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By the Numbers: Winnipeg Jets 2014 Draft Picks

Here's an alternate to the traditional scouting reports available.

Jeff Zelevansky

At Arctic Ice Hockey we have a few hobbyist scouts who can tell tell you great things about the Winnipeg Jets new prospects. But, what we can also provide is an in depth look at what the numbers say about these prospective Jets from a hobbyist statistical analyst.

Recent breakthroughs in CHL data-mining have allowed for players in the three major Canadian junior leagues to have their time on ice, line mates and line matching values estimated. It has also allowed for us to look at on-ice goal differentials in a slightly better manner.

It should be noted that the algorithm used tends to slightly over estimate TOI for top players and underestimate for the bottom players. As well, it is important to remember that Goal% and relGoal% are just variations of an even strength plus/minus statistic, and are susceptible to shooting and save percentage variances.

1st Round, 9th Overall: LW Nikolaj Ehlers

Halifax Moose Heads (QMJHL)

17 years old, 5'11, 162 lbs

All Minutes Even Strength
63 49 55 104 27 29 56

All Minutes Even Strength
eTOI/60 P/60 P/60 GF% GF% rel
26 3.8 3.2 76.7% +18.2%

Percentage of team's available TOI Usage
38.9% 76.0% 24.4% 31.7% 34.8%

Ehler's was a scoring machine with the third highest CHL point totals for draft eligible players. His age+era score adjusted points per game was the 12th highest for first round draft picks from the CHL since 2005, while only placing behind Sam Reinhart for top spot this year. Some have raised concerns that playing on the same team as Jonnathan Drouin may have inflated his numbers; however, Ehlers only played with Drouin on the power play.

Ehlers was second to Drouin in ice time, but was 4th in QoT as Darcy Ashley and Andrew Ryan were the players who benefited from play with Drouin the most. Ehlers was given a huge percentage of the team's power play time, where he scored a large share of his points. He was still an effective even strength scorer, coming fifth in per minute and fourth overall for draft eligible forwards.

An interesting factoid is that Ehlers actually had the highest estimated QoC of his team's forwards. It is likely that Drouin played against the other team's top defensive pairs the most but Ehlers was playing against their top forwards more often. Despite his team high QoC, Ehlers came out with a team high relGoal%, meaning the Mooseheads outscored their opponents at even strength with Ehlers on the ice more than with any other player on the team.

Overall Ehlers looks to be a real winner by the numbers and a plus value for a 9th overall pick.

3rd Round, 69th Overall: RD Jack Glover

US National U18 Team (USHL/USNTDP)

18 years old, 6'3", 190 lbs

59 2 26 28

There are no pseudo-advance statistics to be pulled out of the USNTDP like the CHL. However, we can still look at a few numbers. Glover, with 28 points, placed second on the US National U18 team. The only defenseman to score more was Brandon Fortunato, who went undrafted likely due to his 5'9 stature.

Using NHLEs (a multiplier that evens out the difference in league strengths), it turns out that Jack Glover's draft eligible point per game pace is the greatest out of any Jets 2.0 defensive draft pick not named Jacob Trouba or Joshua Morrissey, although Glover's production is closer to Zach Yuen's level than Joshua Morrissey's.

Unless Jack Glover takes an additional step forward in his development, his offensive upside is relatively limited but by the numbers they still indicate he has a stronger probability in developing into an NHL regular over any other of the Jets non-first round defensive draft picks.

4th Round, 99th Overall: LC Chase De Leo

Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

17 years old, 5'9", 178 lbs

All Minutes Even Strength
72 39 42 81 27 24 51

All Minutes Even Strength
eTOI/60 P/60 P/60 GF% GF% rel
19.1 3.5 3.5 68.1% +9.7%

Percentage of team's available TOI Usage
33.3% 27.3% 25.5% 29.9% 29.8%

Chase De Leo was one of the top even strength scorers in the CHL who were draft eligible. De Leo was 9th in overall even strength points and is estimated to be 11th in even strength points per minute. Unlike Ehlers though, De Leo played a lot less power play time, so it isn't unreasonable to expect more offensive development as De Leo gains more opportunities. Looking at age+era adjusted points per game, it is interesting to see that De Leo's point progression is almost on the dot the same as Mark Scheifele's was in his draft season.

