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Debunking EG's Fancy Stats


Derp...

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First off, I think analytics are important. I use them everyday at work, but by no means am I creating sports analytics or anything of the sort. At there best analytics help people make educated guesses by observing trends in my experience. There is value in that for a business and there product, as well as human performance analytics, sleep studies etc. Also, I was pretty mad when this deal happened, and still am not very happy just because I like McCann as an entertaining hockey player to watch and cheer for more so than Gudbranson, but that's beside the point.

 

The problem I have with analytics is when it gets applied to hockey players as a metric of success or failure without proper indication of accuracy or explanation.

 

Our favourite defenseman to bash during the season is usually Luca Sbisa Canucks fans should have a very good understanding of how Sbisa was used, when he was used, what his strengths and weaknesses on the ice are from just the eye test. Let's look at his fancy stats.

Spoiler

sbisa.png

 

As you can see he is not a very good defenseman by these numbers.

 

Now lets look at Erik Gudbranson.

Spoiler

gudbranson.png

 

 

Well it looks like Gudbranson is almost identical to Sbisa in a lot of ways doesn't it? Ever so slightly better in every area though. But it's so little that most people would say they are probably the same. Did we just get a right handed Sbisa clone? No. Here's why.

Looking at their actual zone start data shows a few important factors.

 

Zone starts:

Sbisa: 52.23% (164OZ, 150DZ)

 

Gudbranson: 42.72% (267OZ, 358DZ)

 

These two players have almost identical HERO charts yet as you can see there deployment was entirely different.

 

Gudbranson averaged 5.6 Dzone starts per game

Sbisa averaged 3.6

 

Gudbranson averaged 4.2 Ozone starts per game

Sbisa averaged 4

 

What this can easily indicate to you is that Offensively per game Sbisa and Gudbranson were used about the same amount. But let's dig deeper.

 

Sbisa's on ice team shooting percentage was 8.1% on one of the lowest scoring teams in the league

Gudbransons on ice team shooting percentage was 7.7% on a top 10 scoring team where Willie Mitchell had 9%

 

Gudbranson was unlucky not to have more goals scored for his team while on the ice, where as Sbisa was fairly lucky having the second highest behind only Edler at 8.4%. Now we know that skill and luck of the other players on your team while your on the ice contributes to perceived success.

 

What about those 2 extra D zone starts per game?

 

Florida was a 50.1% faceoff team this year. Gudbranson took 0 faceoffs. We can assume that his team lost 1 of those, and were much more likely to give up a shot in that scenario even though he wouldn't play a significant role in winning those draws. At that point it's up to his forward to block a point shot, for him to block it, or for his goalie to save it. In the modern NHL many teams prefer to let their goalie see the shot, while others are in the block everything mode. It's one or the other and this can skew stats because the styles of play are so polarizing.

 

Florida was one of the "don't block the shot teams," because they have, guess who? Roberto Luongo in net. They were a bottom 10 team in unblocked shot attempts against shots, and unblocked shot attempts against while the score is tied. Even worse they were 25th in the league at suppressing shots while they were leading a game, which happened a lot this year.

 

Now some people may say that is Gudbransons fault, because he was used defensively and he should be preventing those shots and getting his team shots on goal, but this is a team game. Style of play and coaching has so much affect on statistics, that it is not fair to assume Gudbranson's shots for and against are a product of his play alone. 

 

http://www.nhl.com/stats/team?reportType=season&report=teamsummaryshooting&season=20152016&gameType=2&sort=unblockedShotAttemptsAhead&aggregate=0

 

 

How does he compare to the Canucks D?

Now comes the fun part. How much did the Canucks miss Luca Sbisa while he was injured? They were noticeably worse in there own zone. Sbisa, although he was not effective at helping generate shots for or preventing shots against, he was effective at keeping the puck out of our net (high danger scoring chances). Through his 41 games this year he was a +5. Even with that horrendous hero chart he was on the ice for 5 more goals for than against, weird right? Gudbranson was a +3 through 64 games of being a terrible corsi player on a team that bleeds shots while they are tied or ahead in the game. Can you see what I'm getting at?

 

The closest zone start comparisons for Gudbranson on the Canucks were none other than Alex Edler and Chris Tanev. That means he was being deployed in a similar manner to the Canucks top 2 defenceman. Edler had a -95 shot attempt differential this year, including his PP time. Gudbranson was -123, but if you average those out over games played.

