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Drafting as the Montreal Canadiens for 5 years, we can now start comparing the results

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by ProspectsFanatic, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. ProspectsFanatic Jonatan Berggren

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    I started doing this exercise 5 years ago, simply motivated by curiosity; how will I perform compared to an NHL team? I think we all are puzzled by some of our team selections, it felt necessary to me to actually do the exercise so I can factually compare how I would perform and not be biased by my selective memory when I am judging their work.

    In order to be sure about each and every pick I made I end up spending a lot of time on this every year, a lot more than I originally anticipated, it feels necessary for me to analyze every single prospects, including the top undrafted, it generally takes me around 1 month to go through everything, I give myself the luxury to spend some times after the draft to give my final list since there is a lot more information and videos on prospects once the draft been completed (I don’t have time to watch junior league level games during the year).

    How do I evaluate players? I mainly look at statistics, I always been good with numbers, at seeing patterns in them, otherwise I take the time to check as many highlights as I can on players I feel interested in, I also had access to independent scouting reports to complement my evaluations of players. To further help me evaluate prospects accurately, I developed a software during the last year, there will be more info about it down bellow. My main criteria of evaluation are; 1. Statistics (relative to league and age), 2. Speed, 3. Size, 4. Character, 5. Defensive play. Unless you are an enormous player with grit, if you don’t have good statistics I won’t bother looking further into that prospect, if you are not dominant at junior level and don’t see how you will be able to compete at the NHL level few years from now, that being said you always need to be careful with statistics and look further into them; taking into consideration ice time and quality of linemates. About the videos I watch, mainly highlights(that's mostly what I have access to), they don’t mean much to me, because obviously it is only a small sample of plays which turned out well, but I still watch them mostly just to have a confirmation on the player speed which is the attribute I value the most by far, and if possible have a glimpse on the level of competitiveness. Defensive play is there at 5 and barely there because I have to rely on other sources and it is hard to evaluate accurately in the first place. Things like IQ and shooting don’t need a further look because they should translate into the criteria I value the most, statistics.

    I guess it is very easy to cheat on this and adjust retrospectively your picks, I provided links for proof for every year. Sorry if some of links are a bit messy, particularly for the first 2 years, I will be giving precisions about them.
    So here are the picks:
    (You can compare with the Habs selections: Elite Prospects - Players drafted by Montréal Canadiens)

    2013:
    *1st:25. Marko Dano (C) - KHL - 5’11 [27]
    2nd:34. Robert Hagg (D) - SHL - 6’02 - [41]
    2nd:36. Nick Sorensen (R) - QMJHL - 6’01 - [45]
    2nd:55. Artturi Lehkonen (L) - SM-Liiga - 5’11 - [55]
    **3rd:71. Pavel Buchnevich (L) - KHL - 6’02 - [75]
    3rd:86. Oliver Bjorkstrand (R) - WHL - 6’00 - [89]
    4th:116. Eric Roy (D) - WHL - 6’03 - [135]
    6th:176. Lucas Wallmark (C) - SHL - 6’00 - Undrafted (#97 in 2014)
    ***7th:206. Nikita Tryamkin (D) - KHL - 6’07 (19) - Undrafted (#66 in 2014)

    Proof;
    http://hfboards.mandatory.com/posts/68451473/
    More info on my list;
    http://hfboards.mandatory.com/threads/my-view-on-2013-draft-slip-and-undrafted.1485675/
    Great list, but this is the list that needs to most clarification for different reasons;

    * This is the only pick for which I would say this; if I would be evaluating players the way I currently am, I would not have drafted Dano. I don’t mean with insights, I mean at draft time. First, you can look back at Dano's predraft stats, really hard to accurately evaluate them, secondly, I didn’t check enough highlights during that first draft attempt and considering his size he isn’t fast enough for me, particularly in the 1st round. Considering the way I now evaluate prospects, it would probably would have been Shea Theodore, but the selection I made at the time is Dano, which is why I will leave it there. Dano still somewhat alright considering other close options.

