Ramblings: Perfetti and Hintz sign; evaluating shot models; Klefbom; Pageau; Strome – November 10

Michael Clifford

2020-11-10

The Jets signed their first-round pick, Cole Perfetti, to a three-year ELC with an AAV of about $1.6M. Perfetti is hopefully the 2C of the future they'll need to play behind Mark Scheifele.

Despite a lot of talk around Quinton Byfield, Marco Rossi, and Tim Stuetzle, let's remember that if any of them step into a 2C role in 2020-21, Perfetti will have the most to play with at even strength. Because of the timing of the 2020-21 season, I think we could see more rookies in the NHL than in prior years. I guess it could matter how their development this fall/winter goes. I'm not expecting Perfetti in the NHL from Perfetti this season but I am going to be keeping a very close eye on training camps.

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If you haven't yet, don't forget to pick up your copy of the 2020 Dobber Hockey Fantasy Guide!

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A thought-provoking read from a member of the online hockey analytics community, Draglikepull. For years, hockey analysts have been arguing about the value of shots. Just how valuable and predictive are shots, shot attempts, goals, scoring chances etc? Well, as DLP notes in his research: rely on scoring chances.

I very much encourage readers to go through his piece. It is not long, the math-y parts are clearly explained, and the implications could be wide-ranging for fantasy hockey. My projections (and the projections of many others at this site and others) rely, more or less, on the same data. It is just how that data is treated that makes the difference. Knowing where to look, and where not to look, is vital to being able to predict the future with any sort of precision.

We talked at the beginning of the 2019-20 regular season about irregularities in shot location data. Now, scoring chance data relies on shot locations like expected goals, just not for the same reasons. It really is fascinating that DLP's work in this regard, as he mentions, replicates work he has done in the past. As he mentions, this is not the first time that simple scoring chances have come out of this type of work looking better than more advanced models.

At this time, just assuming we should use scoring chances and only scoring chances is probably a bit premature. There is more work that needs to be done (and I'm not nearly smart enough to try and replicate his work). But it is fascinating, nonetheless.

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Roope Hintz has re-signed with Dallas:

 

 

That leaves Dallas with almost no cap space, so their off-season is finished unless there is a trade in the works.

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This is Bubble Keeper Week at Dobber Hockey. Dobber himself replied to a bunch of bubble questions yesterday and I will do a couple today and many more on Thursday. But, I wanted to go through one particular bubble question I have been struggling with this offseason.

I have a dynasty league with a bunch of hockey writers from across the industry. It's a multi-cat cap league. The categories are goals, assists, shots, special-teams points, hits, blocks, takeaways, and face-offs. Assuming he makes the team (I think he does), I will be bringing Joe Veleno up from the minors, and I need to cut a centre to make room. One of these four centres will need to be cut:

Even though he just got like a 40 percent raise, Ryan Strome probably makes the cut. He looks to be the 2C in New York for the next year at least, and that is worth a lot given how much talent they have on the wings. If I can get 20 goals, 55 points, 400 face-off wins, and 15 STPs, that'll be fine for that price.

Chris Tierney got a raise. That is a problem because he doesn't bring a lot else besides face-off wins. He would normally be my auto-drop, but here's the fact of the matter: the Ottawa Senators may not have a single NHL centre on the roster besides him. They have Artem Anisimov, who played under 14 minutes a game last year for the Sens, and then a bunch of unproven young guys. I suspect Colin White will be their 1C on the first game of the season. But will he still be the 1C in the 15th game? What about the 30th game? I have a lot of hope for Logan Brown, but he doesn't have 30 NHL games under his belt yet. Is it really unreasonable for 2-3 prospects, none of them top-10 picks, to not turn into reliable NHLers this year? What I'm trying to say is I don't think it's a stretch to say that there will be times this year when Tierney is Ottawa's 1C. It is a question of what he can do with those minutes and whether it's worth having him on a fantasy roster waiting for that to happen.

