Comparables

Lowetide
September 05 2010 10:04AM

I'm a big fan of comps. Comparables. Outer-markers. Players from NHL history whose careers are somewhat similar to a modern player who has written such a small script we need an indicator about their future. As a fan, I always look for the outer marker--just as Ranger fans did with Brad Park (in photo, with some other guy) early in his career. After all, why look for a comparable who ended up being a role player? Exactly.  Who are the best comparables for the current group of young Oilers? 
For the last several years, I've gone in search of comparables for Oiler prospects. Ales Hemsky's best comp was Rick Middleton, Rob Schremp's was Ron Chipperfield and on it went. I thought it might be a good idea to see if we can find some comparables from the NHL's past for the Oilers young guns. Some of these names will be familiar to Lowetide readers, but there are many new elements too.

Sam Gagner: We've identified two solid comparables: Doug Gilmour and Vincent Damphousse. A third (Doug Weight) is a hopeful comp but the two players came through different routes as prospects so we're still waiting for them to play in the same league at the same age. Here are three NHL players at age 20:

  • (.663) Gilmour 80gp, 25-28-53 +6 on a +1 team (team GF total: 293)
  • (.640) Damphousse 75gp, 12-36-48 +2 on a -36 team (team GF total: 259)
  • (.603) Gagner 68gp, 15-26-41 -8 on a -56 team  (team GF total: 214)

Gilmour and Damphousse played in an era where more goals were scored. In fact, it is quite a large gap. The NHL average for GF in Gagner's 20-year old season was 2.84; Damphousse 3.71; Gilmour 3.95. These comps aren't perfect (Gagner debuted at 18 years old so had more NHL experience by age 20 than the other two) but I think it is completely reasonable to argue Gagner is "in the range" with those two fine NHL players. Both Gilmour and Damphousse had "breakout" seasons (at 23 and 22 years old, respectively) so there might be a surge coming for Gagner.

Magnus Pääjärvi:  We're looking for a reasonable 18-year old comparable from the Swedish Elite League that might help us project this kid into the future. With the season now done the young man ranks "in the range" with some well known SEL teenagers over the years. 

  1. Markus Naslund 39gp, 22-18-40 (1.03)
  2. Tomas Sandstrom 36gp, 23-14-37 (1.03)
  3. Daniel Sedin 50gp, 21-21-42 (.840)
  4. Henrik Sedin 49gp, 12-22-34 (.694)
  5. Peter Forsberg 39gp, 9-18-27 (.692)
  6. Magnus Pääjärvi 49gp, 12-17-29 (.592)
  7. Nicklas Backstrom 46gp, 10-16-26 (.565)
  8. Anze Kopitar 47gp, 8-12-20 (.426)
     

Not everyone on the list is Swedish but they all played at 18 in the SEL. Backstrom and Kopitar rank below MPS here but it is important to remember that they (and Forsberg) were still in their development stages and had another gear. We don't know if our guy has overdrive.

I like Tomas Sandstrom as a comparable to our guy. Both have/had size and skill, both were well known as teenagers (Sandstrom had a couple of strong WJC's) and both counted foot speed and shooting ability as their calling cards as young men. Both were/are aggressive and both had Finnish connections despite playing in Sweden. As for the difference in their scoring totals and points-per-game (above), Sandstrom played on a team that scored 3.97 goals per game (143 in 36gp) and MPS plays on a team scoring 2.53 goals per game (137 in 54gp). Most of the modern players are playing in a deadball era, so the offensive difference between a 09-10 SEL player and a 82-83 SEL player (in terms of boxcars) has to be adjusted to make the comparison equal. 
 