    ** The only pick of all of my picks which base on the links for proof I offer you you could debate it to be one of my actual pick. Let me explain, Buchnevich was a player I was very high on since the very beginning, I made a quick first list and post on the Montreal board. Once I posted that list I got heavily criticize by a guy name Grant McCagg, former Habs scout.
    Here is the quote:
    "As for Buch....... helluva lot easier for someone to say they'd pick Buchnevich than to actually do it. Not one NHL teams was willing to waste a second rounder on a flaky Russian..that's 100+ senior scouts and 30 head scouts who thought differently than you...but hey...it's easy to sit back and say "I'd have taken Buchnevich."
    If by the off chance he actually has a lengthy, successful NHL career..the Habs prospect expert will always be able to come back on here and say "I told you so!"...so what's the risk for him? Buchnevish flops and you can always blame it on the NHL team not giving him a proper chance...and how the lure of playing in the KHL was too much. Easy."

    I guess he had some notoriety and some valid points, since I also liked Peter Cehlarik at that spot I made the change, because anyway I would deserve no credit for drafting Buch… Couple of weeks later, I realized that was dumb and I should go for the better player, I changed it back to Buch on my personal computer files, but never actually changed it on HFB. But you will see in the 2015 draft one, I post all the draft I made thus far, he is the one I got there. Cehlarik is still a great 3rd rounder in my book, so either way take it as you like.

    *** Here again, the only time I added a pick like that, MTL didn’t had the 7th rounder on draft day. I always put him there, for me he was exactly the type of high reward 7th rounder you want to go for, 6’7 Russian D playing in the KHL, I didn’t understand why he was under everyone's radar. Unfortunately, the Habs only had one late rounder, and I was also puzzled why Wallmark was left untaken, so I added a 7th rounder in the end. I told myself at the time if I was a real scout I would have asked for a trade to get him (like you often see teams do at draft in the 7th round). This is the pick the Habs traded for Parros which I thought was dumb acquisition also. Whatever take it as you like, if I had a 7th rounder with any other team I would have drafted Tryamkin.


    2014:
    *1st:26. Nikita Scherbak (R) - WHL - 6'01 [26]
    3rd:73. Brayden Point (C) - WHL - 5'10 [79]
    5th:125. Ondrej Kase (R) - Czech - 6'00 [205]
    5th:147. Adam Ollas Mattsson (D) - Allvsk - 6'04 [175]
    6th:177. Axel Holmstrom (C) - SHL - 6'00 [196]
    7th:207. Vladimir Tkachev (L) - QMJHL - 5'09 - Undrafted

    Proof:
    Complete NHL 2014 draft review (Players drafted too high/low & best undrafted)

    Ok, that is not an exact list, not sure if I either never posted it online or I can’t find it anymore, but that list still suffice, every player I drafted is on that list, aside from Scherbak (because I didn’t consider him a steal), if I wanted to cheat I would a pick someone else than Scherbak anyway. Also, if you follow the order the pick would have been 125. Lindblom, 147. Mattsson, 177. Ondrej Kase, 207. Tkachev. And this is actually better since Lindblom is superior to Holmstrom, Lindblom was indeed in front of Holmstrom on my list, but Kase was in front of both and I didn’t want to cheat it, so he is there at 125. At least, I had good reasons to be high on Kase, on top of the fact that 2014 was a pretty weak draft in the later rounds. In the next year list, you will see my 2014 draft list which confirms those selections.

    *I was extremely high on Pastrnak, this is the player I wanted as I told multiple times pre-draft on the MTL board. (proof bellow)
    Who should be Montreal's first pick
    NHL.com 2014 Mock Drafts (Feb 13)
    Unfortunately, he was taken 1 rank before the MTL pick, so I went with Scherbak. This is part of the game, I understand it happens to every team at some point, Scherbak is my pick and I have to live with it, but when I saw how well Pastrnak perform right after draft, it actually pisses me off a bit to be honest, so from then on I didn’t hesitate to make virtual trades if I felt like it was necessary. Also, by 2016 I will give a list of which players I will draft for every ranks instead which is much more representative of my work I spent a lot of time on.


