# NHLE

Lowetide
July 16 2010 06:59AM

I promise not to bore you with too much math here at ON. However, based on my early experience it looks as though math is regarded as a guide along with observation at Oilers Nation, so there's an opportunity to discuss some very useful tools that some very smart people have created or derived over the last few years.

Gabriel Desjardins is a brilliant writer and problem solver. His blog is here and his stats mountain is here. Gabriel (among others) gives bloggers and math fans a chance to explore the NHL universe: lines, zone starts, shots for and against, even-strength scoring per 60 minutes, shooting percentage, he has all kinds of reasonable measurements that tell us more than the boxcars. I encourage you to read Gabriel's stuff, he is a generous fellow with his time (if I had to pay a dollar for every visit he'd own my house). Beyond that, I won't mention him here a lot, save for giving Gabriel credit for the things he created or derived. It is only fair.

Desjardins supplies us with a rational NHL "production equivalency" for lower leagues. He projects those leagues into the NHL, and explains it here. It is an exceptional tool, and has been tracking very well since we started using it for Oiler picks and prospects.

By way of example, here are two season's worth of quality picks (2007 and 2008) and their NHLE. It is followed in brackets by their actual NHL numbers the following season:

• Patrick Kane, OHL: 26-36-62 (ACTUAL: 82gp, 21-51-72)
• Sam Gagner, OHL: 16-39-55 (ACTUAL: 79gp, 13-36-49)
• David Perron, QMJHL: 13-14-27 (ACTUAL: 62gp, 13-14-27)
• Steve Stamkos, OHL: 23-19-42 (ACTUAL: 23-23-46)
• Drew Doughty, OHL: 6-23-29 (ACTUAL: 6-21-27)
• Luke Schenn, WHL: 3-9-12 (ACTUAL: 2-10-12)
• Mikael Boedker, OHL: 12-17-29 (ACTUAL: 11-17-28)
• Josh Bailey, OHL: 11-24-35 (ACTUAL: 7-18-25)

Those are really good projections. Gabriel has arrived at a solid number in terms of letting air out of the tires, and so we can look to the future with some confidence. I'm using his CHL, AHL, SEL and other equivalencies below, if you'd like to read more I would refer you to both blog and stats mountain.

BUBBLING UNDER: NHLE'S for Oilers top level F prospects (per 82 GP)

1. R Jordan Eberle 22-24-46
2. L Taylor Hall 17-29-46
3. L Magnus Pääjärvi 16-22-38
4. L Linus Omark 20-15-35
5. C Chris Vande Velde 13-21-34
6. L Philippe Cornet 10-17-27
7. L Teemu Hartikainen 12-14-26
8. R Toni Rajala 11-15-26
9. C Robby Dee 13-12-25
10. C Ryan Martindale 8-16-24
11. C Milan Kytnar 8-14-22
12. C Anton Lander 9-12-21
13. L Liam Reddox 9-9-18
14. C Tyler Pitlick 9-8-17
15. L Curtis Hamilton 7-8-15
16. R Colin McDonald 6-5-11
17. C Ryan O'Marra 6-3-9
18. L Drew Czerwonka 2-4-6
19. R Cameron Abney 2-3-5
20. L Matt Glasser 2-3-5
21. L Matt Marquardt 1-4-5

This is an outstanding list, the Oilers best prospect list for forwards in a long, long time. Three top drawer offensive talents, followed by a long-in-the-tooth prospect (Omark) who can score and then an exceptional college face-off man with enough offensive skill to do well when he turns pro. Cornet and Rajala are in the "tweener" zone, as is Hartikainen but he brings enough things to his game that you can see him winning a job in a 2-way role (outside the top 6F). Martindale is also interesting, and the best defensive forward on the list (Lander) does pretty well by this metric. There are no less than 6 quality prospects on this list (Top 5 and Lander) and we haven't even looked at Pitlick (whose numbers suffered due to lack of playing time in the NCAA).

