Prospects

Time to check in the Rangers WHL Prospects

Photo: FutureConsiderations.ca
Photo: FutureConsiderations.ca

As I have been dabbling with stats and prospects more frequently than in recent years, as well as have been getting more adept at using the program Tableau to make visuals, I began to think of more ways to bring information to the fans around the world. We all know that the Canadian Junior Hockey Leagues are a major factory when it comes to developing prospects for NHL teams. That said its hard for a lot of people to watch the games because they aren’t readily available for most fans; but people want to see how their prospects are doing. I have been developing a nice little visual that can help fans see how a prospect has been doing over the course of his career in Juniors.

In this tool their are a few charts.

  1. I plotted the players G/gm and A/Gm over the course of his career to see how that has been doing over time. On the graph you will see the players’ name, points per game and games played in the season.
  2. In the second chart it’ll still show the players name and P/gm but this will plot it against the Quality of his Teammates vs the Quality of his Competition. The better his teammates are the higher his QoT is and the better his competition is the higher is QoC is. You would like a player to continue to produce but at times if the quality of his teammates are low but we don’t have this stat available it may be alarming to see a player not score as many points. The Vice-Versa is also true so I think this is a nice little visual to just keep things in perspective.
  3. The last chart is just a good old stats chart with a players name, age, games played, goals, primary assists (A1) secondary assists (A2) and points.

So lets look at some prospects

Brad Morrison was one of my favorite picks in this draft. The sneaky and offensively gifted center that plays with an edge is a nice depth addition to the pool of prospects. As we can see with this graph, Morrison is becoming more of a goal scorer early in the season and putting up points at the same clip as last season, despite playing with a lesser quality of teammates. He is trending nicely for a mid round pick and hopefully he can turn it up a little more as the season progresses.

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Sergey Zborvskiy was drafted pretty early by the Rangers compared to his draft ranking. Some were a little upset by, it including myself, but it was probably a knee jerk reaction. All in all, Zborvskiy was getting used to the North American ice last season and as the middle of the season came around he was seen as a pretty fast riser for the draft. The Rangers obviously thought he was worth drafting early. Mobile 6’4 right handed defenseman who play with an edge are relatively rare. His coaching staff likes him so much that he is wearing the ‘A’ in just his second North American season and his improvement thus far is astounding. From the graph, he took a massive leap offensively early, already matching his goal total from last year. With the coaching staff clearly liking him so much, I wouldn’t be surprised if he keeps on improving and becoming a nice mid round steal like Ryan Graves. Zborovskiy is playing with lower quality teammates against higher quality opponents and still taking that massive leap. That is awesome news, even if it is early. If he can keep this up then I would be very excited.www.GIFCreator.me_xONlha

Keegan Iverson was picked to be a bruising tough powerforward. I love the attempt but he isn’t exactly playing too well. That said, last season he was plastered on the third line on the Portland Winterhawks. Hopefully for the Rangers sake he becomes at least a quality bottom-six forward. A Milan Lucic would be nice but he has to show that he can score in juniors before we expect him to score 25 in the NHL.

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Iverson appears to be a bit of a long shot to make an impact at this point, but the selections of Morrison and Zborvskiy appear to have some serious potential. Considering the prospect pool was relatively depleted before the 2015 draft, Gordie and company did a good job restocking.

"Time to check in the Rangers WHL Prospects", 5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings.
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11 Comments

  1. This is the very reason I hate giving away our #1 draft picks!!!

    We have to rummage through the draft, and hope we step in crap, and come out smelling like a rose. Now it’s your turn Ed to change my mind…..LOL

    1. No one likes, or looks forward to trading away picks, but it can be worth it if you zoom out and take a look at the bigger organizational perspective. The Rangers are in the middle of a wide open cup window. It is a slippery slope, but trading away picks for a final piece or two is usually a risk worth taking amongst today’s front offices.

      Obligatory example of how things can go DRASTICALLY wrong: WAS trades prospect Filip Forsberg to NAS for forward Martin Erat. Ouch…..

      1. That seems to be the norm for this organization though. We always seem to come with the short end of the stick, like MSL???

        1. It’s always a balancing act…a fine line. It’s almost like in one of those sci-fi stories where you’d have to create an alternate timeline to see what would have happened if you had done the opposite of what you did. 🙂

          If you hold onto your picks, maybe your picks don’t pan out and you are a worse team, not better. Or the reverse. There’s just no absolute right answer, other a than to say that in the modern NHL with a hard cap, you have to be good at both…..strong drafting and developing, combined with the vision to know when to move your chips to the center of the table to make that one big move that MAY put you over the top.

    2. Trading away a first rounder depends a lot on just where that pick is to me. If we are doing well then the pick is at the end of the first round and I don’t see much difference there often with a second round pick. The blue chippers are early in the first round and we don’t have those. This is the price of success. Look at 2013 where we had no first or second but took Tambo(great hands). Buchnevich & Duclair in the third. Looking at those guys now and in the future they could all be considered first rounders. Once we had two in the first ten & took Brendl & Lundmark. Yuck!! Or Jessiman, double yuck!! What we have now are a crew of elite hockey scouts which we didn’t have before. When you have scouts like this they are mostly going to be right and we are going to have a lot of good young players.

      1. Your spot on, but how many better players were drafted before we got LUCKY with the likes of the three players mentioned?? It just seems that we never make out on those deals that we part with our first pick……….

      2. To be fair, Brendl had the production, the skills and the H/W to make any scout salivate; he just didn’t have the want.

    3. WOW Josh!!!

      I truly love it. Great job.

      The best way I’ve ever seen to track a players progress.

      Very impressive

    1. Because he was hurt i didn’t have enough data for him for this season. He will be updated in about 4 days

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