 

Edler: -1.81 shot attempts against per game with 41.43% zone stars (+/- = -8)

Gudbranson: -1.92 shot attempts against per game with 42.72% zone starts (+/- = +3)

 

Wait did we just start comparing our top paring Dman Edler to Gudbranson? Yes

 

In there own zone Edler and Gudbranson are very similar at suppressing shot attempts even though Gudbranson is 5 years younger. The difference being that while Edler is on the ice so is Tanev.

 

Tanev: -0.33 shot attempts against per game with 43.34% zone starts (+/- = -8)

 

Tanev is an elite player at shot Suppression helping boost anybodies Corsi stats including Edlers. But has similar scoring rates to Gudbranson.

 

 

What I'm trying to get here is that Gudbranson relative to Canucks players looks like this:

 

1. His deployment is right in the middle of our best 2 defenceman

2. He suppresses shot attempts at a very similar rate but probably better than Alex Edler

3. He scores at a similar rate to Sbisa/Chris Tanev

4. He prevents goals (high danger chances) better than Edler and Tanev given the similar deployment

 

I expect that he will be our #3 Dman next year and as such our team +/- will increase and goalie sv% as well. We should compare this to what happens in Florida ^^

 

The Gud news is we got a top 3 defenseman who prevents goals better than anyone else on our team.

 

********As a note: There are tons of variables in this data that when picked apart will probably discredit any statement. But that's just analytics.********

 

I'll just leave these here as well. Maybe some hope for the future and perspective for today

Spoiler

staal.png

 

Spoiler

Seabrook.png

 

 

Additional Supporting Info:

http://www.vancourier.com/pass-it-to-bulis/putting-the-erik-gudbranson-trade-in-context-1.2266986

http://www.vancourier.com/pass-it-to-bulis/analytic-deep-dive-into-erik-gudbranson-1.2268528

 

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I also use analytics aat work at work regularly (data mining enterprise resource software) in order to maximize efficiency for businesses.

 

The math helps with trends and specific measurables, but is far from perfect.  This is especially true in hockey where there are way more variables than in baseball which is very controlled.

 

Can you quantify easily the intimidation factor of a player like Chara when we were up against him in the playoffs?  The Sedins and opposing forwards effectively wilted when he was in the ice and just dumped the puck in.  Can you easily quantify how much bigger his team played with him in the lineup?

 

I like this trade because it is a part we desperately needed and had very limited choices to fill.  The UFA RHDs out there would have cost much more and for longer term.

 

I think you also have to look at it in the bigger picture of re-tooling an entire D corps over 2-3 seasons.

 

XXX-Tanev

Hutton-Gudbranson

Tryamkin-XXXX

 

Solid young D, light on offense... but with the size of a couple of the guys you can afford to throw in whatever small skilled guy we have that makes a case for himself.  Subban doesn't look so small when his defence partner is Tryamkin or Gudbranson.

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This is good - nice job. You can't take over simplified stats and make massive value judgements and your analysis shows this very well, there's just way too many things that have to go into a full vetting of a player. 

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Gudbranson is such a steal!  How did Edmonton miss out on this guy?   

 

This is trade is great on so many levels. 

 

First we we get a top 4 RHD and do a lot to fix or defence this upcoming season.

 

2nd, we don't give up any roster players (McCann was Utica bound) and keep our 5th.

 

3rd deny a divisional opponent a player they desperately need to improve their defence. 

 

Awesome stats breakdown DERP.  You should post that on TSN's comment section on the Yost article and show his editors how to properly evaluate Analytics and write about it. 

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41 minutes ago, Provost said:

I also use analytics aat work at work regularly (data mining enterprise resource software) in order to maximize efficiency for businesses.

 

The math helps with trends and specific measurables, but is far from perfect.  This is especially true in hockey where there are way more variables than in baseball which is very controlled.

 

Can you quantify easily the intimidation factor of a player like Chara when we were up against him in the playoffs?  The Sedins and opposing forwards effectively wilted when he was in the ice and just dumped the puck in.  Can you easily quantify how much bigger his team played with him in the lineup?

