Slicing and Dicing the Jets Drafts: 2012

The season is over, the draft is coming soon, and Winnipeg Jets fans look to the future for a sign of hope.

The Jets have now taken part in five NHL Entry drafts, and typically speaking after five years you have a good idea of where a draft stands in accumulating talent. While players do not peak statistically until about 24-26, at 23 years of age we are fairly confident where Scheifele and Lowry likely end up as players versus Austen Brassard.

Let’s take a look at the offensive development of the Jets draftees and accumulated prospects, turning to the Jets 2012 Draft.

A few quick notes about the numbers:

The more refined PCS model has gone proprietary with the Florida Panthers purchasing the model that was developed over Canucks Army (and a bit here at Jets Nation). There is a replacement being worked upon; however, since it is not ready at this time we will use the more archaic NHLE model.

NHLEs uses regression modeling to predict how much the average player in a particular league will score in the NHL relative to their performance in their older league, using players who have moved from one league to the other. For example, the average OHL graduate will retain 33% of their point pace in the NHL. This puts players scoring from different leagues into a common currency: NHL points.

The largest issue with NHLEs is that they were designed to look at players moving directly into the NHL, not to rank prospects.

The model uses players who move directly from their league to the NHL, but the typical player who makes the NHL the next year is different depending on the league. The standard player graduating from the OHL to the NHL is a young prospect, while European leagues tend to be older developed players who move into defined roles, and the AHL contains mostly depth players being called up for fourth line roles. This is why European prospects tend to have extremely low NHLEs.

The NHLE model is also age agnostic. We expect a player to score more the next season through development, but NHLEs does not adjust for age differences when you compare players of a different age. An older player with a higher NHLE could be performing relatively worse.

Finally, offensive production is incredibly important in prospect analysis. Offensive production highly predicts NHL success and even most depth and defensive players in the NHL were relatively strong producers at lower levels. However, it is not the end all, and production can be impacted by coaching deployment as well as linemates, team, and opponent quality.

To make things fun, I looked at NHLEs in three different ways. Last NHLE (lNHLE) is the player’s NHLE over their last season. Cumulative NHLE (cNHLE) is the players NHLE point pace over their entire career. Marcels NHLE (mNHLE) uses a weighted average, where most recent production is worth more than past production.

2012 Draft

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Where are they now:

  • The Jets took Jacob Trouba 9th overall. Trouba has shown himself to be a strong promoter of shot differentials in the NHL, although his scoring has slumped since his rookie season. He still has a lot of upside and played extremely well on Dustin Byfuglien’s left side.
  • Lukas Sutter was selected in the second round as a bit of a head scratcher for some (including myself). Sutter did not score very well in junior and was thought as having limited offensive potential. He was never offered a contract by the Jets, and was re-drafted by the Islanders only to be let go again after performing poorly in the ECHL. It’s unfortunate the Jets missed on LHD Jake McCabe.
  • Scott Kosmachuk started off slow in his AHL rookie season, but things picked up in the latter half. His scoring (especially the mNHLE) is primarily driven by a outlier 40 NHLE season in his last OHL year, which he probably will never hit, but he does offer some potential NHL depth forward possibility, or at the very least being a competent AHL winger.
  • Connor Hellebuyck was drafted next and needs no real introduction. The netminder has been one of the most dominant forces in the NCAA and AHL, and proved he could play with the big boys with posting a 0.918 sv% in a 26 game call up. If it were not for Hellebuyck (who the Jets discovered accidentally while scouting a different goaltender), this draft would have looked very similar to the Thrasher’s efficiency of old.
  • While the door is closing fast on Olsen being a NHL calibre forward, he has at least earned an Entry Level Contract and played as a competent defensive-depth centre on the Manitoba Moose.
  • Jamie Phillips was the second netminder drafted by the Jets. Phillips performed adequately in the NCAA but may not be earning a contract from the Jets. Phillips turns into a UFA this summer if the Jets do not sign him.
  • McDavid is a whiner (like Gretz and Crosby), so the other thread question about captaincy sounds elementary. The Jets should trade their college player to Chicago, or Chi should trade theirs to Wpg.
    That draft made the NHL. The Wings played a 14 and 22 goalie twice in the playoffs. The Jets played a drunk driver lots for many years. It is hard to have respect for either team…Howard’s ESPN goals against were an easy rebound he didn’t at least stack the pads (like 40 yr old Ranford did in the 2003 Heritage Alumni game), if not use an “Eagle” wedge. He surely saw where the rebound went. And he didn’t have to 2004 Kiprusoff all the corners, but a slow one-timer evoked none of his limbs to go where the puck wasn’t. The most ethical team might be the Sens, given fiber optics is useful for watching factories and 3d printing products…Ladd got tired of watching births so I’m not booting Chi.
    Apparently 1 yr of manual labour makes you ethical.
    Soccer is the 2nd best sport if the goalie takes all corners IMAO.
    Football needs a misconduct to line penalties and end of quarter replays, with the penalties applied to punts, kickoffs, or any other way then killing the game. I like that the NFL is for poor people’s watching, but when punting is the best strategy and the teeny field leads to powerful rather than athletic…athletes…I won a championship when my 2 friends trained me all summer. It is plainly obvious the Steelers should’ve played NE. The CFL championship sucked because EDM injured Hamilton’s QB. I wonder if the teams in AB alternate elevating their game for Social Credit market forces? (Yes).
    But the NFL Super Bowl was punt every play the correct play. That is worse than soccer.