BUBBLING UNDER: NHLE'S for Oilers top level D prospects (per 82gp)

1. Jeff Petry 4-22-26
2. Taylor Chorney 5-10-15
3. Jeremie Blain 1-13-14
4. Brandon Davidson 0-14-14
5. Kyle Bigos 4-6-10
6. Alex Plante 2-5-7
7. Theo Peckham 0-6-6
8. Johan Motin 1-3-4
9. Troy Hesketh 1-3-4

Martin Marincin's number isn't here, he played in Slovakia U-20 this past season and there aren't a lot of comparable defensemen who jumped to the NHL the following season. We'll get a read on him (WHL) this season. Petry is the best offensive option, and considering his wide range of skills should be a player we see in the NHL sometime this season. My preference would be for Petry to play an entire AHL season (the lesson of Chorney) before making the grade, but if the Oilers encounter injury he should be in the mix for callup. Plante, Peckham and Motin are stay-at-home types as is reflected here.

Desjardins NHLE's are at the very least a marvelous toy. I believe they are more than that: a strong prediction about a player's offensive ability at the NHL level, and as such this is an extremely valuable measurement.

One final item. Gabriel's number tells us we have something special in Taylor Hall. Desjardins: Based on the performance of thousands of drafted players, we can predict how many points a player will score in the NHL when he’s 21-years-old. If he’s 17, four years later, we expect him to score at 72% of his junior rate. But if he’s 20, on average, he’ll retain just 26% of his scoring.

There is some number massaging required to account for age, but this would make (with help from spOILer, comment #87 in this comments section) Taylor Hall's 21-year old NHLE 82gp, 32-52-84. We don't know Hall's TOI number (that had a major impact on Rob Schremp's 19-year old OHL season), but it is clear that the kid is an exceptional offensive talent. Gabriel Desjardins NHLE's are a strong predictor of the future, and for Oilers fans it is an extremely exciting time.

Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.

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#51 book¡e
July 16 2010, 10:54AM

LT, I wish you would stop stealing my stuff.

First, the use of letters from the alphabet. I have been using letters from the alphabet since the mid 1970's and I have been using them on the interweb since the mid 1990's.

Secondly, the use of math. Again, I hit grade one in 1975 and was already counting, not long after I was adding. So please, if you are going to use counting and adding, give me the credit that is due.

The list doesn't end there LT, you sometimes combine MY letters into catchy phrases and terms like 'interweb'. You copy and post pictures of half naked attractive ladies online (I am pretty sure that I was the first person to look at such images online). You have abandoned your real name for a single 2-syllable noun - SINGLE 2-SYLLABLE NOUNS ARE MINE.

So just stop it AND PAY MORE ATTENTION TO ME!

#52 book¡e
July 16 2010, 10:56AM

On a more serious note, the best way to prevent obvious Trolls like Nate is for no one to respond (I know I just broke that rule, but I had to)...

#53 rickithebear
July 16 2010, 11:01AM
spOILer wrote:

If he’s 17, four years later, we expect him to score at 72% of his junior rate. But if he’s 20, on average, he’ll retain just 26% of his scoring. This would make Taylor Hall's 21-year old NHLE 82gp, 41-69-110.

Huh?

Taylor Hall scored 40-66-106 in his 17 yo season. 72% of that junior rate is 29-47-76.

Patrick Kane scored 145 in his 18yo season and just had 88 points in his 21 yo season.

There's something wrong with your math LT, or you're not showing a step. Either way, I have difficulty believing Hall's 21 yo NHLE is 110 pts.

Spoiler: Hall had his 18 yr old season last year. He was a Novemner birth so he should be .54 at 21. Makes him 1.05 PPG at 21 which would be 38G 48A 86P a season. 86 points would be third for left wing points and 5th for goals.

We can hope.

The nice thing is NHLE gives us an idea of a players ilk.

Omark intrigues me! 08-09 SEL he was NHLE 28G-38A 66P KHL his first 20 games were limited role. then he roled out at NHLE rate near 60 point season in a top 6 role.

Plus 3G 11A in 18GM at WHC is not bad.

Here is a Page for links to much analysis.

#54 Boris
July 16 2010, 11:01AM

Not sure what we could have done differently with Plante. He played in junior as long as possible then after Oiler camp he went to the AHL and only came up for 4 games to fill a role. What do you think they should have done differently?

#55 Ball Buster
July 16 2010, 11:16AM

We have (or I have) been waiting for Hemsky to reach the potential dreamed up for him: that special 90-point plateau, i.e., >1.0 PPG. Hasn't happened yet and maybe it never will.