 

I like this trade because it is a part we desperately needed and had very limited choices to fill.  The UFA RHDs out there would have cost much more and for longer term.

 

I think you also have to look at it in the bigger picture of re-tooling an entire D corps over 2-3 seasons.

 

XXX-Tanev

Hutton-Gudbranson

Tryamkin-XXXX

 

Solid young D, light on offense... but with the size of a couple of the guys you can afford to throw in whatever small skilled guy we have that makes a case for himself.  Subban doesn't look so small when his defence partner is Tryamkin or Gudbranson.

Hahaha Subban will look even smaller beside them but he might make a good partner with them. Although, I think Tanev would make the best partner for Subban. A smart fast defensive D man with a skilled offensive Dman.

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Good job on the breakdown, and it definitely gives a person something to think about even tho the analytics community is largely bashing the Canucks front office for the trade.  I just hope that we continue on and make some more moves on the back end.  And no, I don't think that it means Sbisa is on the move.  In fact, I can see Edler on the way out of town because of this and trying to get value for him while replacing him with a more durable ufa while our other guys develop on the farm, like Brisebois.

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1 hour ago, Derp... said:

First off, I think analytics are important. I use them everyday at work, but by no means am I creating sports analytics or anything of the sort. At there best analytics help people make educated guesses by observing trends in my experience. There is value in that for a business and there product, as well as human performance analytics, sleep studies etc. Also, I was pretty mad when this deal happened, and still am not very happy just because I like McCann as an entertaining hockey payer to watch and cheer for more so that Gudbranson, but that's beside the point.

 

The problem I have with analytics is when it gets applied to hockey players as a metric of success or failure without proper indication of accuracy or explanation.

 

Our favourite defenseman to bash during the season is usually Luca Sbisa Canucks fans should have a very good understanding of how Sbisa was used, when he was used, what his strengths and weaknesses on the ice are from just the eye test. Let's look at his fancy stats.

  Reveal hidden contents

sbisa.png

 

As you can see he is not a very good defenseman by these numbers.

 

Now lets look at Erik Gudbranson.

  Reveal hidden contents

gudbranson.png

 

 

Well it looks like Gudbranson is almost identical to Sbisa in a lot of ways doesn't it? Ever so slightly better in every area though. But it's so little that most people would say they are probably the same. Did we just get a right handed Sbisa clone? No. Here's why.

Looking at their actual zone start data shows a few important factors.

 

Zone starts:

Sbisa: 52.23% (164OZ, 150DZ)

 

Gudbranson: 42.72% (267OZ, 358DZ)

 

These two players have almost identical HERO charts yet as you can see there deployment was entirely different.

 

Gudbranson averaged 5.6 Dzone starts per game

Sbisa averaged 3.6

 

Gudbranson averaged 4.2 Ozone starts per game

Sbisa averaged 4

 

What this can easily indicate to you is that Offensively per game Sbisa and Gudbranson were used about the same amount. But let's dig deeper.

 

Sbisa's on ice team shooting percentage was 8.1% on one of the lowest scoring teams in the league

Gudbransons on ice team shooting percentage was 7.7% on a top 10 scoring team where Willie Mitchell had 9%

 

Gudbranson was unlucky not to have more goals scored for his team while on the ice, where as Sbisa was fairly lucky having the second highest behind only Edler at 8.4%. Now we know that skill and luck of the other players on your team while your on the ice contributes to perceived success.

 

What about those 2 extra D zone starts per game?

 

Florida was a 50.1% faceoff team this year. Gudbranson took 0 faceoffs. We can assume that his team lost 1 of those, and were much more likely to give up a shot in that scenario even though he wouldn't play a significant role in winning those draws. At that point it's up to his forward to block a point shot, for him to block it, or for his goalie to save it. In the modern NHL many teams prefer to let their goalie see the shot, while others are in the block everything mode. It's one or the other and this can skew stats because the styles of play are so polarizing.

 

Florida was one of the "don't block the shot teams," because they have, guess who? Roberto Luongo in net. They were a bottom 10 team in unblocked shot attempts against shots, and unblocked shot attempts against while the score is tied. Even worse they were 25th in the league at suppressing shots while they were leading a game, which happened a lot this year.

