Friday, June 29, 2018

Eastern Conference 2017/2018 Standings

This is really late. I forgot about making this post., but finally finnished it.

Anedoctal Standings
I've always wanted to do a set of rankings where direction, long-term vision and strategic thinking with a consideration to performance. While this format isn't perfect (and I came up with Ideas halfway though), I"ll make adjustments for next years rankings.

Let me know your thoughts if this is something of interest to do again next season.

Overall Standings
1. Swift Current 17.5/20
2. Brandon 17/20
3. Lethbridge 16/20
4. Medicine Hat 13/20
5. Calgary 11/20
6. Moose Jaw 11/20
7. Red Deer 11/20
8.  Prince Albert 11/20
9. Kootenay 10.5/20
10. Saskatoon 9/20
11. Edmonton 6/20
12. Regina 5.5/20

Ranking Guidelines

Regular Season Performance = 4 Points
Playoff Performance-Based Upon Expectations = 4 Points
Directional Decisions 12 Points
Total 20 Points

I'll let my comments on each team describe these rankings in more detail.

Moose Jaw Warriors
Pre-Season Expectations
Coming into the season they possessed a very strong top 6 and great overall depth up front. Their defensive group had some young guys with great potential, but their veteran experience was relatively shallow. They seemed to have solid goaltending, despite losing Zach Zawchenko to University hockey.

They were the pre-season favorites as they added 2 huge Import blueliners on the back-end to shore up their blueline.

Season Happenings
During the season they lived up to their pre-season expectations. They weren't challenged much, but they still made a bundle of moves to try and strengthen their roster. Early in the season, they were beating teams pretty consistently. Towards the end of the season, they were going through some minor injuries and suspensions and they weren't on the top of their game.  They finished the season winning only 2 of 6 contests.

They ended up Taking out Prince Albert in 7 games in round one.  In Round 2 they lost at Home to Swift Current and the eventual WHL Champions in 7 games.

Lineup Tinkering
With the East being very strong and Swift Current making massive additions to their hockey team, Moose Jaw didn't shy away from trying to tinker with their lineup. Sometimes tinkering helps, other times it deflates the chemistry.

If we look back two playoffs ago in 2017, Swift Current made some deadline deals as they were likely to face MJ in the first round, while MJ stayed status quo. Swift ended up beating MJ in the first round of those playoffs. This marks the 2nd year in a row where Swift "Came from Behind" to beat out MJ in the playoffs.

In November MJ added experience, depth, size, and toughness with Barrett Sheen and Vince Loschiavo.  They also made a curious move trading away 19yr old and 4th round NHL draft pick Noah Gregor for 18-year-old Ryan Peckford.  In any other year I like this deal as you get an extra playing year from a potential PPG forward; however, in a championship type year, It's a bad move.

Moose Jaw also went out and upgraded their defense acquiring Stay at home Dman Brandon Schuldhaus and 2-way offensive Dman Kale Clague to counter Swift Current and Regina's massive trade acquisitions.

Their division was a "death division" as there were 2 elite teams, and 2 above average teams. They would likely all face each other with only 1 winner emerging into the 3rd round.

The deals ended up costing them:
Future PPG player in Luka Burzan
Chase Hartje
1st Rnd 19
1st Rnd 2021
2nd Rnd 2018, 2019, 2020

So not only did they tinker with a strong team, they spent quite a few assets in doing so. Hindsight is 20/20, but they could have ended up in the same place with no trades made and way more assets in the cupboard. For that reason, they will lose some points.

My Pre-Season Prediction
Goals For: 293
Actual: 326
Difference: 35 goals

I had them as a top team in my Eastern Conference Preview, so I feel my pre-season predictions were fairly close!

Standings Rating
Regular Season 4/4
Playoffs 2/4
Trades &  Moves 5/12
Score: 11/20

Having the best team in the regular season isn't easy and deserves something for getting there.  I cannot rate them higher because they spent a ton of assets when they already had a strong team in the first place and their moves did not advance them any further and hurt their future. I'm giving them a slight notch below average on their trades & moves score because of the Gregor/Peckford deal.

While it may have been designed for balance and on paper you get an extra year from a PPG player, IMO it's not a deal you make in a championship season. They also gave up a lot of assets and it did not boost their overall placement.