The NHLE for Hall is encouraging but even if it is off by the usual 5-10% on statistical noise, I would be ecstatic that the Oilers finally had a home grown 1.0+ PPG player . . . a threshold that I feel pushes a player from quality to star level in the post-lockout NHL.

#56 Tha Legion
July 16 2010, 11:19AM

Oilers signed another depth left winger named Greg Stewart

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=534530&cmpid=oilers-twt-nhl_oilers

#57 R.A. Slapshotzky
July 16 2010, 11:24AM
book¡e wrote:

On a more serious note, the best way to prevent obvious Trolls like Nate is for no one to respond (I know I just broke that rule, but I had to)...

I think Nate is just a youngster...an EA sports enthusiast/video game GM. Harmless, if you believe that's who he is. You need to read the comics in the newspaper once in a while no?

July 16 2010, 11:37AM

i always like looking at NHLE lowetide, and i've used them often in my hfboards posts... there has always been something that has bugged me about his webpage that explains the age difference

there is no mention of what the 19 year old junior season-to-NHL % is... he mentions the 17 year old % as 0.72 for a 21 year old NHLer, the 18 year old % as 0.5 (albeit for a 22 year old NHLer, so the 21 year old equivalency is probably a few percentage points lower) and the 20 year old % as 0.26... one would assume it falls someplace between 0.5 and 0.26, but i've yet to see a hard number

lowetide - have you ever seen a 19 year old number on his site someplace?

#59 I'm a Scientist!
July 16 2010, 11:45AM
Tha Legion wrote:

Oilers signed another depth left winger named Greg Stewart

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=534530&cmpid=oilers-twt-nhl_oilers

Another signing! Wow... load'em up! How many contracts are we at right now? When are we going to get rid of a couple (cogs/souray)?

#60 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
July 16 2010, 11:49AM
R.A. Slapshotzky wrote:

I think Nate is just a youngster...an EA sports enthusiast/video game GM. Harmless, if you believe that's who he is. You need to read the comics in the newspaper once in a while no?

you are being far to nice.

my guess is: nate is a 46 year old nobody who never made it out of his moms basement. he thought he had to goods to make the NHL, but after being cut from his Midget D house league team, the writing was on the wall. Now, as a greeter at wal-mart, he gets to see all these happy basturds spending their money, while he has nothing but self violation and video games..

#61 Arby
July 16 2010, 11:49AM

Am I the only one that doesn't have any ads on their page?

Legal trouble?

#63 mike
July 16 2010, 11:55AM

"I think Nate is just a youngster."

What's the Pro Troll Equivalence for 17 years old?

"an EA sports enthusiast/video game GM."

If you don't like what your observe in EA just change the numbers.

July 16 2010, 11:56AM

@spoiler

hall turned 18 in the middle of november, so he played the first 2 months of the year as a 17 year old... he was *barely* an 18 year old, so i think you could probably take a number inbetween 0.54 and 0.72... something like 0.62 would seem fair to me, which would make his 21 year old NHLE to be 94 points

94 points seems more in line with what he is capable in my eyes as well... although, to be honest, i would be *thrilled* with your projected 86 points as well

edit: i don't see where you're getting the 0.54 number from, where is that on the site? i see the 0.5 number for an 18-to-22 year old NHLer number, so 0.54 for 18-21 seems about right, but i can't actually find that number on the site anywhere

#65 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 16 2010, 11:57AM
rickithebear wrote:

Spoiler: Hall had his 18 yr old season last year. He was a Novemner birth so he should be .54 at 21. Makes him 1.05 PPG at 21 which would be 38G 48A 86P a season. 86 points would be third for left wing points and 5th for goals.

We can hope.

The nice thing is NHLE gives us an idea of a players ilk.

Omark intrigues me! 08-09 SEL he was NHLE 28G-38A 66P KHL his first 20 games were limited role. then he roled out at NHLE rate near 60 point season in a top 6 role.

Plus 3G 11A in 18GM at WHC is not bad.

Here is a Page for links to much analysis.

110 looks a little unresonable. 38-48-86 seems like fair numbers though.

I've always guessed he'll be a consistant 35 - 45G 80 - 95P guy through the 22 - 32 years.

