The Hockey Prospecting Re-Draft Series: 2016

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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 2016 NHL Draft – Top 30

The 2016 Hockey Prospecting Re-Draft – Top 30


It’s still too early to tell who has made the NHL and who hasn’t from the 2016 draft but players are starting to emerge and it’s still interesting to look back on this draft. The Hockey Prospecting re-draft starts off very successful, taking three stars in a row out of the gates with Matthews, Tkachuk and DeBrincat. Matthews was a no-brainer superstar in the model. He profiled like very few – Crosby, McDavid, Kane and Eichel. Tkachuk and DeBrincat profiled identical to each other but also profile like mostly point per game stars in the model, including: Hall, Stamkos and Gaborik.

With the Hockey Prospecting method, Laine and Puljujarvi would have fallen to 7th and 8th, respectively. Keller, Bellows and Abramov jump up in front due to more significant pre-draft years. Now nobody in their right mind would have let Laine and that shot fall that far but the model algorithm slightly favors Keller, Bellows and Abramov.

A number of players jump up signficantly including: DeBrincat, Abramov, Mascherin, Girard, Dineen, Krys, Fox, Allard and Quenneville. DeBrincat, Girard and Fox are all having significant success in the NHL. DeBrincat is a star and Fox and Girard are trending towards becoming stars. Girard profiled similar to Juolevi and Sergachev but was taken ~40 spots later. Fox profiled similar to McAvoy and was taken ~50 spots later. However, David Quenneville also looks like Fox and jumps up from the 7th round into the 1st. That pick doesn’t look like its going to pay off.

Actual Results
2016Star ProducersAverage ProducersReplacement Producers100 GamersNHLers
Top 321003
Top 521013
Top 1042117
Top 2043118
Top 3043118
Hockey Prospecting Results
2016Star ProducersAverage ProducersReplacement Producers100 GamersNHLers
Top 330003
Top 531004
Top 1042006
Top 2054009
Top 3054009

Again many from the 2016 class are still developing but if we look at what has happened so far in aggregate, the Hockey Prospecting re-draft and the actual draft perform similar. The Hockey Prospecting re-draft finds five stars while the actual draft finds four (Hockey Prospecting finds all of the stars that the actual draft found in the first round as well as DeBrincat). The Hockey Prospecting re-draft has found nine full-time NHLers so far, the actual draft found eight.

That’s it for the Hockey Prospecting re-draft series. I hope you enjoyed the journey. Overall, the Hockey Prospecting re-drafts performed well. Hockey Prospecting thrived at identifying stars earlier than the actual draft. Hockey Prospecting often found stars in a different order from how the actual draft went. Hockey Prospecting didn’t find as many NHLers as the actual first round of drafts. This is largely due to the Hockey Prospecting sometimes taking players that were ranked and drafted very late (3rd to 7th round). While they may look good in the model, they still often don’t have the intangible ‘first round talent’ of some of the players actually taken in the first and the model can’t pick up on that. Nevertheless, it was a fun exercise which netted some very interesting results.

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