Swift Current Broncos
Pre-Season Expectation

They had one of the best top lines pre-season. They had a very strong defensive core. In the off-season, they added 20yr old goaltender Logan Flodell who turned out to be one of the top goaltenders in the league, but later traded him to gain an extra OA slot on defense.

Their overall forward depth was severely lacking.

Their drafting history suggested they should have a weak 18yr old age group. For that reason I had picked them to be the front-runner for 3rd place and listed them as a Dark Horse, with the expectations that Moose Jaw would have a strong team and Regina would add.

Season Happenings
Their top line was absolutely dominant. In modern-day WHL, it is extremely rare for a player to hit the 2PPG mark. The Broncos had One in Aleksi Heponiemi and two others knocking close by, at 1.87 and 1.82PPG figures.

At Christmas, there was no sign of a slowdown. The Broncos were in 3rd place and weren't far off from challenging for the division. They were also largely injury free during the year.

Then they did something that I would call "extremely risky"........

With a loaded conference sitting in (3rd place), they sold all their bona-fida younger players, along with 2 draft years, for a plethora of veteran key players. In Total they added, 1 starting goaltender, 3 PPG players, 2 core forwards, 1-star defenceman.

That's 1/3rd of a hockey team!  What did it cost? After their 1999 age group graduates next season, the Broncos will be basement dwellers as they recover. They traded out their 16/17/18 yr old key players but staggered their poor drafts.

Nonetheless, they won the WHL

Players Spent
Connor Chaulk
Riley Stotts
Dom Schmieman
Josh Prokop
Ethan Hein
Joel Sexsmith
1st 18,19,20
2nd 19, 2nd 2020, 2nd 21
3rd 20, 3rd round 202
5th 19
Logan Flodell  (Acquired, then traded at the deadline)
Logan Barlage
Owen Blocker
Matthew Stanley

Logan Flodell
Matteo Gennaro
Beck Malenstyn
5th 2018, 1st rnd 19
Stuart Skinner
Giorgio Estephan
Tanner Nagel
Josh Anderson

Future Drafts
Very poor draft positioning in 2018
Decent draft in 2019 (no 2nd)
2020 very poor draft positioning
2021 decent draft positioning

My Pre-Season Prediction
Prediction: 260 GF
Actual: 325
Difference: 65 goals

While this is a big difference, the fact that Swift added so many pieces to their team makes this prediction a write-off. I give myself partial marks for recognizing them as a dark-horse. It's extremely hard to predict a team adding so many pieces.

Season Rating
Regular Season 3.5/4
Playoffs 4/4
Trades & Moves 10/12
Score: 17.5/20

The biggest question here is: Were they incredibly lucky? Does trading their future for 1 championship = a good idea?  Maybe for small market teams, this formula is the way to go; due to scouting budgeting and recruiting being more difficult than teams with higher budgets and income.

If they had lost in game 7 to MJ, this season could have been the disaster that put the Broncos under for years to come. Very luckily they had a season to remember.

A team that wins the WHL, when at the time they were 3rd in their division is remarkable. Many teams try to trade their way to the top and fail, but the Bronco's managed to do it successfully. I think the moves the Broncos made should be studied. They already had their top guys in place, they just needed some good calibre players for elite depth. They were key players allowed to do their own thing, in a no pressure type atmosphere.

Does a team that sells everything for a championship make it justifiable? In the Trades & Moves rating, I struggled to give them an appropriate score.

 For this reason, I'm giving them a 10/12 in the Moves front.  They had a weak 18yr old class, they needed to buy to become a championship team. It cost them a lot. . In the end, it was their moves and additions that won them the championship. I will give them a high score, but not a perfect score taking future seasons into account.

Maybe next season I will do more thinking towards giving a bonus for setting up for next season.
Congratulations Broncos on Winning the WHL for the 2017 Season!

Regina Pats
Pre-Season Expectation
Pre-season I said they had some great top end talent, but were lacking in the depth department. They would need to bolster and would likely do so for their memorial cup run.  I had them behind MJ but had them in the top tier with the expectation they would bolster their lineup.

Season Happenings

Regina overpaid 2 seasons ago for 18yr olds to help them win for 2 years in a row. It ended up splitting themselves thin for this season as they suffered some significant key Pro Losses.

Odd Goalie Moves
Regina shipped off future starter and 18yr NHL drafted goalie in Jordan Hollet in return for some desperately needed offense in Overager Matt Bradley.

