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An interesting article MG should read


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#1 Tyler Song

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:31 AM

I came across this article from Global Saskatoon about the birthday bias in the NHL drafts. I know MG is a very innovative GM in this league, maybe he can read this aritcle and hopefully this will help him discover some hidden talents like Zetterberg and Datsyuk.

The article states that the players born early in the year are more likely to be drafted because of their good resumes, but they can be very misleading when used to predict future success. The author argues that these good resumes are simply the result of size and muturity advantage older players have on younger players who are born later in the year. While younger players do not have the physical advantage on older players, they generally work harder to stay competitve. As these younger players mature, they tend to develop better work ethics because many of them have been under harder competition throughout their midget and junior hockey careers. Statistics have shown that players born later in the year are more likely to have more successful NHL careers than those born early in the year.

Some of our noticible draftees in recent years:
Nicklas Jensen - born in March
Cody Hodgson - born in February (traded for Zack Kassian - born in January)
Brendan Gaunce - born in March
Michael Grabner - born in October
Jordan Schroeder - born in September
Frankie Corrado - born in March
Kevin Cannauton - born in February
Patrick White - born in January

Our core group: (drafted or discovered out of nowhere by Canucks)
Henrik Sedin - born in September
Daniel Sedin - born in September
Alex Burrows - born in April
Ryan Kesler - born in August
Alex Edler - born in April
Kevin Bieksa: born in June
Cory Schneider - born in March
Chris Tanev - born in December

As you can see, with the exception of Cory Schneider, none of our core group players are born in the first three months of the year, unlike most of our young prospects. Of course I want all of our prospects to develop very successful careers with Canucks, but their early success in Junior hockey do not necessarily guarantee success in NHL over a long term.

I am not saying that all the future drafts shall be spend on players born later in the year, but the concept in this article sure can be applied to help our management and scouting staff make better decisions.

http://www.globalsas...7931/story.html

TORONTO – Sidney Crosby. John Tavares. Henrik Zetterberg.

These hockey heavyweights all have a few things in common: they're born later in the year but are top NHL point leaders, a contradiction to a 'birthday bias' that exists in sports.

A new study looking at Canadian hockey players drafted into the NHL over the course of nearly three decades suggest that while the birthday bias exists, it doesn't accurately predict talent or success. Turns out, players born later in the year end up scoring more points and playing more minutes on the ice compared to their counterparts born earlier in the year.

"There's no doubt that drafting professional athletes is an inexact science. Plenty of sure-fire first-round picks fizzle while some late-round picks unexpectedly become stars. But our results show that, at least since 1980, NHL teams have been consistently fooled by players’ birthday…," said Dr. Robert Deaner, lead researcher in the study.

“They greatly underestimate the promise of players born in the second half of the year, the ones who have always been relatively younger than their peers. For any given draft slot, relatively younger players are about twice as likely to be successful,” he said.

Deaner is a professor at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.

All Canadian-born skaters drafted into NHL included in study

Deaner and his team studied all Canadian-born skaters drafted into the NHL between 1980 and 2006 for their study. There were over 2,700 in total — half played at least a game while another quarter played at least 200 career games, or three to six seasons.

At first, Deaner meant to look into aggression in NHL players, but after reading popular journalist Malcolm Gladwell's take on relative age effects in his novel Outliers, Deaner studied birth month and aggression.

Instead, he noticed a relationship between birth month and career length.

Results showed that on average, NHL draft picks born between July and December are much more likely than those born in January, February or March, to have successful careers.

Those born in the first three months of the year make up 36 per cent of all draftees, but they only played 28 per cent of games and only scored 25 per cent of the points.

On the other hand, players born in the last few months of the year played 42 per cent of the games and scored 44 per cent of points accumulated by those studied.

Birthday bias, underdog effect at play in hockey

Previous research has already pointed to this birthday bias, in which athletes on the older end of their age group are more likely to get picked.

In elite Canadian youth ice hockey – the CHL or the CJHL – about 40 per cent of players are born in the first three months of the year while only 15 per cent are born in the last three months, for example.

This bias starts early on in an athlete’s career, from special coaching time to more opportunities to be seen by key scouts.

“One possibility is that relatively young players are less likely to play in the top junior leagues, and the NHL teams generally prefer to draft from the top leagues,” Deaner told Global News.

The boys born earlier in the year may be taller and slightly more experienced than their counterparts, giving them an edge.

Still, that leaves the younger players with a knack for fighting harder to get noticed and to catch up with their peers.

“It’s called an underdog effect. This would involve relatively younger individuals developing better work habits so that they improve their skills more in adulthood,” Deaner explained.

