Jordan Eberle Comparables, Part II

Jonathan Willis
August 31 2012 11:06AM

Yesterday, the Oilers re-signed Jordan Eberle to a six-year, $36 million contract extension. If you were wondering what that shrieking noise around mid-afternoon yesterday was, now you know (and you also know that its epicenter was Wanye Manor).

Earlier this month, I looked at some comparables for Jordan Eberle. It’s a pretty good looking list. Today, I’m going to try something similar but with some modified criteria.

The problem with my first list – a list that included Jason Allison, Patrice Bergeron, Martin Havlat, Ales Hemsky, Marian Hossa, Vincent Lecavalier, Patrick Kane, Anze Kopitar, Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Mike Richards, Sergei Samsonov, Alex Semin, Paul Stastny,Petr Sykora, Alex Tanguay, John Tavares, Joe Thornton and Jonathan Toews – was that it was based solely on points. The criteria on that list was to look at all forwards from 1997-98 on to have a season with a points/game total between 0.90 and 1.05 at the age of between 20 and 22 (Eberle, with a 0.97 points/game season at age 21, fell midway between those points).

Doing it that way doesn’t take into account Eberle’s unreal shooting percentage. At 19.8 percent, Eberle had a higher shot percentage than can reasonably be expected to continue (the league leader since the lockout, the phenomenally selective shooter Alex Tanguay, has an 18.0 percent conversion rate).

So, while the list of names above is nice and rosy, it’s not a list I particularly trust.

The Pessimist’s Method

Since shooting percentage is fickle from year to year – and history shows, barely short of certainty, that Eberle’s true accuracy level is lower than he managed this season – I decided to ignore goal totals and instead focus on two other things: assists/game and shots/game. Then I sorted every player since 1997-98 who came close to Eberle’s assist totals (within 10 over an 82-game season, basically) and shot totals (plus or minus 20% of Eberle’s shots per game this season) and came up with a list of 43 seasons between the age of 20 and 22. So, I narrowed it down some more. I removed all of the centers from the list, leaving only wingers, created an adjusted point column (basically assists plus shots multiplied by the group average shooting percentage) to negate shooting percentage differences and removed everybody who was no longer within 10 points of Eberle.

I haven’t compensated for individual points percentage (Eberle’s has been on the high side over his first two NHL seasons) and I also haven’t really allowed for Eberle’s high on-ice shooting percentage – at least not directly. Eberle’s 5-on-5 on-ice shooting percentage was driven in large part by his personal shooting percentage; 36.4% of 5-on-5 goals with him on the ice came off his stick (as per behindthenet.ca). By negating Eberle’s personal shooting percentage, we negate a good portion of his insanely high on-ice shooting percentage as well.

That’s a lot of explaining, but basically what we’re looking at here is a cynic’s list of comparable players. It’s the kind of list designed to handle the objections of a guy like me. Here’s the list:

It’s a pretty strong list, overall. Aside from Heatley those names lack star power to some degree, but when we look at their average 82 game performance over the next seven seasons (as long as Eberle’s under contract in other words) we get this:

The “S-1” column asks whether the player had a comparable season to Eberle the year before the big breakthrough; in a surprising number of cases the answer was yes. The players that didn’t – Horton and Friesen – are both below average on this list. The “Data” column indicates whether there were seven full seasons to grab information from after. Meanwhile, the “Drafted” column shows overall draft position in an attempt to add the context of these players’ pre-NHL career.

Looking at the data, I don’t really think Eberle’s going to crash and burn the way Friesen did, and I don’t really believe he’s going to set the NHL a-flame the way Heatley did, either. I think we’re probably looking at a pretty good player – at worst, a Milan Michalek fringe-first line type, and with the potential to be a Patrik Elias-style winger. Elias might sound like a disappointing comparison, but he is not: he had a 96-point season and was a top line power-vs.-power winger on a very good Devils team for years.

The group average is in Petr Sykora/Bobby Ryan country: a 30-35 guy during a healthy season. For those who believe Eberle’s a significantly above average NHL shooter (the group average here is 12.8 percent – an excellent number and not far from where I’d put Eberle), feel free to bump his goal totals a little higher.