    2015:
    2nd:!38. Daniel Sprong (R) - QMJHL - 6'00 [46]
    2nd:!58. Oliver Kylington (D) - SHL - 6’00 [60]
    3rd:88. Filip Ahl (LW) - SHL - 6'03 [109]
    5th:131. Cooper Marody (R) - USHL - 6'00 [158]
    6th:177. Nikita Korostelev (R) - OHL - 6'01 [185]
    7th:207. Nathan Noel (C) - QMJHL - 5’11 - Undrafted (#113 in 2016)
    26th pick trade for Columbus !38th and !58th.
    (As shown in the link, if I don’t make the trade, my pick was Beauvillier)

    Proof:
    http://hfboards.mandatory.com/posts/104390363/
    Finally a clear list as proof. Though you can see that I made some final adjustments, like I said I give myself time after draft to give my final list, I always put players in and out before coming to my final results. A peculiar one you might be looking at is Ryan Pilon, which retired during that summer, but if you look at the last edited date, I made my final adjustments before the announcement, and it actually was because I was hearing too many bad reports about how horrible is interviews went at combine, that he was disinvested about hockey which made sense in the end.


    2016:
    1st:9. Mikhail Sergachev (D) - OHL - 6’02 [9]
    3rd:70. William Bitten (C) - OHL - 5'10 [70]
    4th:100. Jacob Moverare (D) - OHL - 6’02 [112]
    5th:124. Tim Gettinger (LW) - OHL - 6’06 [141]
    6th:160. Jesper Bratt (LW) - Allvsk - 5’10 [162]
    7th:187. David Bernhardt (D) - SHL - 6’03 - [199]

    Proof:
    http://hfboards.mandatory.com/posts/119436427/
    Hey I don’t need to justify anything. You can see the new method I am using where you can see who I would have draft depending on each rank.


    2017:
    !1st:23. Kristian Vesalainen (LW) - SHL - 6’03 [24]
    2nd:58. Max Gildon (D) - USDP - 6’03 [66]
    !3rd:75. Alexei Lipanov (C) - VHL - 6’00 [76]
    3rd:87. Ostap Safin - (RW) - Czech - 6’04 [115]
    5th:149. Alexander Chmelevski - (C) - OHL - 6’00 [185]
    7th:199. Pavel Shen - (RW) - MHL - 6’00 - Undrafted
    1st(25) and 2nd(56) trade for ARI !1st(23) and !3rd(75)
    (As shown in the link, if I don’t make the trade, my pick was Kostin, the 2nd rounder was Brook)

    Proof:
    http://hfboards.mandatory.com/posts/133854841/

    Once again the player I really wanted was pick just before the Habs pick, this time I didn’t hesitate to make a trade.

    I also started to developed a software which would help me evaluate players, you can find more info here;
    http://hfboards.mandatory.com/threa...eligible-players-data-analyzer.2350541/page-2


    For trades I am using this guideline, I make sure I am the one losing the trade in terms of value in order to make it realistic:
    http://i.imgur.com/XPlDmE8.png


    ___
    Here you have it, looking great thus far. I seem to be doing better than a whole team of NHL scouts being paid full time to watch junior games and share together their knowledge by spending approximately 1 month mainly analyzing statistics and looking at some highlights. Even with MB lack of acquisitions to help the team and 8+M floating, MTL would be stacked and would have an overload of players who are cracking the team.

    LW - C - RW
    Pac - Point - Gallagher
    Buchnevich - Galch - Bratt
    Lehkonen - Danault - Bjorkstrand
    Byron - Shaw - Kase
    Extra: Plekanec, Hudon, Dano, Carr, Hemsky?
    Tkachev could be in the team, he wouldn’t had issue to come to NA have he been drafted.
    Call-up: Sprong, Scherbak, Wallmark.
    Most notable NCAA/Europe: Marody, Sorensen.
    Most notable prospects: Vesalainen, Safin, Gettinger, Lipanov, Bitten.

    LD - RD
    Sergachev* - Weber
    Alzner - Petry
    Benn - Tryamkin (might not have left to the KHL, had issue with Vancouver)
    Extra: Hagg, Schlemko.
    Call-up: Kylington, any of the 5 7th D we have.
    Most notable prospects: Gildon, Moverare, Bernhardt.

