One of the cool things about modern life is very smart people answering difficult questions for free. And not just the big stuff, like finding the perfect mixture for gorilla tape, but really cool stuff nerds like me wonder about all the time. In about 1975, as I was wandering through the summer ‘stats’ edition of The Hockey News, I wondered about ice time and scoring, and how to put all those numbers on a level playing field. Seriously. Now? The answer is available via NHL.com, if you have an hour or two to figure out where they put it.
There are even sites to help us suss out the minor leagues. We know that a player who scores well as a teenager (or at 20) in the AHL has a better career trajectory than a 26-year old who has been in the league for four seasons. So, it behooves us to find out who is scoring well at 20 (or less) in the minors at 5×5 offense. A year ago (here), Bogdan Yakimov ranked No. 19 and Kyle Platzer No. 31 among qualified AHL players. This year, I’m wondering about teenage phenom Jesse Puljujarvi and am looking at the brilliant site Prospect-Stats.com.
Prospect-Stats estimates time on ice (and scoring rates) across the AHL. This is extremely valuable (if imperfect) information because it allows us to view players across teams and deployment range in one quick glance. The numbers below are all prospects aged 18.0 through 20 years old and their estimated points-per-60 (20 or more games, in all situations).
- Kevin Fiala (20) (Nashville) 2.62
- Nikolay Goldobin (20) (Vancouver) 2.45
- Ivan Barbashev (20) (St. Louis) 2.28
- Jakub Vrana (20) (Washington) 2.27
- Jake DeBrusk (19) (Boston) 2.20
- Samuel Blais (21) (St. Louis) 2.16
- Kasperi Kapanen (20) (Toronto) 2.14
- Vladislav Kamenev (20) (Nashville) 2.10
- Timo Meier (19) (San Jose) 2.07
- Josh Ho-Sang (20) (NY Islanders) 2.06
- Jesse Puljujarvi (18) (Edmonton) 2.03
- Denis Gurianov (19) (Dallas) 2.01
- Kyle Connor (19) (Winnipeg)1.99
- Mike Amadio (20) (Los Angeles) 1.95
- Christian Fischer (19) (Arizona) 1.92
- Evgeny Svechnikov (19) Detroit) 1.90
- Jayce Hawryluk (20) (Florida) 1.90
- Alex Tuch (20) (Las Vegas) 1.87
- Sonny Milano (20) (Columbus) 1.83
- Nikita Scherbak (20) (Montreal) 1.82
- There are a lot of players from the Pacific Division, league plays 68 games. I don’t think there’s a reason beyond randomness, but thought it was curious.
- That’s a helluva number for Puljujarvi.
- Vancouver made an excellent trade getting Goldobin.
- Louie DeBrusk’s son appears to be a player.
- Kaspanen doesn’t get a lot of attention because the Leafs are running wild with terrific forward prospects, but he’s going to have success.
I love this stuff, it’s a lot of fun to find the real (or estimated real) numbers behind the boxcars. Jesse Puljujarvi looks good via this metric, only 18-year old in the group and he was over 2.00/60 at 5×5. Will it translate to NHL success? Good arrows. We wait.