: Prospect Info:
Odds of NHL success by height - UPDATED WITH SECOND ROUNDERS TOO
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07-08-2011, 10:17 AM
DROP THE PUCK
Join Date: Dec 2007
Originally Posted by
I did a statistical analysis of draftees by height.
TIME FRAME: From our Cup in 1994 and until 2002. For prospects drafted very recently, we can't really judge them fully yet because some are late bloomers and others fade away quickly.
CLASSIFICATION: I divided players into three types: short (5'10 or below), average height (5'11 to 6'2) and tall (6'3+). This is relatively subjective, but I had to draw a line somewhere.
METHODOLOGY: I only looked at players who scored over 0.5 points per game over 400 NHL games. We all agreed in another thread that a second liner or even a tweener must score at least 40 points per season, and I would assume it's fair to expect that a true second liner would stay in the league at least 5 years. Anyone who failed to get 200 points over 400 games cannot legitimately be viewed as a consistent top-6 or even tweener.
I looked only at forwards because scoring is not as important to defensemen, especially defensive types.
EXCLUDED PLAYERS: I excluded the top 7 draft picks in every year. Top prospects are usually guys who have both size and skill. If you are drafting very early, you need not compromise. But what I was trying to determine is the success of second-level prospects, those in the first round, but not at the very top of the draft. You can make it top-5 or top-10 instead of top-7 without significantly changing the following results.
SOURCE: I looked at height as it is listed on hockeydb.
ADJUSTMENTS: It's possible that I made a mistake somewhere. Just let me know and don't get hysterical. It was not done on purpose. I didn't need to cheat, the results are pretty overwhelming and missing a player or two by accident won't change anything.
- 8 players were drafted in the first round (after the top-7) who were 5'10 or below. Of those, 4 became top-6 forwards who scored above 0.5 points per game. SUCCESS RATE: 50%
- 85 players who are average height were drafted and of those, 22 scored 0.5 points per game. SUCCESS RATE: 25.9%
- 30 players taller than 6'3 were drafted and only 2 of them scored over 0.5 points per game. SUCCESS RATE: 6.67%
Players' height is significantly overestimated as an asset because it is easy to tell who is tall/short, but much more difficult to tell who is truly skilled and who is just dominating children in juniors who will never have even a minor league career.
While I didn't count the exact stats inch by inch, it was very clear that the odds of making the NHL went down with every inch of height. Thus, 6'2 was less likely to make it than 6'1 and 6'4 was less likely to make it than 6'3, and so on for every inch of height.
Truly talented big guys almost always get drafted in the top few picks. But after the top half a dozen or so picks, those who are 6'3 develop into top-6 forwards very, very rarely.
In fact, our new 4th liner Michael Rupp (#9 in 1998) is easily one of the most successful big guys drafted outside of the top few picks.
BIG GUYS WHO MADE IT:
One was Antropov, a Russian who went through their system where real skills are taught to everyone regardless of size. Nor was he ever seen as a power forward/goon. He was always more of a skill player who just happens to be big.
The other is Zubrus, who just barely made it with 0.503 points per game. He too was born in the Soviet Union. He too is not viewed as a goon.
None of the North American big guys, so beloved on this forum, who bulldoze over the opposition became anything close to top-6 forwards. None of them.
They become Mike Rupp and Mark Bell... or outright minor leaguers.
The lesson is that if you want a scorer, even a marginal scorer, unless you have a top pick, you either have to go small or European. On occasion, in a tremendous draft such as 2003, you might stumble upon a Getzlaf or a Perry, but even in a legendary draft like that, you were still as likely to stumble onto Jessiman, Boyle or Fehr as on those two.
So in a very, very strong draft, where a #20 is as good as a normal #6, it may make some sense to go for a big North American, but in most drafts, if you do, prepare for the guy to become a 4th liner.
Guys with size speed and skill do not equal third/fourth line.
And guys who are undersized do not equal top line talent.
Your still sour about the Miller pick over Grimaldi.
Miller and Kreider will be top six NHL players. Plain and simple.
Miller's odds of being a top six player and star FAR outweigh Grimaldi's.
McColgan will probably never make it, though you believe he was the best pick in the draft.
Your analysis is a nice try and you definitely manipulated things to try to support your cause.
But its not reality.
What you are not acknowledging is that guys like Kreider and Miller not only have the skill of the smaller guys you love, but they also have the size, strength, grit to make it and contribute in a much larger role in the NHL.
Guys like McColgan drop to the 5th round because unless they're scoring at a high-rate, they're utterly useless at the NHL level.
And since its completely unrealistic to expect anyone to score or constantly be a threat every shift for 82+ games per year, the McColgans do not make it on a regular basis. That's the way it is.
Kreiders and Millers make it because they contribute in more then one way.
Its easy to fall in love with flashy highlight reel skill, but that's not how actual hockey is played. Rare occasions someone will wow us. Its just not practical application to the real world.
Kreider and Miller have real world physical tools that apply to Pro hockey.
McColgan does not. He has to rely 100% on his skill and pray that he scores a goal per game, or his presence is useless to an NHL club. And its rare for a player to get by on smarts.
Because a player is versatile doesnt make them 3rd and 4th line material. That's not how it works. Those guys play. One dimensional small guys do not unless they're scoring goals.
The St. Louis and Pat Kanes of the world are exceptions to the rule. Not the rule.
Beside anything else, you say that majority in the 5-11 - 6-2 range make it more then anyone. Clearly the 5-10 and under don't for a reason. Grimaldi is 5-6. McColgan is 5-8.
And typically guys that are in the Chara range can't skate.
There's a great line from "Youngblood": "thank God there's still a sport for middle sized white boy".
Middle size in the Pro game's case is around 6 foot. 5-11 - 6-3.
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