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Sabres Prospect Tropp Leads NHL-E

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The month of March has come and gone and the hockey season is winding down. The Sabres and Pirates are getting ready to make a long run in the playoffs and some prospects continue to play while others have to wait until next season. This will be our second to last look at the prospects NHL-E for the season.

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 theNHL.

 

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 37 20 22 42 0.465 38
 Luke Adam - QMJHL 6/18/1990 44 56 49 41 90 0.45 37
 Tyler Ennis - AHL 10/6/1989 26 69 23 42 65 0.414 34
 Nathan Gerbe - AHL 7/24/1987 142 44 11 27 38 0.38 31
 Jacob Lagace - QMJHL 1/9/1990 134 50 35 38 73 0.409 34
 Zack Kassian - OHL 1/24/1991 13 44 14 24 38 0.259 21
 Maxime Legault - QMJHL 3/28/1989 194 43 17 22 39 0.254 21
 Paul Byron - AHL 4/27/1987 179 54 12 20 32 0.261 21
 Derek Whitmore - AHL 12/17/1984 ND 75 18 15 33 0.194 16
 Felix Schutz - AHL 11/3/1987 117 64 12 14 26 0.179 15
 Marcus Foligno - OHL 8/10/1991 104 71 15 27 42 0.177 15
 Phillip Gogulla - AHL 7/31/1987 48 73 14 18 32 0.192 16
 Travis Turnbull - AHL 7/7/1986 ND 54 9 9 18 0.147 12
 Justin Jokinen - NCAA 11/25/1989 101 24 3 1 4 0.018 1
 Nick Crawford - OHL 2/23/1990 164 74 11 66 77 0.312 26
 Marc-Andre Gragnani - AHL 3/11/1987 87 63 10 30 40 0.279 23
 Brayden McNabb - WHL 1/21/1991 66 70 17 44 61 0.261 21
 Drew Mackenzie - NCAA 12/17/1987 209 36 4 10 14 0.159 13
 TJ Brennan - AHL 4/3/1989 31 62 6 15 21 0.149 12
 Mike Kostka - AHL 11/28/1985 ND 73 2 24 26 0.157 13
 Alex Biega - NCAA 4/4/1988 147 33 2 8 10 0.124 10
 Matt Generous - AHL 5/4/1985 208 61 2 11 13 0.094 8
 Mike Weber - AHL 12/16/1987 57 77 5 16 21 0.12 10
 Jordon Southorn - QMJHL 5/15/1990 104 67 4 19 23 0.096 8
 Drew Schiestel - AHL 3/9/1989 59 49 1 10 11 0.099 8
 Dennis Persson - AHL 6/2/1988 24 57 1 5 6 0.046 4
 Corey Fienhage - NCAA 5/11/1990 81 30 0 2 2 0.027 2
 Mark Adams - USHL 5/23/1991 134 53 4 10 14 0.039 3

 

There isn't one prospect that is setting the world on fire but there are a couple that we hope to see in a Sabres uniform very soon. From a statistical standpoint it is Corey Tropp (Michigan State) that continues to lead Sabres prospects. I haven't had an opportunity to see Tropp play this year so I can't give you my opinion on his potential.

I have had an opportunity to see Luke Adam play at the World Juniors near Christmas time and I came away impressed. He was a key part of the Canadian squad that took silver despite being projected as a fourth liner before the tournament.

There are some young defenseman that we should look forward to as well. Nick Crawford and Brayden McNabb immediately come to mind but I am interested to see if Marc-Andre Gragnani is ready to make the jump to the NHL more than anyone else. I still think the future is bright in Buffalo and the players above will be a key part in it.

I will have the official Die by the Blade prospect rankings up in a couple of days and you will be surprised with some of my rankings.