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04-11-2009, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
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.
Fugu: Very simple--does the model draft better than most NHL teams? In science results talk and ____ walks. Either the model performs better or it doesn't.

Yes, there is a randomness in hockey. If I'm a NHL GM I'm looking at EVERYTHING that might give my organization a leg up over the competition.

If the model does better than it represents an improvement and one more piece of information. A NHL team could use it as a tie breaker if players were judged to have similar talent.

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