June 11 2015 06:14PM
Since there is no doubt as to who we'll have ranked as the best prospect available for the 2015 NHL Entry draft, we'll start at the top.
Connor McDavid is a special talent and the consensus best available player, possessing an obscene amount of skill. He's exceptional, not only for what he can do with the puck, but also for his blinding speed, which few players in all of hockey can currently match.
For a first-time draft eligible skater, McDavid's production in the OHL was nearly unprecedented. He absolutely torched junior hockey to the tune of 120 points in just 47 games - numbers that would make people say, "nah, that's unrealistic" if he were a character in EA's NHL 15.
Join us after the jump as we profile the most dynamic talent currently outside the NHL.
June 11 2015 03:01PM
The Winnipeg Jets have signed 2014 fourth-round pick Chase De Leo of the Portland Winterhawks to a three-year, entry-level contract, the club announced on Thursday.
De Leo, 19, is an undersized American-born pivot who managed 39 goals and 81 points in 72 games with the Winterhawks in his draft +1 season and represented the United States in the World Junior Championship tournament.
June 11 2015 12:46PM
The season has been laid to rest.
Fans have completed their lamenting of the Anaheim Ducks sweeping the Winnipeg Jets. The healing process has begun.
But, before full closure can be completed, an autopsy of the Jets season must be initiated.
We turn our evidence-based breakdown of the Jets gritanicity-leader, Mark Stuart.
June 10 2015 02:30PM
I don't know precisely why this is, but I think I have a pretty good idea. Whenever we talk about looking at prospects through the lens of statistics and quantitative analysis, the discussion almost inevitably turns to "stats vs. scouts." Often times, people like myself are as guilty of going here as anybody. "Can you believe those idiots ranked Lawson Crouse ahead of Mitch Marner," I'll begin. "Don't they know that the numbers say this is insane?"
The thing is, going down the stats-against-scouts road is missing the point entirely. This isn't a pissing contest to see who's right more often. It's a continuous journey towards consistently identifying the best talent that has the highest chance of contributing at a significant level in the NHL. Numbers and watchers-of-the-games shouldn't be at odds with one another, since our end goal is the same - to identify the junior-aged players that project to be the best future NHLers.
As such, although the Twitter snark is fun, the actual debate when we're trying to advance our knowledge shouldn't be centred on who's right and who's wrong. Instead, we should be trying to leverage the strengths of every angle we can look at talent identification from to build a drafting and scouting approach that is as accurate, precise, and predictive as we can possibly make it. We want to use numbers to get the most out of our scouts, and we want to use scouts to get the most out of our numbers.
So how should we go about constructing a talent identification system that is grounded in quantitative analysis and also takes advantage of a rigorous qualitative approach? Let's explore after the jump.
June 10 2015 09:00AM
Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports
This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy!
Over the course of Martin St. Louis' Hall of Fame worthy career the 5-foot-8 winger has won a Hart Trophy, a Stanley Cup, an Olympic Gold Medal and two Art Ross trophies (including one as a 37-year-old). His resume is beyond reproach.
Built like a bumper car, St. Louis has accomplished everything a hockey player can accomplish. And as much as hockey's trend watchers are fawning over undersized players now, St. Louis has been doing Tyler Johnson-like things for more than a decade. So how can a future Hall of Fame immortal find himself ranked eighth on our countdown of the top unrestricted free agents?
It's simple really: age catches up to everyone, even the best among us, and St. Louis will turn 40 this month. Thanks to a variety of advances in the field of human performance, players are remaining effective for longer, and no one doubts St. Louis' work ethic or ability to be an outlier, but St. Louis' advancing age combined with his least productive offensive season in 13 years is sure to dampen the enthusiasm with which he's pursued on the free agent market this summer.