I tend to be more cynical than the norm on Eberle. This list reflects my thinking on what constitutes a reasonable baseline – not necessarily the best-case scenario, but a reasonable baseline. Looking at it now, I’m not wild about the Oilers’ long-term offer to Eberle – I’d like a shorter term, or some patience getting him under contract – but I’m also not terribly worried it’s going to be an ugly overpay either.

Bottom line: if you’re a true believer that Eberle’s a franchise player and that his shooting percentage was for real, stick to that first list, the one that looked at him strictly by points. If, on the other hand, you’re more pessimistic on him (as I am), I think these comparables send the message that at worst – even with shooting percentage regression – he’s going to be a pretty good player for the next seven years.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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.
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#1 Tyler
August 31 2012, 11:11AM
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By negating Eberle’s personal shooting percentage, we negate a good portion of his insanely high on-ice shooting percentage as well.

Not really. The Oilers shot 10.8% at 5v5 on shots Eberle didn't take last year, which is nuts.

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#3 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 31 2012, 11:25AM
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I've always thought Eberle would put up Sykora type numbers.

This deffinitly supports that.

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#4 TigerUnderGlass
August 31 2012, 11:28AM
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Tyler wrote:

By negating Eberle’s personal shooting percentage, we negate a good portion of his insanely high on-ice shooting percentage as well.

Not really. The Oilers shot 10.8% at 5v5 on shots Eberle didn't take last year, which is nuts.

Is that with Eberle on the ice?

If hi IPP was around 85 then out are talking about a 2.8% bump on only 15% of points scored while he was on the ice. How many points is that?

You can dock him big for IPP or you can dock big for ON% but I don't see how you can dock him so heavily for both because they are related.

I'm on board with the idea that he is going to regress, but you're double dipping a bit when you come up with your numbers.

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#5 Tyler
August 31 2012, 11:34AM
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We don't negate all of it, but a good portion. He drops from 2nd among forwards with 40+ games down to 20th, which is still quite high but less crazy.

By my math, he goes to seventh.

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#6 Tyler
August 31 2012, 11:36AM
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Is that with Eberle on the ice?

Yes.

If hi IPP was around 85 then out are talking about a 2.8% bump on only 15% of points scored while he was on the ice. How many points is that? You can dock him big for IPP or you can dock big for ON% but I don't see how you can dock him so heavily for both because they are related.

No they're aren't related. Every shot your team takes could go in (100% shooting percentage) and you could get zero points.

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#8 Will
August 31 2012, 11:51AM
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I understand why advanced stats are important, but I think there are cases where the stats just don't so a good job at projecting the amount of points a player is capable of getting. I think instead of saying Eberle lucked out with a high shooting percentage that he's likely not able to keep up, why aren't we saying Eberle's shooting percentage this year is a good indicator of how Eberle takes smart shots that have a high percentage of finding twine?

I have read article after article breaking down a 'reasonable' expectation for Eberle, using all manner of stats; however not one single article has been able to explain why his percentage was so high this year. The obvious answer would be Nuge and the passes he was supplying, but Eberle didn't always play with the center.

So maybe it was all powerplay. But of his 76 points, only 20 came on the pp 10 and 10 respectively. So maybe it was the soft competition, but I do remember reading somewhere that Ebs and Nuge were often up against top pairing defensemen this year.

I guess my point is that stats used for expectations and point projections from year to year are pretty boring and unproductive. Every player is capable of having an off year, and likely it has more to do with the playstyle of the coach or other factors like injury and line mates as oppose to what can be extrapolated from stats. Is there any particular stat explaining why Ovechkin doesn't score 60 goals every year? How Malkin has been able to play at such a consistently high level? Etc.

I'm just happy we have what has appeared to be over the last two seasons an incredibly good player, in addition to all the other incredibly good players we've acquired recently.

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#10 Tyler
August 31 2012, 11:51AM
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Huh? That data includes Eberle's shots in it.

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#11 Tyler
August 31 2012, 11:53AM
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If you include his shots, the Oilers shot 12.84%, 20th highest number. If you pull them, the Oilers shot 10.9%, which is the seventh highest number.