Taylor Hall: One of the things that makes this player unique is that he was beating OHL opposition about the face and hands at 15. Seriously. In his three OHL seasons Hall has averaged 41 goals and 93 points. I'd kill to find out his OHL shot totals but organized hockey can't release that for fear of reefer madness in the streets. Here are the top skill picks from Ontario's top league over the last several seasons:

  • Patrick Kane (2007) 58gp, 62-83-145 (2.50)
  • Sam Gagner (2007) 53gp, 35-83-118 (2.23)
  • Taylor Hall (2010) 57gp, 40-66-106 (1.86)
  • John Tavares (2009) 56gp, 58-46-104 (1.86)
  • Steven Stamkos (2008) 61gp, 58-47-105 (1.72)
  • Bobby Ryan (2005) 62gp, 37-52-89 (1.44)
  • Matt Duchene (2009) 57gp, 31-48-79 (1.39)

I'm always a little wary of the London Knights because their TOI totals seem to skew their point totals (Rob Schremp), so the Kane-Gagner totals are a little suspect (although they are clearly quality players). Hall ranks in the middle of the group, so I thought it might be an idea to average their NHL totals at age 18. All but Ryan played in the year after their draft, and the averaged totals of the other five players (81gp, 21-34-55) would be outstanding. As for a specific comparable, I think his style most closely resembles Patrick Kane. We need to also remember that Kane (a November birthday) was much older as a rookie (about 9 months older than Gagner) and that Hall is also a November birthday. I think Kane is the comp, the outer marker. Now that doesn't mean I think he's Patrick Kane. It means he's "in the range" with Tavares and Stamkos, though. Excellent comparable. We'll see.

Jordan Eberle: The more unique the player, the more difficult it is to find a comparable. In looking for an Eberle comp, I looked for WHL players taken in the middle of the first round during the 2000's. The candidates don't match: some played a different style, others were less gifted offensively or derailed after their draft day and before they turned pro. So I moved up the draft list and added a couple or three from the top 10. Here's the list of similar player-types at age 17:

  • Zach Hamill (2007) 69gp, 32-61-93 (1.35)
  • Gilbert Brule (2005) 70gp, 39-48-87 (1.24)
  • Peter Mueller (2006) 52gp, 26-32-58 (1.12)
  • Jordan Eberle (2008) 70gp, 42-33-75 (1.07)
  • Kenndal McArdle (2005) 70gp, 37-37-74 (1.06)
  • Devin Setoguchi (2005) 69gp, 33-31-64 (.928)

Not all of these kids are exactly like Eberle, but I've excluded the Getzlafs, Ladds and Fehr's from the list. I think his best match from the group is Setoguchi. Here they are as 18-year olds:

  • Eberle 61gp, 35-39-74 (1.21)
  • Setoguchi 65gp, 36-47-83 (1.28)

Setoguchi is bigger (6.00, 195) and played with extreme skill once he reached the NHL (which perhaps skews our view of the comp) but it looks pretty solid at age 18. Setoguchi led his team in points (with a 20 point cushion) as the Blades won 41 games (3.22 GF per game). Eberle led his Pats in scoring (Weal just 4 points behind) and the team won 27 games (3.17 GF per game). I think it is a good match at 18. Here's 19:

  • Eberle 57gp, 50-56-106 (1.86)
  • Setoguchi 55gp, 36-29-65 (1.18)

Setoguchi once again led his team in points (by 9 this time) and the club won 33 games. Setoguchi's Prince George club averaged 3.07 GF per game. Eberle led his Pats in points (once again just 4 clear of Weal) and the Pats won 30 times. Their GF per game average was 3.42. Despite Eberle's edge offensively I still think they're a solid match. Setoguchi was an 8th overall pick, but I think Eberle would be much higher than 22nd overall in a re-draft of the 2008 group.

In the future, I'll do another comp-post (sorry) and if you want me to run some numbers on a specific prospect don't hesitate to post it. Also, if you have a better comp for Gagner, Hall,  Pääjärvi or Eberle please post the name and I'll add them to the list.

Finally, does this kind of thing hold interest for you? I enjoy looking at this kind of thing in order to track prospects and get an idea about their outer marker, but am not certain it is something a large group of people enjoy. Let me know.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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 Team 1260.
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#51 Johnny
September 05 2010, 02:37PM
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Good post. I think a guy has to look at Loui Erickson as a comp for magnus.

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#52 Dominoiler
September 05 2010, 02:43PM
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(Echo) Great article LT...

