The Hockey Prospecting Re-Draft Series: 2015

Dates, Notes, Year, 2015, Make A Note Of, Date, Pen

Here’s a refresher on the Hockey Prospecting re-draft approach…

Methodology & Technique

  • A first round re-draft
  • Players are chosen by their probabilities in the model but also based on their age and where they stand in the model. The Hockey Prospecting model is assessing where they are at the draft but also where they could go, based on previously history, in the future.
  • The top pick in each draft was left as is as they were always consensus and each have made the NHL directly after being drafted. The model takes over after the 1st overall pick.
  • Overagers: Overagers are not included in the top 30. There are times that the model sees overagers as more valuable. However, overagers have less runway left to improve in the model. As well, as a general rule of thumb, I wouldn’t take an overager in the 1st round (unless they were a really elite talent or the draft was exceptionally weak). I would be targeting them from the second round on.
  • The players are sorted by:
  • Grouping – 5 distinct groups within the model ranging from very high probability players to very low
  • Aggregate Probability – The summation of the player’s NHLer probability and Star probability
  • Round and Number – If players have equal probabilities, the model will pick out the one that was drafted first, assuming they were ranked higher and were seen as the better player

The Actual 2015 NHL Draft – Top 30

The 2015 Hockey Prospecting Re-Draft – Top 30


The 2015 draft was one of the best drafts of the past decade. Not only did it have two bonafide superstars, in McDavid and Eichel, headlining it, it has had a number of top-tier NHLers already emerge from it. The Hockey Prospecting re-draft fairs well, especially out of the gates. The Hockey Prospecting model finds four stars in a row with the first four picks – McDavid, Eichel, Marner and Barzal. Barzal is the big surprise, as he jumps up from 16th overall. Barzal is a certain star now but Hockey Prospecting saw him as one at the draft as well. Barzal was good in his pre-draft year, great in his draft year and is relatively young, born in the Spring, this all helps his case. He actually profiled exactly like Nathan MacKinnon and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins did at the draft.

The Hockey Prospecting re-draft picks up on some very notable players much earlier than the actual draft. That list includes: Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Sebastian Aho, Rasmus Andersson, Vince Dunn and Kirill Kaprizov. The first five mentioned made the NHL pretty soon after being drafted and are all key top 6/top 4 options on their teams. Kaprizov, who wasn’t actually taken until the 5th round, has been putting up ridiculous numbers in the KHL since he was drafted and is set to finally make his debut with the Wild this upcoming season and I would expect big things from Kaprizov. What did Hockey Prospecting pick up on about Kaprizov? He was young and performing above average in the KHL in his draft year. The KHL is the second most difficult league in the world. When a player is performing that well, that early in that league… he should get extra attention.

The Hockey Prospecting re-draft and the actual draft pick up on emerging Dallas Stars talent Denis Gurianov early (Hockey Prospecting has him at 9th; actual has him at 12th). Gurianov had sterling results in the MHL in his draft year as a young player. However, Gurianov’s development in the following 3-4 years seems to stall out. Players that plateau like this don’t often make the NHL. Gurianov, however, has rebounded into elite NHL form and is now a 40 goal scorer in the making.

Here’s what Gurianov looks like in the Hockey Prospecting model. Players don’t generally fall off like this and turn into something. Gurianov has.

It’s a bit too early to be certain but Hockey Prospecting jumps on Mitch Vande Sompel, Tom Novak, Evgeny Svechnikov and Jeremy Bracco a bit early. They look like they’ll miss. From a misses standpoint, Hockey Prospecting misses a few key players in the first round – Rantanen, Chabot and Boeser. All three players were of the older variety and had a slightly above average equivalency in their draft year. In an average draft, these players would fall to the end of the 1st round or early 2nd. They fall to the mid second in the 2015 draft because the draft was so deep. The reason these players fall deeper, by the Hockey Prospecting model, is players that look like this rarely turn into stars. Once every 3-4 years a player that looks like this turns into a star. In 2015, all three of these players turned into stars (Boeser isn’t officially at 200 games but will be a star as soon as he crosses).

Actual Results
2015Star ProducersAverage ProducersReplacement Producers100 GamersNHLers
Top 320002
Top 531004
Top 1054009
Top 20852015
Top 30872017
Hockey Prospecting Results
2015Star ProducersAverage ProducersReplacement Producers100 GamersNHLers
Top 330003
Top 540004
Top 1051006
Top 2063009
Top 30772016

If we break down the results in aggregate, there were nine stars to emerge frm the 2015 draft so far (really nine because Boeser is a star just not officially yet). The Hockey Prospecting re-draft finds seven stars thus far (players are still developing from the 2015 draft) while the actual draft finds nine (including Boeser). The Hockey Prospecting re-draft has tremendous success out of the gates, drafting four straight stars then finds Connor and Werenski a little later on in the 1st round. Hockey Prospecting also finds Aho by pick 21 (actual doesn’t find him until 35).

The actual draft, however, finds Rantanen, Chabot and Boeser earlier. As I said above, it is very rare that multiple players with this profile will turn into stars from one single draft. The final count when everything is said and done should be 11 total stars in the draft (which would be the most stars to emerge in a single draft in over a decade) – I fully expect Kaprizov to be the last one. Therefore, the Hockey Prospecting re-draft will have found eight and the actual draft would have found nine stars in the 1st round. Either way, an incredible pool of talent emerged from the 2015 draft.

In terms of total NHLers, the Hockey Prospecting re-draft and the actual draft are neck and neck. Hockey Prospecting found 16 full-time NHLers so far and the actual draft found 17. In both cases, there’s a few more players working their way into the NHL and will become full-time 200+ game NHLers very shortly.

Up next… the 2016 draft.

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