Is there an equivalent of a "Moneyball" for the NHL?
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04-11-2009, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: St-Augustin, Québec
Originally Posted by
Sounds good in theory, but what traits are the best predictors of NHL success in 17-18 yr olds? You don't know exactly how much more a guy will grow, or how strong he'll get. Skating is probably one good metric as a comparison amongst peers. If you assume that all teams take the best player available (and usually that is the case) based on their career stats and physical attributes-- you get what we have today. A crapshoot after the first 6 or so picks. I guess what I'm saying is that if it were possible to improve, someone would have done it by now. It's the only time teams have access to players for free, and it remains the foundation for building teams. Maybe it's not so much the drafting, but the development. I think Detroit's success has been in finding players that fit a certain style or possess a specific set of skills, who then are developed in a very specific way.
Back to the baseball vs hockey modeling. I think you're bypassing the question. Is hockey a sport that can be modeled?
I hope this doesn't get lost, but hockey is much more a game of random events. There's simply too much going on the ice with too many variables (number of players, conditions, etc.). Baseball is somewhat static
in comparison to hockey
the development of a 17-18 year old skaters tells a lot more than people believe ... for North Americans ... It doesn't tell the whole story for all skaters, but players who do much better than predicted by my model or people who do much worse is very rare.
I suspect the Red Wings to have such a model, at least for europe, because a lot of times when my model tells you to get a certain player, the Red Wings have picked him, from Jonathan Ericksson to Franzen to whoever.
there's still scouting to be done after my model is applied for sure, since my model isn't complete in the first place, and I'm sure scouting could help avoid some of the mistakes my model gives up since some players have obvious flaws (like Mike Danton) that would keep a team from drafting a certain player, but can't be added in to the model yet.
also, my model can't predict high school players and players out of the USHL, much like Billy Beane with his high school players. It's not that they can't be good, but right now a coin flip is more accurate for them than my model.
Last edited by Mathletic: 04-11-2009 at
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