If anything, the shooting of the rest of the guys when he was on the ice is just as out there as his was.

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#13 TigerUnderGlass
August 31 2012, 12:07PM
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Tyler wrote:

Is that with Eberle on the ice?

Yes.

If hi IPP was around 85 then out are talking about a 2.8% bump on only 15% of points scored while he was on the ice. How many points is that? You can dock him big for IPP or you can dock big for ON% but I don't see how you can dock him so heavily for both because they are related.

No they're aren't related. Every shot your team takes could go in (100% shooting percentage) and you could get zero points.

Yeah my mistake - I misunderstood something in my math. I shouldn't comment between clients when I have no time to think about what I'm saying.

Interestingly though if that 10.8 is corrected to 8 and his rate of assisting stays the same his IPP goes up.

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#14 Ben
August 31 2012, 12:09PM
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@Will

I think that Will pretty much nails it. Eberle doesn't waste his shots, he's not like Hall or PRV who have a tendency to add to their shot count by taking far angle shots from the outside on the rush. He also doesn't miss the net nearly as often as Hall does.

I'm in the boat of that with a healthy Hall, a more seasoned RNH, the addition of Yakupov and Hemsky hopefully emulating his 77 point self Eberle should be able to produce similar numbers.

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#15 TigerUnderGlass
August 31 2012, 12:12PM
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Tyler wrote:

If you include his shots, the Oilers shot 12.84%, 20th highest number. If you pull them, the Oilers shot 10.9%, which is the seventh highest number.

If anything, the shooting of the rest of the guys when he was on the ice is just as out there as his was.

Their shooting over 8% accounts for 15 goals, so by the percentages he got a bump of 11-12 assists.

What the typical shooting percentage of a skill line? If teams correct to 8% the number for top lines must be at least marginally higher no?

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#16 TigerUnderGlass
August 31 2012, 12:13PM
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@Ben

He also doesn't miss the net nearly as often as Hall does.

Those aren't counted as shots.

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#17 Tyler
August 31 2012, 12:14PM
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I'm comfortable using 9.7% or so as an assumption for a top line. That would include the shots Ebs takes though.

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#19 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 31 2012, 12:19PM
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Will wrote:

I understand why advanced stats are important, but I think there are cases where the stats just don't so a good job at projecting the amount of points a player is capable of getting. I think instead of saying Eberle lucked out with a high shooting percentage that he's likely not able to keep up, why aren't we saying Eberle's shooting percentage this year is a good indicator of how Eberle takes smart shots that have a high percentage of finding twine?

I have read article after article breaking down a 'reasonable' expectation for Eberle, using all manner of stats; however not one single article has been able to explain why his percentage was so high this year. The obvious answer would be Nuge and the passes he was supplying, but Eberle didn't always play with the center.

So maybe it was all powerplay. But of his 76 points, only 20 came on the pp 10 and 10 respectively. So maybe it was the soft competition, but I do remember reading somewhere that Ebs and Nuge were often up against top pairing defensemen this year.

I guess my point is that stats used for expectations and point projections from year to year are pretty boring and unproductive. Every player is capable of having an off year, and likely it has more to do with the playstyle of the coach or other factors like injury and line mates as oppose to what can be extrapolated from stats. Is there any particular stat explaining why Ovechkin doesn't score 60 goals every year? How Malkin has been able to play at such a consistently high level? Etc.

I'm just happy we have what has appeared to be over the last two seasons an incredibly good player, in addition to all the other incredibly good players we've acquired recently.

It's because the answer is most likely luck.

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#20 TigerUnderGlass
August 31 2012, 12:20PM
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Tyler wrote:

I'm comfortable using 9.7% or so as an assumption for a top line. That would include the shots Ebs takes though.

Sounds good. For the purposes of this discussion I've sort of been ignoring his goal totals/shooting% and just trying to guess at a hit on assists.

So that number changes his hit on assists to about 8 when also adjusting his IPP to 80%. (which is obviously not automatic)

So this drops him to about 68 points before adjusting for his own shooting%.

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#21 Ben
August 31 2012, 12:20PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
He also doesn't miss the net nearly as often as Hall does.