“The idea is that they’ve always had to find a way to make it against older, larger players.”

Right now, it’s unclear if this effect exists in sports but it’s been studied in academics.

Birthday bias starts early on

Andrew Mercer, an Ottawa-based goalie coach who’s trained players for about 15 years, says he sees younger players foster these hardworking habits early on.

“As you’re growing up you’re constantly playing against those players born later in the year,” Mercer said.

He’s owner of Andrew Mercer Hockey Development, a year-round, full-time goalie training school.

“You see this effect right in front of you,” he explained.

Players born earlier in the year are more physically developed, and because they’ve had a history of getting more ice-time or opportunities from coaches, they have a fleshed out resume.

“NHL teams are looking at your midget stats and what you’ve done throughout and they’ll see this person has done quite well and he’s a good size,” he said.

“In drafting, they’ll try to do projections of what the player will turn into in a number of years but you have to take the best player available. That’s why I think those players go earlier in the draft or get drafted in the first place.”

Meanwhile, the younger players stick it out in smaller leagues. But they’re working hard to catch up, and because they’re a bigger fish in a smaller pond, they get more time to hone their skills.

Deaner focused his study on Canadian players because in Canadian youth ice hockey, there is a Jan. 1 cut-off date – players born later in the year would have been consistently younger than their age group.

But the bias isn’t unique to Canadian players, he said, noting that it’s the same in drafting players from most European countries.

Deaner says his next steps are to explore if NHL teams generally prefer to draft from the top leagues, excluding players in smaller pools.

His complete findings were published Wednesday in the journal Public Library of Science or PLoS ONE.

carmen.chai@globalnews.ca

Read it on Global News: Global Saskatoon | Is the NHL drafting the wrong players because of a hockey birthday bias?


discuss.

Edited by Tyler Song, 28 February 2013 - 03:32 AM.




#2 Primus099

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 04:30 AM

lol stopped reading after the thing about the guys being born earlier in the year having a size and maturity advantage, sorry but being born 6 months earlier doesn't make that big a difference

Edited by Primus099, 28 February 2013 - 04:31 AM.


#3 dura_mater

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 05:17 AM

lol stopped reading after the thing about the guys being born earlier in the year having a size and maturity advantage, sorry but being born 6 months earlier doesn't make that big a difference


Yes actually it does give the athlete an advantage during childhood. Another example of this is when girls are stronger than boys around the ages of 11-13 (can't remember exact age range) as they hit puberty sooner. And the point of the article is, for those too lazy to read it all, that DURING CHILDHOOD you are grouped based on age and those born earlier in the year, for example January, are 10 months older than those children born later in the year, for example November. 10 months isn't that big a difference for adults, but it is a HUGE difference for children in both physical and mental maturity. Strength, dexterity, fine and gross motor skills, the development of neural pathways in learning etc etc are developing much quicker in these older (even by 10 months) child athletes whom are competing in the same league as children 10 months younger than them.

How does this translate to adulthood? Well for one think of how many of these children (born later in the year) are left behind because they can't compete on the same level, are physically intimidated etc etc and are given up on or are not having fun and thus no longer continue to play. I think the authors are a bit off with their reason for some of the more skilled players being born later in the year though. I don't think it is necessarily that they develop better work ethics but that, in order to compete against other children physically and mentally superior to them they have to be really damn talented - and THAT is how they manage to compensate for being 10 months younger.

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#4 John.Tallhouse

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 05:36 AM

Brutal....
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#5 timberz21

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:01 AM

Edler and Burrows are good players because they are born in April,

but Jensen and Gaunce will be bust because they are born in March ?!?!?

#6 spliced

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:02 AM

My first thought is it's probably not enough of a difference to change opinion on individual players taken early. But maybe as you get into the late rounds and try to find some reason why a player is being overlooked it might be something to consider.

The other thing to consider is the birthday of players as it relates to when they become draft eligible. I think you have to be 18 by Sept 15th of the draft year. So a guy born Sept 16 and another guy born 364 days later on Sept 14th would be eligible for the same draft, but the Sept 16th guy will be almost a year older and thus his stats aren't as impressive since he has that age advantage.

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#7 CB007

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:46 AM

Yes actually it does give the athlete an advantage during childhood. Another example of this is when girls are stronger than boys around the ages of 11-13 (can't remember exact age range) as they hit puberty sooner. And the point of the article is, for those too lazy to read it all, that DURING CHILDHOOD you are grouped based on age and those born earlier in the year, for example January, are 10 months older than those children born later in the year, for example November. 10 months isn't that big a difference for adults, but it is a HUGE difference for children in both physical and mental maturity. Strength, dexterity, fine and gross motor skills, the development of neural pathways in learning etc etc are developing much quicker in these older (even by 10 months) child athletes whom are competing in the same league as children 10 months younger than them.

