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Old
03-04-2013, 09:07 AM
  #1
Skidooboy
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Drafting Younger Players The Better Idea?

http://www.wired.com/playbook/2013/0...election-bias/

Intersting Article about Selection Bias inthe NHL Draft.

TYhoughts?

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03-04-2013, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Skidooboy View Post
http://www.wired.com/playbook/2013/0...election-bias/

Intersting Article about Selection Bias inthe NHL Draft.

TYhoughts?
Longer career does not equal better player.

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03-04-2013, 09:38 AM
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age has nothing to do with it for me.

draft the best or, or projected to be in the future

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03-04-2013, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by SubparSoup View Post
Longer career does not equal better player.
Longer career and more points generally does equal better player.

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03-04-2013, 09:43 AM
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I would say that over the entire league... people with longer careers are better players. Don't think of single individuals here. Correlations of this sort aren't perfect, but they do count for something. What's really missing from this analysis is the distribution of the kids going into the draft. The selection bias may already be a done deal by the time the NHL draft comes along, and they actually allude to this in the article.

if the elite youth teams have already tossed out most of the late born before they even hit CHL age, then the NHL draft may not biased at all but just reflect the distribution of those that are draft eligible.

The late born my perform better because as kids they were truly elite players... good enough to overcome the maturity advantages given to the early born, and this carries over into the higher leagues when the early born lose the maturity advantage.

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03-04-2013, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by King Woodballs View Post
age has nothing to do with it for me.

draft the best or, or projected to be in the future
I agree.

That said, older players are generally more polished at draft time.

That is part of what leads better draft positioning.

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03-04-2013, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Woodballs View Post
age has nothing to do with it for me.

draft the best or, or projected to be in the future
Quote:
Originally Posted by truck View Post
Longer career and more points generally does equal better player.
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Originally Posted by SubparSoup View Post
Longer career does not equal better player.
Now i only took a glance at the article, but i think it's referencing a very convincing study i read a while back.

it's actually pretty interesting how the "born in the right month" thing works, not only for hockey players, but for pretty much everything across the board.

In general it's the lack of two intakes. If intake is only done once a year, you have 12 months worht of kids working/competing together. A 6 year old and a 7 yearold are much farther apart developmentally then a 15 yearold and a 16 yearold. This is the issue with younger "exceptional" programs, as 9/10 times, your not actually selecting kids who are more developed (athletically/intellectually/etc) for their age group, your just selecting those that are more developed (IE: Older).

Since we start these programs and training younger and younger, rather then "catching more talent" we're actually hedgin more talent out due to inadequate age catagories (a 7 year 1 month old, is not in the same place of development as a 7 year 8 month old).

these kids "look" smarter/stronger/etc, because they've develope dmore, so we give them more attention/ice time, so they get more practice.

it's a just a crazy snowball event.


Now, by the time you've made it to the draft, this is generally no longer a factor. At 17-18 if a players been able to play his way into the draft talk they were one of the few able to surpass the odds stacked against them. It's mostly a factor in the years prior.

sorry to go on a tangeant, but the study i'm referring to was one of the most interesting thigns i've read, especially how it goes across all different routes (Sports, Music, academia)

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03-04-2013, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by castle View Post
I would say that over the entire league... people with longer careers are better players. Don't think of single individuals here. Correlations of this sort aren't perfect, but they do count for something. What's really missing from this analysis is the distribution of the kids going into the draft. The selection bias may already be a done deal by the time the NHL draft comes along, and they actually allude to this in the article.

if the elite youth teams have already tossed out most of the late born before they even hit CHL age, then the NHL draft may not biased at all but just reflect the distribution of those that are draft eligible.

The late born my perform better because as kids they were truly elite players... good enough to overcome the maturity advantages given to the early born, and this carries over into the higher leagues when the early born lose the maturity advantage.