 

Now some people may say that is Gudbransons fault, because he was used defensively and he should be preventing those shots and getting his team shots on goal, but this is a team game. Style of play and coaching has so much affect on statistics, that it is not fair to assume Gudbranson's shots for and against are a product of his play alone. 

 

http://www.nhl.com/stats/team?reportType=season&report=teamsummaryshooting&season=20152016&gameType=2&sort=unblockedShotAttemptsAhead&aggregate=0

 

 

How does he compare to the Canucks D?

Now comes the fun part. How much did the Canucks miss Luca Sbisa while he was injured? They were noticeably worse in there own zone. Sbisa, although he was not effective at helping generate shots for or preventing shots against, he was effective at keeping the puck out of our net (high danger scoring chances). Through his 41 games this year he was a +5. Even with that horrendous hero chart he was on the ice for 5 more goals for than against, weird right? Gudbranson was a +3 through 64 games of being a terrible corsi player on a team that bleeds shots while they are tied or ahead in the game. Can you see what I'm getting at?

 

The closest zone start comparisons for Gudbranson on the Canucks were none other than Alex Edler and Chris Tanev. That means he was being deployed in a similar manner to the Canucks top 2 defenceman. Edler had a -95 shot attempt differential this year, including his PP time. Gudbranson was -123, but if you average those out over games played.

 

Edler: -1.81 shot attempts against per game with 41.43% zone stars (+/- = -8)

Gudbranson: -1.92 shot attempts against per game with 42.72% zone starts (+/- = +3)

 

Wait did we just start comparing our top paring Dman Edler to Gudbranson? Yes

 

In there own zone Edler and Gudbranson are very similar at suppressing shot attempts even though Gudbranson is 5 years younger. The difference being that while Edler is on the ice so is Tanev.

 

Tanev: -0.33 shot attempts against per game with 43.34% zone starts (+/- = -8)

 

Tanev is an elite player at shot Suppression helping boost anybodies Corsi stats including Edlers. But has similar scoring rates to Gudbranson.

 

 

What I'm trying to get here is that Gudbranson relative to Canucks players looks like this:

 

1. His deployment is right in the middle of our best 2 defenceman

2. He suppresses shot attempts at a very similar rate but probably better than Alex Edler

3. He scores at a similar rate to Sbisa/Chris Tanev

4. He prevents goals (high danger chances) better than Edler and Tanev given the similar deployment

 

I expect that he will be our #3 Dman next year and as such our team +/- will increase and goalie sv% as well. We should compare this to what happens in Florida ^^

 

The Gud news is we got a top 3 defenseman who prevents goals better than anyone else on our team.

 

********As a note: There are tons of variables in this data that when picked apart will probably discredit any statement. But that's just analytics.********

 

I'll just leave these here as well. Maybe some hope for the future and perspective for today

  Reveal hidden contents

staal.png

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Seabrook.png

 

 

 

 

Does this breakdown unintentionally reveal that Sbisa's actually not that bad of a defenseman?

 

He's definitely not deserving of being bashed as much as he does.

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35 minutes ago, Eastcoast meets Westcoast said:

Gudbranson is such a steal!  How did Edmonton miss out on this guy?   

 

This is trade is great on so many levels. 

 

First we we get a top 4 RHD and do a lot to fix or defence this upcoming season.

 

2nd, we don't give up any roster players (McCann was Utica bound) and keep our 5th.

 

3rd deny a divisional opponent a player they desperately need to improve their defence. 

 

Awesome stats breakdown DERP.  You should post that on TSN's comment section on the Yost article and show his editors how to properly evaluate Analytics and write about it. 

 

Apparently there's a analytics guy out on a ledge down in Florida, some rumour about a computer virus corrupting a spreadsheet of data and misplacing a decimal point, showing Gudbranson to be a cross between Shea Weber and Brent Seabrook statistically.

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Well I would guess most analytics do not watch much of the action or understand the effect of a guy smashing you into the boards does to the other teams shooting spots. I would guess a big bad scary defensman leads to a lot of perimeter shots that do not amount to much.

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2 hours ago, Eastcoast meets Westcoast said:

Gudbranson is such a steal!  How did Edmonton miss out on this guy?   

 

 

 

he's not a steal. Naslund for Stojanov is a steal. We paid a lot for Gud . Some believe it's was too much, others just right but I doubt you'll find too many (Benning included by his own mouth) that believe we fleeced FLA. 

