Stats insights, warnings for draft forwards
August, 5, 2013
By Corey Pronman | ESPN.com
Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesMike Cammalleri has thrived despite concerns about his size in his draft year.Analytics at the prospect level has been an interesting area the last few years, and there seems to be growing interest. In preparation for the 2013 NHL draft, several NHL teams hired stat guys and consulting groups to help them with their prospect analysis, and some teams are even having their video guys track micro stats at the junior level.
For most of the lower levels of hockey, many studies have shown there is notable predictive value in stat-based analysis for prospects. The main issues facing analytics for junior, collegiate and other levels is adjusting for context and trying to separate the relationship between production and the typical uncertainty/miss rate of projecting prospects. After all, stats can't tell you everything about prospects -- they need to be adjusted for a variety of factors, they can't replace scouts and they are subject to statistical noise. However, if used correctly for the NHL draft, stats can help teams find some overlooked sleepers and may prevent them from making a glaring mistake.