Maybe one day he'll get paid to put this on. Well, hopefully more than one day.
Yesterday, I wrote about comparables for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but the man with two last names isn't the only Ryan in the organization, and with today being a new day, I decided to take a look at comparables for a prospect I've been pretty optimistic about over the last twelve months, Ryan Martindale (you can forget about this kind of analysis for the other five Ryans). Martindale is a player who's put up some pretty good numbers, but still hasn't gotten much love. After the jump, we'll take a look at what other players with similar numbers have achieved.
The ground rules I used this time are similar, but there are some pretty big differences too. I'm still looking for players who were drafted out of the CHL, but I'm going to be looking at Martindale's last two seasons, so these players will have needed to play in the CHL in both their draft and draft +1 seasons. I used draft position as a guideline again as well, but because Martindale was drafted much later on, I've used a larger range, namely all players who were drafted between 41st and 81st overall from 1995 to 2009. Because of the two-year sample, I decided to just look at points per game instead of both points per game and goals per game, in this case looking for players who were within 0.1 points per game of Martindale in both seasons. The result is a list that includes Martindale and six other players:
The first thing that jumps out to me is that each player with the exception of the two new prospects has gotten at least a cup of coffee in the NHL, which is no small thing for a set of five players all taken outside the first round. That's at least a little bit encouraging. And as with Nugent-Hopkins, a lot of these players are still quite young, so the lack of crooked numbers in that "Games Played" column shouldn't be too alarming. All of Nick Spaling, Oscar Moller, and Ben Maxwell seem likely to add to their totals, and Michael Latta and Martindale are both still prospects who are at least tracking well enough to have a chance.
But there are some problems here too. The first big one is that none of these guys are really something to shoot for in the future strike me as being a very similar player. Smolenak is of similar size and has a similar birthdate, but he's a winger rather than a center, which is a pretty big hitch. Most of the other players were both quite a bit smaller and quite a bit younger with the possible exception of Nick Spaling (who's still two inches shorter), but the knocks on Spaling were quite different around draft time than those on Martindale.
In the end, I don't think that anyone in this group is a good stylistic comparable for Martindale, but I am at least a little bit encouraged that some of the recent players with a statistical performance similar to Martindale's have gone on to play at the NHL level, and in a couple of cases, look like they could have useful NHL careers. Further, Martindale's size and purported "first-round skill" level may give him some natural advantages over his statistical peers.