Exactly. The odds are stacked against the late born back at age 7-8 as soon as the first "selection" teams start popping up. By the time you've reached the draft, that bias has already done it's damage, and i wouldn't factor it in. On the other hand you make a good point, if a late born kid has managed to stay afloat and make into the draft conversation, it may be that he is in fact the "better" of the prospects in terms of sheer natural talent. Unfortunately, success seems to be less and less driven by talent and more and mroe driven by opportunity.

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03-04-2013, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by truck View Post
Longer career and more points generally does equal better player.
Article only mentions career length and doesn't even attempt to factor in points for players. They literally only looked at birth month and career length for 20 years of Canadian skaters. No goalies or other countries. The data is extremely incomplete at best.

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03-04-2013, 10:02 AM
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My two cents. Which I guess is zero cents now... but... I have two partial theories here.

Being born 6 months earlier means six months stronger, more experienced etc. Aren't most young players better six months later then they are today? I'm going to make a guess that more players are taken in the draft from the first months, because at 18, that imbalance of developing time hasn't quite broken down yet.

It therefore follows that the guys going straight into the NHL, or moving up after junior with no AHL time, are likely older as they appear more ready from draft time. This means that younger players are more likely to get more time in Junior or AHL before they go to the NHL and have a chance to get more experience, better hockey sense, and get closer to their ceilings before they hit the NHL.

Ceilings which may also be higher than perceived at draft day for the younger players, (my other point) since two guys, one who is eleven months older than the other, may not play at the same level, but was the 18 and 11 month year old better than the 18 and 0 month year old one year ago? Lets imagine two players who are virtually identical in every way but birth date, Lets imagine for a second the Sedin brothers were 11 months apart at draft day, and projected to be second and third. But lets say we only have one pick. I'd take the guy who is 11 months younger, every time, because it's taken him 11 months less, all other things equal, to do what he's done, and if they both hit "ceiling" at 24 years old and 0 days, the younger player has 6 years to get there, the older one has five.

I think it takes a little more potential to get into the draft when you're in the young half of the year as opposed to the older half, because the older half has 6 months + more experience.

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03-04-2013, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by SubparSoup View Post
Article only mentions career length and doesn't even attempt to factor in points for players. They literally only looked at birth month and career length for 20 years of Canadian skaters. No goalies or other countries. The data is extremely incomplete at best.
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They found that, on average, NHL draftees born between July and December comprised 34 percent of those drafted, but played in 42 percent of the games and scored 44 percent of the points. On the other hand, those born in the first three months of the same year comprised 36 percent of drafted players but played in just 28 percent of games and scored 25 percent of the points.
that looks an aweful lot like factoring in points.

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03-04-2013, 10:11 AM
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My two cents. Which I guess is zero cents now... but... I have two partial theories here.

Being born 6 months earlier means six months stronger, more experienced etc. Aren't most young players better six months later then they are today? I'm going to make a guess that more players are taken in the draft from the first months, because at 18, that imbalance of developing time hasn't quite broken down yet.

It therefore follows that the guys going straight into the NHL, or moving up after junior with no AHL time, are likely older as they appear more ready from draft time. This means that younger players are more likely to get more time in Junior or AHL before they go to the NHL and have a chance to get more experience, better hockey sense, and get closer to their ceilings before they hit the NHL.

Ceilings which may also be higher than perceived at draft day for the younger players, (my other point) since two guys, one who is eleven months older than the other, may not play at the same level, but was the 18 and 11 month year old better than the 18 and 0 month year old one year ago? Lets imagine two players who are virtually identical in every way but birth date, Lets imagine for a second the Sedin brothers were 11 months apart at draft day, and projected to be second and third. But lets say we only have one pick. I'd take the guy who is 11 months younger, every time, because it's taken him 11 months less, all other things equal, to do what he's done, and if they both hit "ceiling" at 24 years old and 0 days, the younger player has 6 years to get there, the older one has five.

I think it takes a little more potential to get into the draft when you're in the young half of the year as opposed to the older half, because the older half has 6 months + more experience.
you've got the right idea, but that six month discrepency kicks in when these players are just kids.