They were adamant about sticking with 20yr old goaltender Tyler Brown, until at the trade deadline they traded for an average goaltender Ryan Kubic, who ended up not being the starter in the playoffs, and they went with 17-year-old Max Paddock, the nephew of Coach/GM John Paddock.

Gift From PG
Regina also received a massive gift during the season. In Prince George, AHL'er Jesse Gabrielle returned late from Pro's and PG was looking to sell.

Regina sent off an 8th round draft prospect in Kjell Kjemhus, A late-blooming 17yr old Ethan McColm (who wasn't on the Regina Pats roster), as well as a 3rd round, and 5th round pick.

In other words, some late developers, for an AHL'er with 2 PPG seasons in the WHL. That's a steal. Unfortunately for Regina Gabrielle injured his ankle/foot during the last game of the season and only dressed for 2 playoff games and didn't play in the memorial cup.

In return, Regina also got the son of Prince George's GM in Jonas Harkins.  (Harkins was a 2nd round pick, but largely considered an "off the board" selection). He only dressed in 7 games for Regina and did not see ice in the playoffs. That entire deal seems unfair to me, but whatever...

Regina struggled to become an elite team all season. At best they were an above average team that got lost in an exceptionally strong conference. They were playing good hockey at seasons end but due to the "death divisions" had to face the eventual WHL Champions in Round 1.

Regina's Acquisitions
Jesse Gabrielle(20) F
Aaron Hyman(19) D
Cameron Hebig(20) F
Ryan Kubic(10)
Libor Hajek(19) D (I)
Austin Pratt(18) F
Jared Legien(19) F
Cale Fleury (19) D
Matt Bradley(20) F
Koby Morrisseau(17) F
Tanner Sidaway(19)
Jonas Harkins(17) D  *Didn't play in playoffs*
Scott Mahovlich(18) F
13 of 20 Roster Players

My Prediction
Prediction: 288GF
Actual: 245 GF
Difference 43

I was slightly wrong in my predictions and gave them too much credit they could turn an average team into championship material.

Season Rating
Regular Season 2.5/4
Playoffs 1/4
Trades & Moves 2/10
Score: 5.5/20

Being honest I feel extremely sorry for the Pats fans. They had so much talent and potential in their roster the past 2 seasons.  The type of Talent where they could have had a 2-3 year mini-dynasty.

All they have to show for it is a 3rd round playoff exit and a 1st round playoff exit + a memorial Cup Finals experience that had their team lose 2 million dollars in hosting the cup.

I feel the pats are very good, maybe even exceptional at discovering young talent; However, to build a winning hockey team, their management decisions seemed experimental and if they had to do everything all over again, they would likely change their approach.

They treated their team like they were trying to control the stock market and in the end, the market controlled them.

There is a big difference between Swift and Regina, and that difference is one that should be studied.
(Swift had good goaltending, good defence, and the best line in the CHL before they added)

Mark them down as another example that buying players don't necessarily mean playoff victories. They had also tried something not many teams have done in the past. (Purchasing expensive 18yr olds) Essentially 2-year players that come with an added cost.

Brandon Wheat Kings
Pre-Season Expectation
I had them listed as having a volatile roster where I thought they could be both above and below average. As a safe bet, I had them as an average team.  They had high draft positions but also had a top pick in Nolan Patrick plucked away early to the NHL.

Season Happenings
They had an incredible season! Almost every veteran player had big upticks in their point totals.  For most of the season, they held onto 2nd place in the division. They had a well-balanced roster, good goaltending, a great offense, and solid defence.

They had a surprising season and as such, they faced a really tough decision. Go for it, in a tough conference where there were already 3 teams pushing, or make moves to benefit their future.

They decided to sell, knowing that they'd likely be playing 2 of the top 3 teams in the first 2 playoff rounds. Their decision to sell was a difficult one.

They recouped 4 - 1st round draft picks, 1 -2nd round pick, future PPG player Luka Burzan, 18yr old defenceman Chase Hartje, and a couple of prospects. This was an absolute killing. Now, they won't see the fruits of this trade until about 2023-2027, but at that time they could very well possess All-Star type talent.

Not only did they make a killing off trades, they still made it into the 2nd round of the whl playoffs.
 Between Swift Current, Regina, and Moose Jaw, the odds were against any team coming out of the first two rounds, and Brandon was able to crossover and beat the Tigers, the top team in a weaker central division.

