Addendum: NHLe and the Kravtsov/Wahlstrom Debate

Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

So I know we already did this, and I kind of made my point, but Manny, who runs Corsica and is probably one of the best math minds in hockey right now, recently released NHL point equivalency coefficients for 173 different leagues (basically every league listed on Elite Prospects). Although the debate has settled down, I’m an indefatigable pedant, and just have to have the last word on the matter of Kravtsov vs Wahlstrom. I’ll keep this quick, since it’s really just a brief statistical calculation and then you can all go about your days.

So to start, below is the thread that begins the list of NHLe coefficients. For full transparency, what I’m going to do is calculate each of Kravtsov and Wahlstrom’s points per game in the leagues they played, based on their data from Elite Prospects, and then use Manny’s coefficients to convert it to NHL points per game. From there, just so we have a more concrete, intuitive idea of what’s what, I’ll then convert the NHLe to a full 82 games worth of points. Let’s have at it.

Starting with Wahlstrom, because it’s more fun that way, his point total for the USA Hockey development team program in the USHL last season was 45 points in 26 games, and his point total for the US U18 team in the USDP league was 94 points in 62 games – this comes out to 1.73 points per game for the former and 1.51 points per game for the latter. Manny’s conversion factor for the USHL is 0.0813 and for the USDP its 0.0717. That comes out to a NHLe point per game rate of 0.140 and 0.108, respectively. Drawing that out over 82 games would be 11.48 NHL points for his USHL production and 8.856 for his USDP production.

OK, now let’s see Kravtsov. His point conversion is a little bit more complicated because he played in three different leagues last season: the KHL and its lower divisions, the VHL and MHL. All of these involve super small sample sizes, which makes things a bit more fraught, but as I mentioned in my initial post regarding this matter this whole venture is fraught, so a gigantic grain of salt should be lugged around at all times, in case of emergency. His KHL point totals (a 0.7461 NHLe coefficient) were 7 points in 35 regular season games and 11 points in 16 playoff games; that comes out to 0.2 points per game for the regular season and 0.6875 points per game for the playoffs. Using Manny’s magical coefficient that comes out to a whopping 0.14922 points per game for the regular and 0.5129 for the playoffs (!). Carry that out over 82 games and we’ve got 12.236 points for his regular season production and 42.0578 points for his playoff production levels. Now, again, we’re working with small sample sizes, but uh, that’s great.

His minor league production matters less, but let’s go for it anyways. His VHL point totals and points per game were 7 points in 9 games or 0.778 PPG. That, with the NHLe conversion factor 0.3419, comes out to 0.2670 points per game in NHL speak or 21.81 points total for a full season. His MHL numbers, regular season and playoffs, were 3 points in a totally indicative 1 game in the regular season (3.00 points per game, for those of you keeping track at home) and 4 points in 2 playoff games (2 flat, if again, you’ve been doing the math yourself). The MHL conversion factor is pretty low, but still better than the USHL or USDP ones: 0.1664. That means he played to a 0.4992 pace in the regular season and 0.3328 pace in the playoffs. For 82 NHL games that’s 40.09344 total NHL points and 27.2896 NHL points, respectively.

So there it is, lots of math that you probably won’t take seriously, but if you do, it’s good news. While all of this comes with a ton of caveats and qualifiers, mostly that these kids are extremely young and anything can happen, I think it’s safe to say that at the very least the comparison is not so clear cut as the initial outrage may have made it seem. Kravtsov is at least as good, if not better, than Wahlstrom. This is PK, signing off. Happy 4th everyone.

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43 thoughts on “Addendum: NHLe and the Kravtsov/Wahlstrom Debate

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Happy and safe 4th everyone.

    Thank you to our brave military, past and present, and to their families as well, for their sacrifices in protecting us and keeping us safe.

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Does that mean we won the draft??

    • Jul 4, 2018 at 11:09 am

      I sure hope so bud. Wonder why Wahlstrom said the Rangers would regret not drafting him. I guess he wanted to be a Blueshirt instead of a fish stick. The NYI got a very good player, but I think in the long run, Kravtsov will end up being the more skilled offensive forward.

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 9:43 am

    The biggest flaw with NHLe(of many) is it’s all about a player going from the prior league to the new league. So it’s all small data sets beyond the AHL, KHL, SHL & Liiga. and the people who jump from those leagues direct to the N HL are so good it messes up the curve.

    Speaking of curves, it also doesn’t account for aging curves for boys playing in men’s leagues.

