Yesterday, gambling website Bovada set their over/under numbers for five of the Oilers’ best forwards. Where do they see those players landing?
- Taylor Hall: 74-1/2 points
- Taylor Hall: 30-1/2 goals
- Jordan Eberle: 67-1/2 points
- Nail Yakupov: 58-1/2 points
- Sam Gagner: 54-1/2 points
- David Perron: 48-1/2 points
Additionally, Hall was placed at 30-1 to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP and the ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy as the best goal-scorer. Hall (40-1) and Eberle (85-1) were both given odds on the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading point-scorer, while Justin Schultz is considered a 30-1 shot for the Norris Trophy.
The list above is extremely unsurprising. The Gagner and Perron and Eberle are expected to produce at roughly their career rate. Yakupov is given a modest bump here from last season; likely his play improves but I doubt he’s a career 21.0% shooter and it seems the fellows setting the odds agree with that.
If there is a surprise, it’s Hall. On his career, he has scored at a 70 points/82 games pace, but last season he scored at a full-season pace of 91 points. Bovada’s forecasting a fall; why might they do that?
Health is a possibility. Hall missed significant time to injury in his first two seasons, and though he looked good coming off shoulder surgery last year it’s fair to wonder whether his penchant for risking his body to advance the play might not result in more time missed.
There’s also a statistical red flag – IPP, or individual points percentage. Basically, that statistic refers to the number of even-strength points divided by even-strength goals for on. At its best, it shows us which players are really driving the play, but it’s also highly variable – when I looked for repeatability it fluctuated almost as much as shooting percentage. Last year, Hall had a huge season, picking up points on 94 percent of the goals scored when he was on the ice; in the two years prior he was hovering around 70 percent. If we assume it was a one-off, and that he’s closer to his career IPP rate, he drops from a 91 points/82 games pace down to 80 points per 82 games.
Combine that points fall with a bit of ill-health and suddenly 75 points looks like a pretty reasonable line in the sand, assuming that Hall doesn’t take yet another step forward. I’m personally inclined to be a little more bullish on Hall, but than I’m not putting my money on the line. The guys who do have set 75 points as their reasonable expectation for Hall; it’s going to be interesting to see how close they come.
Recently around the Nation Network
First, a quick reminder: StreakCred is free for the pre-season – sign up to win not only real money but also something far more valuable: NationGear.
According to Darren Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs may be interested in moving Joe Colborne. Cam Charron talks about what it all means and what Colborne has to offer at Leafs Nation:
Joe Colborne is 23 and has just 16 NHL games to his credit. He’s taken just 12 shots and has a single goal. While it was his excellence at the AHL-level and likelihood to make the NHL roster this season that had us rank Colborne almost universally at No. 2 in our prospect rankings, he doesn’t have the track record in his previous call-ups as, say, Nazem Kadri did, to guarantee at full-time job.
Click the link above to read more, or feel free to check out some of my recent stuff below: