I’ve cast my eye on Europe the previous two years (2012 and 2013), and with the recent signing of DEL star David Wolf (Calgary) I thought I’d look again across the Atlantic and see what free agents might be worth pursuing.  The focus here isn’t aging veterans or former NHL players–I’m looking at lesser known, undrafted players who might make the jump.

Jan Kovar (LW/C), 24, 5’11 KHL Metellurg 54-23-45-68 (signed KHL; a player I highlighted in 2012)
The Czech player was second in league scoring, playing on a line with Sergei Mozyakin and Denis Zarpiov; he makes a lot of money in Russia and may not want to take the pay cut to get his shot in the NHL, but at some point he’ll pull a Roman Cervenka and take a year off to try it out

Sakari Salminen (RW/LW), 25, 5’11 KHL Torpedo 54-18-29-47 (signed KHL; player I identified in 2012)
Like most players who dominate in their domestic leagues, Salminen has made the transition to the KHL and enjoyed a great deal of success; leading Torpedo in scoring by nearly ten points (ahead of former NHLer Wojtek Wolski); I think there’s a good chance he’ll give the NHL a shot at some point

Dennis Rasmussen (C/LW), 23, 6’3, SHL Vaxjo 52-16-24-40 (signed SHL)
Enjoyed a career year leading Vaxjo in scoring; has good size which always makes GM’s happy; may not have an opt-out clause, but unless he goes for the money in the KHL he should land a deal with someone across the Atlantic [June 10th: Chicago signed him]

Michael Keranen (C/RW), 24, 6’1, Liiga Ilves 52-17-35-52 (signed, Liiga)
Nearly doubled his previous career high as he finished tied for the scoring lead in the Liiga; was nearly 20 points ahead of his nearest teammate–like Rasmussen above he’ll have to make the choice between the KHL and NHL, but undoubtedly he’s received calls from both [June 5th: Minnesota signed him]

Tommi Huhtala (LW), 26, 6’0, Liiga Blues 60-23-20-43 (signed KHL)
Locked into a KHL deal for the upcoming season; he lead the Blues in scoring while enjoying a career year; if he has a good season with Jokerit he might make the jump to the NHL, although at his age he may be beyond the point of wanting to play in the AHL

Julius Junttila (LW/RW), 22, 5’10, Liiga Karpat 56-19-15-34 (signed Liiga; a player I identified in 2012)
Set career highs with Karpat, where he finished fifth in team scoring; his numbers aren’t overwhelming, but he’s trending upwards and still very young

Borna Rendulic (RW), 22, 6’1, Liiga HPK 57-11-21-32 (FA)
Croatian national worked his way up through the Finnish junior system to establish himself as a Liiga-regular; he lead HPK in scoring

Ville Kolppanen (G), 21, 6’1, Liiga Ilves 2.18 .927
I believe he’s still eligible for the draft as an overage European, but I’ll include him here anyway; put up good numbers as Ilves’ starting goaltender

Players Signed from Previous Lists

Just a quick look back on those mentioned that appeared in previous versions of this list.  It’s worth noting the majority of players identified have not been signed.  There are far fewer European players who come over as compared to college, even though the dividends can be much higher (as you can see here).

Damien Brunner (RW) - signed with Detroit two years ago and after a strong rookie campaign struggled with New Jersey
Simon Moser (LW/RW) – signed an ELC with Nashville last season and spent most of the year in the AHL (48-8-18-26); he’s an RFA (I highlighted him in 2012)
Ronalds Kenins (LW) – signed by Vancouver last season to an ELC (I identified him in 2012), but was loaned back to Switzerland and enjoyed a career year (39-8-17-25); he should be in the AHL next season
Joel Vermin (C/W) – signed an ELC with Tampa last season (I highlighted him in 2013), but was loaned back to Switzerland where he struggled (49-6-12-18); his fate the following season is up in the air
David Wolf (LW) – signed by Calgary this week to an ELC (I identified him in 2012); DEL players tend not to translate well at the next level, although Marcel Muller was a decent AHL player

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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