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3 hours ago, Derp... said:

First off, I think analytics are important. I use them everyday at work, but by no means am I creating sports analytics or anything of the sort. At there best analytics help people make educated guesses by observing trends in my experience. There is value in that for a business and there product, as well as human performance analytics, sleep studies etc. Also, I was pretty mad when this deal happened, and still am not very happy just because I like McCann as an entertaining hockey payer to watch and cheer for more so that Gudbranson, but that's beside the point.

 

The problem I have with analytics is when it gets applied to hockey players as a metric of success or failure without proper indication of accuracy or explanation.

 

Our favourite defenseman to bash during the season is usually Luca Sbisa Canucks fans should have a very good understanding of how Sbisa was used, when he was used, what his strengths and weaknesses on the ice are from just the eye test. Let's look at his fancy stats.

  Reveal hidden contents

sbisa.png

 

As you can see he is not a very good defenseman by these numbers.

 

Now lets look at Erik Gudbranson.

  Reveal hidden contents

gudbranson.png

 

 

Well it looks like Gudbranson is almost identical to Sbisa in a lot of ways doesn't it? Ever so slightly better in every area though. But it's so little that most people would say they are probably the same. Did we just get a right handed Sbisa clone? No. Here's why.

Looking at their actual zone start data shows a few important factors.

 

Zone starts:

Sbisa: 52.23% (164OZ, 150DZ)

 

Gudbranson: 42.72% (267OZ, 358DZ)

 

These two players have almost identical HERO charts yet as you can see there deployment was entirely different.

 

Gudbranson averaged 5.6 Dzone starts per game

Sbisa averaged 3.6

 

Gudbranson averaged 4.2 Ozone starts per game

Sbisa averaged 4

 

What this can easily indicate to you is that Offensively per game Sbisa and Gudbranson were used about the same amount. But let's dig deeper.

 

Sbisa's on ice team shooting percentage was 8.1% on one of the lowest scoring teams in the league

Gudbransons on ice team shooting percentage was 7.7% on a top 10 scoring team where Willie Mitchell had 9%

 

Gudbranson was unlucky not to have more goals scored for his team while on the ice, where as Sbisa was fairly lucky having the second highest behind only Edler at 8.4%. Now we know that skill and luck of the other players on your team while your on the ice contributes to perceived success.

 

What about those 2 extra D zone starts per game?

 

Florida was a 50.1% faceoff team this year. Gudbranson took 0 faceoffs. We can assume that his team lost 1 of those, and were much more likely to give up a shot in that scenario even though he wouldn't play a significant role in winning those draws. At that point it's up to his forward to block a point shot, for him to block it, or for his goalie to save it. In the modern NHL many teams prefer to let their goalie see the shot, while others are in the block everything mode. It's one or the other and this can skew stats because the styles of play are so polarizing.

 

Florida was one of the "don't block the shot teams," because they have, guess who? Roberto Luongo in net. They were a bottom 10 team in unblocked shot attempts against shots, and unblocked shot attempts against while the score is tied. Even worse they were 25th in the league at suppressing shots while they were leading a game, which happened a lot this year.

 

Now some people may say that is Gudbransons fault, because he was used defensively and he should be preventing those shots and getting his team shots on goal, but this is a team game. Style of play and coaching has so much affect on statistics, that it is not fair to assume Gudbranson's shots for and against are a product of his play alone. 

 

http://www.nhl.com/stats/team?reportType=season&report=teamsummaryshooting&season=20152016&gameType=2&sort=unblockedShotAttemptsAhead&aggregate=0

 

 

How does he compare to the Canucks D?

Now comes the fun part. How much did the Canucks miss Luca Sbisa while he was injured? They were noticeably worse in there own zone. Sbisa, although he was not effective at helping generate shots for or preventing shots against, he was effective at keeping the puck out of our net (high danger scoring chances). Through his 41 games this year he was a +5. Even with that horrendous hero chart he was on the ice for 5 more goals for than against, weird right? Gudbranson was a +3 through 64 games of being a terrible corsi player on a team that bleeds shots while they are tied or ahead in the game. Can you see what I'm getting at?