6 motnh discrepencey at 7-8. You get first line minutes and make the travel team, thus you get 5X the amoutn of ice/practice time as the kids six months younger then you. That starts at 7 and continues untill at least around 16 which is when that 6 month discrepency is finally starting to not make such a big deal.


the developmental difference between a 17.5 and an 18 yearold is not big enough to implicate a draft decision. But keeping in mind that when that 17.5 yearold was 7, he managed to warrent the same attention as kids who were physically much more advanced. So you could say younge rkids have more talent/higher work ethic. OR, what's more likely, is simply that the draft pool has waaaaaay more january/february players in it then september kids.

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03-04-2013, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by castle View Post
that looks an aweful lot like factoring in points.
saying x amount of goals were scored by this percentage of players born in this period of time doesn't mean longer carrer= more goals/ better player. What I was trying to say (albeit poorly) was that its useless data when you only look at Canadian skaters.

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03-04-2013, 11:53 AM
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The whole six months thing might be a little overblown in here no? Like, kids develop physically uniquely, hit and go through puberty faster, etc.

What I'm trying to say is...is a 5'3 14 year old born in October have any more of an advantage over a 5'7 kid born in February?

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03-04-2013, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by truck View Post
I agree.

That said, older players are generally more polished at draft time.

That is part of what leads better draft positioning.
True, but there is also their upside to take into account.
As we all know, there are many factors that lead into someones draft location.

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03-04-2013, 12:08 PM
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The whole six months thing might be a little overblown in here no? Like, kids develop physically uniquely, hit and go through puberty faster, etc.

What I'm trying to say is...is a 5'3 14 year old born in October have any more of an advantage over a 5'7 kid born in February?
I think generally you are right in that kids do develop differently, but I have seen it make a difference in some specific cases.

On a team I coached once, we had one boy who was born Dec 31 of his age group, and because the teams are setup based on calendar birth year he was basically playing against kids almost a full year older than himself. As hard as this kid tried he just couldn't compete with kids physically a year older than him. If he had been born 1 day later, he would have had the advantage.

A few months don't make any difference, but on average, kids born in Jan / Feb are going to have the advantage over kids born in Nov / Dec, when everyone born in that year has to play together.

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03-04-2013, 12:14 PM
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It would be interesting to see if top line players are more evenly distributed across the year and the 3rd/4th or bottom pair guys are the extras from the early months.

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useless data when you only look at Canadian skaters
I don't agree. I think it says something about the Canadian development system more than anything about the NHL draft. And it really is something to think about. The fact that more kids are being taken from Jan-March than from July all the way to December is kind of crazy. Jan to March (3 months) is only 24% of births. July to December (6 months) is 51%. so 24% results in more draft picks than 51%. insane.

Unfortunately, no competitive team is going to use the younger kids just because. They want to win... they take the older kid.

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03-04-2013, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhay1987 View Post
The whole six months thing might be a little overblown in here no? Like, kids develop physically uniquely, hit and go through puberty faster, etc.

What I'm trying to say is...is a 5'3 14 year old born in October have any more of an advantage over a 5'7 kid born in February?
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Originally Posted by cbcwpg View Post
I think generally you are right in that kids do develop differently, but I have seen it make a difference in some specific cases.

On a team I coached once, we had one boy who was born Dec 31 of his age group, and because the teams are setup based on calendar birth year he was basically playing against kids almost a full year older than himself. As hard as this kid tried he just couldn't compete with kids physically a year older than him. If he had been born 1 day later, he would have had the advantage.

A few months don't make any difference, but on average, kids born in Jan / Feb are going to have the advantage over kids born in Nov / Dec, when everyone born in that year has to play together.
Your right, a few months at 18 doesn't make a huge difference. The problem being early in there years, it DOES make a big difference. And our "specialist" programs, amplify that difference by arbitrarily rewarding the kid born six months earlier with better coaching, more ice time, and better opportunities. The 6 motnh difference isn't the problem. The decision we allow that six month difference ot influence sets in motion a chain of events that stack the deck against those that don't for the next 10 years of their hockey development.