    • Jul 4, 2018 at 9:53 am

      I’m not sure Manny’s exact methodology, but based on some comments he made on twitter I think he may have accounted for those types of factors – he’s usually pretty rigorous in his modeling, because as I said, he’s the best of the best, and does it all for the good of the public.

      That said, you’re right in that all of this requires considerations of extraneous factors and various caveats, but I think my point still stands: Wahlstrom and Kravtsov are close enough that it’s not worth getting worked up over (as it certainly seemed at the time of the draft to many, myself included) and there’s a possibility that we may even have gotten the better player. In any event, thanks for commenting – I always enjoy friendly discourse and discussion (not being sarcastic or anything, I really do love our community here).

      • Jul 4, 2018 at 9:57 am

        The important thing is they got a guy who looks like a player.

      • Jul 4, 2018 at 10:05 am

        The thing that would be a league to league e generator where you have your player age, stats & league, destination league and it spits out a number.

      • Jul 4, 2018 at 3:02 pm

        “What differentiates human from lower-animal consciousness is time. You can’t explain the concept of “tomorrow” to your dog. Our consciousness is dominated by time: We’re constantly running simulations of the future. Our brain is a prediction machine. The hallmark of intelligence, indeed of genius, is the number and complexity of the feedback loops we use in predicting the future.”

        –Michio Kaku

        Stick tap for all the detail, if not the Krakatoa meets Pinatubo meets Mt. St Helen’s of analytic flow, Pat. (Or, Manny?)

        Irregardless of attribution, another stick tap for the admirable grace expressed in your closer, Pat. (Speaking to the stakeholders in our community, still no sign of E3?)

        To this discussion, I’ll defer to The Hockey News columnist, Ryan Kennedy. Published upwards of nine months ago, their Prospects Unlimited special issue had us drafting Vitaly Kravstov with the 19th pick.

        At least to Mr. Kennedy, as far back as September-October, Gorts, Clark and co. had already shown their cards.

        • Jul 5, 2018 at 6:26 am

          Sorry, meant to answer yesterday, no sign of E3. 🙁

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Hey everyone, for whatever reason all comments on this post are pending approval – I promise I’ll try and get to all of them and just hit approve on every single one. Not sure why, but yeah. Anyways just give me a minute and I’ll get to it, and sorry about that!

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Happy 4th to Everyone . Wishing Jeff Gorton all the best, maybe he should invite Steve Yzerman, Lou Lamerillo,and George Mcphee over for a B-que and get some ideas on how to build his team. These 3 GM’s are on top of their Game, Gorton unfortunately is not.

    • Jul 4, 2018 at 11:53 am


      Let me start by saying I love ya brother, but I think on this one your may be wrong.

      Just look at the Mac Truck deal to begin with. They get Mac, and Miller, fine. We get Howden, whom the management loves, and will be a long term player as well. We also get Hajek, who looks like a keeper, a #1, a #2, and Name. This is a very good return for years to come for us. They pay JT some $5.25 per, @ 5 years, way over payment. Then they sign Mac to a 7 year, almost $7 mil per contract, again way over pay. Now explain how Stevey Y is such a brilliant GM? See you may be wrong for your post.

      To everyone else on the site today, have a save 4th of July, and enjoy your families!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Jul 4, 2018 at 12:23 pm

        Come on Walt you should know better,
        Look at the Tampa roster/team and then look at the Rangers roster/team…….now tell me Yzerman isn’t light years ahead of Gorton……
        Kucherov, stamkos, point, gourde, hedman, johnson, miller, killhorn, kunitz, strallman, sergachov……..WHO DO WE HAVE???????

        • Jul 4, 2018 at 1:42 pm

          How much of that team did he inherit????? Nuf said…….

          • Jul 4, 2018 at 3:07 pm

            He has been here 5 years now!!! And the main man in charge the past 2…..think about all the trades/ drafts/ transactions since he has been here….strallman, dan boyle, eric stall , yandle etc etc

            • Jul 4, 2018 at 4:32 pm


              Sorry but he is the main man as of this year, Sather has been pulling the strings in the background all along.

              My remark above was directed at Stevie Y, who didn’t draft Stamkos, Hedman, or Kucharov. With that core, you add players to get you as far as they did. The last trade with us he had his clock handed to him, and will cost the Bolts in excess of $12 mil a year, for a thick skulled player that makes mistakes every game, a soon to be defensman who will be in his decline within the next two years, and then signed himself Girardi, who showed how great he was in the PO’s. Sorry man, Steve Y doesn’t walk on water, and has just made several dumb moves at the trade deadline, and then extended the guys he got in return!!!!!