 

The closest zone start comparisons for Gudbranson on the Canucks were none other than Alex Edler and Chris Tanev. That means he was being deployed in a similar manner to the Canucks top 2 defenceman. Edler had a -95 shot attempt differential this year, including his PP time. Gudbranson was -123, but if you average those out over games played.

 

Edler: -1.81 shot attempts against per game with 41.43% zone stars (+/- = -8)

Gudbranson: -1.92 shot attempts against per game with 42.72% zone starts (+/- = +3)

 

Wait did we just start comparing our top paring Dman Edler to Gudbranson? Yes

 

In there own zone Edler and Gudbranson are very similar at suppressing shot attempts even though Gudbranson is 5 years younger. The difference being that while Edler is on the ice so is Tanev.

 

Tanev: -0.33 shot attempts against per game with 43.34% zone starts (+/- = -8)

 

Tanev is an elite player at shot Suppression helping boost anybodies Corsi stats including Edlers. But has similar scoring rates to Gudbranson.

 

 

What I'm trying to get here is that Gudbranson relative to Canucks players looks like this:

 

1. His deployment is right in the middle of our best 2 defenceman

2. He suppresses shot attempts at a very similar rate but probably better than Alex Edler

3. He scores at a similar rate to Sbisa/Chris Tanev

4. He prevents goals (high danger chances) better than Edler and Tanev given the similar deployment

 

I expect that he will be our #3 Dman next year and as such our team +/- will increase and goalie sv% as well. We should compare this to what happens in Florida ^^

 

The Gud news is we got a top 3 defenseman who prevents goals better than anyone else on our team.

 

********As a note: There are tons of variables in this data that when picked apart will probably discredit any statement. But that's just analytics.********

 

I'll just leave these here as well. Maybe some hope for the future and perspective for today

  Reveal hidden contents

staal.png

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Seabrook.png

 

 

 

 

By far the best post I have read on these boards. As was previously mentioned, it is so refreshing to read something where the OP has put in the time and effort. Thank you Derp.

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4 hours ago, Derp... said:

First off, I think analytics are important. I use them everyday at work, but by no means am I creating sports analytics or anything of the sort........

 

 

********As a note: There are tons of variables in this data that when picked apart will probably discredit any statement. But that's just analytics.********

 

Well thought out post. I don't know (or care) enough about analytics to support or refute anything you've posted here but I respect the amount of effort you have put into it. Refreshing change from the crap that the wannabe "clone" Guru has been stinking the boards up with today. +1

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1 hour ago, TimberWolf said:

 

he's not a steal. Naslund for Stojanov is a steal. We paid a lot for Gud . Some believe it's was too much, others just right but I doubt you'll find too many (Benning included by his own mouth) that believe we fleeced FLA. 

Naslund for Stojanov is grand larceny of epic proportions.  There are maybe a handful deals in NHL history that were more lopsided than that one!

 

Apples for apples.

 

 We addressed a glaring need, and a hard to find solid RHD, for a player who is neither our best prospect in any position, nor a roster player projected for this upcoming season and two picks. The second stung a bit...

 

That at is not a knock against McCann, but if we do nothing more and just draft Tkachuk or Dubios at 5, he becomes our second best prospect at LW and our 7th or 8th Center in terms of depth between the farm and NHL.  Still very likely to be a solid NHLer in 3 years.  But with no impact on our current team.  

 

Almost as important, Edmonton, who we may be battling against for the playoffs, did not get Gudbranson.  No team needs a player like him more than the Oilers.  

 

Disagree with my choice of words, maybe we just shoplifted Gudbranson.  Either way, we win the trade for the next 3 years at the NHL level, as Gudbranson will impact our roster at puck drop this year.  McCann would be playing an integral part to the Comets.  Perfectly reasonable for him, he was rushed last year.    

 

In my opinion (like body parts, we all have one), the Canucks got better end of the deal.  In my opinion, the Panthers took a step back (mainly for cap reasons). Don't just ask me, ask Roberto and Willie.  

 

If if I am wrong, so be it.  But I really like this move, and feel there are more to come for JB prior to the season.  This summer he is putting his stamp on the club.  

 

 

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Sbisa, Tanev, Gudbranson, Hutton, Trymakin are all very young defensemen. Although Sbisa was injured a lot of the season I felt they all made pretty big strides. Just wait till they all hit their peak in roughly the same window. 

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