Been poring through your studies - there are some excellent pieces of work here.
I recently did a statistical analysis of Mackinnon vs Drouin, and did what I could to highlight and separate them.
Heres the text:
The debate rages on this year amongst junior hockey enthusiasts and Haligonians alike – “Who would you take, Mackinnon or Drouin?”
The answer is rarely straightforward and quick.
Coming into this year, Mackinnon was heavily favoured as the #1 pick and Drouin, though not an afterthought, got very little respect mostly based on his size and only ‘solid’ straightforward speed. Drouin was not ranked inside the top 20 this year by any major paid scouting service* (Mckeens, FC, ISS, HP) heading into this season. Jonathan however came into this season a much better player, one that took no issues taking as much time as he needed to set up the play or simply stickhandling past opposing defenders. He has scored at a better PPG clip than Mackinnon thus far, which has raised this important question.
*interesting to note he came in at #12 in TSRs September rankings
Let’s take a look at the stats.
Nathan Mackinnon – 41GP-21G-38A-69P, +37, 9 Powerplay Goals, 2 Shorthanded Goals, 6 Game Winners & 55% on faceoffs.
Shoots at 15.1% and averages 4.53 shots per game.
In 6 games without Drouin, Mackinnon had 8 goals and 3 assists.
Jonathan Drouin - 39GP-34G-38A-82P, +37, 6 Powerplay Goals, 4 Shorthanded Goals, 4 Game Winners & as a winger, his faceoffs are irrelevant but he is 43% on spot duty.
Shoots at 24.8% and averages 3.5 shots per game.
In 10 games in February without Mackinnon has 10 goals and 16 assists.
Clearly both players can step up in absence of one and other, which is impressive because without ‘the other half’ playing, defensive attention is almost certainly increased. Drouin is often known as a playmaker, but with an elite shooting percentage of 24.8%, he’s more of a complete offensive player who prefers the pass. My theory on his astronomical shooting percentage is that his hands bring him into optimal shooting areas, and having Nathan Mackinnon as a two-way centre couldn’t really hurt anyones production. As for Mackinnon, most fans would agree that he has gone through some very ‘snakebitten’ phases at different points this year, so his shooting ability is a little better than 15% tells you.
Now a look into how their production ties together.
In 35 games they’ve played together so far this season:
Drouin (35-29-43-72) has 14 goals and 14 assists that don’t involve Mackinnon. He’s had 15 goals assisted by Mackinnon
Mackinnon (35-20-35-58) has 8 goals and 8 assists that don’t involve Drouin. He’s had 12 goals assisted by Drouin.
There has been 17 times where the two have captured both assists on a linemates goal.
These numbers mean that when they play together, 76% of Mackinnons production involves Drouin and 61% of Drouins production involves Mackinnon. I’m no expert on the production relationship of these statistics, but 76% seems pretty high for a linemate.
This tells me at least what many seem to think already – Drouin is the better offensive player. But after I factor in the differences I have seen in 15+ games on defense, which cannot be measured (board play, help down low, backchecking etc.) I still see Nathan Mackinnon being the more polished and ready prospect.
Who is going to go first at the draft? That’s for scouts to decide. It would take some brassy ones to take Drouins sky-high offensive potential over Mackinnons solid rounded game.
All I can say is that I’m happy it isn’t my choice to make.
Is there anything else that you think I can isolate to help the analysis given these statistics?
MacKinnon is the better all around player ala Toews, Drouin reminds me more of Kane because he has more elite offensive ability, if you were to compare to players on the same team. Tough choice, but dont really see them being the wrong choice either way
Thanks for the info and analysis but like you hit on, you have to take other things into account. Is either one seeing a surge in their production when playing weaker teams? What kind of teams have both played against with the other out? Is either directly impacting the others production or are they seeing a lot of secondary assists?
It's really nitpicking as both are great but Huberdeau is a great example of why you can't go with stats. A lot have him as ROY but he is benefitting greatly from A) Shore's hard work and Mueller's passing B) last man to the net and able to get a stick on the loose puck C) feasting on the teams in the Southeast. The southeast is one of the worst defensively and in goal this year that the teams are feasting on each other for points. The big thing is that the large majority of Huberdeau's offense has come against southeast or non-playoff teams. When he faces tougher competition, his scoring disappears. Is he a bad player? Not at all as he is just in the perfect situation to make a killing.
In the long run, MacKinnon will be the better player, if he isn't already, and the better point producer. The way he was used in the WJC was awful from coach Spott. Look at how he peeled the competition in the Memorial Cup. That is a player worthy of superstar status there.