      • Jul 4, 2018 at 7:03 pm

        Back to you Walt, your opinions are respected and duly noted.

    • Jul 4, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      Bobby B,
      Funny Comments…..but sad at the same time…….it will be hard to watch this year now that matt martin is back with the islanders and zuccarello is still our enforcer!
      Got to listen to the interview with Steve Vickers that you talked about, boy did he make it clear about emile francis….a buffoon ….who could not see the rangers were an enforcer or two from winning a cup!
      Nicky Fotiu came up 6 or 7 years too late.

      • Jul 4, 2018 at 2:27 pm

        God bless you, Richard.

        • Jul 4, 2018 at 5:37 pm

          Nick Fotiu’s Jersey should be hanging from the Gardens rafters.

          • Jul 4, 2018 at 7:20 pm

            AMEN to that !!!!!!
            Still cant get over the fact that Shero did not play him against the Canadians in the finals………He helped get us there and then he sits the bench!!!!!! While robinson and langway abused some of our forwards…….

            • Jul 4, 2018 at 9:25 pm

              Rich S, I remembered the Rangers 1979 cup run like it was yesterday’. Till this day I remembered our best player a past his prime Phil Esposito being totally abused by Rod Langway and not one Ranger stood up for him. Shero must have been in one of his drunken stupors not to dress Nicky for a game or 2 just to send a message. We should have won a Cup in 1974, Dave Schultz abused us. 1979 its a young punk named Langway having his way with Espo , no fear of retaliation. The trend continued today, history repeats itself.

              • Jul 5, 2018 at 8:55 am

                Bobby B,
                We easily won game one and should have won that series. We were so much the better team, shero got outcoached big time. Bringing him here and giving up a number one draft choice to phily was so stupid. Some blame goes to rod gilbert who had the ear of management and persuaded them to fire Gm JohnFerguson, who had assembled a terrific team, fast and skilled.
                And he knew the importance of a nick fotiu! During the regular season we held the bruins and islander to zero shots on goal during an entire period, super fast team with hickey, mccwen, dublois , nilsson and hedberg.

      • Jul 4, 2018 at 3:38 pm

        Get your head out of the sand, this isn’t the 70’s anymore.

      • Jul 4, 2018 at 5:35 pm

        Rich S, again it boggles the mind. It seems to me AV is still calling the shots.?? Ice capades, turn the other cheek, no physicality allowed. Ryan Reaves and Matt Martin were there for the taking. But Gorton in all his wisdom and with cap space to use lets them sign or get traded elsewhere. Yes it will be Zucc or maybe they will bring Raphie Diaz out of retirement to fight their battles. This is the softest team in the NHL. Pathetic .

        • Jul 4, 2018 at 7:24 pm

          Bobby B,
          I cant remember a softer rangers team since I began watching some 50 years ago! Even when we were getting our butts kicked by the flyers and bruins we had a teddy irvine or ron harris or bert wilson [ very under rated fighter] or vic hadfield etc etc……Now ????? you said it….. no physicality……until they take checking and fighting out of the game…..I dont get it…….Pathetic is right!

          • Jul 4, 2018 at 8:56 pm

            Orland Kurtenbach!

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 10:08 am

    This whole debate kind of deflated for me the minute Tavares packed his bags and walked out on the Islanders. In fact, my comment to an Islander fan friend was, “Hey, at least you still have Wahlstrom…. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Good luck, man”

    They were all feeling pretty good about themselves for about a week. Our re-build was the choice of management, not bestowed upon us by the whims of a superstar who never should have had the leverage he had to walk away for NOTHING. So yea, they have Wahlstrom.

    They have much bigger “fish” to fry now. I’m over it.