My Prediction
Prediction 225 GF
Actual: 272 GF
Difference: 47

I underestimated them. I got them wrong. Their offense was rather dangerous. Very quick and fast. This was probably not knowing their roster well enough as well as having an injury-plagued year the previous season.

Season Rating

Regular Season 3/4
Playoffs 2/4
Trades & Moves 12/12
Score: 17/20

If there was such a thing as a perfect season without winning the championship, Brandon was close to it. They have 3 first round picks in both 2019 and 2021. If they can recruit a good draft class in 2020, this team will have 3 very strong seasons in years to come.

Prince Albert Raiders
Pre-Season Expectation

Pre-season I had them into the average category in a tough division. They had an interesting roster. They had some developing defensive depth, but their forward core was still really young. I had thoughts that they were still too young to make a good push and that they would be competing for the wildcard.

Season Happenings
They made some..... "interesting" moves as they decided to become buyers at the deadline. They bought an overage for a bundle of late round picks and a prospect bound for the NCAA. (which was cheap for them) A cheap deal that put them into the playoffs deserves some extra marks.

They also bought a 19yr old forward and gave up a 1st round pick, a 1st round prospect, and a smooth skating defenceman a pretty high cost. This was the interesting move....

That move seemed a bit odd as it seems quite early to purchase, but could signify them as potentially looking to buy coming into next season. I'm thinking they might look to pull off a "swift current" next season.  I'm not ready yet to give them poor marks for that move. While it was an early move, if they can pair it with a good showing next season and another additions or two, giving that move a bad rating this season, would be poor foresight...

My Prediction
Prediction 234 GF
Actual: 245 GF
Difference: 11

I felt I was pretty close to accurately predicting PA. Wildcard and 11 goals off is pretty much spot on. I felt if they didn't have such a tough conference they would have had a higher total.

Season Rating
Regular Season 1.5/4   (extra .5 for late-season push)
Playoffs 2 /4     ( Taking MJ to 7 games)
Trades & Moves 7.5/12
Score: 11/20

I liked PA's game early in the season. They had one of the toughest schedules in the league. They had a developing roster hoping to make some noise at seasons end. I gave them a little extra in the regular season & playoff scores because they took MJ to task and almost looked like they would be spoilers. They also had a very tough division to play in.

They did acquire an OA for a very cheap cost which helped pull them into playoff territory. They also tinkered a little with their roster with moves I liked.

Their expensive deal involving McDonald seems weird on the surface, but if we look at their roster, they have a very veteran and old group of defence/goaltending next season.  They also have some younger players offensively but a few of them look to be good ones.

They may very well follow the swift current model and look to add some offence.
For that reason, I'm putting their trades & moves at a 7.5/12. I retroactively might want to change this after next season, depending on their direction this upcoming season.

Saskatoon Blades
Pre-Season Expectation
This was essentially the last flush year for their previous championship seasons. They did some crazy value trading the last few seasons in an attempt to get better a year earlier than a normal recovery.

This year with proper recovery their roster should have been into the average territory. ( essentially a mix of older veterans from poor draft years, and up and coming youth)
I had them as competing for 3rd/wildcard spot.

Season Happenings
They weren't nearly as crazy trade-wise as the past few seasons. It's almost like they decided that route wasn't working for them.

They basically made 2 major deals

1) They sold an import defenceman for a 1st rounder, 19yr old offensive defenceman Dawson Davidson, and young prospect Tristen Robins. A great deal for them.

2) They were involved in a 3-way deal that saw them lose 20yr old Cameron Hebig and 19yr old Goaltender Ryan Kubic.   They acquired OA Tyler Brown, 2-3rd round picks, and 19yr old max Gerlach.  tldr: They essentially just swapped people and added 2-3rd round picks.

Overall they made some gains with that first deal and tinkered trying to make the playoffs.

While they were in the wildcard spot for the longest time, PA managed to get hot down the stretch and bumped Saskatoon out of the playoffs by only 3 points and Tyler Brown largely sat on the bench

My Prediction
Prediction 256 GF
Actual: 237 GF
Difference: 19

I felt I was pretty close to accurately predicting their path!  They tinkered but gained assets for the future. Unfortunately for them, they just missed the last wildcard spot.

