After a brief mention of it last year, we’ve decided to provide a monthly update on each of the Philadelphia Flyers’ prospects NHL equivalency projections (or NHLe). As stated when the original article was posted last season, this is by no means a perfect way to measure how a prospect is developing, but it one of the better measures we currently have at our disposal.
In the first installment of what will be a monthly column, we will take a look at how each Philadelphia Flyers’ prospect is doing in terms of NHL equivalency (NHLe). Thanks to two of the most important people in the field of hockey analytics, Gabriel Desjardins and Rob Vollman, we are able to easily translate what a prospect’s point production would like look if they were to have played the same number of games in the NHL. The creator of the stat, Desjardins, sums it up like this:
“One way to evaluate the difficulty of one league relative to another is examine the relative performance of players who have played in both leagues. Players rarely play significant time in two leagues in the same year, but they often play in one league in one year and in another the next. As long as a player’s skill level is approximately constant over this two year period, the ratio of his performance in each league can be used to estimate the relative difficulty of the two leagues.”
Now again, this is far from a perfect statistic. Certain players may be getting time on the power play for their junior or collegiate team when they may end up not getting that reward once (if) they reach the NHL. A player that is a first-line forward on their junior or collegiate team may only end up being a bottom-six forward with limited ice time once they reach the NHL. With that being said, since the prospect pool is still one of the more intriguing aspects of being a Flyers’ fan at the moment, it’s worth the time to dig into each prospect’s projected production at the next level.
The final NHLe is a product of a simple math formula. To put all prospects on a level playing field we need to have the total games played by each prospect to be equal. Since we’re looking at production at the NHL level, the number of games we projected each player to play over a season was 82 games. We take 82 and divide it by the number of games they have played to date, then multiply it by the number of points they have to date. We take that product and multiply it by the NHLe translation factor. Since prospect’s can’t record partial points, the prospect’s final NHLe for this exercise is always rounded down.
That’s probably a lot to follow, so let’s use an example. Let’s look at Gavin Hain, the team’s sixth round pick who has one assist in three games with the University of North Dakota, whose hockey team is in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). One point in three games is equal to 27.333 points over 82 games. Multiply 27.333 by Vollman’s NCHC translation rate of 0.439 to get 11.999 points. Keeping in mind we’re rounding down for this exercise, Hain’s currently producing at a rate equivalent to 11 points in 82 NHL games.
With all of that out of the way, let’s see how the kids have done through November 1st:
NHLe through November 1st
|Player||Team||League||Age||Year in League||Games||Goals||Assists||Points||82-game NHLe|
|Player||Team||League||Age||Year in League||Games||Goals||Assists||Points||82-game NHLe|
|Morgan Frost||SSM Greyhounds||OHL||19||4||17||12||20||32||49|
|Wyatt Kalynuk||University of Wisconsin||NCAA (Big Ten)||21||2||6||4||5||9||40|
|Isaac Ratcliffe||Guelph Storm||OHL||19||4||15||13||8||21||37|
|Matthew Strome||Hamilton Bulldogs||OHL||19||4||15||6||13||19||33|
|Nicolas Aube-Kubel||Philadelphia Flyers||NHL||22||1||2||0||0||0||28|
|Tanner Laczynski||Ohio State University||NCAA (Big Ten)||21||3||5||2||3||5||27|
|German Rubtsov||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||20||1||9||4||2||6||26|
|Philippe Myers||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||21||2||9||3||3||6||26|
|Mark Friedman||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||22||3||9||1||5||6||26|
|David Kase||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||21||1||6||2||2||4||26|
|Noah Cates||University of Minnesota-Duluth||NCAA (NCHC)||19||1||8||3||3||6||26|
|Wyatte Wylie||Everett Silvertips||WHL||19||4||15||2||11||13||21|
|Mikhail Vorobyev||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||21||2||1||0||0||0||20|
|Tyrell Goulbourne||Philadelphia Flyers||NHL||24||2||0||0||0||0||17|
|Taylor Leier||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||24||4||7||0||3||3||17|
|Olle Lycksell||Linkoping HC||SHL||19||2||15||1||4||5||16|
|Connor Bunnaman||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||20||1||5||1||1||2||15|
|Maxim Sushko||Owen Sound Attack||OHL||19||3||15||3||6||9||15|