In 29 total games with the Islanders between the regular season and playoffs, Pageau took a whopping 505 face-offs, or 17.41 face-offs per game. That is not Bergeron/O'Reilly territory, but it is a lot of face-offs. It is more than the preceding 60 games in Ottawa, which was 16.96.  Now, Pageau shot an unreasonable 17.2 percent over the course of the season which led to his career-high 26 goals. But he skated 18 minutes a game in the regular season for the Islanders. He had a 19-goal season and a 14-goal season earlier in his career with the Sens while skating about 16 minutes a game. It seems like repeating 20 goals is very possible. I would just stop short at expecting a repeat of 25 goals or saying he'll push 30. If he can score 20 goals, give triple-digit hits, and 700 face-off wins, that's fine value for $5M. The Islanders also aren't shy of splitting their PPTOI, so he could see 10 PPPs again.

J.T. Compher is the last of the possible cuts. As funny as it sounds, though he is part of easily the best roster of the four players, he may have the worst role. He needs an injury for top-6 minutes (unlike Tierney or Strome), he needs a couple injuries for top PP minutes (unlike Pageau), he won't be a face-off specialist (like Pageau), and he doesn't bring other peripherals like PPPs (Strome) and FOWs (Pageau).

Talking it through, it seems that one of Compher or Tierney is likely to be cut. The argument for Compher is his team and the argument for Tierney is also his team, but for a different reason. I don't have to make the decision right now, but my lean is to ditch Compher. What say you?

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One bubble keeper question I got in Twitter DMs was this (paraphrased):

It is a 12-team keeper league where teams keep 12 players (any combination of C/LW/RW/D/G). It is a head-to-head categories league, with these stats counting for skaters: goals, assists, plus/minus, special-teams points, PIM, and game-winning goals. For goalies it's wins, GAA, save percentage, shutouts. Need to keep two and cut one of these players: Oscar Klefbom, Jaroslav Halak, Robby Fabbri. Current keepers are: Barkov, Barzal, Marner, Panarin, Stone, W. Nylander, Bergeron, Rust, Carlson, and Pietrangelo. Which player gets cut?

While a good player is going to get cut and that's not necessarily the purpose of bubble keeper week, this is the bottom of the roster and it's a very intriguing mix of players.

First, I say keep Halak. Yes, it is an H2H league where his value isn't nearly the same as it is in a roto league, I get that. But, Halak probably starts close to half of Boston's games in 2020-21, and even with the injuries and departure of Torey Krug, it's still a very good roster. Once they're healthy, this is a team that runs three lines deep with likely the best top line in hockey. The fact that this is a 12-team keeper league where 144 players are getting kept, it seems like holding at least one goalie is a must, so, Halak stays.

I wrote about Fabbri a week ago so I won't go into further detail in this regard. My thoughts on him are explained in that linked piece.

In an interview in the Edmonton Journal a few days ago, Oilers GM Ken Holland said that the team is assuming Klefbom will miss the entire 2020-21 season. Last year, his 82-game paces were 45 points and 24 PPPs. That is great for a defenceman. However, plus/minus with their goaltending is an ongoing concern, Klefbom has never been a penalty-taker, and defencemen typically don't score many GWGs. He might only contribute to half of this league's categories when healthy.

Though I would hate to let him go and lose him given his role on the team, I think Klefbom is the guy to cut. Even if he comes back this year, Tyson Barrie should be running the PP1. If he doesn't, it's a lost year for a keeper and he may not even get the PP1 role back, depending on Evan Bouchard's development. Klefbom is a wonderful defenceman but the setup of this league and his injury means he's the guy to go for me. How about you guys?

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Alex Trebek, the iconic Canadian of international fame from the game show Jeopardy!, passed away on Sunday morning. He was a staple for millions of people for two generations and will be sorely missed.

Trebek, being the Ontario kid he is, carried a fondness for hockey his entire life. Sean Leahy of NBCSports went through his connection to hockey and the NHL. It's a nice quick trip down memory lane.

Rest easy, Mr. Trebek. And thank you for everything.

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