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It would be interesting to see if top line players are more evenly distributed across the year and the 3rd/4th or bottom pair guys are the extras from the early months.



I don't agree. I think it says something about the Canadian development system more than anything about the NHL draft. And it really is something to think about. The fact that more kids are being taken from Jan-March than from July all the way to December is kind of crazy. Jan to March (3 months) is only 24% of births. July to December (6 months) is 51%. so 24% results in more draft picks than 51%. insane.

Unfortunately, no competitive team is going to use the younger kids just because. They want to win... they take the older kid.
Exactly. Our biggest issue has been starting "competitive" training younger and yougner in an attempt to get "better" players sooner. The problem being at that young an age we shouldn't be considering a 7 year and 10 monthold as part of the "peer group" of a 7 year old, ideally they'd be split. but the logistics of that get pretty crazy expensive..

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03-04-2013, 12:49 PM
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It would be interesting to see if top line players are more evenly distributed across the year and the 3rd/4th or bottom pair guys are the extras from the early months.



I don't agree. I think it says something about the Canadian development system more than anything about the NHL draft. And it really is something to think about. The fact that more kids are being taken from Jan-March than from July all the way to December is kind of crazy. Jan to March (3 months) is only 24% of births. July to December (6 months) is 51%. so 24% results in more draft picks than 51%. insane.

Unfortunately, no competitive team is going to use the younger kids just because. They want to win... they take the older kid.

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03-04-2013, 01:07 PM
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Your right, a few months at 18 doesn't make a huge difference. The problem being early in there years, it DOES make a big difference. And our "specialist" programs, amplify that difference by arbitrarily rewarding the kid born six months earlier with better coaching, more ice time, and better opportunities. The 6 motnh difference isn't the problem. The decision we allow that six month difference ot influence sets in motion a chain of events that stack the deck against those that don't for the next 10 years of their hockey development.
You seem to be arguing that those relatively younger kids are at a disadvantage because they have had less opportunities cumulatively over the number of years and that's why they're worse off.

That's not what the article is about. The article is saying that relatively older players are being drafted ahead of their younger counterparts due to some bias (unrelated to their ability).

Baisically it says a disproportionate number of early birthdays are drafted vs that proportion that becomes succesful. Not that a disproportionate number of early birthdays make a more successful player.

Button makes the argument that I agree with, in that the younger birthday player may seem more skilled due to the added physical maturity and since they aren;t comparing apples to apples exactly, that's where the discrepency is coming from.

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03-04-2013, 01:10 PM
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you've got the right idea, but that six month discrepency kicks in when these players are just kids.

6 month discrepencey at 7-8. You get first line minutes and make the travel team, thus you get 5X the amoutn of ice/practice time as the kids six months younger then you. That starts at 7 and continues untill at least around 16 which is when that 6 month discrepency is finally starting to not make such a big deal.
Smaller deal than as kids, but as a track athlete myself (a sport that one could argue is basically a fitness test, or of maximum physical potential in it's regard, so a truer "development" test than hockey, where vision, teammates, etc all play a role in performance) I was in the summer between my second and third year of University before I ever got beat by a younger (local) guy. Guys who've turned out to be national caliber a couple years later. (like, top 15 in Canada, I've won national relay medals as a key piece of a deep team, but these guys contended for national medals as individuals)

And we don't have tiered systems or cuts on our team. You do the same workouts, the better guys just are capable of doing them faster, so the guys who aren't as fast don't do less and develop slower as a result. And still, in a sport which is a pretty good physical yardstick in terms of raw speed in sprinting or in terms of something like VO2 a lot of guys REALLY hit their stride around 20.

