JamesB Posted July 30, 2015 Share Posted July 30, 2015 As I have 2,999 posts so far I thought I should try to provide some useful analysis for post #3,000. I have been wondering about reasonable performance targets for the Canuck prospects: in light of draft position, is the prospect on track so far, ahead of the curve or behind the curve? And what does he need to do next year to stay on track? I won't cover Baertschi or Corrado as they will be on the Canucks this year. My favorite analysis of the relationship between draft position and performance is http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/analyzing-value-nhl-draft-picks/. Top draft picks (1-5 overall) almost always become good NHL players but the probabilities drop off fast. By the time we get to #15 overall the probability of playing 200+ games in the NHL drops to about 50%, and that probability is down to about 30% for second round picks, 20% for 3rd round picks and 15% for 4th round picks. 1. Jake Virtanen. As a #6 overall pick in his draft+2 year Jake will need to do a lot just be on track. Most top 10 picks plays significant time in the NHL in their draft+2 season (and almost no one else does). To be on track for a #6 pick Jake needs to be at least good enough to get a 9-game tryout with the Canucks and will be slightly behind the norm if he is sent down. If he does go back to Junior he needs to score at least 1.3 points per game (PPG), make the Canadian Juniors in the top 6 and play well in the world Juniors. Last year he was good, making progress in his defensive game, making the Canadian juniors in the bottom 6, and showing he could play physically at the pro level in Utica. But his scoring rate was disappointing and did not improve from the previous year. He was slightly behind the curve for last year. At the end of the season he was ranked only #31 in the HF prospect rankings, well below Ehlers (#3) and Nylander (#11), where were picked after him. 2. Thatcher Demko. He will be back at Boston College (BC) in 2015-16 but the Canucks have talked about getting him to turn pro and play in Utica after the college season is over. He had an excellent year and had successful surgery to correct his longstanding hip problem. He is ahead of the curve. If he can have another good year at BC and be good enough to play for Utica at the end of the season that would be very good. 3. Jared McCann. As a fairly low first rounder (#24) overall, his expected performance is less than a #6 pick and he had exceeded that expectation so far. (Fewer than half of the #24 picks play 200+ games in the NHL whereas over 90% of #6 picks do.) McCann had an excellent season in the OHL last year, scoring better than 1.4 PPG and being a very good defensive forward as well. If he raises his scoring even slightly (to the 1.5 PPG level), makes the Canadian world junior team and continues to gain strength he will be continue to be ahead of the curve for a #24 pick. He does not have Virtanen's physical game or speed, but some people have McCann as pretty close to Virtanen in potential right now. 4. Brock Boesser. The #23 overall pick in 2015 will be a freshman for North Dakota in the NCAA next year. To be on track he needs to be one of the best players on the team this year, and needs to score close to 1 PPG. If he exceeds 1 PPG and make the US World Junior team he will be ahead of the curve for a #23 overall pick in his draft +1 year. 5. Cole Cassels. For a 3rd round picks Cassels is way ahead of the curve. The vast majority of 3rd rounders do not became NHL regulars and most do not even become good AHL players. To stay ahead of the curve Cassels needs to play an effective two-way game in the AHL, playing center in the bottom 6. If he ends up playing 2C and scoring close to half a point a game in the AHL that would be excellent performance and have him on track to help the Canucks at 3C or 4C a couple of years after that. Right now his trajectory is more like a low first round pick rather than a third round pick. 6. Other forwards: Shinkaruk (draft +3), Gaunce (draft +4), Jensen (draft +5), Grenier (draft +5) As a 3rd round pick, Grenier is actually slightly ahead of the curve as it looks like he has a better than 50-50 chance of making the Canucks this year or next. He made a lot of progress last year but he needs to continue to improve this year. He is big and strong and tough, but has improved his defensive play. He needs to score maybe .75 PPG game playing in the top 6 for the Comets to be on track to make the Canucks. He should get some playing time on the Canucks this year in the bottom 6. This is a make or break year for him as next year he will be waiver-eligible. For a low first round pick, Jensen is behind the curve. He is not strong defensively and does not play a physical game. He needs to score and guys like him need to score at close to the 1 PPG level in the AHL to have a good shot at the NHL. He needs to make a big step forward this year. In fact, not many potential top 6 forwards are still in the AHL through the draft+5 season. His best bet might be try to re-invent himself as a high intensity defensively responsible bottom 6 forward. He has not lived up to expectations for a low first round pick so far. Gaunce and Shinkaruk both had decent years last year but both are probably slightly behind the curve for low first round picks. They look more like high second round picks at present. Gaunce has a better chance as he projects as a bottom 6 forward and has the size, strength and physical game to play that role. Shinkaruk is top 6 or nothing and right now nothing looks more likely than top 6. If Gaunce can score at about .5 PPG in Utica and play a "heavy" defensive game he will be on track and should get a look on the Canucks this year or next at some point. Shinkaruk needs to score at least 0.75 PPG this year playing in the top 6 at Utica. Defensive Prospects: Pedan, Tryamkin, Subban, Hutton, McEneny, Sautner Things are wide open on D. None of these guys are high picks. So it is "wait and see". It would nice to see one or two emerge as premium prospects this year. I like Pedan so far. Sorry for the long write-up. Maybe I got carried away. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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