Corey Tropp and Luke Adam Leading the Sabres Prospects

I promised everyone a more in depth look at the Sabres prospects this season and I haven't held up my end of the bargain. This is an opportunity for me to make up for some lost time. With the help of The Copper & Blue I found a unique way to rate the Sabres prospects using the NHLE that was created by Gabe Desjardins at the great site Behind the Net.

NHLE is basically a way to estimate how a prospect would do if they were playing in the NHL based on their statistics in the league they are currently playing in. A full explanation on how it works can be found here.

How difficult is it to score a goal in the National Hockey League (NHL) relative to another league?  With half of NHL players coming from the minor leagues, a quarter from European Elite Leagues, 20% coming directly from Canadian Major Junior and 10% from the NCAA, that’s a question NHL teams try to answer every day.  In evaluating these players, it is critical to know how a player’s performance translates to the NHL.

 

One way to evaluate the difficulty of one league relative to another is examine the relative performance of players who have played in both leagues.  Players rarely play significant time in two leagues in the same year, but they often play in one league in one year and in another the next.  As long as a player’s skill level is approximately constant over this two year period, the ratio of his performance in each league can be used to estimate the relative difficulty of the two leagues.

 

 Player - League Date of Birth Draft Position GP G A PTS NHL PPG NHL-82
 Corey Tropp - NCAA 7/25/1989 89 30 19 19 38 0.519 43
 Luke Adam - QMJHL 6/18/1990 44 41 35 29 64 0.437 36
 Jacob Lagace - QMJHL 1/9/1990 134 45 31 31 62 0.413 34
 Nathan Gerbe - AHL 7/24/1987 142 30 8 20 28 0.411 33
 Tyler Ennis - AHL 10/6/1989 26 48 15 29 44 0.403 33
 Zack Kassian - OHL 1/24/1991 13 34 9 19 28 0.247 20
 Maxime Legault - QMJHL 3/28/1989 194 33 11 16 27 0.229 19
 Paul Byron - AHL 4/27/1987 179 35 7 11 18 0.226 19
 Marcus Foligno - OHL 8/10/1991 104 50 10 21 31 0.186 15
 Phillip Gogulla - AHL 7/31/1987 48 45 6 14 20 0.183 15
 Derek Whitmore - AHL 12/17/1984 ND 46 9 10 19 0.182 15
 Felix Schutz - AHL 11/3/1987 117 42 7 10 17 0.178 15
 Travis Turnbull - AHL 7/7/1986 ND 30 4 5 9 0.132 11
 Justin Jokinen - NCAA 11/25/1989 101 23 3 1 4 0.071 6
 Brayden McNabb - WHL 1/21/1991 66 46 15 35 50 0.365 30
 Nick Crawford - OHL 2/23/1990 164 49 10 43 53 0.324 27
 Marc-Andre Gragnani - AHL 3/11/1987 87 34 4 16 20 0.259 21
 Drew Mackenzie - NCAA 12/17/1987 209 23 2 6 8 0.142 12
 Matt Generous - AHL 5/4/1985 208 39 2 10 12 0.135 11
 Mike Kostka - AHL 11/28/1985 ND 44 2 11 13 0.13 11
 Alex Biega - NCAA 4/4/1988 147 20 1 5 6 0.123 10
 Mike Weber - NCAA 12/16/1987 57 48 1 12 13 0.119 10
 TJ Brennan - AHL 4/3/1989 31 35 3 6 9 0.113 9
 Drew Schiestel - AHL 3/9/1989 59 33 1 7 8 0.107 9
 Jordon Southorn - QMJHL 5/15/1990 104 53 3 17 20 0.106 9
 Dennis Persson - AHL 6/2/1988 24 36 1 4 5 0.061 5
 Corey Fienhage - NCAA 5/11/1990 81 19 0 2 2 0.043 4
 Mark Adams - USHL 5/23/1991 134 31 3 3 6 0.023 2

 

There is not a player that is setting the world on fire but it's hard not to be impressed with the numbers that Corey Tropp and Luke Adam have put up on the front line or the numbers of Brayden McNabb and Nick Crawford on the blueline.

Crawford is a guy that I'm particularly impressed with because nobody thought much of him a couple of seasons ago. He started to come into his own last season and this season he has become a dynamic player in the Ontario Hockey League.

I will try to do this monthly and keep you up to date on how the prospects are doing and how that translates to the NHL. Thanks again to the people who helped me with this idea.

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