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Odds of NHL success by height - UPDATED WITH SECOND ROUNDERS TOO

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07-08-2011, 02:32 PM
  #26
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I also just looked at the 2003 draft, which is regarded as the best of the generation.

There were 5 players drafted who were 6'3 or taller.The only one who scored over 0.5 points per game is Loui Eriksson. He is 6'3, but skinny and is nothing resembling a tough bulldozer. If anything, he's soft. He's also the product of a European system. He's nothing like that "North American style forward" everyone is calling for the Rangers to draft.

There were an additional 8 players who were 6'2 who were drafted in the legendary 2003 draft. Only one of them (David Backes) is a "North American style forward" who scored 0.5 points per game.

So even in a great draft, the odds of you pulling a power forward who can score after the first few picks are very, very bad.

Again, nobody above 6'3 and only 1 in 8 who was 6'2, among second round draftees. That's on top of 2 for about 70 among 6'2+ second rounders from 1994 to 2002.

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07-08-2011, 02:40 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by f2d View Post
There's one big flaw in your analysis.

Scoring isn't everything.

No doubt about that. No team can go on without guys like Prust. They are integral to the team, and I say this without any sarcasm. I truly believe this.

But everyone on this forum has been complaining about the lack of scorers on the team. Everyone wants a scorer to be drafted.

At the same time, everyone wants us to draft a big guy. The problem is that you can't have your cake and eat it too. Unless you have an early lottery pick, your odds of getting a big guy who can score are very slim and become almost non-existent in the second round.

Now, if a team wants to draft Mark Bell and Mike Rupp, more power to them. But they should know that this is what they are getting, rather than hoping for a power forward.

If a team needs size, go for that 6-4 guy, no problem.

But if a team is looking for scoring, they must realize that size and scoring show an inverse correlation for players ranked around the same (this makes sense: if a big guy is just as skilled as a small guy, he would be ranked MUCH higher, so if they are ranked the same, then the big guy must be lacking something the small guy has).

7 out of 15 midgets scored 0.5 points per game and only 2 out of 71 big guys. That is statically very significant, and a team trying to draft a scorer should be aware of this.

Between 1994 and 2002, not a single North American who was 6'3+ who was drafted in the first round went on to score over 0.5 per game. There were several in 2003 (Getzlaf, Perry, Carter), but that was an exceptional draft and later picks were as good a prospects as lottery picks would be in an average draft.


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07-08-2011, 02:48 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
No doubt about that. No team can go on without guys like Prust. They are integral to the team, and I say this without any sarcasm. I truly believe this.

But everyone on this forum has been complaining about the lack of scorers on the team. Everyone wants a scorer to be drafted.

At the same time, everyone wants us to draft a big guy. The problem is that you can't have your cake and eat it too. Unless you have an early lottery pick, your odds of getting a big guy who can score are very slim and become almost non-existent in the second round.

Now, if a team wants to draft Mark Bell and Mike Rupp, more power to them. But they should know that this is what they are getting, rather than hoping for a power forward.

If a team needs size, go for that 6-4 guy, no problem.

But if a team is looking for scoring, they must realize that size and scoring show an inverse correlation for players ranked around the same (this makes sense: if a big guy is just as skilled as a small guy, he would be ranked MUCH higher, so if they are ranked the same, then the big guy must be lacking something the small guy has).

7 out of 15 midgets scored 0.5 points per game and only 2 out of 71 big guys. That is statically very significant, and a team trying to draft a scorer should be aware of this.
Well from what I've seen so far most of HFBoards has no idea what the hell they're talking about. People just talk out of their ass day in day out when saying what teams should do. And realistic expectations never enter their minds. Yeah it'd be nice to have a team full of 6'3" 30 goal scorers, but that's not going to happen.

I see the point of what you're looking at now though. I would rename it to something like "Odds of becoming an NHL scorer by height"

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07-08-2011, 02:54 PM
  #29
Kel Varnsen
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.5 ppg pace over a full season is only 41 pts. For a top six forward that doesn't bring any size that number isn't all too special.

