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Nugent-Hopkins comparables: @MannyElk's similarity scores

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Yesterday bituman presented evidence from two great machines of the Corsiverse supporting the notion that there is a similarity between Ryan Johansen and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Today he presents further evidence generated by @MannyElk's similarity score machine. There are comparables to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. What/who are they?? #becausewhynot

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins may not be cloned but there are comparables.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins may not be cloned but there are comparables.
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

In a post yesterday I compared Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' statistical performance to that of now-Nashville Predator Ryan Johansen using two "machines of the Corsiverse" that use fancy stats to generate comparisons between players.

Corsi-machine Never Breaks

The first machine was @MimicoHero'HERO charts. The second was @Mannyelk's similarity scores. These two young analysts (Domenic Galamani and Emmanuel Perry respectively) are very bright and precocious and know more about hockey stats than a lot of folks. Both are about as old as RNH himself, if not younger. I like their machines.

I just peered at Emmanuel's twitter for the first time in a while. He's a lot harrier than when I saw him present zone-entry data at the Ottawa analytics conference last year, a conference hosted by Carleton University and Michael Schuckers. I will be there again this year. Be there or be R2.

Similarity Score Machine

Because it was less visually appealing the similarity score machine seemed to get less of response from our readers. So, I decided to feature it in an analysis. The following chart was produced by matching all stats as much as possible for each of Ryan Nugent-Hopkin's seasons in the NHL (I chose not to match salary). The data used for matching is war-on-ice's collected data that goes back to 2005-2006. it's basically all of the advanced stats collected for the NHL. The machine goes through them and assigns a similarity score. It includes scoring, possession, quality of competition, quality of teammate, time-on-ice, and zone-start variables. The complete results may be viewed here. As per my usual, the chart below is interactive, so mousing-over the bars will animate some cartoon bubbles for you to read.

The above shows clusters of bars for nine comparison seasons. Each cluster represents a comparable season that produce a score higher than 90 percent for each of RNH's seasons. The nine comparison seasons are as follows (in order as presented above:

  • John Tavares' 2010-2011 season with the New York Islanders (19 years old)
  • Derek Stepan's 2010-2011 season with the New York Rangers (20 years old)
  • Matt Duchene's 2010-2011 season with the Colorado Avalanche (19 years old)
  • John Tavares' 2011-2012 season with the New York Islanders (20 years old)
  • Sam Ganger's 2008-2009 season with the Edmonton Oilers (19 years old)
  • Brian Little's 2010-2011 season with the Atlanta Thrashers (22 years old)
  • Eric Staal's 2006-2007 season with the Carolina Hurricanes (21 years old)
  • Anze Kopitar's 2008-2009 season with the Los Angeles Kings (21 years old)
  • Nathan MacKinnon's 2013-2014 season with the Colorado Avalanche (18 years old)
The strongest matches were with John Tavares, for whom two seasons matched five-times over 90 percent.

However, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also matches strongly with one of Sam Ganger's seasons and further to this point there were several other strong matches with Sam Ganger that did not occur with enough frequency to make the chart (see the complete results here).

Will Ryan Nugent-Hopkins be another Sam Ganger, another talented centre subjected to the waiver wire because of an Oilers' franchise incapable of helping talented young players? Or will he become another John Tavares or Anze Kopitar?
Only the future knows and here I offer no statistical prediction. Simply charts that are to become fodder for arguments in the Corsiverse and around the Keurig (water coolers are so 1990's).