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 10:25 am

    This conversation will be had again, I assure you in 5 years as to who is a better player, which team is more the contender vs pretender. How can one place stats as the cure all to a player is just astounding better yet foolish. People will say but but Wahlstrom played with Hughes and I’ll say to that….so????
    Hughes could have the inflated number because Wahlstrom scored the goals. Wahlstrom falls under the Bossy / Gartner realm as a sniper who actually BZO and doped his weapon and shoots accurately. Furthermore he was given knowledge of the weather and the effects, movement and it’s effects and body response.
    The eye test tells you both are special as if I will reject Hughes as a pick for us because Hughes numbers might dip without Farabee and Wahlstrom as line mates. Kravtsov and Wahlstrom are not comparable because Kravtsov is no where near being a sniper. He plays a different game. You can compare him to Kuznetsov or even a tad of how Kreider plays.
    This point is mute, it’s like comparing Lemieux over Crosby, you just can’t but comparing Gartner to Bossy yeah you can. Coffey vs Leetch…check, Lidstrom vs MacInnis….eh…no totally different players.
    I will go out on a limb and say that Wahlstrom will easily be a 30 goal scorer who will crack 40 often and even 50 where as Kravtsov will sniff 35 but be a consistent 25 to 30 range, Kravtsov will crash the net a la Vickers and score where as Wally will be a powerplay specialist threading the needle to score.

    For me the issue has been for way too long the quality right shot we never have so Whalstrom was a need and Kravtsov not. I also do not agree with the BPA as the only way to build a team. It has to be a mixture of BPA and need.

    • Jul 4, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Considering Hughes has been a 2pts a game guy everywhere the last few years except with Wahlstrom(even then he was 1.96) it would suggest that Wahlstrom was a bit of a drag on his output while Hughes raised Wahlstrom’s output.

      • Jul 4, 2018 at 11:25 am


        You missed my point. It was for stat people who think they are geniuses because they know math.
        I am very very good with math but realize there is more to it than just math. If you have played poker for a living then you will KNOW what I mean. There is a huge difference between a casual player and the one who plays for a living. Math should be the same but it is not.

        Kravtsov, Wahlstrom and Hughes will all be good players, why compare them? It’s foolish.

        Doughty / Karlsson comparison yesterday for me give me Doughty every day but that’s for me. Karlsson for me is way overrated and now he thinks he is bigger than the game…no thanks.

        • Jul 4, 2018 at 11:43 am

          This has nothing to do with math, it has to do with trends. Wahlstrom scored at an okay rate his whole time until Hughes joins the program, then he’s white hot.

          Hughes is white hot whomever he’s played with and he always raises his line mates point totals. When he moves on, they go back to what they previously were.

          Wahlstrom with Barzal could be something special, or he could be Rob Brown/Warren Young.

    • Jul 4, 2018 at 11:05 am

      seems from all the video’s they’ve put out , that shooting isn’t really a priority to this rangers regime. which is disappointing to say the least. they focus on skating and playmaking and “character”. I mean how many playmakers can you collect on a team? some one need to score, ya know?

    • Jul 4, 2018 at 11:07 am

      Look at who Hughes played with in 16-17 and what they did without him. Hughes drives the bus, everybody else is along for the ride.

    • Jul 4, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      You seemed to know the draft EXTREMELY well ….I read your many posts regarding that….and I totally agree Walstrom should have been our pick, without question……..
      A question for you….Do you think if we drafted walstrom and then traded our other two first round picks to move up to the late teens do you think Kravstov would have been available?

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Hey Leather, excellent analogy, spot on!! The other HUGE factor I look at when comparing Isles getting Wahlstrom ( and Dobson , just for comparing pick order), both on the board when we picked Kravtsov, is their physical maturity. Wahlstrom & Dobson look like Mr Universe competitors, Kravtsov is the classic 99 lb weakling. I do not get taking Kravtsov ahead of Wahlstrom & Dobson??. I do not get all this fascination with young Russian players, that the Rangers drool over, unless they are the second coming of Alex Ovechkin!!!

    • Jul 4, 2018 at 11:26 am

      Dobson is 20lbs from where he needs to be; if anything he’s the 99lb weakling in this scenario.

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 11:25 am

    I will say it again, Wally (and I do love him) had the best line in the US Dev program, and had Hughes setting him up. But they also played against players around their age.

    Krav got sheltered defensive minutes in the beginning and then was let loose against adults in the 2nd best league in the world. Krav creates but also can snipe.

    After further review of both players, I am pretty confident that we got the better player and will be proven so.

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Pat thank you for the post, very informative.
    Happy 4th.
    Special Happy 4th to all my Army buds.

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Hey Dave…..
    Why are my post/comments not showing up? Is the site having problems?

    • Jul 4, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.”

      –Mark Twain

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Hey all. Sorry for the commenting glitches this morning. Something went kooky with the spam filter. Should be good to go now.

  • Jul 4, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Is there any word yet on whether Kravstov is coming over this year?

Comments are closed.