July 16 2010, 11:58AM

@lowetide

thats funny about his reply always being the same "just check the site!!!", lol

i, like you, have looked and looked for the 19 year old number and have yet to find it... so it would appear that either:

A. you and i are both blind B. "info at behindthenet.ca" is not 100% currect :)

#67 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 16 2010, 12:07PM

Are the Oil going to employ another assitant coach to go along with Bucky and Smith? It seems to me that they are a little thin in experience now. Bucky is learning and I don't think Smith has coached recently. Do we not need an assistant who does the X's and O's? I've never played at that level so I can only assume the head coach doesn't usually do that stuff...... maybe he does? Anyone heard any rumblings out of the Oilers if they are going to get some more experience behind the bench?

#69 Westcoastoil
July 16 2010, 12:14PM

TSN has it up they the Oilers have signed Greg Stewart - giving them nice size and more experienced AHL depth. I have to say i love what they are doing on the farm. It looks like the kids will have all kinds of experienced pros down there some of who can fill for short spurts in the show, but more importantly they can 1) do the heavy lifting when needed, 2) force the kids to compete for ice time & 3) let the talent down there develop in a winning environment (we can hope).

If they can get Souray dealt with then they can address some of the remaining holes on the big club

#70 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 16 2010, 12:20PM

Kovalchuk deal now 'close, but not done'Some major stumbling blocks in the on-going talks between the Los Angeles Kings and free agent Ilya Kovalchuk have been rectified and it would appear a deal is close, according to Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos.

Just getter done so we can ship Souray out!

#71 Ducey
July 16 2010, 12:22PM

Sam Gagner will be turning 21 in August. He was born in '89. Given that he went 118 in 53 games in his draft year (06/07) he should up around 131 pts this year - according to the prediction.

Thats unless I messed that up somehow.

The prediction does point to how Samwise should be a pretty special player - but evidently its wrong because he is not 131 pts a year special.

Stewart looks like a knuckledragger for the Farm.

The is too much hate in the world. Any amount of Nate is too much here.

#72 Ducey
July 16 2010, 12:26PM

The Oilers better sign a decent goaltender or two for the farm or all their good work restocking that team will go to waste.

July 16 2010, 12:28PM
Boris wrote:

Not sure what we could have done differently with Plante. He played in junior as long as possible then after Oiler camp he went to the AHL and only came up for 4 games to fill a role. What do you think they should have done differently?

Always felt Plante would be a good one (project ) down the line , but limited in offensive capabilities . He's still taking a while, but last year he showed some positive signs toward growth . Needs to play with an Alsner type defensiveman to break out as he done in juniors. Peckham was, and still is , a teammate you like to have despite still questionable defensive skills . His physical play was never an issue from the day they drafted him , and he has not dissapointed with that aspect of his game . Never expected Peckham to be any more than an occasional callup , and i still feel that way . His mobility (lateral especially ), hockey sense and ability to move puck still below acceptable level in my books .

Look for Plante to blossom this year and next . Petry will probably be one to upseed Plante and /or Peckham in next couple of seasons . Plante was taking a little longer than expected with his progress to be honest , but so to has Smid another one being a late bloomer .

#75 spOILer
July 16 2010, 12:32PM

Thanks LT, I knew there had to be a step missing. I haven't gone to Gabe's site to look at this because I'm at work (so to speak), so to clarify: Desjardins clearly states then that the formula is not 72% of the prospect's 17 yo junior scoring, but 72% of the prospect's per game scoring rate?

I feel bad for Chi-town then. They seem to have a bit of a disappointment in Kane at only 43% of his 18yo per game Jr scoring rate. Or is that about what Gabe predicts?

And I can't wait for Gagner's 131 point 21 year old season. Heck, I'll be happy with 120. ;o)

#77 Ryan14
July 16 2010, 12:50PM

Bookie: If I could give you more than one props I would. Funniest. Post. Ever.

#78 Reggie
July 16 2010, 01:07PM
Ryan14 wrote:

Bookie: If I could give you more than one props I would. Funniest. Post. Ever.

I like the props, but how can we block Nate ... he's a pain in @ss .... Bingofuel, Help ? ? LOL

#79 David S
July 16 2010, 01:12PM
book¡e wrote:

LT, I wish you would stop stealing my stuff.

First, the use of letters from the alphabet. I have been using letters from the alphabet since the mid 1970's and I have been using them on the interweb since the mid 1990's.