I would like to raise one point, to get some thoughts back.. Hall is promoted as a goal scorer, but his 18 yo totals are significantly lower than both stamkos and tavares.. should this be an early indicator that an elite 40-50 goal season probably isnt in the cards?! or be written off on the basis of windsor being so good, Hall didnt have to do it all himself?!

thanks,

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#53 Jerk Store
September 05 2010, 02:47PM
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LT, Stats on their own can be a little sleep inducing, but relevant and simple comps like this are worthwhile and serve to get away from the "anecdotal" takes people have. I think some stats like Corsi, plus minus, etc without being corrected to overall team performance can be misleading (see Charley Huddy and Andrej Mesaros plus minus when their teams were dominant) and somewhat meaningless. I enjoy your takes because although I don't know you, you seem to be a bit of grisled veteran (and really can a veteran be anythig but "grisled")? "Old fellas" (in their 30s and 40s) like myself appreciate your POV. I know you did not intend this to be an Al Franken affirmation ala Stuart Smalley on the dreadful Saturday Night Live skit, but all I can say is you are smart enough, you are funny enough and doggone it people like you.

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#54 @NateInVegas
September 05 2010, 02:49PM
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Daymond Langkow is my comparable to Sam Gagner.

Both are 5"10 - 185lbs (ish)

Drafted 5&6 respectively with limited speed and good hockey IQ.

#2 Centers

Langkow's ***CAREER***0.632 is in the Gagner/Damphousse/Gilmour range also.

@ Lowetide, Who's a better Lady Gaga comparable, Elton John or Madonna?

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#55 Chris.
September 05 2010, 02:57PM
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Since the theme is looking at comparables; when thinking about Sam Gagner; I thought it would be fun to look at the players drafted 6th overall going back to the infamous Steve Kelly selection.

Since 1995 three organizations have had the 6th overall pick three times.

Edmonton took Steve Kelly in 95, Boyd Devereau in 96, and (obviously) Sam Gagner in 2007.

Columbus took Gilbert Brule in in 2005, Derick Brassard in 06, and Nikita Filitov in in 2008.

Nashville (IMO a really solid organization at the draft table) took Brian Finley in 1999, Scott Hartnell in 2000, and Scottie Upshall in 2002.

Fun fact: The Flames wasted back to back 6th overall picks on Daniel Tkaczuk and Rico Fata. (1997,98) Ha. Ha!...

Other 6th overall picks include Mikko Koivu (2001), Milan Michalik (2003), Al Montoya (2004), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (2009), and Brent Connolly (2010).

Looking at this group, Gagner has a chance to be one of the best 6th overall selections in the last 15 years. IMO, right now, Koivu is the best overall player in this group... but at 27 years of age Koivu has only played two more NHL seasons than Gagner (Koivu's breakout years btw). As an Oiler fan, I choose to remain optimistic that Gagner (like Koivu) is set to jump from a 40-50 point player to a 60-70 point player in his fourth full NHL season. Should be fun to watch.

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#56 RossCreekNation
September 05 2010, 03:25PM
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F-U, Chris ;-)

@Lowetide

I can't believe I'm going to be the one to say this, but since you used Gagner, how's about comp's for Cogliano & Brule. I think Nate's Gagner comp to Langkow is one worth keeping in mind, too (although I believe both he and I are of the belief that Sam's going to be a high-end 2nd line center rather than a true, legit 1st line center).

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#57 PabstBR55
September 05 2010, 03:26PM
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@Jerk Store

Despite agreeing with your comment regarding fans' "anecdotal" takes on comparables, I think this one is reasonable:

Jordan Eberle = Chris Drury. Both undersized, both clutch, both play C / RW. Drury's pedigree is superior though because he played in the Little League WS.

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#58 TigerUnderGlass
September 05 2010, 03:39PM
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@NateInVegas wrote:

Daymond Langkow is my comparable to Sam Gagner.

Both are 5"10 - 185lbs (ish)

Drafted 5&6 respectively with limited speed and good hockey IQ.

#2 Centers

Langkow's ***CAREER***0.632 is in the Gagner/Damphousse/Gilmour range also.

