Brett Ferguson

Jonathan Willis
August 30 2011 03:14AM

Yesterday, we looked at one of the undrafted players that the Oilers are going to take a closer look at – undrafted defender Wesley Vannieuwenhuizen. He isn’t the only unsigned player hoping to earn a professional contract that the Oilers have invited, though. Brett Ferguson, a teammate of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in Red Deer, is another – and he’s an interesting prospect.

Ferguson first came to my attention when I was researching Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Back in June, I sat down and went through the scoring numbers for all of the decent offensive forwards in Red Deer, and found something interesting about Ferguson: he was the highest scorer on the team at even-strength. The reason his point totals weren’t more impressive was because he wasn’t getting power play time.

That’s basically where I left things. Ferguson’s scoring numbers at even-strength were nice, after all, but he’s also an older player – he was eligible for the 2008 NHL Draft, and at his age he should be putting up big WHL numbers.

What makes Ferguson more interesting is some of the work that Scott Reynolds has been doing lately. The gang at Copper & Blue do a lot of good work, but Reynolds’ statistical work with junior players is almost unparalleled. He went back through WHL game-sheets and ran a modified version of my Quality of Competition strategy for the Red Deer Rebels, trying to determine the calibre of opposition each player was on the ice against.

I’m going to quote Reynolds’ paragraph on Ferguson in its entirety (there’s lots of other good stuff there on Nugent-Hopkins, including his surprisingly good goal-scoring rates at even-strength that’s worth looking at too):

Finally, one last non-Nugent-Hopkins note: Brett Ferguson looks fantastic by the numbers. I know that he was twenty years old during 2010-11, and maybe every junior club has a guy that plays the toughs, drives offense for his line, and leads his team in even strength scoring, but I kind of doubt it. At 6'1'', the guy isn't tiny either. He's a free agent now, and even though I didn't think about it much at the time, I'm now pretty pleased that the Oilers invited the left winger to their development camp earlier this summer. If he's back in the fall, I know that I'll be cheering for him to make the AHL roster and work his way up.

That’s the gist of it: Ferguson was on the top even-strength line, playing a power-vs.-power role while running up impressive offensive numbers and posting a plus-31 rating (far and away the best of any forward not on Nugent-Hopkins’ line).

It might be nothing more than the natural dominance of an older junior player largely competing against youngsters. On the other hand, there’s the distinct possibility that Ferguson is a late-bloomer, and might someday develop into a reliable NHL checker. Either way, it’s nice to know the Oilers are going to take a longer look at him.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
Avatar
#51 Wax Man Riley
August 31 2011, 04:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

His offensive numbers were decent.

The GAON/60, though broken down individually is stll a team stat.

I've never claimed Gagner to be a good defensive player, I'd peg him as below average at this point, however not horrible.

We've already been over it, but here's some of the "best" defensive players in the league last year by the GAON/60 metrix:

Jeff Tambillini

George Parros

Frolov

Some of the worst defensive players were:

Alfredson

Callahan

Dubinsky

Also 2 years ago Gagner had the 3rd best GAON/60 on the team.

Do you really think he went from 3rd best defensive forward on the team to worst defensive forward in the league from year 2 to year 4?

Or do you maybe think that it isn't the most reflective stat.

Don't forget the article a few weeks back that said our Selke nominee based on these advanced stats was Omark. Yes, Omark is our best defensive forward.

Avatar
#52 Matt Henderson
August 31 2011, 04:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Wax Man Riley

I had blissfully forgotten about that.

Avatar
#53 Wax Man Riley
August 31 2011, 05:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Matt Henderson

I cannot forget about it. I believe in looking into advanced stats, and that there is some value in them. However, I then remind myself about this article.

Avatar
#54 Matt Henderson
August 31 2011, 05:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Wax Man Riley

The Shocking part of it all was that he said it with no tongue in cheek. He actually meant it. No ~s at all. Just pure madjamian craziness on the page.

Avatar
#55 DSF
August 31 2011, 10:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I wonder if the league knows that it's MVP was the worst defensive forward on his team (40+ games)??

Someone probably needs to tell Atl that Kane is actually worse defensively then Schremp and that they cut the wrong guy.

Think Carolina knows that Tlusty is better defensively then Stall?

Who would have guessed that Mike Modano was better defensivly then all world defensive forwards Datsyuk and Zetterberg? Hard to believe a Selke finalist was worse defensivly then a guy on his last legs.

I guess Tambillini should have won the Selke over Kessler, I mean he did have a better GAON/60.

Put down the pipe buddy.

If you're playing against the dregs like Gagner does, you should be able to more than hold your own.

The league MVP, Corey Perry, was playing the toughs (second highest Qual Comp) and managed to score 50 goals and 98 points.

He also managed to score 14 goals and 17 assists on the PP while the best Sammy could do was 9 points all season.

Datsyuk? GFON/60 4.70 GAON/60 1.01

Zetterburg? GFON/60 4.67 GAON/60 1/04

Are you able to see how good players actually score more than their opponents?

Are you able to see how Gagner is getting scorched by the other teams' third lines?

Avatar
#56 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 01 2011, 08:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
DSF wrote:

Put down the pipe buddy.

If you're playing against the dregs like Gagner does, you should be able to more than hold your own.

The league MVP, Corey Perry, was playing the toughs (second highest Qual Comp) and managed to score 50 goals and 98 points.

He also managed to score 14 goals and 17 assists on the PP while the best Sammy could do was 9 points all season.

Datsyuk? GFON/60 4.70 GAON/60 1.01

Zetterburg? GFON/60 4.67 GAON/60 1/04

Are you able to see how good players actually score more than their opponents?

Are you able to see how Gagner is getting scorched by the other teams' third lines?

Why do you keep confusing the issues, liar?

I'm not talking about outscoring; I'm talking about how the GAON/60 is pretty weak stat... guys considered elite defensive players are putting up weak GAON/60. Also nice to see you lying again... or are you simply incapable of reading the behind the net site?

Datsyuk isn't 1.01 GAON/60, he's 2.51GAON/60

Zetterberg isn't 1.04 GAON/60, he's 2.81 GAON/60

They also aren't anywhere close to those GFON/60 numbers either

The funniest part of your ridiculously inaccurate post is that that Zetterberg, a widely considered elite 2 way player was actually OUTSCORED by this metrics, 2.79 GFON/60 vs 2.89 GAON/60.

Honestly, pick up your game if you are going to continue with your non-sense and at least post accurate information.

Avatar
#57 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 01 2011, 08:41AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Some top players that were outscored by the GFON/60 GAON/60 metrix:

E Staal

Kieth

Seabrook

Duchene

Zetterberg

Wiess

Havlat

Burns

Kovalchuk

Tavares

Alfredson

Malkin

Marleau

Kessel

Phaneuf

Arnott

And on top of that Gagner was an out scorer by this metrics in his second year (which most consider his worst season).

Avatar
#58 Matt Henderson
September 01 2011, 10:42AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Silly DSF, Tricks are for kids

Comments are closed for this article.