Secondly, the use of math. Again, I hit grade one in 1975 and was already counting, not long after I was adding. So please, if you are going to use counting and adding, give me the credit that is due.

The list doesn't end there LT, you sometimes combine MY letters into catchy phrases and terms like 'interweb'. You copy and post pictures of half naked attractive ladies online (I am pretty sure that I was the first person to look at such images online). You have abandoned your real name for a single 2-syllable noun - SINGLE 2-SYLLABLE NOUNS ARE MINE.

So just stop it AND PAY MORE ATTENTION TO ME!

Good job dude. Nice to see you over here.

Nate = Poorly crafted statements of the obvious.

Gotta give him credit though. Through sheer dedication to the troll craft, he's risen to the rank of Admiral Obvious. He makes "Angry German kid" (Youtube it) look like a rank amateur by comparison.

Here's to you Mr. "That guy" poster.

#80 Boris
July 16 2010, 01:21PM

I don't disagree. I have season tickets to the Oil Kings and watched Plante quite a few times with the HitMen but was not impressed. However on the 4 game call up last year it appears he has improved by quite a bit.

#81 spOILer
July 16 2010, 01:22PM

LT, I agree there has to be a huge variance-- Robbie Schrempster being a prime example.

I've taken a quick browse of his sites, and I'm sorry but I can't find the numbers or formulae for Maj Jr to NHL equivalencies. I looked under the tags Junior Hockey, Projections, and Equivalencies.

#83 Bill up North
July 16 2010, 01:35PM

Always felt Plante would be a good one (project ) down the line , but limited in offensive capabilities . He's still taking a while, but last year he showed some positive signs toward growth . Needs to play with an Alsner type defensiveman to break out as he done in juniors. Peckham was, and still is , a teammate you like to have despite still questionable defensive skills . His physical play was never an issue from the day they drafted him , and he has not dissapointed with that aspect of his game . Never expected Peckham to be any more than an occasional callup , and i still feel that way . His mobility (lateral especially ), hockey sense and ability to move puck still below acceptable level in my books .

Look for Plante to blossom this year and next . Petry will probably be one to upseed Plante and /or Peckham in next couple of seasons . Plante was taking a little longer than expected with his progress to be honest , but so to has Smid another one being a late bloomer .

Defencemen usually take longer to develop. Especially stay-at-home d-men. Plante seems to be right on pace and I don't think he is being rushed at all.

#84 mike
July 16 2010, 01:41PM

"Gotta give him credit though. Through sheer dedication to the troll craft, he's risen to the rank of Admiral Obvious"

The 3 Old Timey rules for rookies:

Never wake up the Big M. Never take a run at old Tim Horton. Watch his elbows when Gordie smiles at ya.

Was wondering how long 'til the smile and the sucker punch found their mark. "Sounded like an axe splitting wood".

#85 mike
July 16 2010, 01:54PM

The actual expectation within 18 year olds is actually greater than the variation between the average 18 and average 19 year old.

"if you have two players with identical statistics in junior hockey, the December player projects to score 50% more points [over the career] in the NHL than the player born in January, largely because he's put up those points against competition that's relatively bigger and stronger than he is."

Two caveats for Hall and Seguin: I think he's comparing within Major Junior years (i.e. Halls 09/10 vs. Seguin's 10/11) not draft years, and the under-representation of Q4 players is less significant with elite players:

"the ratios of Q1 to Q4 birthdates are 3:1 [Junior] and 2:1 [NHL]."For the top 1/6th of NHL talent, the birthdate disadvantage is lessened: "the ratio of early-to-late birthday players over the last decade is about 1.20:1."

#87 spOILer
July 16 2010, 01:59PM

Sorry about the last post, found it through your link above. Links don't really pop on this site, so I missed it originally.

That is definitely a PPG rate.

Considering the 18yo line, Kane is actually dead on, it appears.

Gabe says:

The age is as of January 1st of a given season, i.e. any player born in 1961 is considered 18 years old during the 1979-80 season.

Hall was born Nov 1991 and thus would be considered 17 yo for the 08-09 season. He scored 90 pts or 1.43 PPG. So...

1.43ppg X .72 X 82g = 84 pts in 21 yo NHL season.