Those aren't counted as shots.

I know, but you have to hit the net to score goals.

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#22 TigerUnderGlass
August 31 2012, 12:23PM
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Ben wrote:

I know, but you have to hit the net to score goals.

What conversation have you been reading?

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#24 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 31 2012, 12:34PM
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All this said, Eberle's skill set doesn't seem all that different then Tanguay, so he just might end up being a consistent shooting percentage freak.

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#25 TigerUnderGlass
August 31 2012, 12:35PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Ben:

Actually, Hall and Eberle miss the net at the same rate. This is a non-point.

Eberle missed the net 60 times and hit it 180 times. Hall missed the net 69 times and hit it 207. In other words, each player has one missed shot for every three shots that are on net. The ratio is identical.

It's still a non-point if it were true.

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#26 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 31 2012, 12:35PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Ben:

Actually, Hall and Eberle miss the net at the same rate. This is a non-point.

Eberle missed the net 60 times and hit it 180 times. Hall missed the net 69 times and hit it 207. In other words, each player has one missed shot for every three shots that are on net. The ratio is identical.

Which highlights nicely the issue of trusting our eye's/memory with data like this.

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#27 Moose
August 31 2012, 12:49PM
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@Jonathan Willis

With regards to the second part of this, about Nuge's passes. I tend to agree somewhat. Someone posted a list of Kurri's Shooting % year over year at Lowetide's blog, and it was in the high 20% range year over year. I think we can all reasonably agree that taking one-timers from Gretz contributed to that. Yes, you can say that offensive period of the game was different and that goaltending sucked, etc, but it's all relative.

I think he'll regress but, I think it'll settle somewhere between the 11% rookie mark and his range last year. There's just too many factors to accurately say what contributes to shooting percentage. Player growth/development from rookie to 2nd year? Sure. Luck? Maybe. But that's too simplistic. It's impossible to watch highlights of Eberle and not see that he is a cerebral player, with great hands, that picks his spots. How many times have you ever seen him blindly fire a slapper at the net? Almost never. He's not a "throw it at the net" player.

The contract might be a tad rich, but after the Hall deal there was no way to pay him less (based on production) without alienating the player or sending the wrong message. I'm happy.

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#29 Johnny
August 31 2012, 12:49PM
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What about the fact tha Eberle had 42 assists?? What effect does his "unrealisticly high shooting percentage" have on that?

And lest we forget, he was stone cold to start the year.

I will be SHOCKED if Eberle is not a 70-80 point player plus over the term of this deal. If you don't beleive this, you have been crunching too many numbers and not watching the hockey games. This guy is an unreal player.

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#32 Ryan1
August 31 2012, 01:11PM
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One thing to remember is what Eberle did following his rookie season re: shooting - he practiced during the offseason on a faster release as he noted the goalies reacted much more quickly in the show. While luck may have helped on a small amount of extra goals, this had the biggest impact on his shooting % IMHO. As long as he does not get lazy and continues to tweak his game from season to season I can see him maintaining a higher shooting % throughout his career.

In addition, you have to take his centreman in the rookie and 2nd seasons into account. Horcoff is not close to the same playmaker as Nuge. Once the Nuge hits his stride in a year or two then Ebs could have consistent Kurri like percentages as tap ins/open net one-timers count just the same as a sick dangle.

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#33 Will
August 31 2012, 01:25PM
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@Jonathan Willis

As usual, a very measured and articulate response. Thanks for all the great work on here by the way as your articles generally spark interesting discussion about our team and our players.

But again, I just don't think this stat accounts for the way he plays. How about this. Can you approach this from a different perspective? Instead of using stats to find Eberle's reasonable comparables, is there any way you could do research and use stats to explain why Eberle will continue to produce at this and maybe even higher levels?

Perhaps you could compare the high quality areas Eberle shoots from to the less than favorable spots other elite players in his point category achieve.

You mentioned Stamkos as someone else that has a high shooting percentage. I see Eberle's season comparable to Stamkos for two reasons: They are both very good finishers, and they both play with really good playmakers. Stamkos has St. Louie and Eberle has Nuge.

