Reviewing McKeen’s 2012-13 Projections

McKeen’s hockey yearbook is one of the better buys in terms of comprehensive content.  Last year McKeen’s predicted the Sens would finish 13th in the conference and that Bobby Butler was a “hidden gem”.  Their top Sens prospects were:
Mika Zibanejad (15)
Jared Cowen (19)
David Rundblad (26)
Nikita Filatov (35)
Patrick Wiercioch (56)
Stefan Noesen (85)
Matt Puempel (97)
Jakob Silfverberg (98)
Robin Lehner was the 3rd highest goaltending prospect

So what about this year?  Here’s the outlook (with the Sens projected to finish 6th in the conference):

Murray was looking to add a few key weapons to coach Paul MacLean’s arsenal – and prevent any slippage after an 18-point improvement in ’11-’12.  But he came up short in his bid to acquire either Rick Nash or coveted free-agent defenseman Justin Schultz.

I do think the Sens were serious about Schultz, but there was never any chance Nash would come here so pursuing him was a waste of time.  I think it’s absurd to suggest losing out on Schultz equates to a negative for Murray’s off-season.  The rest of the outlook is positive, but suggests Murray may not to translate some of his prospect talent into trading for a defenseman if the current depth isn’t up to the challenge and I agree with that.

Kyle Turris is the player to watch, to which I say…really?  They aren’t swinging for the fences with that prediction.  Mark Borowiecki is the team’s sleeper prospect.  Here are their point projections:
Jason Spezza 76-34-48-82
Erik Karlsson 77-15-50-65
Milan Michalek 73-28-31-59
Alfredsson 70-23-35-58
Colin Greening 82-21-29-50
Kyle Turris 74-19-29-48
Sergei Gonchar 69-7-33-40
Jared Cowen 75-3-15-18

If Greening gets 50 points I’ll eat my hat.  Finally, these are the Sens prospects who made their top-120 list:
Mika Zibanejad (11)
Cody Ceci (30)
Mark Stone (53)
Jakob Silfverberg (55)
Stefan Noesen (66)
Matt Puempel (99)
Robin Lehner comes in 6th among the 30 goaltenders (Ben Bishop is 10th)
Presumably Jared Cowen fell off their list due to games played in the NHL.  Patrick Wiercioch‘s absence this year is not a surprise.

All in all the magazine is a worthwhile purchase.  Their predictions and analysis aren’t gospel, but it’s a good way to start and for poolies offers a comprehensive look at teams and prospects they aren’t familiar with.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: September 26th

Bob McKenzie Tweets that the Sens put Cody Ceci and Stefan Noesen on their CHL reserve list allowing them to be recalled whenever the season begins.

Bobby Kelly writes his preview of the Binghamton Senators’ season, but it’s not a breakdown of the team and expectations, rather it is a review of the last two seasons and a reminder that Luke Richardson wants to be a player’s coach and that Kelly thinks Shane Prince will be a key part of the team.

-I confess to being puzzled by the various petitions being sent to the NHL pleading for an end to the lockout.  Other than making those involved feel good about their efforts, the petitions have no effect on the CBA negotiations–the NHL and the NHLPA have no interest in fan opinions, just their money when the lockout is over.

Joseph Phung reviews EA Sports NHL 2013, giving it a 9.5 out of 10.  His primary complaints are:

Although the goalies in NHL 13 are generally better, they can sometimes easily be beaten with a top corner wrist shot just like in last year’s game. Some other complaints about the gameplay include the lack of penalties called during a match even when the penalty slider is set to maximum. Also, the high passing accuracy of the AI opponent feels cheap as it’s common to see them end a match with an accuracy rate of 85 percent or higher.

He’s right that the AI behaves more like an NHL team as you’ll see all players defensively boxing the front of the net.  Phung is right that the AI does not make many mistakes when it comes to either carrying the puck or passing it.

In terms of my own experiencing GMing I’m at 12 straight years of weak drafts.  The weird math for the draft lottery is slowly correcting itself (the last place team has won it over 50% of the time now, after a 1 for 5 start).  Amusingly, a goaltender has won the Ted Lindsay award every single season.  I haven’t figured out how you draft a diamond in the rough in this version, as good players are inevitably top players (which is realistic to a point).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)