    *As the chief scout of MTL I would not have let the Sergachev and Drouin trade go through and it wouldn’t have been necessary anyway in the context of this prospect pool (a surplus of forwards).

    G
    Same minus Fucale
    I didn’t draft any goalie, partly because it simply turned out that way, partly because it is much harder to predict how goalies will turn out, so it feels very risky to many, there is always other good options and partly because we had Carey Price.

    ___
    I will attempt to continue to update every year.

    Don't hesitate if you have any remarks or questions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  2. Carl33 Registered User

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    WoW amazing post and effort good job
     
  3. Mallard Registered User

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    Very impressed and curious to see your draft rankings for 2018!

    Have you marketed this software anywhere or received attention?
     
  4. ProspectsFanatic Jonatan Berggren

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    Nop not yet, I tried to reach out to NHL scouts and independent scouting sites, some accepted to enter in contact with me, but it didn't went further than that. I am now looking for a software programmer to create on actual program out of it so it would be easier marketable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  5. Daximus Aces Charles Sponsor

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    Pretty cool exercise I think I may do the same starting with this draft.
     
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  6. Lebowski El Duderino

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    If the point is to compare your picks with that of a specific franchise, I'm not sure why you'd allow yourself to trade picks around the way you do. Kind of defeats the purpose in my opinion.
     
  7. ProspectsFanatic Jonatan Berggren

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    My goal is to do as best of a scouting job as I could, when I think a trade is clearly necessary according to my rankings I do it, like any team should at the draft, I try not to abuse it, I guess I also get more enjoyment out of it by actually drafting the players I like the most if it is possible, and sort of cheering for them, otherwise I still put who I would have drafted at that rank without the trades, so you are free to compare the results as you like. My original goal was admittedly the comparison, the more the years went by the less it actually mattered to me, as you can see I have now programmed a software in order to have a full complete solid list of the best prospects instead of solely concentrating on the propects at the different Montreal picks range.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  8. StreetHawk Registered User

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    You can't really say what will happen with trades in terms of teams accepting the offer. That's why I also concur that you should just pick where the Habs or any team picks at. Plus, you are already changing the results when you take players off the board at different points than where they got selected. No clue what other teams have rated ahead on their draft boards.

    But it's an interesting exercise to do the draft and compare your results against the team.
     
  9. ProspectsFanatic Jonatan Berggren

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    Honestly I don't really care, thats how I like to do it. You can compare with Beauvillier and Kostin+Brook and remove the acquired picks if you like instead, those are the ones. Not having the luxury of ever making trades gives me an handicap which I don't see why I should impose on myself, I only do it if it feels like a necessity to me. Montreal move up in 2014 in the 3rd round, they also acquired a 7th in in 2018, I keep their trades because it is simpler, but I don't see why I wouldn't have that luxury to do the same when I really like a player. In the end I guess it is a matter of opinion, compare as you like.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  10. Lays Vitaly Swagtsov

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    This is actually extremely impressive wow
     
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  11. ProspectsFanatic Jonatan Berggren

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    Thank you I appreciate, gives me motivation to continue ;)
     
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  12. BomaLightDevils Registered User

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    Excellent pick with Jesper Bratt.
     
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  13. tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Always like seeing stuff like that, great to see this, really appreciate the effort you put into this.
     
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  14. ProspectsFanatic Jonatan Berggren

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    He had great stats, already in the Allvsk in his draft year, dominant in the SuperElit the year before, late july birthday, I watched some highlights he clearly had skills and speed, I was also reading reports that he was a great 2-way player, 6th rounder? Don't ask me why? Size was the only issue, but this is the same for many other players, some of which get picks in the first round.
     
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  15. Fantomas Registered User

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    Most scouting hires are nepotism appointments, so it is not too surprising a poster on hfboards would do better than an NHL team.

    Laughed my butt off at the McCagg quote.
     