Season Rating
Regular Season 1.5/4 (playoff position for part of the season)
Playoffs 0/4
Trades & Moves 7.5/12
Score: 9/20

Expected to be an average team in a strong conference. I gave them an extra point .5 in the regular season because of that. 

Medicine Hat

Pre-Season Expectations
Their drafting positions suggested a slightly above average roster with a couple extra early draft picks.

I listed them as having a potential championship team if all their puzzle pieces fell into play with Fischer coming back, Linus Nassen reporting and goaltender Jordan Hollett proving to be a starter which could free up an overage player.

Season Happenings
Their top centreman Mason Shaw was lost the whole season due to injury. OA power forward Zach Fischer left the team and demanded a trade. Jordan Hollett started the season with mono. The Tigers suffered an incredulous amount of medium to long-term injuries through the season and never played 1 game fully healthy all season.

With Fischer having 34 goals the year before and Shaw with 94 points. That was a huge chunk of offense that unexpectedly disappeared. Suddenly their forward depth went from strong to rather mediocre.

They traded away veteran Max Gerlach for some youth and some picks at the trade deadline.
They also traded for former 1st round pick and disgruntled centreman Elijah Brown from Seattle for a cheap cost.

They won the Central but were defeated in Round 1 of the playoffs. The central was very poor and even though they won a division banner, it meant facing the wildcard in the East, which had more points than them during the regular season.

Their playoffs was a roller-coaster. Out to a commanding 2-0 series lead at home and looked to be in control. However, Brandon won the next 4 straight.

It's always disappointing when a potentially good year falls flat, but that was largely out of their control and they were effective at re-tooling their roster.

My Prediction
Prediction: 310 Goals
Actual:  260
Difference: 50

Can't predict star players leaving and getting hurt. This prediction is a write-off. If Shaw and Fischer had played the full season it would have been spot on.

Season Rating
Regular Season 3/4
Playoffs 1/4
Trades & Moves 9/12
Score: 13/20

They turned around a disappointing season and re-tooled while winning their division.

Red Deer
Pre-Season Expectation
They lost some impact players but retained numerous players who should have been able to fill the void. I listed them as being a potential dark horse team because of that.  They also had mid to early draft positions that should signify an above average team. I had them competing with Lethbridge for 2nd in the division.

Season Happenings
They acquired forward Jared Dmytriw for one of their better defencemen and that deal didn't work out. Dmytriw was later shipped to Victoria for picks.

The rebels had an extremely disappointing start to the season and went into rebuild mode selling Jared Dmytriw, Lane Zablocki, Brandon Schuldaus, Austin Pratt, Lukas MacKenzie.

They received, a 3-3rd, 3-2nds, Colin Paradis(19), Josh Tarzwell(17)

As soon as they had written the season off and started selling some veterans, they started to rise up the standings. (It should be noted that a big part of that was Kootenay Falling from grace during the 2nd half of the season)

My Pre-Season Prediction
Prediction: 247 GF
Actual: 209 GF
Difference:  36 goals

I feel the 36 goal difference was largely due to them underperforming in the first half of the season, although I may have slightly over-estimated their potential.

Season Rating
Regular Season 1.5/4
Playoffs 1/4
Trades & Moves 8.5/12
Score: 11/20

They were able to improve off their moves and also get assets for the future.

Lethbridge Hurricanes
Pre-Season Expectation

Their drafting positioning suggested they should have a strong team. Pre-Season I said they had a veteran defensive core with championship experience returning; however, they lacked some scoring depth up front which could set them back. I put them into the above average territory where their lack of depth may push them into average territory.

Season Happenings
Brennan Menell was unexpectedly signed and plucked to the pro's after a free agent invite to the Minnesota Wild Camp. They also had a season-ending injury to overage forward Ryan Vandervlis.

Lethbridge replaced Brennan Mennel acquiring Overage Tate Olsen from PG for a 3rd round pick, as well as acquiring Lane Zablocki from Red Deer for Josh Tarzwell, a 2nd, and 3rd. They spent some assets early, and that was a sign they intended to be competitive in the central division.

However, their start to the season was less than ideal. They also had key forward Ryan Bowen demand a trade.

During the season Lethbridge had troubles sustaining momentum.  They had a roller coaster type season where when they were hot, they couldn't loose. When they were cold, everybody could beat them.

The trade deadline saw them completely out of first place, yet fairly safe from missing the playoffs.
With the trade market selling gold nuggets for huge returns, they decided to restructure their team.