How does this translate to adulthood? Well for one think of how many of these children (born later in the year) are left behind because they can't compete on the same level, are physically intimidated etc etc and are given up on or are not having fun and thus no longer continue to play. I think the authors are a bit off with their reason for some of the more skilled players being born later in the year though. I don't think it is necessarily that they develop better work ethics but that, in order to compete against other children physically and mentally superior to them they have to be really damn talented - and THAT is how they manage to compensate for being 10 months younger.


Yes, Seth Godin has covered this in his marketing book "Marketers are Liars" many years ago.

The playing field has levelled out a bit over the last 10 years as scouts coaches and GM's have discovered this bias and post junior development has received more attention, but it is still something worth looking at.
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#8 Mr. White

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:01 AM

Gretzky - January
Bobby Orr - March
Gordie Howe - March
Stamkos - February
Vanek - January
Giroux - January

Is that enough?
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#9 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:10 AM

Hard to believe there's a website dedicated to this useless stat, but...

2011-12 stats - Leaders by birth month

January: Giroux 93pts
February: Stamkos 97pts
March: Parenteau 67pts
April: Kovalchuk 83pts
May: Karlsson 78pts
June: Spezza 89ts
July: Malking 109pts
August: Kopitar 76pts
September: Neal 81pts
October: Kessel 82pts
November: Pomminville 73pts
December: Sharp 69pts


Mother of God. Look!

Um...

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#10 Forsy

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:15 AM

Gretzky - January
Bobby Orr - March
Gordie Howe - March
Stamkos - February
Vanek - January
Giroux - January

Is that enough?

Those are terrible players, apparently.

But maybe their Zodiac Signs have to be taken into account...

#11 ForsbergTheGreat

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:39 AM

I can definitely agree with this since i was born in December, If I were born 18 days later I would have been playing against a completely different age group. instead of being top 10 in the league in my sophomore year it would have been my rookie year. Maturity plays a huge role in building confidence. Unlike the rare Crosby and Ovechkin who tear the league up in their first year. It takes time to mature into the league.


Not saying all late year Birth dates are better than early ones but I can definitely see the where the author is coming from

Edited by ForsbergTheGreat, 28 February 2013 - 09:55 AM.


#12 disisdayear

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:02 AM

I was born in November...there was hitting at all levels when I played as a kid and I got the sh!t kicked out of me on a regular basis. Thank goodness I was the fastest on any team I played until I was 14 (my speed developed quickly on the account of having to run/skate away from the bigger kids 9-10 months older than me who were trying to beat me up).

I was always waiting for my growth spurt that never came...damn genetics!!! Now, I'm old and and out of shape (round is still a shape isn't it?).

That's a good out-of-the-box article, but I'm sure MG and his staff have studied this in great detail already.

#13 Derp...

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:34 AM

Depends on your genetics. Puberty, which is really what separates players at a young age size wise, isn't a set date. There are still players born in the early months that arn't as big size wise, and often players born later in the year that may develop that size first.

Your not gonna pass on a first round pick cause of they birthday for a second rounder who's supposedly more advantageous age wise. I think late pick should almost always be as young as possible because they are just projects anyways. give them the time to develop skills.
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#14 canucks_qc

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:05 AM

lol stopped reading after the thing about the guys being born earlier in the year having a size and maturity advantage, sorry but being born 6 months earlier doesn't make that big a difference


Jordan Schroeder, 5'8", does it mean if he was born in in Febuary he would have been 6'4" today? He is a small guy, it doesn't matter when he was born, he wouldn't have been bigger no matter what.

Just saying, I'm 3 years yougner than one of my cousin, I always been about 5 or 6 inches taller than him, by now I'm 24 he'll be 27 this summer, he's about 3 inches smaller than me, whe aren't talking about a few months here but years. That is a ridiculous topic, the month you born don't make any difference, it only depend on when you'll have your "big year" to grow up.

We have more than we think in common with ''Le Canadien de Montréal''

Both have logo shapped in ''C''

Canadien and Canucks mean the samething

We both hate the Boston Bruins now

Alain Vigneault coached both teams

Rogers Arena, Centre Bell, it's phones company

We are blue white and green they are blue white and red

Our #1 goalie is from Qc, their #1 goalie is from BC


But we have one important thing different and I hope it will change after the next season, we don't have Stanley Cup banner


#15 VanIsleNuckFan

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:21 PM

It's a good point that counts on a few levels when looking at prospects, something that could tip the scales when looking at two equally skilled players possibly?




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