I of course do not believe Eberle is the most consistent finisher since the lockout, but he could be. I just can't shake the feeling that 'luck' actually had very little to do with Eberle's season. Especially after reading that article a few weeks back about the quality of defenders Eberle played against.

So ya, gauntlet thrown down Willis. Instead of all the doom and gloom I'd like you to explain why Eberle is going to be the exception to the rule and how he managed to net one of the best shooting percentages since the lockout, and why you expect him to not only repeat his point total from this year, but exceed it. Boom!

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#35 BurkeTheTurd
August 31 2012, 01:46PM
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Maybe he wont be a superstar, but a star most likely. I'd be happy with Elias or Sykora, best stat they have is; a few Cup rings.

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#36 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 31 2012, 02:00PM
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BurkeTheTurd wrote:

Maybe he wont be a superstar, but a star most likely. I'd be happy with Elias or Sykora, best stat they have is; a few Cup rings.

Dare to dream turd, dare to dream.

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#37 Tyler
August 31 2012, 02:08PM
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What about the fact tha Eberle had 42 assists?? What effect does his "unrealisticly high shooting percentage" have on that?

Asking this question is code for "I couldn't be bothered to read the post or comments but I like to say things."

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#38 steveb12344
August 31 2012, 02:14PM
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For me, while i understand the math and the reasoning behind the expectations. There is just a few points that i can't get over enough to agree.

For starters while i will agree that his sp% will probably regress to some extent. I do think that with his skillset, shot selectiveness, and calibre of linemates. He will probably have relatively high sp%, maybe even near top of the league for most of his career.

The big problem i have though is that to use sp% to predict regression in goal scoring seems as though it is flawed to me. Are we to assume that players get the same amount of shots on goal every year? What about the quality of shots on goal? Can we reasonably assume that all players have the same % of high quality scoring chances in relation to thier total shots on goal?

I think these numbers can vary quite a bit from player to player, and year to year. Now i realize in most instances you can say that there is generally a mean, and most players don't stray too far from it from year to year and that is true i'm sure in many cases.

So now how does all this relate to our young Mr. Eberle?

We agree the sp% will regress a little. (though i don't see it dropping as much as most) Do we think that last year will be his career mean for amount of shots on goal, and relative % of high quality scoring chances? Or even as JW suggests maybe his rookie year will actually be the mean,with him far exceeding his career averages last year.

Well i for 1 think that there is plenty to suggest that he probably still hasn't hit his career mean in those categories. It is laughable to think that his rookie year playing with Horc, and a rookie Hall, could give him anywhere near career numbers.

His toi last year was very low compared to the other top players (statically speaking) And subsequently his pts./60 was at or near the top of the league.

I see him getting much more min. as time goes on, and with the quality of his linemates only getting better (ie. other kids getting older and better, and of course The NUGE) as well as his own abilities improving. Also improved chemistry as they play and grow together.

All this to me points to Ebs getting much more shots, along with much more high quality scoring chances as time goes on. This should imo offset his lowered sp% more than enough to make up the difference, and maybe even exceed his total offence thus far.

Anyhow i will be shocked if he is not at least a point per game player, capable of a few 40, and maybe even 50 goal seasons before his career with this group of young oilers is done.

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#39 billylikestodrinksoda
August 31 2012, 02:33PM
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@Jonathan Willis

@jonathanwillis @tyler

Im not disagreeing with what you guys are stating. Its all there and is backed up with real numbers that make sense.

What I dont understand is WHO asked you guys these questions on Jordan Eberle? Or was it just something you both personally wanted the answer to?

Im all for sound reasoning and logic, but this all seems much ado about nothing. Both of you seem to convey the message that your 100% right already, which is impossible, unless you own a time machine or know a cool gypsy lady who can see the future (which would be pretty sick).

There is presenting logical and reasonable THEORIES that you can look back on at the end of the season and say "See, i was right, and this, this, and this happened as i predicted". But, you guys seem to be shoving it down the oiler fans throats as if it has already happened.