@ Lowetide, Who's a better Lady Gaga comparable, Elton John or Madonna?

Langkow was nowhere near 0.632 at 20 years old.

They were not statistically comparable at 20. Langkow never reached Gagner's level of production untl he as 23.

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#59 Chris.
September 05 2010, 03:42PM
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@RossCreekNation

Since the lockout the Flames have drafted 40 players who have played a total of 47 NHL games with any organization. This ~wonderful~ group of prospects has contributed a stunning 15 points of total offence! Not one player of the eight drafted in 2006 has played a single game.(No wonder Sutter needed to resign Ollie Jokinen)

All numbers gleaned from Hockey DB... and are only as accurate as the source...

Since the lockout, 42 Oiler draft picks have played a combined 598 games and scored 253 points of total offence.. and the best is yet to come.

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#60 Saskatoon Oiler
September 05 2010, 03:49PM
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Hello Lowetide. This is my first post on this or your other site. I have been reading your stuff for years on a daily basis. (great reading) In this blog you asked if people enjoy the comp's, well I do. Thanks for all the work you put into this stuff.

Nick

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#61 Moop
September 05 2010, 03:58PM
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You can put me down as another person who likes this type of article.

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#62 Chris.
September 05 2010, 04:01PM
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I see MPS as being a Radek Dvorak type player. Both are Euro's picked tenth overall. Both have size and speed to burn. Both are unafraid to drive the net but don't play a particularly heavy game on the cycle... Florida pushed Dvorak into NHL duty almost immediately after being drafted so it's hard to use a Lowetide-esque same age, same league, similar production type formula to justify Dvorak as my comparable... this is more from my gut. (although Dvorak outproduced MPS on a PPG basis in limited action in the Czech league during his draft year)

Despite the dizzying sea of optimism surrounding the current crop of Oiler prospects, one knock I've heard a couple of times about MPS is that his hands and overall finishing ability aren't quite at an elite level... sounds kinda like Dvorak to me. Of course MPS is a young player, and my heart tells me that MPS may yet develop into a purer goal scorer... *Fingers crossed*... but my damn brain keeps reminding me that pure goal scoring ability is often a gift, and not something that is learned.

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#63 luke
September 05 2010, 04:02PM
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Lowetide this was a fantastic article, keep em coming. I've always thought of eberle as a brian gionta and I think mps will be a higher end version of milan michalek.

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#64 RossCreekNation
September 05 2010, 04:12PM
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@Chris.

Way to pile on ;-)

... although I believe they do have some decent prospects at this time (none in the Hall, Paajarvi, Eberle, Gagner realm, however). Mikael Backlund (F), Greg Nemisz (F), Mitch Wahl (F), Tim Erixon (D), TJ Brodie (D) & John Negrin (D) are among the group that currently intrigues me.

Keep in mind, the Flames have drafted lower since the lockout than the Oil more often than not, and they have traded some picks away (a whole other story), so it should be expected that the Oilers draft picks would have produced better than anything the Flames have done since then. Also, the Flames have generally had better teams in that time period, meaning less rookies.

All that said, yes, the Flames have had a fairly poor drafting record for quite some time (Kris Chucko, Brent Krahn, Jesper Mattson, Niklas Sunblad, Tkachuk, Fata, etc.).

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#65 Crash
September 05 2010, 04:15PM
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Maggie the Monkey wrote:

It's been bothering me for many years that 18-year-olds are eligible to play in the NHL but not the AHL. The argument that the AHL is too rough of a league for 18-year-olds is hogwash, in my opinion, because it seems highly improbably that it is a more physical league than the big league. The real motivation seems to be to protect the quality (and profitability) of the CHL, as too many of its high end players would jump up the the A after turning 18 given the option. One further tell about this motivation is that European born players are allowed to play in the AHL at the age of 18: where's the consistency in that if part of the purpose is to protect the players?

Despite my irritation at this rule, I see some validity to it, and think that there are only a handful of players below the age of 20 who could handle the A. The best resolution/compromise that I've been able to think of is to allow each AHL team one underage player per season. This would allow each franchise the option to give a developmental advantage to one protege per year.