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07-08-2011, 03:10 PM
  #30
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curious as to who is on these lists.

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07-08-2011, 03:17 PM
  #31
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The biggest flaw here is the amount of small guys being drafted. When your sample size is 15-20 compared to the 100 average and beyond guys getting drafted your results are going to be skewed.

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07-08-2011, 03:17 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by n8 View Post
curious as to who is on these lists.

Honestly, it's just too much work for me to do all the names. I can later come up with a list of midgets. So far I just posted the names of successful tall guys.

I can't post several hundred names of everyone drafted over the course of a decade.

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07-08-2011, 04:19 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by BlueshirtBlitz View Post
The biggest flaw here is the amount of small guys being drafted. When your sample size is 15-20 compared to the 100 average and beyond guys getting drafted your results are going to be skewed.
The percentage would still be the same. 1 of 10 is 10%, just like 10 of 100 is 10%. So you would really have to convert it from fractions to percent. But even without seeing the exact percentage it seems like RangerEsq has a point.


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07-08-2011, 04:29 PM
  #34
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Fantastic work. Thanks.

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07-08-2011, 04:35 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
The percentage would still be the same. 1 of 10 is 10%, just like 10 of 100 is 10%. So you would really have to convert it from fractions to percent. But even without seeing the exact percentage it seems like he has a point.
There is a point, but the point is that the small guys have to be super talented and/or incredibly hard workers to even get drafted, thus the small sample size. That will make the success rate of top 6 forwards look better.

The fact is, though, picking a small guy isn't going to lead to a top 6 forward everytime, just like picking a 6 foot tall guy isn't going to lead to a top 6 forward everytime.

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07-08-2011, 04:42 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by BlueshirtBlitz View Post
There is a point, but the point is that the small guys have to be super talented and/or incredibly hard workers to even get drafted, thus the small sample size. That will make the success rate of top 6 forwards look better.

The fact is, though, picking a small guy isn't going to lead to a top 6 forward everytime, just like picking a 6 foot tall guy isn't going to lead to a top 6 forward everytime.
True that, but lets say 10 below 6 ft guys are drafted and 2 makes top 6, thats 20%. Then lets say 100 above 6ft guys gets picked and and 10 makes it to top 6, that is only 10%. In this respect it's totally comparable, because percent does not care if there are 1000 or 10 in the pool, it still stays the same depending on the fraction. 1 of 1000 is less than 1 out of 10 etc.

That said, please excuse my simple examples.. I am on the second bottle of wine here, hehe.

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07-08-2011, 04:47 PM
  #37
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I think we all agree that if a small guy gets drafted fairly early, he must have a ton of talent, while a big guy can get picked purely on size.

The point of this exercise is to show that talent overcomes size more than the reverse.

There is no such thing as a flawless #20 pick. The question is, what is better to sacrifice, skills or size. Size is easier to tell. A monkey can tell who is taller, so even scouts prefer big guys.

But stats show that skill is more important than size. A 5'9 super-talented kid is more likely to overcome his size than a 6'5 guy with limited skills is to overcome his lack of skills.

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07-08-2011, 04:49 PM
  #38
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I hope Zuccarello is aware of these numbers. To paraphrase our President, yes,he can!

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07-08-2011, 04:50 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
I think we all agree that if a small guy gets drafted fairly early, he must have a ton of talent, while a big guy can get picked purely on size.The point of this exercise is to show that talent overcomes size more than the reverse.

There is no such thing as a flawless #20 pick. The question is, what is better to sacrifice, skills or size. Size is easier to tell. A monkey can tell who is taller, so even scouts prefer big guys.

But stats show that skill is more important than size. A 5'9 super-talented kid is more likely to overcome his size than a 6'5 guy with limited skills is to overcome his lack of skills.
This.