  16. zharkenby Registered User

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    How the hell did you know about Bratt is my biggest question.. followed by how the hell do you not have an nhl scouting job. This is extremely impressive
     
  17. Sand94 Registered User

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    Look, I get you put a lot of effort into this and it’s a much better job than what most people on here tend to do, but at the end of the day none of these results are worth anything because you’re drafting them after the draft has already happened...

    If you truly wanted to compare yourself to the actual scouts, you would have to make the selection at the time of the pick. Instead, you have the benefit of hindsight as to who is being picked where. Even if it’s only a couple of weeks it changes everything.

    In real life you might pick a player early because you think he might be off the board next round, but in this case you know he’s not off the board yet. You also do quite a bit of “messing around” with the picks after the fact as well as changing positions.

    As fun as this was to do, nobody can really take this seriously as far as an actual scouting job. I’m sorry to be so blunt about it, but it wouldn’t go over too well in a sales pitch. Like you are mentioning getting this developed from a programmer.


    Anyway cool little project, but don’t get too caught up in it... it’s still fantasy.
     
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  18. montreal Go Habs Go

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    Very interesting. I have gotten away from following draft eligible players for some time now but it seems like a different way to look at the draft and I would think NHL teams would find this useful if they don't already have something like this in place. Good luck to you with it!
     
  19. ProspectsFanatic Jonatan Berggren

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    Wether or not your points are valid in discrediting my work, I still don’t have the choice to do it after the draft, most infos and videos about prospects come just before or right after the draft. I am not just purely going to look at stats, I need to know more in order to have somewhat of a fair assessment of each player. You know, this is not a full time job, I don’t have time to watch junior games of all draft eligible players during the year and be fully prepared at the draft.

    "Having hindsight as to who is being picked where" is a valid point which I am aware of and I am attempting to be careful about, what I try to do is concentrate on producing my own list and simply following it, and let the players fall as they may. I am not eradicating the possibility that there might still be some sort of accidental biases in that fashion, at the same time like I demonstrated, for example in the 2014 draft, I didn't went with what would have been the most optimal list for me, I put Kase in the 5th round even though I could have had the flexibility of having him lower and use his pick to better fruition. It is important to me to be fair in that regard, also making everything fit perfectly removes the satisfaction of truly saying you called it when going off the board, like I did for Kase. I would admit though that when we are speaking of the trades I made it gets more sketchy, would I really done it without insight? I like to believe that the answer is yes. In the end, that's why I let you know who at that rank I would have picked, either way the original goal was to have fun with it, not becoming a scout.

    All this being said, you are just presenting one side of the coin, you mentioned edges I have over the actual draft which might affect my results positively, I also have downsides, the major one is time, if I had time to actually watch players play it could also have helped me have even better results. You can simply state that I am in an advantageous position and leave it as that.

    With regards to the "sale pitch", I actually didn’t use those draft picks in my sale pitch, partly for the reasons you have just given, but also because it isn’t really relevant to the software, I tried to sell it for what it is, if the software is objectively a useful tool I just need to be good in explaining why that actually is. But maybe I should use it as an extra argument, even though it is a bit iffy to sort of gain more credibility. Will see. I haven’t really tried hard in making something out of it, that was just a pass time, including programming the software, I ended up having good results and producing something which I believe to be of interest, will see if it can lead me anywhere. What's for sure is that I won't let your points stop me from moving forward with it. I could also create the software to use it on a website with a subscription fee or something of that sort, not sure if the level of interest is there, but that is what I also meant by marketable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  20. ginomini Registered User

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    Very interesting work ! Whether we think your picks are legit or not according to what real NHL scouts do, we can't discredit the fact that you are able to find NHL talent.
    Even if you not have been able to pick X or Z player in real life, you still liked them on draft day and that is what really matters !


    Great job !

    The Bratt pick is obviously the most Impressive.

    I've done a similar thing with Montreal 1st and 2nd round pick since 2013.
    My results are:

    2013
    Hartman
    Lehkonen
    Dauphin
    Bjorkstrand

    2014
    Ho-Sang

    2015
    Beauvillier

    2016
    Jost

    2017
    Timmins
    Brook
    Morand
     
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