Jeff Jackson: “We will have an announcement soon on our analytics. We’re excited about that.”

By Woz
6 months ago
When Jeff Jackson was announced as Edmonton Oilers’ CEO of hockey operations, fans wondered if he would want the organization to delve more into analytics and use those tools to help the team improve.
This afternoon, Jackson appeared on Sports 1440 with Jason Gregor and mentioned that there would be an announcement coming soon regarding the Oilers’ analytics department.
“I’m not rushing in and creating departments all over the place but we are starting to build, and we’re going to have an announcement shortly on some analytics which is very exciting for us.”
Jackson is a huge advocate for analytics in hockey, believes they can be used to benefit the organization, and feels as though there’s no reason why the Oilers shouldn’t be taking advantage of the data.
“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.”
Jackson added that he doesn’t want to be fully reliant on analytics either. Using the eye test certainly has value, but adding data as another means of evaluation can help at all levels within the organization.
“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, 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.”
Since taking on this new role, Jackson has been vocal about how he wants to right people in the right places. Two weeks ago when the Oilers returned to town for the captain’s skate, he mentioned on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer how he wants the franchise to be best in class in everything they do and that includes bolstering the way they evaluate talent.
“We’re looking at how the team uses analytics, and building that department into something a little bit more substantial. As I said, I want the Oilers to be best in class in everything we do.”

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