Oilers hire Michael Parkatti as Senior Director of Data and Analytics

Photo credit:© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
7 months ago
If you’re one of those people who have been begging for the Oilers to bolster their use of analytics, this morning’s announcement should make you very happy. Today, the Oilers announced via their social media channels that they’ve hired Michael Parkatti as the team’s new Senior Director of Data and Analytics.
If you’ve been around long enough, Michael Parkatti is a name you’d very likely know as one of the OGs in the space of using data to break down hockey. Hell, I feel like I’ve been following the guy on Twitter forever and I couldn’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve learned about data and hockey from him during that time. While we don’t yet know how much the Oilers will be using their newly formed analytics department and how much influence Parkatti will have in player assessment, the bigger point here is that the Oilers are modernizing their organization and giving themselves more tools for evaluation.
Yesterday, Jeff Jackson appeared on The Jason Gregor Show and talked about analytics being a tool the Oilers wanted to use more, and how this data will fit within their current scouting methods:
“Analytics are another good tool to use. If you have a toolbox and you don’t have one part of the toolbox, or you lost your one tool and you’re not using it, it’s going to hurt you. We want to get that toolbox full and use analytics, but you have to use all the other stuff as well, including watching games in person and using your own sights and smell test on players. Feeling all the intangible things with players is all very important, but what the analytics can do is, you can build programs where you drive focus on whether it’s amateur scouting, pro scouting, player contracts, and using it to find out when guys are at peak performance. All that sort of stuff can’t be done without the data, so that’s where we’re going to use it. But we’re also going to continue to use the traditional methods of player evaluation because that’s not going anywhere.”
Parkatti joins the Oilers after most recently working as a Manager of Advanced Analytics at Suncor Energy down in Calgary. A veteran in the world of hockey data and analytics, Parkatti’s fingerprints are all over some of the industry-standard analytics we use every day such as expected goals and I personally feel as though this is a great hire for our favourite team. Before this new role in Edmonton, Parkatti actually provided the club with consulting services from 2013-2015 after winning the Oilers-sponsored Analytics Hackathon.

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