They sold Stuart Skinner, Giorgio Estephan, Lane Zablocki, depth player Tanner Nagel, and hard-hitting Defenceman Brady Poteau.  They also swapped a defensive defenceman Brennan Riddle for PPG Brad Morrison.

The deals saw them gain, 1-1st, 2-2nd, 2- 3rd, 1-6th. Logan Flodell(20), Logan Barlage(16), Owen Blocker(17), Matthew Stanley(19)

Those trades sparked their team from playing near .500 to a .637 winning percentage down the stretch. At one point, they had climbed back into contention for a 1st place Central Division Finish.
Cue more Roller Coaster.....

They finished the season winning just 1 game of their last 9,  got hot in the playoffs and gave the Broncos all they could handle bowing out in 6 games in Round 3.

My Prediction
Prediction: GF 210
Actual GF: 220
Difference: 10 goals

I feel I was fairly accurate with Lethbridge, although they didn't reach above average level until after selling some veterans for some youth.

Their roller coaster type season ended up being a blessing in disguise. Very similar to Brandon, they gained a lot of assets and made it into the 3rd round of the playoffs.

They ended up having an excellent playoff to over-ride their roller-coaster type regular season.

Season Rating
Regular Season 2.5/4
Playoffs 3.5/4
Trades & Moves 10/12
Score: 16//20

Kootenay Ice

Pre-Season Expectation
Their draft positioning was middle of the pack, but they had an older roster of lesser skilled talent. The defense was old. They had been in the basement the past couple seasons and their deals of the past for Cody Eakin and Tim Bozon which consumed an extraordinary amount of prospects had continued to catch up with them.

Kootenay was in a terrible position with a terrifying roster with little hope for the future. They had a couple young standouts, but depth was severely lacking in all 3 positions.

Season Happenings
With a fresh ownership group, they wheeled and dealed and made 9 trades before the season began.

I was initially skeptic from some of their off-season moves acquiring OA depth players, but the picks they gave up were conditional and they eventually released those players and gave up nothing.

They sold some key veterans such as Vince Loschiavo and Cale Fleury and those deals gave Kootenay a spark.

They completely re-balanced their roster and acquired numerous younger players to supplant all the "fillers" that their lineup was composed of pre-season. They looked like they would make the playoffs in a weak central division but unfortunately took a late tumble down the standings. They missed the playoffs for the 3rd consecutive year.

I won't go over all their moves, but if interested check out the WHL transaction page

My Prediction
Prediction: GF 210
Actual GF: 215
Difference 5 goals

I was pretty close on their goal total and felt I was successful on this prediction.
A broken clock is right at least twice a day?

Season Rating
Regular Season 1.5/4   (playoff position for most of the year)
Playoffs 0/4
Trades & Moves 9/12
Score: 10.5/20

The new ownership was active and did well inheriting a very poor group of assets and abstain from becoming beatable by AJHL clubs.. They made a bundle of deals for value, spending late round picks for younger talent, and selling some veterans for futurea ssets. 

Calgary Hitman

Pre-Season Expectations
I felt they had a volatile roster. They had the makings of a good top 6, but a defence with weaker depth after their top pairing.  I felt if they shored up their defensive group they could compete for 2nd; however, if they couldn't, they would miss the playoffs. I thought they were similar to Brandon in that I wasn't sure if they would be strong or weak

Season Happenings
They had a very poor start with an injury to key forward Beck Malenstyn. With a new Gm and coach, they immediately decided to go into rebuild mode. On November 25th they sold Gennaro and Malenstyn. In January they sold Jake Bean and Andrei Grishakov

They re-tooled their roster for a combination of draft picks, proven younger player, sprinkled with some prospects.

My Predictions
Prediction: 252-276 (Depending on OA Direction)
Actual:  226
Difference: 26-50

If they hadn't sold Gennario and Malenstyn this target would have been met. In terms of my prediction, I felt it was pretty accurate. They ended up not boosting their back-end, selling top forwards and they missed the playoffs

Season Rating

Regular Season 0/4
Playoffs 0/4
Trades & Moves 11/12
Score: 11/20

This was a good year to re-tool. Riley Stotts, Dom Schmiemann, Three 2nd rounders, 1-1st rounder, goalie prospect, 2- 3rd rounders, depth defenceman Dakota Krebs, Future PPG forward Carson Focht. They also picked up a very good import defenceman Egor Zamula for free.