I agree, Jordan Eberle will probably drop to ~65 points and have a lower shooting percentage then this past year. But seriously, 15 bloggers posting the same idea on numerous sites, all yelling, "IM THE RIGHTEST OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE RIGHT ABOUT JORDAN EBERLE BECAUSE IM RIGHT AND MY NUMBERS SHOW IM RIGHT!!!", just gets old.

We'll see what happens to his career during the next few years. You guys are probably correct. Or at least the numbers show you SHOULD be correct. But we honestly don't know. And until we do know, I think I speak for the majority of the Oilersnation community when I say, Stop saying "I told you so" when Jordan Eberle hasn't even played this apparent "I told you so" type season.

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#40 steveb12344
August 31 2012, 02:42PM
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@billylikestodrinksoda

I kind of agree with what this guy said.

If it was so easy to predict the future by anylizing the numbers from the past, then all the mathemeticians would be filthy rich from all the money they would be raking in from gambling on sports.

As many members of G.A. will tell you, things don't always turn out as they should.

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#41 oilers2k10
August 31 2012, 02:44PM
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Best way to see if Eberle's shooting percentage is for real is to look at his shooting percentage in five game segments and see how consistent it is.. Go back to his junior days if you have to and compare it to other same aged players shooting percentage and goal totals..

I for one believe that Eberle is all brains and is always one step ahead of the opposition, you see it not only in his shots but his positioning, and how he strips much bigger and stronger guys off the puck consistently.. And now he's starting to add some physicality.. Him, RNH, and Yakupov all seem to have much higher hockey IQs than most players.. Hall in my opinion has slightly above average hockey IQ but his drive is on another level.

Just my four cents.

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#42 oilers2k10
August 31 2012, 02:45PM
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steveb12344 wrote:

I kind of agree with what this guy said.

If it was so easy to predict the future by anylizing the numbers from the past, then all the mathemeticians would be filthy rich from all the money they would be raking in from gambling on sports.

As many members of G.A. will tell you, things don't always turn out as they should.

Moneyball.

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#43 Will
August 31 2012, 02:57PM
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@Jonathan Willis

I think the entire scientific community would disagree with you as the very nature of a science experiment involve trying to prove a position or hypothesis through raw data. Since your article is entitled 'Jordan Eberle Comparables part 2' and you begin the whole thing about how the first finding extrapolated from another set of raw data was not up to your cynical standards (your words not mine), I can only think you had a particular thing about Eberle you wanted to prove and went out to find data that supported your theory he will be more like a 50-60 point guy.

Especially in the field of journalism you take a story and throw 'evidence' in order to support a conclusion decided upon by the journalist long before the story or the data started. Obviously that's not what's supposed to happen, but do you really, really believe that isn't what happens.

Do you actually think you were just looking over some lists and said, you know to me this looks like Eberle will be 50 - 60 point guy? Or did you not in fact start his article by saying, "I wonder what other data would support the claim that Jordan Eberle will be a 50 - 60 point guy?'

Not asking you to support something you don't believe in, just asking you to dig through your data and sources to see if there's anything that could support Eberle being a 80 - 90 point guy. Because so far the best data you have is based on the seasons of other hockey players and not actually on the season Eberle had. Or if you don't want to try and support this idea, how about using the data to try and discover why his shooting percentage was so hi, then looking at comparables of that type?

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#44 steveb12344
August 31 2012, 03:01PM
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@oilers2k10

And how many world series championships has "Moneyball" produced for Billy Beane and co.?

http://blogs.theprovince.com/2012/08/30/the-moneyball-myth/

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#45 OilClog
August 31 2012, 03:03PM
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Sykora.. Eberle is being compared to Sykora.. Ummmm.

Regardless of any stat.. Would anyone really pick Sykora over Ebs? Ever? At any point?

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#46 OilClog
August 31 2012, 03:08PM
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@OilClog

No, never happen.

Comparing Eberle to other players and not just on the man himself is a classic mistake. But eh, Ebs will just keep shutting them up.

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#47 freeze
August 31 2012, 03:41PM
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I love that TSN clip that they did. Absolutely Hilarious. Probably the highlight of Rishaug's career.