Would any of the NHL, NHLPA, AHL, or CHL have any interest in making this happen, though? I think all of them except the CHL might.

Not incidentally, I think that if it were possible, a season in the AHL would be the best alternative for Hall. He clearly has nothing further to gain from playing in the OHL, yet a jump right to the big show might be too much for him and could stunt his development.

Reading your last paragraph I'm not sure I understand why you'd think a jump right to the big show might be too much for Hall.

In this entire decade there have been 8 forwards taken 1st overall and none of them spent anytime whatsoever in the AHL..

Their names:

Ilya Kovalchuk, Rick Nash, Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos and John Tavares.

Not playing in the AHL didn't seem to hinder any of these 1st overall selections...in fact the whole thought process that players must spend time in the AHL in order to prevent stunting development is wayyyyy overhyped.

A majority of todays top scoring NHL players spend very little if any time in the AHL...

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#66 Chris.
September 05 2010, 04:20PM
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@RossCreekNation

I like Backlund...

*crickets*

...that is all.

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#67 Buckwheat
September 05 2010, 04:24PM
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Firstly, I like your article. In fact, I like 99% of your articles; wish you could be more prolific although writing for two sites must surely present it's challenges. . .

Taylor Hall is going to be a stud in his years with the Oilers.

Jordan Eberle might well wear the "C," in a few years. And, in a few years I think he has a chance of filling the net on a very regular basis.

MPS is a mystery. Someone mentioned Radek D. as a comparable and I entertain the possibility. Time, as they say, will tell, but I think he has more Sandstrom in him and should the Oilers ever have a stud first line center, he could prove to be as prolific Kurri.

I keep forgetting Gagne is but 20 years of age. He has a shot at being as talented as Gilmour but he doesn't appear to have the fire. Maybe it comes later? Let's hope. I DO think at the very least he has the talent to be a Vinnie D though.

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#68 Chris.
September 05 2010, 04:26PM
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@RossCreekNation

...wait. I also like Brandon Gormley at 13th overall. Who would have ever thought that such a quality d-man propsect would slip all the way to 13th? The Flames must be so pleased... oh. Nevermind.

*... Now back to polishing my Zone 5 Regional Douche Of The Month trophy*

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#69 striatic
September 05 2010, 04:29PM
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i'd like to see giant graphs for yearly "percentage of league points/goals/assists" where you could visually see all the players side by side, the player with the widest swath being the player with the largest point total.

an unwieldy and huge graph to be sure, but could possibly be revealing.

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#70 David S
September 05 2010, 04:31PM
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@LT

I'm not a big fan of prospect analysis (or prospects at all), although I'm not much of a hockey nerd either. I will say that I enjoy your way of projecting player development and find it a reasonable alternative to the pure stats approach some would prefer to use.

@"Those guys"

Its Gagner. G.A.G.N.E.R.

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#71 Crackenbury
September 05 2010, 04:44PM
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@David S

~One more Gagne and I'm going to loose it.~

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#72 Manfly
September 05 2010, 04:53PM
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Chris. wrote:

...wait. I also like Brandon Gormley at 13th overall. Who would have ever thought that such a quality d-man propsect would slip all the way to 13th? The Flames must be so pleased... oh. Nevermind.

*... Now back to polishing my Zone 5 Regional Douche Of The Month trophy*

yup, Flames fans must have groaned loud enough to be heard in Lethbridge when they realized what they could have had!

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#73 Skidplate
September 05 2010, 05:10PM
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Chris. wrote:

...wait. I also like Brandon Gormley at 13th overall. Who would have ever thought that such a quality d-man propsect would slip all the way to 13th? The Flames must be so pleased... oh. Nevermind.

*... Now back to polishing my Zone 5 Regional Douche Of The Month trophy*

priceless

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#74 Skidplate
September 05 2010, 05:14PM
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Chris. wrote:

...wait. I also like Brandon Gormley at 13th overall. Who would have ever thought that such a quality d-man propsect would slip all the way to 13th? The Flames must be so pleased... oh. Nevermind.

