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.

  • Jason Gregor


    Get over yourself. Either add something meaningful or adios.

    And can all of you stop responding to his remarks. Lowetide is a big boy and can handle himself.

    As the site grows, we will limit the pointless posts. Saves everyone time.

  • “Today’s intro wasn’t a coincidence”

    Such dogged pursuit of the obvious.

    “based on my early experience it looks as though”

    Yeah, he was waiting for the first stats discussion to start without him.

    Ross wins that lottery.

      • washed up

        I was just getting a jab in on Nate ” see post #136″ He seems to still be abit bitter about the situation. I do seem to recall someone running the numbers on Hall vs. another player, who’s name i can’t think of. They weren’t using the same formula, but it was similar to this one. Besides your post usually add to the conversation on here. Anyone can wirte something to get a rise out of a few people.

  • “I have seen the future of the Edmonton Oilers and his name is Taylor Hall. For a blog that prides itself on using math and discouraging the “saw him good” crowd, I’ll admit that this clearly runs across the grain…

    In last night’s Memorial Cup opener Taylor Hall slammed into the boards in what looked (in real time) like a devastating injury… So it was with some astonishment that I observed the young man scoring a beautiful goal just a few minutes later…

    I said previously that Seguin would be the better choice because the math says they are equal players, and that Seguin’s being a center and coming on strong late tipped the scales for me. Reject all signals.

    Taylor Hall has ridiculous talent, no fear and a strong will to win. He’s the best player available and should be taken number one overall”.


    “MacGregor often led the debate for Seguin, the big, right-handed centre from the Plymouth Whalers. But he changed course for the final time three weeks ago and jumped on the Hall bandwagon…

    MacGregor had been really impressed with Hall through the Ontario Hockey League playoffs and again at the Memorial Cup. Well, first he was actually certain the decision had been made for him, when Hall was rocked by Travis Hamonic of the hometown Brandon Wheat Kings.

    “I thought the decision was done. This guy is hurt. He might never play. Because he’d always get up when he was hit before,” said MacGregor. “He’d always get up right away and never show anybody anything like ‘boy you got me or hurt me.’ He rolls over, he’s got blood all over his face, goes to the bench, and then comes out the next shift and scores just a dynamic goal. It just showed what an amazing guy he is.”


    • I put more weight into observation than I do in advanced stats, especially when what’s seen is digested by somebody with the instincts, feel for the game and trained eye LT has.

      For me, numbers are a secondary reference: a way to back-up what instinct and observation indicate. They go hand-in-hand, but in that order.

      Nate: As one poster put it, I just got wind of you being a dick. I will say this only once to support what Gregor said:
      If you keep being a nob, you’ll get gone. Once that happens, you won’t be coming back. Nobody here will miss you and we will not suffer without you.
      I don’t care if you’re running your mouth at LT, Gregor, Willis, Wanye, Bingofuel, Amber or me — yes, they can take care of themselves — it’s not acceptable.
      What you bring to this site isn’t debate, it’s schoolyard BS meant to irritate contributors here and garner attention. That’s not OK with me, even if it is “the internet.”
      All it takes is for one of us to send a note that says “I don’t want this guy posting here,” and you won’t be posting here. Got it?

      Spend another day, make that even another hour, given the spew you’ve offered today, trying to antagonize contributors and you’re gone. Blink wrong when you read this and you’re gone. Respond in any way that can be interpreted as anything other than, “I get it,” then you’re over here.

  • Mike and spOiler,

    You guys have added some very interesting commentary to a good post by LT.

    If I find the it me this weekend you have inspired me to look over the predicted 21 year old seasons for a bunch of guys to test for accuracy.

  • saw him good vs math

    Subject: Dubnyk.

    Living in Kamloops during the DD era, I ‘saw him good’ and loved what I saw (size, character and poise on an awful team).

    Does my personal evaluation hold water? To me – hell yeah – I was there, know what I look for in a goalie, and certainly liked what I saw… To others? Unless you know me and my self-proclaimed stunning track record when it comes to goaltending, hell no. I’m just another voice.

    This is where I find the math most interesting. It is not interested in my thoughts on the young man. It is not swayed by my Kamloops experience. It just doesn’t care.

    Most of us can agree that his road to the NHL has been bumpy (ECHL) and lonely (facing big rubber on bad AHL teams). Math has never loved him – until the end of last season perhaps (math started to like him a little).

    So then – where do we go from here?
    Is math going to fall in love and start to back-up the ‘saw him good’ indicators I have always proclaimed or is math going to self-correct and show us it was just a fling, proving he really isn’t a number one in the making?

    Look forward to finding out this year.
    You know which way I’m betting… I saw him good.

  • Pajamah

    I’d be extremely happy if he became a top 20 starter in the NHL.
    he may eventually become the Oilers starter, but I don’t see him being an everyday NHL top flight goaltender.

    I do think he’ll have a better career than JDD though, but I still think Im going to put all my eggs in the Olivier Roy basket