He would've been considered 18 for the 09-10 season. Desjardins really nicks the 18 yos, looks like a projected 21yo NHL PPG rate of about 43% of the 18yo numbers. So:

1.86ppg X .43 X 82g = 66 pts as a 21 yo based on his 18 yo scoring rate.

A projection is likely somewhere in between these numbers, but I find that range a lot more believable than 110 points.

Sorry to push on this issue, but the 110 point claim struck me as intuitively wrong.

#88 wyseguy
July 16 2010, 02:01PM

geez, would the season start already, what's taking so long?

#89 spOILer
July 16 2010, 02:01PM

Because of his late birthday, we can likely expect the higher end of that 66-84 point range.

#90 Matt Henderson
July 16 2010, 02:19PM

@spOILer

So how does Seguin rank?

#91 mike
July 16 2010, 02:25PM

"Mike: Very interesting."

LT, The whole shift from 3:1 to 2:1 gives some pause.

Part of it might be the Sept. 15th draft cut off finally giving the underrepresented Q4s a leg up. Like Hall they are older than Q1s like Seguin and have an extra year in MJ.

And some it is that everyone fills out and the Q1s carried some weaker talent that finally gets left behind.

So it turns out that the argument against players with 3 years under their belt at draft time is weaker than it sounds. You get the extra year to look at AND you know they are a heavily sifted underrepresented group especially as you get into deeper rounds. Would like to see the Q1 Q4 breakdowns by draft round vs. the Junior 3:1 ratio.

(The point of the original article was too show that the missed NHL talent cost of the birthdate system is smaller for elite players. More like a 45-55 NHL split rather than the avg. 33-67 split)

#92 mike
July 16 2010, 02:44PM

"So how does Seguin rank?"

Anyone trying to estimate for elite Q1 and Q4 players needs to remember the birthdate gap is weaker for 1st round players and we don't have 3rd OHL years for both yet.

#93 Matt Henderson
July 16 2010, 02:55PM

@mike

I was just wondering what the difference was.

#94 DJ Dynasty Handbag
July 16 2010, 03:01PM

the off-season movement tracker on the oilers website shows o'marra signed today for 1 year.

i really hope this is the year he puts it all together and shows the potential he had coming out of junior....one can dream anyway lol

#95 rickithebear
July 16 2010, 03:23PM

edit: i don't see where you're getting the 0.54 number from, where is that on the site? i see the 0.5 number for an 18-to-22 year old //NHLer number, so 0.54 for 18-21 seems about right, but i can't actually find that number on the site anywhere.//

It is extrapolated from the curves. Desjardins curves are very accurate. the 17 year old curve shows at .72-.74 and the 18 year old shows at .49-.50. hall was 2 months short of 18 at the start of the season. Nov. birth.

The difference between the 12 month period is .72-.49=.23/12=.01916666 *2months =.0383333 .49=.03833333=.54 x1.86pts = 1.005 pts/gm

Crap 1.005 not 1.05 I have been making these simple mistakes latley.

1.005 X 82gm = 82.4 82 pts/season

I know you are looking at the 21 year point but full core development can be 21 to 22 year so i look to look at the 22 year point on the 17 and 18 curves. You can get expected performance thru each year of growth.

July 16 2010, 03:32PM

@spOIler

i'm not sure where you are getting your 0.43 number from... can you point out where it says this... all i can find is the 18-22 year old number of 0.5

... and the (likely more accurate) number of 0.54 that rickithebear has posted

#97 gretzkycurry
July 16 2010, 03:35PM

Thanks for the math LT and others. You add a nice counter-balanced perspective to the op-ed of the nation.

#98 spOILer
July 16 2010, 03:36PM

Jadeddog I took it straight from the graph, since in the text he only gives the 18 yo - 22 yo number. That's why I said "looks like". ;o)

July 16 2010, 03:45PM

spOIler: yeah, now that i look at it again, your 0.43 is more accurate than rickithebear's 0.54

#100 commanfan13
July 16 2010, 03:49PM

While 130 might be just a touch out of reach for Gagner next year, it feels to me like he might be ready for a breakthrough into the 70-point range.

All this type about the new kids - one of which is only a year younger than him, two of which don't have his draft pedigree, and all three of which never tore up junior the way he did - has to be motivating him.

Management might be kicking themselves soon if they don't lock him up for a while this summer.