*... Now back to polishing my Zone 5 Regional Douche Of The Month trophy*

If I am not mistaken, that is the flamers 1st to Phoenix for "joke"inen, right?

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#76 @NateInVegas
September 05 2010, 05:16PM
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@ Lowetide,

Taylor Hall comparable... Mike Gartner?

6" 190, Great speed & drive to the net.

Gartner drafted #4overall in 1979

His OHL totals @18 GP64 G41 49A 90Pt 1.41ppg NHL Totals GP1432 G708 627A 1335P

Good interactive piece, it appeals to both the stat geek & observer. If you'd attached a Spears V Aguilera photo the comments would be in the 300's.. If Taylor Hall's NHL totals match Gartner's, I'd be thrilled!

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#77 spOILer
September 05 2010, 05:19PM
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Another possibility for Paajarvi is the player he says he tries to emulate: Maxim Afinogenov.

He should spend the first half season boarding at MacT's house to learn him out of that good.

His propensity to try and go through entire teams one on one is going to get seriously curtailed on NHL ice against NHL brutes.

He is a bit of a mystery, and I'm sure we'll know better in a few months, but that's some mighty SELect company he's keeping there and that can't be ignored. Nor can his elite level speed and ability to change gears. I hope MPS isn't selling himself short.

If they can get him pointed in the right direction, I would be delighted if he turns into Sandstrom. But I remember Sandstrom having a pretty good wrister (but certainly don't trust my well-pickled brain cells) and I don't know if MPS has that quality a shot. Looks more like he uses a quick release snapper in close to me.

The nice thing is that any line with Gagner could use a bit of help skating the puck through the neutral zone (like Kane did), and MPS can certainly help there.

If Paajarvi can find a way to score in close with speed at this level, Glenn Anderson is a possible outer marker.

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#79 Jerk Store
September 05 2010, 05:25PM
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PabstBR55 wrote:

Despite agreeing with your comment regarding fans' "anecdotal" takes on comparables, I think this one is reasonable:

Jordan Eberle = Chris Drury. Both undersized, both clutch, both play C / RW. Drury's pedigree is superior though because he played in the Little League WS.

Yeah but Eberle likely curled growing up in Regina and knows the virtue of a cold Pilsner, so the LLWS angle plays a distant second.

Although I realize your tounge is planted at least a little in your cheek, the Drury comparison is an interesting one. Both did come into prominence at the WJHC, at least to some degree in Drury's case, and are small in stature. Big difference for me is Drury spent four years at BU while Eberle spent his late teens riding the bus across the prairies. Not to open that can of worms, but infinitely different prep to the pros between the two paths. I'll take the Western League boy everyday if skill sets are comparable. Having said that Drury has been a very good pro - that might be a good outcome - if that ends up being Eberle's lot in life.

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#80 DSF
September 05 2010, 05:35PM
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Buckwheat wrote:

Firstly, I like your article. In fact, I like 99% of your articles; wish you could be more prolific although writing for two sites must surely present it's challenges. . .

Taylor Hall is going to be a stud in his years with the Oilers.

Jordan Eberle might well wear the "C," in a few years. And, in a few years I think he has a chance of filling the net on a very regular basis.

MPS is a mystery. Someone mentioned Radek D. as a comparable and I entertain the possibility. Time, as they say, will tell, but I think he has more Sandstrom in him and should the Oilers ever have a stud first line center, he could prove to be as prolific Kurri.

I keep forgetting Gagne is but 20 years of age. He has a shot at being as talented as Gilmour but he doesn't appear to have the fire. Maybe it comes later? Let's hope. I DO think at the very least he has the talent to be a Vinnie D though.

Lets stop the Gagner is only 20 stuff right now.

He's 21.

In order for Lowetide's silly Gilmour- Damphousse comparisons to hold any water at all, Gagner, in his fourth season would have to put up 42G, 63A and 105P, ala Gilmour, and/or 33G 61A 94P, ala Damphousse, this coming season.

It ain't happening kids.