A year from 18 to 19 is almost always a big one. If one year is a huge difference, then isn't 6 months still noteworthy? (potentially 8 - 10 if we're talking jan/feb to oct/nov/dec)

Obviously some kids hit physical peak earlier than others etc, but even if that 6 months is 6 months more experience shooting pucks on the backyard rink before the kid started hockey, that's still six months.

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03-04-2013, 01:14 PM
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Exactly. Our biggest issue has been starting "competitive" training younger and yougner in an attempt to get "better" players sooner. The problem being at that young an age we shouldn't be considering a 7 year and 10 monthold as part of the "peer group" of a 7 year old, ideally they'd be split. but the logistics of that get pretty crazy expensive..
This is actually a really interesting point, as I took a coaching course in university, and Sport Canada is now starting to really push LTAD or "long term athletic development" which in the case of track, means not training kids too hard too young, because national junior record holders RARELY go on to break national senior records, because peaking by 18 is too early.

The early years of a kids sport career should be dedicated to building up coordination and skill sets and strength, speed, etc. come later, to make the best athlete in the long term. Unfortunately, Hockey teams are going to pick the bigger stronger kid at 11 years old and that's what gets rewarded.

Edit\

Sorry for the double post. And also I love that comic. My friend has a shirt of it and wears it constantly.

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03-04-2013, 01:54 PM
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I actually lol'ed at this as well.

correlation can imply causation. there are two possibilities for why it wouldn't, though. 1) it's actually reverse causation, or bidirectional at the least. given the temporal nature of 'birth' and 'NHL draft' reverse causation, or even some bidirectional causation, is logically impossible. 2) some confounding factor actually causes both birth month and NHL draft. like how the more fire trucks there are at a fire, the greater the dollar damage. logically, that means whenever there's a fire just don't send any trucks and that should be good! or, the size of the fire causes both the number of trucks and the damage. This is the kind of argument that was used for years by tobacco companies refuting the claim that smoking caused lung cancer. Some people were just more prone to both smoking and lung cancer. Now, in the current case, I think it is also illogical that birth month somehow magically means it's far less likely you'll get drafted. Rather, along the pathway from birth month to NHL draft, the deck is stacked against the later months.

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03-04-2013, 01:57 PM
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Interesting topic.

There are some interesting examples at the top end of the upcoming draft. Seth Jones is an early birthday in the draft class, while Mackinnon and Barkov are quite late. As a result, Jones is a full 11 months older than Mackinnon and Barkov. Similarly, Monahan is almost a year older than Mackinnnon, and several months older than a number of others in his projected draft range.

I think that the point made by the study shouldn't be taken too lightly. Scouts might be comparing draft-eligible players in a given year without considering age differences that might be important.

It's interesting that in the NBA there tends to be a huge bias towards "projections" based on age and development, such that a year's difference in age is seen as a huge factor in projecting future success.

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03-04-2013, 02:01 PM
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You seem to be arguing that those relatively younger kids are at a disadvantage because they have had less opportunities cumulatively over the number of years and that's why they're worse off.

That's not what the article is about. The article is saying that relatively older players are being drafted ahead of their younger counterparts due to some bias (unrelated to their ability).

Baisically it says a disproportionate number of early birthdays are drafted vs that proportion that becomes succesful. Not that a disproportionate number of early birthdays make a more successful player.

Button makes the argument that I agree with, in that the younger birthday player may seem more skilled due to the added physical maturity and since they aren;t comparing apples to apples exactly, that's where the discrepency is coming from.
I admit i only skimmed the article and at first thought it was referencing a different study I had read. I imagine the data being talked baout, the biases etc, are intertwined.

I'd agree with the summation of the article, that drafting younger/late birthdays SHOULD be the goal (in extrodinarily blanket terms ie: 2 players taht look the exact same, except ones a late birthday) as these player are more likely to have had less "handed" to them so to speak.

but this articlesresearch is at best incomplete, but still interesting.

The disproportionate number of players drafted from these early days, is most likely dueto the disproportionate number of players with these birthdays playing in the top feeder systems.

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