They have late draft positions over the next few years, so instead of trying to load up in 1 or 2 seasons, they spread out their future assets.

 Their poor start was a blessing in disgiuse.

Edmonton Oil Kings

Pre-Season Expectations
They had late draft positions and were re-tooling. It was expected they would have a developing season.

I was a little  "bullish" on them pre-season I felt they had potential to be better than expected because they had numerous 17's turning 18. A lot of those players appeared to be "fillers"

Season Happenings
They rode their rookies. Some teams will add and beef a couple positions so provide leadership and experience, but the Oil Kings went complete youth.  They released a few 19's, and traded 1 at the deadline.  Their lone addition to the roster came in the form of a "2 spotter euro import" trading for Tomas Soustal who was a factor in 29% of their total goal scoring.

My Predictions
Prediction: 225G
Actual: 204 G
Difference: 21 goals

With very little veteran presence, it's not rocket science that they finished last in the league. They finished the season with just 1 19yr via a goaltender that was splitting time in net.

I had them rated as mediocre which was slightly over-valuing, but I also knew that playoff would be tough for them to achieve. I am considering this prediction a success.

Season Rating
Regular Season 0/4
Playoffs 0/4
Trades & Moves 8/12
Score: 6/20

They chose to go with a pure development route and stuck with it, so I won't fault them for tanking and getting a higher draft position. They didn't have many assets to trade so they were limited in their ability to re-tool for the coming seasons.


BONUS: Forward Scoring Per Age Group
(We can see why the WHL didn't have many drafted players this season)

Average Points Per Age Group (Forwards) (Min 30 games played)

20 Yr Olds = 1.02 Pts/Game = 73.4 Pts
19 Yr Olds = 0.76 Pts/Game = 54.9 Pts
18 Yr Olds = 0.58 Pts/Game =  41.98 Pts
17 Yr Olds = 0.32 Pts/Game = 23.26 Pts
16 Yr Olds = 0.30 Pts/Game = 21.82 Pts

Average Points Per Age Group (Forwards) (Min 30 games played)
16 Yr Olds = 0.226 Pts/Game = 16.2 Pts
17 Yr Olds = 0.421 Pts/Game = 30.3 Pts
18 Yr Olds = 0.610 Pts/Game =  44 Pts
19 Yr Olds = 0.763 Pts/Game =  54.9 Pts
20 Yr Olds = 0.882 Pts/Game =  63.5 Pts

17's were way below compared to the year previous
20's were way up compared to years previous


Anonymous said...

Tiger prospect Layne Matechuk and his family released a statement that he remains in hospital, but has woke up from his coma, and continues to make progress.

TigerTurf said...

Tough to hear he suffered a Brain injury and hasn't been able to speak since waking from the coma. Hopefully, it isn't permanent :(

Sending my well wishes to him and his family.

I started working on next Years predictions. For those that view online and not mobile there is a link on the Top Right side of the Main Page.

It's quite disorganized and I've only dabbled into Brandon's Lineup so far, but during on the summer I"ll work on a rough copy putting pieces together here and there.

Anonymous said...

Great analysis and I look forward to reading next years predictions just like always.
I agree with where you had Lethbridge and Brandon. To be able to go as far as they did in the playoffs and add to the future was pretty remarkable.

TigerTurf said...

Thank you kindly!

Anonymous said...

I heard their seasons tickets are pretty low so far.

Anonymous said...

BUT the question IS... Can Clouston take us to the championship?

longtimefan said...

Heard today that Shaun Cloustons contract has been extended.

TigerTurf said...

Looks like the Tigers plucked away associate coach Ryan Smith from the Broncos.

Anonymous said...

Interesting move hiring Ryan Smith. He brings a lot of experience with him but I was expecting someone younger. Not that I am against it, just surprised! I hope he can help us get a Championship!

Anonymous said...

Good to see us find another guy with some experience and someone who's been on a championship team. Not much to complain about here.

TigerTurf said...

Interesting. There is an article on the NHL website about shaw and it says he will likely return to Medicine Hat

Anonymous said...

I think it depends on Shaw's rehab but he is one of the hardest working Tigers and as much as I would enjoy seeing him back I think he will be Iowa where they can control his rehab and help with his development.