Being a small guy in hockey you are getting told over and over again that you are small from a young age. Either you quit, or you grit your teeth and you try to work harder than anyone else. And you have to!

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07-08-2011, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
I hope Zuccarello is aware of these numbers. To paraphrase our President, yes,he can!
Why? Are your numbers going to make him fast enough to find gaps and strong enough on the puck to actually use his skill?

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07-08-2011, 06:00 PM
  #41
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Why? Are your numbers going to make him fast enough to find gaps and strong enough on the puck to actually use his skill?
I dont think Rangeresqe's numbers will, but hopfully Barb Underhill and getting used to the smaller NA rinks will. Like all playmakers he needs a little bit of space, and being on a smaller rink than he is used to made it a little hard for him at times last season. More speed will help though, and hopefully he will prove a bunch of doubters wrong this coming season.

Ive not yet said anything about lines, but to be honest if Mats gets a little stronger and faster, I'd love to see him on the LW of the 1st with Richards. Richards is probably one of the few who have the same eye as Mats for the game, and one that would be able to be ready for his from-out-of-nowhere passes

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07-08-2011, 07:14 PM
  #42
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It's great that you are so supportive of Kreider and Miller, but neither one of them has played an NHL game so you can't make definitive statements like "these two will succeed while Grimaldi and McColgan fail miserably and run home crying to their mothers"

Your idea that you have to have this perfect balance of grit and physical skill to make it is ridiculous. You have to be a good hockey player and that's about it.

You also lament over these guys with the "real world physical tools that apply to Pro hockey." Which is pretty much just something you made up. It also defines 3rd line grinders which we have a plethora of.

Oh and I'm not short either so I'm not being defensive, mostly just tired of the same old diatribe from you.




Not to mention your obsession with trying to seem like the smartest poster around, it's not a competition guy relax.
Im not trying to win anything. Im debating.

Having pro level tools is not a statement I made up. People use terms like that. And it doesn't describe third line grinders.

There's a reason a vast majority of the players in the NHL are 6 foot and over.

However, I think the real debate should be one-dimensional players vs. versatile players.

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07-08-2011, 08:38 PM
  #43
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Ive not yet said anything about lines, but to be honest if Mats gets a little stronger and faster, I'd love to see him on the LW of the 1st with Richards. Richards is probably one of the few who have the same eye as Mats for the game, and one that would be able to be ready for his from-out-of-nowhere passes
I wouldn't put him on a line with Richards and Gaborik even if he does break out. Who on that line is going to go into the corners and win puck battles?

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07-08-2011, 11:07 PM
  #44
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I think it would be more interesting to look at the heights of all players in the WHL/OHL/QMJHL, then see what percentage of those are drafted... I think that would give you a better idea.

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07-09-2011, 11:41 AM
  #45
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I think it would be more interesting to look at the heights of all players in the WHL/OHL/QMJHL, then see what percentage of those are drafted... I think that would give you a better idea.
Obviously height is an advantage. If two players have the same skill level, but one is 6'3 and the other is 5'10, the first one will be rsnked much, much higher. If both of them have elite skill, the first one will go top-3 and the second one will go at the end of the first round. If both have medium skill, the first one will go at the end of the first round and the second one at the end of the draft, if at all.

The question is whether it is an overrated advantage. What if the tall guy has medium skills and the short guy has elite skill.

For a short guy to even be considered in the first or second round, he must have elite skill, while a big guy going in the second round is just someone able to push around teens in juniors.

Which one is the better pick?

I think the evidence is clear. In the vast majority of drafts, among second rounders, not a single 6'2 player becomes a top-6 forward. There are often years upon years between big second rounders who become power forwards instead of goons.

This is true even for picks in the later part of the first round (past the top 15-20) unless it is a very strong draft.

Meanwhile, small guys with elite skill are pretty much 50-50 to become top-6. So the strategy for getting a scorer seems pretty clear: draft a guy with elite skill. If you can get a big guy with elite skill, hthats great. But that is possible only with the first few draft picks.

