Springfield Falcons Quality of Competition

Schremp_medium
Back in December, I had something resembling a stroke of genius, when I hit upon a method for measuring the quality of competition that the Oilers’ AHL prospects face.  My idea was relatively simple, and it started with the official AHL website, every time a goal is scored, the names of every player on the ice for both teams are recorded.

What I decided to do was rate each forward using a simple metric: points per game.  I’ve fiddled with the rankings since then, and settled on these levels:

  • First-Line Forward: .66 PTS/GM+
  • Second-Line Forward: .5 PTS/GM - <.66 PTS/GM
  • Third-Line Forward: .33 PTS/GM - <.5 PTS/GM
  • Fourth-Line Forward: <.33 PTS/GM

Since most coaches match both their forwards and defensemen against the opposition team’s forwards, I decided not to bother rating the defensemen.

I treated each even-strength goal as an event (since special teams and empty-net goals would skew the ratings they were excluded), and recorded points for each event.  Let me use the last even-strength goal of Springfield’s season to demonstrate:

Dale Weiss scored, with Patrick Rissmiller and Mark Bell as his linemates.  Dale Weiss is regarded as a 3rd-line player (23 points in 74 games), Bell as a 2nd-liner (31 points in 74 games) and Rissmiller as a 1st-liner (54 points in 64 games).  Thus, each Springfield Falcon player on the ice for that goal was scored 1/1/1/0 – a point for each 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th line player on the ice (three "events" total).  Here’s the raw data for each player with at least 21 events in the second-half of the season:

 

Raw Data: Final 40 Games

 

 

Forwards

 

Gilbert Brule: 20/15/14/8
Jordan Eberle: 13/12/4/10
Jean-Francois Jacques: 5/5/10/1
Guillaume Lefebvre: 31/14/6/5
Bryan Lerg: 3/13/3/4
Charles Linglet: 15/24/15/12
Colin McDonald: 41/16/17/22
Ryan O’Marra: 17/11/9/26
Geoff Paukovich: 13/7/5/11
Ryan Potulny: 25/27/15/24
Rob Schremp: 10/20/16/23
Tim Sestito: 25/9/13/13
Tyler Spurgeon: 35/14/14/14
Ryan Stone: 31/38/22/29
Vyacheslav Trukhno: 21/18/18/18
Shane Willis: 11/19/11/31

Defensemen

Robbie Bina: 18/11/25/20
Taylor Chorney: 33/27/18/19
Mike Gabinet: 29/16/18/28
Theo Peckham: 17/10/3/5
Mathieu Roy: 24/22/16/17
Dinos Stamoulis: 9/3/2/7
Jake Taylor: 14/12/6/6
Cody Wild: 39/46/31/30
Bryan Young: 32/27/19/35


Next, I needed to convert this raw data into some kind of number.  I decided to reduce things to the simplest possible formula; for each event against a certain level of player, they’d get a certain number of points.  Those points would then be divided by the total number of events.  Points are awarded as so:

  • 1st-Line Player: 3 points
  • 2nd-Line Player: 2 points
  • 3rd- Line Player: 1 point
  • 4th- Line Player: 0 points

Brule_medium
To demonstrate, let’s use Gilbert Brule.  He has 20 events against first line players, good for 60 points (20x3=60).  We add that to his points from second-line players (15x2=30) and third line players (14x1=14) to get a total of 104 points.  Those 104 points are then divided by his total number of events (20+15+14+8=57) for an overall rating of 1.825 (104/57=1.825).  Here’s the rankings for all of Springfield’s players:

 

Quality of Competition Rank: Final 40 Games

 

Forwards

Guillaume Lefebvre: 2.268
Carl Corazzini: 2.000
Tyler Spurgeon: 1.909
Gilbert Brule: 1.825
Colin McDonald: 1.792
Tim Sestito: 1.767
Jordan Eberle: 1.718
J-F Jacques: 1.667
Bryan Lerg: 1.652
Charles Linglet: 1.636
Geoff Paukovich: 1.611
Ryan Stone: 1.592
Ryan Potulny: 1.582
Vyacheslav Trukhno: 1.560
Ryan O’Marra: 1.302
Rob Schremp: 1.246
Shane Willis: 1.139

Defensemen

Theo Peckham: 2.114
Jake Taylor: 1.895
Taylor Chorney: 1.763
Dinos Stamoulis: 1.762
Mathieu Roy: 1.671
Cody Wild: 1.644
Mike Gabinet: 1.505
Bryan Young: 1.496
Robbie Bina: 1.365


The last, and most difficult task, is to add these totals together with the data from the first half of the season.  What I had planned to do was just take the raw data from both halves of the season, add them together, and then compute the total difficulty of the player’s minutes.  Unfortunately, I never published the raw data from the first half, and my hard drive crashed, leaving me high and dry (as I didn’t have the data backed up).  With that in mind, I’m going to combine the data using an approximation – I’m going to multiply the total games played by each player by their competition rating in each half, add them together, and then divide them by their total games played in the AHL season.  The formula will look like this:

((1st half QualComp x 1st half games played) + (2nd half QualComp x 2nd half games played)) / (Total Games Played) = Combined Quality of Competition

It won’t be perfect, but it should put us very close to the actual number.  Here then is the final quality of competition ranking on the season, by position (with plus/minus in brackets along side):

 

Final Quality of Competition Ranking

 

Forwards

Guillaume Lefebvre: 1.901 (-13)
Tyler Spurgeon: 1.860 (-4)
Liam Reddox: 1.853 (-3)
Tim Sestito: 1.826 (-14)
Carl Corazzini: 1.763 (-10)
Colin McDonald: 1.753 (-8)
Jordan Eberle: 1.718 (-5)
Gilbert Brule: 1.677 (-12)
J-F Jacques: 1.667 (-1)
Bryan Lerg: 1.643 (-9)
Charles Linglet: 1.636 (-5)
Geoff Paukovich: 1.600 (-11)
Ryan Stone: 1.592 (+1)
Vyacheslav Trukhno: 1.568 (-13)
Ryan Potulny: 1.552 (-11)
Derek Bekar: 1.536 (+1)
Rob Schremp: 1.355 (-26)
Ryan O’Marra: 1.279 (-12)
Stephane Goulet: 1.190 (+2)
Shane Willis: 1.139 (-10)

Defensemen

Theo Peckham: 1.905 (-7)
Dinos Stamoulis: 1.762 (-3)
Taylor Chorney: 1.751 (-29)
Cody Wild: 1.712 (-14)
Jake Taylor: 1.703 (+1)
Josef Hrabal: 1.658 (EV)
Mathieu Roy: 1.639 (-20)
Ryan Constant: 1.571 (+5)
Bryan Young: 1.489 (-2)
Robbie Bina: 1.489 (-18)
Mike Gabinet: 1.422 (-13)
Sebastien Bisaillon: 1.309 (-1)


What To Take From This

This is hardly definitive but it does give us a relatively accurate view of Quality of Competition (according to Vic Ferrari of IOF, it’s roughly a .92 correlation to Behind the Net).  So with that in mind, there are a few things that I think are worth noting:

Lefebvre_medium

 

  • Guillaume Lefebvre may be a darkhorse contender for an NHL job at some point next season; his primary attributes would seem to be his fists, but Daum leaned on him heavily and he didn’t get lit up.
  • Tyler Spurgeon’s offense is inconsistent; he’s shown flashes in junior and previous AHL seasons, but only managed 20 points this season.  If he ever figures it out (and can stay healthy) he’s going to be a player.  That -4 rating is one of the best in Springfield and is absolutely outstanding given the circumstances.
  • Based on how Truitt and Daum rotated their lines, I’d say Colin McDonald is probably the cut-off point for the really tough competition.  This evaluation helps him somewhat but while he has size and his plus/minus is good (considering the circumstances), he’s never brought much in the way of offensive ability and he did have a two game stint in Stockton so I think he’s probably some distance from the NHL roster at this point.
  • Gilbert Brule is probably going to be on the NHL roster next season, but it isn’t clear he deserves it.  He had some more injuries this season, wasn’t playing minutes that were all that tough, didn’t bring enough offense and didn’t consistently stand out during his NHL callup.
  • Bryan Lerg and Vyacheslav Trukhno had nice amateur careers, but at this point neither one is bringing nearly enough offense and there’s no reason to believe they’re adding much defensively either.  They aren’t total write-offs at this point, but the organization could probably send them away without losing any sleep over it.
  • Ryan Stone was a very nice addition to the team and may yet spend time in the NHL.
  • Ryan Potulny looked good in his NHL callup, and his offense was very good given the team, but I don’t think he makes the big league except in a soft minutes role.
  • Rob Schremp’s season was a complete and utter disaster.  Last summer, I speculated the Oilers might be a ble to get a 2nd round pick for him; this year Tambellini would be lucky to get anything.
  • Ryan O’Marra had one goal this season.  I think we can write him off as a prospect. 
  • Theo Peckham had an outstanding year and is clearly the best AHL prospect the Oilers currently possess.  I don’t think it’s a stretch to call him the best prospect in the system.
  • Dinos Stamoulis was recruited from the ECHL because by the end of the year the blueline was in shambles.  Chorney and Peckham were in the NHL, Hrabal was in Europe, and Roy and Taylor were injured.  Milan Maslonka and R.J. Anderson were also pressed into service.  In any case, Stamoulis played only five games and probably isn’t a prospect of interest.
  • Taylor Chorney had an awful year, although he came around a bit in the second half.  He’s not close to the NHL roster, or at least, he shouldn’t be.
  • Cody Wild is something of a conundrum.  He was in the ECHL and a healthy scratch under Truitt, despite decent numbers, but he was used increasingly by Daum in the second half of the season (albeit against lighter competition).  He’s still some distance from the NHL.
  • Outside of Josef Hrabal, I don’t think any of Stockton’s remaining defensemen are prospects.  Bisaillon spent half of the year in the ECHL and on the whole didn’t provide enough offense for a "chaos" defenseman, while Mathieu Roy’s unending stream of injuries have destroyed his career.

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