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#82 DSF
September 05 2010, 06:01PM
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@Lowetide

If you only count age as a determinant you would be ignoring experience.

I would suggest you do that at your peril.

Damphousse broke into the league in October, 1986. He was born in December 1967, thus he was 19.

His point totals:

19/20 46 20/21 48 21/22 68 22/23 94

Are you projecting, ignoring experience, 68 points from Gagner this season and 94 next season?

Gilmour broke into the league in October, 1983. He was born June 25, 1963.

20/21 53 21/22 57 22/23 53 23/24 105

It's pretty clear from your comparables that it's the fourth season that the light goes on.

Gagner's point totals:

18/19 49 19/20 41 20/21 41

You like math, so look at it this way.

In his third season, Damphousse outscored Gagner in his third season by 40 percent.

In his third season, Gilmour outscored Gagner by 23 percent.

You'll note that both outscored Gagner in their 20/21 seasons by a considerable margin.

If you think birthdays equalize those numbers, how many points will Steve Stamkos score when he's Sam's age?

150? More?

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#83 oilers2k10
September 05 2010, 06:04PM
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Always enjoy reading these kinds of articles, always been a bit of a stats freak/nerd myself

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#85 shadi
September 05 2010, 06:32PM
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M.P.S = Kopitar, but a winger. Eberle = Whitney. Hall = A hybrid of Parise and Nash. Gagner = Comrie with better longevity. Cogliano = Morrison, if faceoffs improve. Brule = Deadmarsh.

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#86 spOIler
September 05 2010, 06:37PM
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I like the Kane comp, except for two things: Hall's size and more physical play. I also think Hall is by far the better goal-scorer. He doesn't have Stamkos' shot, but it's closer to his than Kane's.

Hall is a pretty unique combination of power and finesse at high speed. He has more moves than Iginla or Messier, but likely not the power. He has more power than Kane, but maybe not the finesse. He might be as good a back-checker as any of them.

Surely there's a better name we can find? Sakic? Zetterberg? Other guys who can play with power, play with finesse, and have good shots, can play W or C? Guys who have the ability to be either play-maker or sniper? Guys who get back when the game is on the line?

I guess it's all about what you use the comparables for. To me, with comps, style is very important. LT, I think you create your comps to predict possible future success and track careers and thus rely heavily on scoring at the same age, source league (etc), but I'm not entirely sure of the point since everyone's going to take different paths through the league anyway. Why not find the archetype off the same tree and see how they track from that?

For eg, I've never liked the Hemsky-Middleton comp (as you likely remember) because they're not the same kind of player. Both have speed down the wing and Middleton had some shiftiness, but to me that's about where it ends. Middleton was more of a goal-scorer than a play-maker.

Extend this to Setoguchi: he seems to score more with his speed than his positioning, and I'd say the exact opposite is true for Eberle. Eberle is also a better passer. Can we not say Whitney is a possible comp?

Oh, and please never stop posting these comp articles, LT. I love the brain processes they provoke, and they're always fun to read, as is all your stuff.

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#87 Dan the Man
September 05 2010, 06:42PM
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Chris. wrote:

Since the lockout the Flames have drafted 40 players who have played a total of 47 NHL games with any organization. This ~wonderful~ group of prospects has contributed a stunning 15 points of total offence! Not one player of the eight drafted in 2006 has played a single game.(No wonder Sutter needed to resign Ollie Jokinen)

All numbers gleaned from Hockey DB... and are only as accurate as the source...

Since the lockout, 42 Oiler draft picks have played a combined 598 games and scored 253 points of total offence.. and the best is yet to come.

That's stunning and awesome all at the same time. Thanks for that, it made my weekend.

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#88 Dominoiler
September 05 2010, 06:54PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

That's stunning and awesome all at the same time. Thanks for that, it made my weekend.

not making the playoffs helps...

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#90 spOILer
September 05 2010, 07:17PM
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I think we're going to be rummaging around for all these kids (less so with Eberle) for a bit. Styles sometimes change when guys hit the pro level as they figure out where their success lies. Kane might be a good example of this.