After that, the strategy should be to prioritize skill to size. Take your #20 pick and flip it for a later first and another second rounder. Use those two picks plus your own second on players with elite skill who fell only because of their size. Chances are that you will wind up with at least one top-5 forward this way.

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07-09-2011, 12:45 PM
  #46
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Interesting analysis, i do agree that short guys that do get drafter are usually more skilled and have to do more even get that chance so essentially they can be leap and bounds better than there 6'2 counterparts but because of their size they either dont get drafted or they do and get points.

I also think it is important to compare the new NHL to the old, in the new NHL actualy hieght has become less of a barrier with the new rules and whatnot. But if you look at the best players meaning 80pts and above they still tend to be 6 or over.

The biggest of the problem is the small sample size, i dont know if you can statistically account a difference when subjects is small for 510 below. It could just be due to chance that some smaller guys have done well recently and not any real difference.

The Last thing to consider is the risk/reward the reward is usually a lot better for a bigger guy in terms of superstar potential not just 45 points etc but a real franchise players. Also if they dont get points players on the 3rd and 4th lines tend to be bigger or if say a guy that 5'10 he better be a horse and very strong.

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07-09-2011, 01:28 PM
  #47
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RangerEsq, I get what you are saying. I just don't think this is the right approach to take (that said I am not really sure how one would properly do this sort of analysis).

I think the much more telling fact is that right now in the league, of the 98 players who scored 50pts or more last season, 78 of the 98 were 6ft or taller. Similarly of the point per game players (14 of them), only 5 are under 6 ft.


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07-09-2011, 01:47 PM
  #48
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While I agree that 15 players is a small sample, what is even more striking is that every inch of height reduces chances that a player will go on to be a scorer, among kids drafted at the same general range.

Thus, 6'2 is less likely to become a scorer than a 6'1 player drafted in the same range of draft picks (for ex, comparing second rounders to second rounders).

What this show is NOT that smaller is better, but rather that height is overrated and bigger players tend to go disproportionately high for their skill level. As a result, anyone who is a half-decent big guy gets drafted in the top 10-12 picks in most drafts (a little later in great drafts), and after that, teams are drafting big guys with no skill above a grinder at the NHL level.

But little guys with elite skill are still there. Ultimately, would you prefer a small guy like Michael Cammalleri or a big guy like Mark Bell?

Because ultimately, based on past drafts, that is your choice if you are a playoff team that does not have the luxury of a top draft pick.

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07-09-2011, 02:15 PM
  #49
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The Last thing to consider is the risk/reward the reward is usually a lot better for a bigger guy in terms of superstar potential not just 45 points etc but a real franchise players. Also if they dont get points players on the 3rd and 4th lines tend to be bigger or if say a guy that 5'10 he better be a horse and very strong.
This is what I think is being underrated. If we really want to we can find a smallish 40-50 point one dimensional forward virtually any offseason. They're not that valuable a commodity. Similarly, neither are 20-30 point "3rd liners".

Obviously if the shorter player really "booms" to become a MSL, Cammalleri or similar that is one thing. But if the bigger "3rd line grinder" type can "boom" into a 50-60 point player while providing other things (namely defense, physical play, the ability to win corner battles, etc.) you have a much more valuable commodity on your hands (Dubinsky, Backes, etc.).

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07-09-2011, 05:25 PM
  #50
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As far as Grimaldi in this year's draft he's not just small--he's really small. Bobby Lalonde small. Smaller than Gionta or St. Louis. He could just as easily be a jockey. And to be honest lumping him with even 5' 10'' players is like lumping a 5'10" player with a 6'3"' player. There's something not right about that scenario. If someone wants to bet that Grimaldi will turn out to be the next Theo Fleury they're welcome to it but it's still a very big gamble. Skill is great but most smaller players really don't overcome the size differential moving up to the top playing levels.

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