|Cole Bardreau||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||25||5||9||2||1||3||13|
|Mike Vecchione||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||25||2||9||2||1||3||13|
|Joel Farabee||Boston University||NCAA (Hockey East)||18||1||5||2||0||2||12|
|Gavin Hain||University of North Dakota||NCAA (NCHC)||18||1||3||0||1||1||11|
|Yegor Zamula||Calgary Hitmen||WHL||18||2||15||1||6||7||11|
|Brendan Warren||University of Michigan||NCAA (Big Ten)||21||4||5||1||1||2||10|
|Valeri Vasiliev||Severstal Cherepovets||KHL||24||7||15||1||1||2||8|
|Marcus Westfalt||Brynas IF||SHL||18||2||6||0||0||0||7|
|Radel Fazleev||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||22||3||6||0||1||1||6|
|Carsen Twarynski||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||20||2||7||0||1||1||5|
|David Bernhardt||Djurgardens IF||SHL||20||3||9||0||1||1||5|
|Linus Hogberg||Vaxjo Lakers HC||SHL||20||4||14||1||0||1||3|
|Adam Ginning||Linkoping HC||SHL||18||3||15||1||0||1||3|
|Sam Morin||Philadelphia Flyers||NHL||23||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|Pascal Laberge||Philadelphia Flyers||NHL||20||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|Wade Allison||Western Michigan University||NCAA (NCHC)||21||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|Jack St. Ivany||Yale University||NCAA (ECAC)||19||1||1||0||0||0||0|
|Reece Willcox||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||24||4||4||0||0||0||0|
|Jay O'Brien||Providence University||NCAA (Hockey East)||18||1||4||0||0||0||0|
- To the surprise of no one, Morgan Frost is killing it in the OHL. After he finished second in the OHL in scoring last season with 112 points in 67 games, Frost is stockpiling points yet again with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds as he has 12 goals and 20 helpers for 32 points in the first 17 games of the campaign.
- One of the biggest surprises (if not the biggest) is the point production of defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk. The 2017 seventh-round pick is a 21-year-old sophomore at the University of Wisconsin and currently leads the team with nine points through six games after he totaled 25 points in 37 games last season with the Badgers. To go along with the (most likely unsustainable) boost to his points-per-game average, Kalynuk is also taking more shots early in the season as he’s averaging three a game at the moment as compared to last year’s average of 2.62 (97 shots in 37 games). To date he has one three-point game, a pair of two-point games, and one game-winning goal. Kalynuk faces off against Hain and the University of North Dakota tonight and tomorrow.
- Both German Rubtsov and David Kase are producing pretty well in their first seasons in the AHL. After he averaged exactly one point per game over his 65-game QMJHL career, Rubtsov has six points in his first nine professional games thanks to four goals on 17 shots on goal. Following a few frustrating seasons with Pirati Chomutuv in Czech’s Tipsport Extraliga, Kase has seemingly carried over the success of his lone season with Mora IK in the SHL to North America. With a pair of both goals and assists, Kase currently sits ninth on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in scoring. Both Rubtsov and Kase are performing well in terms of puck possession to go along with their point production, as Rubtsov has a relative corsi for percentage of 2.45 and Kase has a relative corsi for percentage of 1.46.
- A player who hasn’t made as clean a jump to the AHL is Carsen Twarynski. After being one of the final cuts for the Flyers during training camp, Twarynski only has one assist in his first seven games during his first full professional season. To make matters worse, his 42.64 corsi for percentage has resulted in a -6.23 relative corsi for percentage. It’s still early in the season and jumping from the WHL to the AHL full time is a big adjustment, but hopefully the power forward that potted 45 goals in 68 games for the Kelowna Rockets last season returns to his goal scoring ways.
- Staying with the idea of players getting acclimated to new leagues, several Flyers’ prospects are enduring their first handful of games in the NCAA. A few months after a 55-point campaign in the USHL, Cates has three goals and three assists in his first games with the University of Minnesota-Duluth. After he captained last year’s U.S. National U-18 team, Farabee has a pair of goals and is third on the team with 16 shots through Boston University’s first five games. Hain has one assist in UND’s first three games of the season to go along with two shots on goal and a rating of plus-1. Both Jay O’Brien and Jack St. Ivany are looking for their first collegiate points at the University of Providence and Yale University respectively.