But if this is mostly a matter of boxcars at equivalent ages and leagues, styles be damned, shouldn't more consideration be given to the goal and assist breakdowns?

And, no respect for Omark? ;o)

Or no point?

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#91 DSF
September 05 2010, 07:25PM
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Lowetide wrote:

DSF: Clearly we're going to disagree here. My comparables are all based on age. Although not a perfect measure (even 6 months can make a difference at a young age) my own feeling is that age is a more important consideration than experience.

Once a young player gets comfortable with the speed and size in the NHL then he can find a way to compete. However, to suggest Sam Gagner at 18 is a fair comprable to Doug Gilmour at 20 skews the equation.

I did enjoy your hard work on the post, though. It was an interesting read.

Why not, then, draw your comparables from more contemporary sources.

Let's look at 18, 19 and 20 year old seasons.

Gagner: 49, 41, 41 Duchene: 55 Stamkos: 46, 95 Statsny:71, Injured 45, 79 Kopitar: 61,77, 66

I could go on but obviously Gagner is a second tier talent at best while Damphousse and Gilmour were among the league leaders in their time while Gagner is behind his contemporaries by a considerable margin even when age is the prime directive.

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#93 David S
September 05 2010, 09:36PM
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Looks like someone's mom is going to be saying "Its all right dear" alot if Sam has a breakout performance this season.

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#94 Oilertown
September 05 2010, 11:00PM
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Great read lowetide I have been reading ON since the Heatley debacle. And started reading your site shortly after. I have always enjoyed your comp articles and hearing that you have more coming here is good to hear. Keep up the great work ON is lucky to have you on their crew now

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#95 Aleslav Smidsky
September 05 2010, 11:23PM
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Just wanted to make if official, Paajarvi is my Ninja.

I can't believe that 245 racists voted the way they did on the latest poll.

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#96 rickithebear
September 05 2010, 11:26PM
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DSF: Seasons versus age! in your world a 30 year old with 50 points in his first season is the same as Gagner the 18 year old with 49 points in his first season. Come on thats just................ My 6 six year old would laugh!

Desjardins loooked at the 23 and under junior production world. Variance is not the norm!

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#97 rickithebear
September 05 2010, 11:36PM
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Everyone should go to hockey reference and look at gagner's first three season's age 18-20.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=1968&year_max=2010&season_start=1&season_end=3&age_min=18&age_max=20&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=F&handed=&c1stat=points_per_game&c1comp=gt&c1val=.5&c2stat=games_played&c2comp=gt&c2val=185&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=points_per_game

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#98 flyin ryan
September 06 2010, 12:19AM
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Good reading...Interesting.

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#99 RossCreekNation
September 06 2010, 12:52AM
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Chris. wrote:

...wait. I also like Brandon Gormley at 13th overall. Who would have ever thought that such a quality d-man propsect would slip all the way to 13th? The Flames must be so pleased... oh. Nevermind.

*... Now back to polishing my Zone 5 Regional Douche Of The Month trophy*

LOLZ

That doesn't particularly bug me as much as one might think.

a) there was no way to know a top 6 prospect would slide 7 spots,
b) the Flames made that deal 2 years ago, who could have known what position that pick would be,
c) I actually supported the Jokinen deal at the time (hindsight being 20/20, I now see how absurd it was, but I can't flip-flop & pretend I hated it then).

The only thing that bothers me about it is that they had the option of making it the '09 1st rounder or the '10 1st rounder... once again, hindsight being 20/20, I'd take the 13th in '10 (Gormley) over the 23rd in '09 (Tim Erixon).

In any case, that Zone 5 Regional Douche Of The Month trophy was well earned ;-)

~I can't wait to see who we trade this year's 1st rounder for~

Ah well... remember that time the Oil traded down to take Pouliot rather than take Parise/Getzlaf/Richards/Perry/Kesler/Burns?

*Beating dead horse*

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#100 RossCreekNation
September 06 2010, 12:55AM
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@DSF

While I'm not discounting your argument with Lowetide, are you trying to say that Gagner should put up the same #s as Gilmour/Damphousse did in a higher scoring era just to be considered a comparable?

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