De Leo was predominately used as the 2nd line centre, playing behind Jets prospect Nicolas Petan, although he did play some spotted duty on the 3rd line. The QoC usage was spread out fairly evenly throughout the Winterhawks, suggesting deployment may have been predominately zone start orientated. However, he did have the Winterhawks' second highest relative goal differential. De Leo also played on the second power play unit and on the second penalty kill unit

De Leo, although different stylistically, looks to be similar to Petan in having elite high end junior production and upside but a large risk factor with size. Still, it is always better to risk on a potential high end offensive player than to risk on a 3rd line upside player.

4th Round, 101st Overall: RD Nelson Nogier

Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

17 years old, 6'2", 191 lbs

All Minutes Even Strength
37 1 5 6 1 5 6

All Minutes Even Strength
eTOI/60 P/60 P/60 GF% GF% rel
21.9 0.4 0.5 48.5% +9.8%

Percentage of team's available TOI Usage
42.2% 2.4% 27.8% 30.1% 30.0%

There is basically nothing to see here in the offensive numbers, although there is the possibility of improvement if Nogier is given some power play ice time next year. Nogier currently has the lowest draft NHLE of all Jets defensemen drafted out of leagues that have NHLEs.

The on-ice numbers add some context to Nogier's potential value. Nogier faced the highest level of QoC for Blades defensemen yet had the best relGoal%. While these numbers are not nearly as reliable as those built off of Corsi% and TOI used for NHL players, this does indicate a possibility of someone taking tough minutes and beating them.

Could Nogier be the Blades version of Hamhuis or Vlasic? Maybe. There could be defensive value to Nogier's game, although there is always more risk to a player who scores at such low rates, even with defensemen.

Post-publish edit: The Saskatoon Blades organization has given me the okay to say Nogier was their best relCorsi% player while playing top minutes.

5th Round, 129th Overall: LW C.J. Franklin

Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)

20 years old, 5'11", 190 lbs

53 22 29 51

C.J. Franklin has been a top 20 scorer in the USHL for the last two seasons. His stock has risen since going undrafted the past two years. Of course, dominating the USHL is not the same as dominating a higher league like the OHL or NCAA.

Franklin was playing in the USHS when he first went undrafted and there are no NHLEs for USHS, but we can compare Franklin to two Jets prospects: Tanner Lane and Ryan Olsen.

Lane was drafted by Atlanta Thrashers out of the USHS and took two years of USHL afterwards, so they were in the same leagues near the same ages (although Lane is slightly younger).

Year League Franklin Lane
Draft USHS 1.556 2.333
Draft+1 USHL 0.863 0.228
Draft+2 USHL 0.964 0.683

Lane performed far superior in the USHS but Franklin has done better in the USHL. Lane struggled moving into the NCAA, so it will be interesting to see how Franklin transfers into a much tougher level of competition this coming year.

There are NHLe numbers for USHL so we can also look at which Jet prospect has developed the most similarly offensively, in order to get a general trend of upside.

Year Franklin Olsen
Draft+1 0.207 0.202
Draft+2 0.231 0.217

Olsen's point production mirrors Franklin's most similarly. However, the comparison ends there, as Olsen and Franklin are quite different in size and game style.

6th Round, 164th Overall: LC Pavel Kraskovsky

Yaroslavl Lokomotiv (MHL)

17 years old, 6'4", 187 lbs

39 10 17 27

Kraskovsky has predominately played in the MHL, the major junior hockey league in eastern Europe. Kraskovsky scored 5 points in his first 19 games which was the 17th highest point per game pace for skaters under 17 years old. The next season Kraskovsky scored 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points in 39 games. This point pace was the 5th highest production for players under 18.

What's the most impressive number is that in both seasons Kraskovsky was called up to the KHL, the second best men's league in the world. He scored two points in six games and one point in five. There are no NHLE's for the MHL but for the KHL that point production puts Kraskovsky at a higher relative draft production than Lowry and just after Kosmachuk. What makes this all the better is that Kraskovsky is only two days too old from being a 2015 draftee instead of 2014.

The Jets 2.0's very first Russian draft pick comes with high risk but also high reward potential. Kraskovsky will be playing in the KHL full time next season and is under contract until after the 2015-16 season.

7th Round, 192nd Overall: LW/LC Matt Ustaski

Langley Rivermen (BCHL)

20 years old, 6'5", 221 lbs

54 29 20 49

Some complained about the Jets using their early draft picks for upside with very little size, so here is a pick for that group. Size is basically the only real number to discuss as there are no real interesting numbers from the BCHL. Ustaski was the second leading scorer on his team, although he was only 49th in the BCHL for points per game. He did pick it up in the playoffs, where he finished with third with a 1.25 point per game pace.

Like a few other Jets prospects, the real test will be next year in the NCAA, where we can compare him with numbers that are a bit more meaningful.