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#48 speeds
August 31 2012, 05:31PM
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Will wrote:

I understand why advanced stats are important, but I think there are cases where the stats just don't so a good job at projecting the amount of points a player is capable of getting. I think instead of saying Eberle lucked out with a high shooting percentage that he's likely not able to keep up, why aren't we saying Eberle's shooting percentage this year is a good indicator of how Eberle takes smart shots that have a high percentage of finding twine?

I have read article after article breaking down a 'reasonable' expectation for Eberle, using all manner of stats; however not one single article has been able to explain why his percentage was so high this year. The obvious answer would be Nuge and the passes he was supplying, but Eberle didn't always play with the center.

So maybe it was all powerplay. But of his 76 points, only 20 came on the pp 10 and 10 respectively. So maybe it was the soft competition, but I do remember reading somewhere that Ebs and Nuge were often up against top pairing defensemen this year.

I guess my point is that stats used for expectations and point projections from year to year are pretty boring and unproductive. Every player is capable of having an off year, and likely it has more to do with the playstyle of the coach or other factors like injury and line mates as oppose to what can be extrapolated from stats. Is there any particular stat explaining why Ovechkin doesn't score 60 goals every year? How Malkin has been able to play at such a consistently high level? Etc.

I'm just happy we have what has appeared to be over the last two seasons an incredibly good player, in addition to all the other incredibly good players we've acquired recently.

I agree that Eberle looks like the kind of guy that will have an above average shooting percentage going forward, maybe even one of the best in the NHL, who knows?

That said, I do wonder to some extent which is the cause and which is the effect? You wrote:

"...why aren't we saying Eberle's shooting percentage this year is a good indicator of how Eberle takes smart shots that have a high percentage of finding twine"

Is it reasonable to argue that people might (at least partially) think Eberle is a high percentage shooter because a high percentage happened to go in?

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#49 K_Mart
August 31 2012, 06:10PM
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Although Ebs clearly had a season where his shooting percentage was above what can reasonably be expected on a year to year basis, I believe that if Nuge and Hall can stay healthy, Yakupov and Schultz are immediately impact players, and Ebs can keep his sht% at or above 12% we can expect him to repeat his 70+ pt season.

This really isn't all that unreasonable. I think Nuge will probably emerge as one of the true top playmakers in the league over the next few seasons and Eberle will benefit in a massive way. I also think that Yakupov and Hall will both be the beneficiaries of some beauty passes from Eberle on the PP and 5v5.

Remember Ebs' backhand pass to smytty on the doorstep? or his late cross crease feed to hall in the same spot? Sure his sht% may drop, but what about his playmaking abilities? if Hall isn't injured for 20 games and Yakupov is the sniper the scouts claim... Eberle can easily repeat his 42 apple season, if not increase it. What about schultz' impact? What if he's as good as Gardiner? You don't think Eberle will benefit in both the apple and goal columns with a guy like that manning the pp?

Even if his sht% does drop to 13% there are enough other variables in play that a season of 25g 45a is completely reasonable to expect.

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#50 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 31 2012, 06:36PM
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K_Mart wrote:

Although Ebs clearly had a season where his shooting percentage was above what can reasonably be expected on a year to year basis, I believe that if Nuge and Hall can stay healthy, Yakupov and Schultz are immediately impact players, and Ebs can keep his sht% at or above 12% we can expect him to repeat his 70+ pt season.

This really isn't all that unreasonable. I think Nuge will probably emerge as one of the true top playmakers in the league over the next few seasons and Eberle will benefit in a massive way. I also think that Yakupov and Hall will both be the beneficiaries of some beauty passes from Eberle on the PP and 5v5.

Remember Ebs' backhand pass to smytty on the doorstep? or his late cross crease feed to hall in the same spot? Sure his sht% may drop, but what about his playmaking abilities? if Hall isn't injured for 20 games and Yakupov is the sniper the scouts claim... Eberle can easily repeat his 42 apple season, if not increase it. What about schultz' impact? What if he's as good as Gardiner? You don't think Eberle will benefit in both the apple and goal columns with a guy like that manning the pp?

Even if his sht% does drop to 13% there are enough other variables in play that a season of 25g 45a is completely reasonable to expect.

Stacking offensive players together doesn't usually mean more points for everyone.

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